The Spies Inside Damascus – By Ronen Bergman | Foreign Policy

Syria is not North Korea.  Espionage is alive and well inside conflict arena:

“We have a very extensive knowledge of what is happening in Syria. Our ability to collect information there is profound. Israel is the eyes and ears, sometimes exclusively, sometimes as complementary aid, to what the U.S. intelligence is able or unable to collect itself,” Maj. Gen. Uri Sagi, Israels former chief of military intelligence, told me on Sept. 19. While the threat of an American attack on Syria — and a possible Syrian counterattack on Israel — has subsided for the moment, the Israeli-American efforts to penetrate the Assad regime continue. This is a history of those efforts.

via The Spies Inside Damascus – By Ronen Bergman | Foreign Policy.


2 thoughts on “The Spies Inside Damascus – By Ronen Bergman | Foreign Policy”

  1. The relationship between Israel and the US is strong, and comes in handy when collaborative spying is used. Unfortunately when a mistake in judgment is made on one side, it often pervades on the other as well. The article states “For now, the Israeli assessment is that Assad will not attack Israel, even if he is attacked by U.S. forces. Israel, however, is preparing for a counter strike.” It is appropriate that Israel is preparing for a counter strike, given that they incorrectly purported that the Assad regime would not use the chemical weapons it possessed, thinking they would be used as bartering tools and not as a means to kill hundreds of civilians. Despite errors that can be made in espionage, the sharing of information is incredibly useful for both countries.

  2. I remember listening to NPR during the summer and there was a quite a bit of hubbub on the news about Israel launching an airstrike on a the time “supposed” chemical weapons sites. I liked reading this article, it helped me gain a sense of the depth of Israeli intelligence and the role of Israel in the US’s presence in the middle east, and at least answers part of the “why” of US has historically backed up Israel so much. This article makes me think what the reaction would be if Isreal were to strike the weapons sites today (they have already launched strikes 4+ times this year)
    1- I could see lots of people being happy that the weapons are gone (and Obama happy that someone else had the guts to do what he planned on doing any ways)
    2- Countries using the strikes as a reason to cause the meetings in progress now to break down.

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