Coercive disclosure: The weaponization of public intelligence revelation in international relations

Ofek Riemer*, Daniel Sobelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Can intelligence serve as a coercive instrument in international relations? While coercion literature mostly addresses military and economic means, this article argues that coercion can also include the deliberate public disclosure of intelligence. Intelligence can be employed to threaten adversaries, reduce their latitude, and force them to adjust their plans and operations. Additionally, intelligence disclosure can be used to mobilize domestic and international audiences and make others align with a certain narrative and alter their policies accordingly. Still, coercive disclosure can fail or succeed only partially against a determined opponent or a target that is resilient to public and international pressure. To demonstrate the workings of coercive disclosure, we analyze Israel's campaign, beginning in 2017, against the Lebanese Hezbollah’s missile manufacturing program and Turkey's coercive campaign vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia and the United States following Jamal Khashoggi's assassination in 2018.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)276-307
Number of pages32
JournalContemporary Security Policy
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Coercion
  • Hezbollah
  • Khashoggi
  • intelligence
  • non-state actors
  • secrecy

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