On Tuesday, June 13th, 2017, Mr. Paddy Hayes spoke to DMGS students, faculty, and staff about British intelligence collection and operations during the Cold War. Hayes is the founder of CST International, a market research consultancy. Hayes is also a prominent intelligence historian, and has taken advantage of his extensive business travel to interview intelligence practitioners on both sides of what was the Iron Curtain. He is currently working on his next book “MI6, Uncommon People – A History of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service from 1950 – 2001.”
Mr. Hayes focused his presentation on the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), more popularly known as MI6. He described the wide variety of anti-Communist actions that MI6 was involved in throughout the Cold War, including the recruitment of sources, political influence operations, technical attacks, and intelligence operations. Hayes framed his discussion of British secret intelligence operations in the geopolitical context for each noteworthy period of time. Hayes went on to describe the series of misfortunes that plagued the organization in the early years of the Cold War, describing MI6’s involvement in a number of failed operations, mostly aimed at providing weapons and agents with the unfulfilled aim of inciting the overthrow of dictatorships by the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. Many MI6 agents sent to operate behind the Iron Curtain were lost as a result of several traitors, most notoriously Kim Philby, who joined British intelligence with the predetermined intent to spy for the USSR. MI6 eventually came into its own, though, and oversaw several successful operations including the overthrow of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo and the running of Colonel Oleg Penkovsky of Soviet military intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Hayes then described the organization’s shift in focus to international terrorism during the 1970s, specifically its operations against the IRA, Red Army Faction, Red Brigade, Black September, and Abu Nidal, as well as the new challenge of recruiting human sources for work in counterterrorism. Hayes also spoke at length about various intelligence-sharing pacts with the United States, including UKUSA and FVEY.
Following Mr. Hayes’ presentation, DMGS students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to network with Paddy Hayes and others who came to hear him speak. Hayes was enthusiastic to hear questions from several students who met with him after his presentation.