Australia's National intelligence community: Challenges and opportunities in a multi-polar world

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter examines how key capability reform recommendations related to academic outreach and research articulated in the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review (IIR) of Australia’s National Intelligence Community (NIC) represent opportunities for improving Australian international intelligence cooperation. Intelligence cooperation for Australia’s NIC has always been important to meeting enduring intelligence collection and assessment priorities of successive Australian governments. The longstanding networks, particularly via the Five Eyes alliance made up of regular person to person and virtual exchanges on strategic, operational and tactical intelligence issues, underscore the critical importance of intelligence cooperation. These networks have stood the test of time, but are they still sufficiently useful and resilient as the security environment becomes increasingly complex and uncertain? Additionally, given Australia’s NIC and other Five Eyes alliance partners have limited resources and are confronted with the difficulty of integrating new technology and adapting their workforce, it seems even more critical that Canberra needs to review cooperation processes and initiatives regularly, strategically and explicitly. Using two key themes as a foundation for analysis (academic outreach and research and regional stability), this chapter assesses areas where Australia’s NIC has additional opportunities to build on existing cooperation arrangements – both within the Five Eyes and in other less traditional intelligence sharing networks such as with Japan and India. In addition to exploring the opportunities presented in the 2017 IIR for enhanced intelligence cooperation, the chapter assesses what challenges exist in fostering enhanced intelligence relationships with the Five Eyes alliance and non-traditional partners and identifies how these can be managed in the immediate future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligence Cooperation under Multipolarity: Non American Perspectives
EditorsJustin Massie, Thomas Juneau, Marco Munier
PublisherUniversity of Toronto Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781487550790
ISBN (Print)9781487550745
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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