Counterintelligence state (sometimes also called intelligence state, securocracy or spookocracy) is a state
where the state security service
penetrates and permeates all societal institutions, including the military.
[Michael Waller ''Secret Empire: The KGB in Russia Today.'', Westview Press. Boulder, CO., 1994., , pages 13–15.]
The term has been applied by historians and political commentators to the former Soviet Union
, the former German Democratic Republic
after the 1959 revolution
under Saddam Hussein
, and post-Soviet Russia
under Vladimir Putin
, especially since 2012. Debate also exists whether the United States of America
, following the global surveillance disclosures
may also fall into the category.
According to one definition, "The counterintelligence state is characterized by the presence of a large, elite force acting as a watchdog of a security defined as broadly that the state must maintain an enormous vigilance and enforcement apparatus... This apparatus is not accountable to the public and enjoys immense police powers... Whether the civilian government is able to control the security bodies
is an open question; indeed ''the civilian government is so penetrated by the apparatus that there is no clear distinction between the two.''"
In some cases spookocracies feature literal rule of the state by people from secret police
, as it was, for instance, in the USSR under Beria
, and is in Russia under Vladimir Putin.
There was a massive security apparatus in the Soviet Union
to prevent any opposition, and "every facet of daily life fell into the KGB
Undercover staff of the KGB included three major categories:
:(a) the active reserve
:(b) the "trusted contacts" (or "reliable people"), and
:(c) "civilian informers" (or "secret helpers").
The "active reserve" included KGB officers
with a military rank who worked undercover. "Trusted contacts" were high placed civilian
s who collaborated with the KGB without signing any official working agreements, such as directors of personnel departments at various institutions, academics, deans, or writers and actors.
[Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. ''The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia—Past, Present, and Future.'' 1994. , pages 56–57]
Informers were citizens secretly recruited by the KGB, sometimes using forceful recruitment methods, such as blackmail
. The precise number of people from various categories remains unknown, but one of the estimates was 11 million "informers" in the Soviet Union, or one out of every eighteen adult citizens.
A "Law on Foreign Intelligence" adopted in August 1992 provided conditions for penetration by former KGB officers to all levels of the government and economy, since it stipulated that "career personnel may occupy positions in ministries, departments, establishments, enterprises and organizations in accordance with the requirements of this law without compromising their association with foreign intelligence agencies."
[The HUMINT Offensive from Putin's Chekist State](_blank)
Anderson, Julie (2007), International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, 20:2, 258–316
According to a Russian banker, "All big companies have to put people from the security services on the board of directors... and we know that when Lubyanka
calls, they have to answer them." A current FSB colonel explained that "We must make sure that companies don't make decisions that are not in the interest of the state".
, director of the Moscow-based Center for the Study of Elites
, has found in the beginning of the 2000s that up to 78% of 1,016 leading political figures in post-Soviet Russia
have served previously in organizations affiliated with the KGB or FSB.
She said: "If in the Soviet period and the first post-Soviet period, the KGB and FSB people were mainly involved in security issues, now half are still involved in security but the other half are involved in business
, political parties
s, regional governments, even culture... They started to use all political institutions."
[''In Russia, A Secretive Force Widens''](_blank)
by P. Finn, Washington Post, 2006
"Under Russian Federation
President and former career foreign intelligence officer Vladimir Putin
, an 'FSB State
' composed of chekists
has been established and is consolidating its hold on the country. Its closest partners are organized criminals
. In a world marked by a globalized economy
and information infrastructure, and with transnational terrorism groups
utilizing all available means to achieve their goals and further their interests, Russian intelligence
collaboration with these elements is potentially disastrous.", said politologist Julie Anderson
[The HUMINT Offensive from Putin's Chekist State](_blank)
Anderson, Julie (2007), International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, 20:2, 258 – 316
[The Chekist Takeover of the Russian State](_blank)
Anderson, Julie (2006), International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, 19:2, 237 – 288.
Historian Yuri Felshtinsky
compared the takeover of Russian state by silovik
s with an imaginary scenario of Gestapo
coming to power in Germany after World War II
. He noted a fundamental difference between the secret police
and ordinary political parties
, even totalitarian ones, such as the Soviet Communist Party
. The Russian secret police organizations use various violent active measures
. Hence, according to Felstinsky, they killed Alexander Litvinenko
and directed Russian apartment bombings
and other terrorism acts in Russia to frighten the civilian population and achieve their political objectives.
Former KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy
shares similar ideas. When asked "How many people in Russia work in FSB
?", he replied: "Whole country. FSB owns everything, including Russian Army
and even own Church, the Russian Orthodox Church
... Putin managed to create new social system
"Vladimir Putin's Russia is a new phenomenon in Europe: a state defined and dominated by former and active-duty security and intelligence officers. Not even Fascist Italy
, Nazi Germany
, or the Soviet Union
– all undoubtedly much worse creations than Putins government – were as top-heavy with intelligence talent", said intelligence expert Marc Gerecht.A Rogue Intelligence State? Why Europe and America Cannot Ignore Russia
By Reuel Marc Gerecht
Category:Forms of government
Category:Political science terminology