Extending the Theoretical Structure of Intelligence to Counterintelligence


  • Henry Prunckun Charles Sturt University


counterintelligence theory, counterintelligence doctrine, intelligence theory, counterintelligence


This paper consolidates the author’s view on his holistic theory of counterintelligence. Based on the author’s previously published research, this paper advances a theory that used a “grounded theory” approach. The study’s specific purpose was to explore the theoretical base that underscores counterintelligence. Data were collected by means of a survey of the existing intelligence literature and a thematic analysis to develop the theory’s propositions. The resulting theory is articulated in three axioms and four principles. The axioms are: surprise, all-source data collection, and universal targeting. The principles are grouped according to defensive counterintelligence (deterrence and detection), and offensive counterintelligence (detection—which is shared with defensive—deception, and neutralisation). The central conclusion is that counterintelligence is not a security function per se. Even though counterintelligence incorporates security, it has at its core analysis and acts as the keystone that holds other forms of intelligence work together.

Author Biography

Henry Prunckun, Charles Sturt University

Dr Henry (Hank) Prunckun is Associate Professor of Intelligence Analysis at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security. He specialises in the study of transnational crime—espionage, terrorism, drugs and arms trafficking, as well as cyber-crime. He is the author of numerous reviews, articles, chapters, and books. He is the winner of two literature awards and a professional service award from the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts. He has served in a number of strategic research and tactical intelligence capacities within the criminal justice system during his twenty-eight year operational career, including almost five years as a senior counterterrorism policy analyst during the Global War on Terror. In addition, he has held a number of operational postings in investigation and security.




How to Cite

Prunckun, H. (2014). Extending the Theoretical Structure of Intelligence to Counterintelligence. Salus Journal, 2(2), 31–49. Retrieved from https://view.salusjournal.com/index.php/salusjournal/article/view/issue-02-number-02-prunckun



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