NEARLY THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB) attended the 2020 Citadel Intelligence Ethics Conference, which was held in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 11-12. This interdisciplinary conference featured a multitude of presentations on the various aspects of intelligence practiced in the Western liberal-democratic context.
Two members of the CIB delegation to the conference, Shannon Brophy and Kaitlin Presnell (pictured right) were among the conference speakers. The two CIB executives presented their research, which was entitled “Should the United States Collect Intelligence on its Close Allies?”. The presentation encompassed an analysis of the bilateral intelligence relationship between the United States and the members of the Five-Eyes, Nine-Eyes, and Fourteen-Eyes intelligence alliances. It also examined recent reports that the United States may not be conducting human intelligence operations on the United Arab Emirates.
We spoke with Shannon and Kaitlin about their experience presenting at the conference, as well as with CIB Executive Director Fabio Molano, who led the CIB delegation to the Citadel. This is what they told us.
When asked what it was like to participate in a conference that was exclusively about intelligence collection, Kaitlin said: “It was a conference so different from anything I had ever presented research in before. Because this was a conference focused exclusively on intelligence collection, most of the audience was comprised of scholars or professors, an audience I was not used to presenting in front of”. Shannon added: “The entire experience was very exciting and a little intimidating. Exciting because it was so fun to be surrounded by people who have similar interests as me and to learn from what they had to say. Intimidating because we were the only undergrad students presenting at the conference and we were surrounded by experts in the topic. But turns out there was nothing to be worried about—everyone there was very supportive of us and our presentation”.
Fabio noted the presence of government contractors at the conference: “It was amazing to see how companies work with the intelligence community to fulfill intelligence collection requirements. It was also great to see how what I have learned at CCU has real world applications”. Shannon jumped in: “It was awesome being surrounded by people who work in the same field you are interested in, which means that the conversation never runs dry”. When asked to offer advice to other CIB members, Kaitlin said: “My biggest advice for other CIB members that are considering participating in a conference would be to go for it, especially if they have already conducted extensive research on a topic in the CIB. Participating in this conference was extremely rewarding and I would definitely do it again if given the chance”.