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Secret Intelligence in the European States System, 1918-1989$
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Jonathan Haslam and Karina Urbach

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783590

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783590.001.0001

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French Intelligence About the East, 1945–1968

French Intelligence About the East, 1945–1968

(p.128) 4 French Intelligence About the East, 1945–1968
Secret Intelligence in the European States System, 1918-1989

Georges-Henri Soutou

Stanford University Press

In this chapter, Georges-Henri Soutou emphasizes the problems facing postwar France. Scant resources were a major problem, particularly acute given, not only the magnitude of objectives originally laid down by General de Gaulle, but the poverty of the budget available even after he resumed power. Unable to penetrate the enemy camp and thereby obtain direct access to the intentions of their opponents, French personnel were forced to improvise. The response was quite naturally to focus on the material and the measureable in terms of enemy capabilities rather than the ephemera that emerged when aiming at higher targets relating to intention. Absent this knowledge of what the adversary intended, the searchlight was focused on outward signs of enemy movement in the field of battle, which became something of an art form at allied intelligence in West Berlin.

Keywords:   France, secret intelligence, SDECE, National Defense Intelligence Plan, SGDN, Quai d’Orsay, espionage

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