EIRP Proceedings, Vol 9 (2014)

How Do Leaders Shape the World – Intelligence Role

Gabriela-Simona Corșatea1

Abstract: Living in the Era of constant change and anticipated movements seems to remain the struggling of working out the perfect global strategy, based on both well-developed cooperation skills and most of all, the supreme power conquer. The change from one domain to the other, one alliance to another, every single country comes as no surprise when the big reveal is made – whether going for an increased level of mass-destruction weapons or just a simple deception that is due to put down an entire civilization, leaders are the ones to be held responsible when bad things occur. History shows us how easily deception can be made, and how easily a poor-developed country can actually gain power over a twice as much developed one. Those days, collaboration among cultures and countries is imminent, without which failure is closer than ever. The key is held in the Intelligence and among the main characteristics of a real leader, whose powerful and strategic skills are meant to turn him into the best decision maker of the region.

Keywords: strategy; change; skills; intelligence; collaboration

  1. Introduction

Throughout history, power was known as being the first and foremost form of domination. As one of the well-known Italian politicians and diplomats Niccolo Machiavelli, the art of governing has been turned from the art of guiding and leading into the deplorable art of domination (Machiavelli, 2011, p. 23) if talking from the perspective of the common wealth of the population. Intelligence plays a major role when talking about leaders and the art of governing. During numerous conflicts followed by success or failure, it has come to a conclusion based on Francis Bacon’s acknowledgements, such as ‘Knowledge is power’. (Bacon, 1965, p. 87) Living in the era of conflicts based on intelligence, the country that has the biggest resources will not come to an acceptable outcome, only if its leader has the skills and the power of adaptability developed enough to use the intelligence it has at his hands. Following the lines below, I will show how a few memorable decisions in the past turned the population into seeing a tremendous glance of the future, based on the intelligence they had or did not have in their possession the decision makers. (Dutton, 2007, p. 192)

2. Shaping the History

Decision making is probably the most delicate and frightful situation in which a leader could ever be put. Thinking about the interest of the county, the common wealth of the population and above all, how morally understandable a certain decision could ever get are the general criteria over which leaders are ought to keep on thinking before the history is written by somebody else.

There is no secret that major officials managed to receive a bad grade of their governing, even being known throughout history as ‘mad leaders’.

It is quite unfortunate and a real trouble for their image, so the decisions should actually have been taken under different circumstances and understood the population, as well as by the opposition members.

One example that is a real trouble for the image of the leader, in consequence for the country itself interferes with the governing of Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of the United Kingdom during May 1937-May 1940.

His left move made the whole population label him as a ‘mad leader’, making him lose his power before the elections. In fact, the problem was somewhere between taking a wrong decision and having a lack of intelligence in the operation field.

After a private negotiation with Hitler over a part of German-speaking population based on a region of Czechoslovakia, Sudetenland, both parts agreed that Germany will not interfere with the rest of the country, only with the one region that it managed to own from now on.

Arriving back to his country, Chamberlain was more than happy to have settled such a massive agreementwith one of the fiercest leaders the world ever had.

Unfortunately, his happiness ended quickly when Hitler invaded the rest of the country shortly after the agreement has been closed.

Thus, regardless of his positive attitude and meanings towards the infrastructure of the United Kingdom and the rest of his good decisions, Neville Chamberlain has remained in history having a deplorable image over his governing period.

In addition, he quite shaped the world by leaving Germany an opportunity that has been taken into account, based on the lack of intelligence.

Should he had the means and instruments to get into the possession of the intelligence needed, he might have neither been replaced as quickly as he was, nor seen as a bad influence over the history of the United Kingdom. (Breuning, 2007, p. 56)

  1. Cooperation Follows A Win-Win Situation

Conflicts are known for their useful learnings over the future, as different decisions follow different courses. One of them would be the colonization of Congo, the event that followed a win-win situation in which both parts had advantages. Having organized different meetings with certain specialists in ecology and natural sciences, King Leopold the 2nd of Belgium managed to show his interest and devotion in the development of such big and large country, such as Congo, 18 times larger than Belgium.

Due to his negotiation skills and good reputation won among the rest of the European countries, King Leopold the 2nd found himself being the colonizer of Congo. On top of that, the organizations set by himself among the colonized country managed to receive from the population certain regions that have been donated to receive help – thus, those regions managed to enter into the possession of the King, who was the owner of those organizations and for a long period of time, certain regions were actually on his name, not in the name of the country.

On the other hand, the question rises on the aspect of the advantages received by the countries who actually agreed on Belgium receiving Congo. The answer is extremely understandable and easy to be received, since most of the European countries were in danger to lose the balance of power.

None of them would have agreed for another country known as a powerful one to receive a country like Congo, so transferring it to another area where this danger would be imminent came in hand.

Intelligence was a critical factor among the decision taken by the powers, since King Leopold the 2nd managed to gather enough information regarding how a colonization should be made, under what factors, being a traveler, explorer and a smart leader at the same time.

Taking on the same topic, intelligence has revealed that once you own it, you can play the games by its own rules and still win, under no circumstances.

Also, if you are the right man at the right time having the right instruments, the outcome is ought to be shaping the world on your own taste, regardless of the successes or previous failures. (Breuning, 2007, p. 94)

In case he did not have the intelligence needed to persuade others in transferring to him the country, he would have lost such an opportunity and the history would have been written in different words, with different opponents.

When it comes to trying to explain foreign policy, there is no surprise for anyone that we should start from the psychological traits of the political leaders of the respective states.

International relations is all about public relations and marketing and if we were to add the subjectivity of the people shaping global affairs, we could easily understand why is it that policy makers adopt a different professional behavior than a security matrix might show us.

  1. Conclusions

The more you know, the better you can understand what is going on around you and the easier you manage to find out solutions to the problems coming up into your way. (Nye, 2010, p. 105)

This is the premise from which I started my thesis and the field that I chose to focus this time is the activity of intelligence. One can easily avoid acting by cognitive biases or mirror imaging if its brain is filled with various details, pieces of knowledge, if he has a wide general culture and his academic preparation is a tough one.

A leader is defined not only by charisma, but also by its ability to extract the essence from what is going on in the world and bring it in front of the people while contributing to their enlightens.

On the other hand, in the field of intelligence, an intelligence officer is supposed to be not only smart and flexible, he has to adapt quickly to the constantly changing environment and it is almost impossible to keep track without learning all the time.

It is related to constantly improving your understanding of the facts and caring about how to maintain your brain into a training mood.

  1. Bibliography

Machiavelli, Niccolo (2011). The prince. NY: Simon&Brown.

Bacon, Francis (1965). Novum Organum. Bucharest: Nemira.

Dutton, John A. (2007). Intelligence in the Information Age & Post 9/11 Era. London: Penguin.

Breuning, Marijke (2007). Foreign Policy Analysis – A comparative introduction. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nye, Joseph (2010). The powers to lead. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

1 Student, “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy, Romania, Address: 20, Odai Street, 1st district, Bucharest, Romania, Tel.: +4021 410 65 50 / extension 1144, Fax: 021 310 47 50, Corresponding author: gabrielacorsatea@yahoo.com.


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