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OPINION: MI5 Ad for Russian Analysts Signals Loss of Edge

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A recent advertisement for Russian analysts by British intelligence agency MI5 signals that the agency has lost its advantage, former US clandestine operations officer Robert David Steele told RIA Novosti Monday.

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti), Nikita Alentyev – A recent advertisement for Russian analysts by British intelligence agency MI5 signals that the agency has lost its advantage, former US clandestine operations officer Robert David Steele told RIA Novosti Monday.

“If you have to advertise for experts at the last minute, you have already lost the intellectual, moral and intelligence advantage,” he said, commenting on the advertisement on the British Secret Service’s official webpage.

“The recent advertisements by MI5 for Russian experts are an act of desperation but also practical. Neither the US nor the UK is intelligent about intelligence,” Steele said.

“Neither has listened to the many loyal reformers urging them to maintain a balanced capability of top experts on all countries, not just Russia, easily one of the top five powers of the world,” Steele added, explaining the disparities between what the intelligence agencies need at the moment and what they can actually do given the resources at their disposal.

A former spy himself and an author of several books on intelligence, Steele put the hiring outreach into a larger-scale perspective, accounting for the US’s and UK’s “lack of efficacy and legitimacy of their governments when it comes to making decisions in the public interest.”

“Neither the US nor the UK intelligence communities are truly professional. Both have fallen prey, led by the massive financial corruption and technical retardation characteristic of the National Security Agency, to the pretense of spending money instead of actually producing decision support,” he concluded.

MI5 has decided to expand its staff with more experts on Russia, possibly in light of the recent geopolitical tensions surrounding the crisis in Ukraine. The advertisement says beginning intelligence analysts – who must be British citizens or residents and speak fluent Russian – are paid £30,000 ($50,000) a year for monitoring intercepted phone calls and emails.

In February, the Ukrainian parliament backed by a far-right movement ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25.

Moscow has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power, which resulted in it taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine, including the reunification with Crimea. The West denounces Russia’s policy towards Ukraine, refusing to acknowledge the Crimean referendum.

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