Usually information from human sources is shared only bilaterally and on the basis of direct question asked. What it means is that neither of the partners has open access to information gathered by human sources, but both have to ask questions about specific cases or areas of interest to receive valuable information. Defence and military intelligence liaison is crucial for military cooperation between those two states, which makes it expand rapidly. Doctrinal ideas, such as intelligence, surveillance, target positioning and reconnaissance ISTAR or ISR , act as a central prompter in a real-time battlefield performance.
From the critical point of view, it can be argued that all NATO members have to share similar intelligence and have means to do so in a situation of military conflict. Their communication on the battlefield stay very much similar and the same happens in case of military intelligence and sharing it.
While the rest of NATO members are prepared for communication and sharing important military data in case of world conflict, American and British troops are prepared for cooperating on a daily basis in every military aspect, including intelligence. This is the case because these two are strategic partners in a currently engaged in a conflict and probably the only two Western states left which still seem to pursue Weltpolitik. Without the terrorist attacks, there would arguably be no reasons to deploy missions to Afghanistan and Iraq and as result, both states would not be engaged in close military intelligence cooperation as there would not be any pressing need for that.
Open source intelligence was long recognised by both the US and the UK as an important and valuable source of information.
International Intelligence Cooperation and Accountability
Up until now these services, in cooperation with commercial companies, are searching, translating and analysing open sources of information all over the world, which intelligence services of both states find extremely valuable and interesting. Taking into account that in the US, FBI has also official counter-intelligence and counter-terrorist duties makes this cooperation very important.
This liaison is extremely valuable for both states not only because it involves criminal cases, but mostly because it involves cases not dealt with by other intelligence services and thus it supplements their counter-terrorist efforts. It is extremely difficult to predict possible future liaison relationship of both the US and the UK. At the first stance it could be observed from above analysis that liaison between those two states is closest ever in history of any modern intelligence cooperation and shows sign for even further improvement. On the other hand there are some reasonable critics to that prediction of even greater cooperation in future.
Intelligence Cooperation - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies
Firstly, positions of the US and the UK are separating more with the time. While they were more or less equal partners in intelligence sharing at the beginning of cooperation just after II World War, there is visible domination of the US in this liaison on many levels, including available funds, new techniques used and numbers of agents involved. It can be argued that this view will be more often highlighted, especially when in the time of economy downturn the UK cannot allow itself for more investments in intelligence services.
This could lead in future to even more differences in sharing involvement and it would not be surprise if on some point the US came to thought, that special relationship is no more profitable enough to keep it going. Secondly, the UK may at some point value other European alliances over special intelligence relationship with the US. Obviously, No doubt that it is the US which stays biggest and strongest intelligence gatherer in the world.
In short time, the UK can came to conclusion that although all benefits coming from close intelligence liaison are priceless, there are some European ties which are more profitable, especially politically, after implementation of Lisbon Treaty. All these are the predictions for further cooperation while evaluation of present intelligence liaison between the US and the UK arguably obvious showing that there was substantial increase in intelligence cooperation between those two states.
It is hard to not agree with this one particular opinion and many others coming from intelligence scholars all over the world. Nevertheless, current close intelligence sharing between the US and the UK is not enough to assume that current trend will continue in the future. Especially if critics mention above are taken into account.
However, what is the most important in this quote is that Armitage recognises that cooperation comes from the common position of states whereby Islamic terrorism is a serious danger for every state, not only European. It has been taking place in many areas despite political condemnation of the US military actions in Iraq or covert programs such as extraordinary renditions.
This secret institution is more than just intelligence sharing body. It is forum for operational collaboration and covert actions in anti-terrorist actions, also those involved extraordinary renditions condemned by whole EU. There is a paradox in the fact that while publicly criticising American program of renditions, European governments took part in it.
This kind of hypocrisy was fiercely criticised by the CIA Director Michael Hayden who pointed to European political leaders that they publicly condemn the CIA, but privately enjoy the protection of the enhanced security provided by joint intelligence operations .
Indeed, recent history suggests that intelligence cooperation ties are affected by disagreements over ideals, strategy, politics or Human Rights observance, at least within the Transatlantic relationships. This is crucially important to the whole issue of intelligence liaison, as it shows that practice of intelligence sharing is independent of politics.
This can have both its advantages and disadvantages. It is surely profitable that the US and the EU members can cooperate in the area of intelligence while disagreeing in politics. However, this bias can be the result of the lack of control by governments and parliaments over European intelligence services actions.
Should this be the case, it should be used as food for thought in European capitals. Nevertheless, in the meantime the cooperation between American and EU member states intelligence services has arguably been highly successful. This was possible thanks to the international intelligence cooperation. Germany and the US have share intelligence on terrorism since s.
However, it seems less so in light of the declassified documents . However, as it was the only American human source, and it was delivering information desired by the Executive, the BND kept sending reports to the United States Defense Intelligence Agency. In other words, cooperation between both services was smooth, it was the American side that used the information despite warnings coming even from home intelligence .
Based on this case, it can be assumed that intelligence sharing between Germany and the US has increased to the extent that even not confirmed sources were delivered to the US on special request. Once again, this confirms the argument whereby intelligence cooperation between the US and European partners has existed despite European reluctance to the US international policy.
Book Launch event: Guide on Accountability of International Intelligence Cooperation
To take this argument even further, it can be argued that the transatlantic intelligence liaison will increase in the future, as long as a new threat in the form of Islamic terrorism is deemed serious danger by both the US and the European Union member states. It can be assumed that those states Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic states were prepared to seek intelligence cooperation with the US.
However, it is obvious that these states did not probably have much intelligence to offer, while their first concern has always been Russia and its actions.
It has been confirmed in the cases of Poland and Romania when both states have hosted the secret CIA prisons used for extraordinary renditions. That they did host such prisons was confirmed by both the European Parliament inquiry  and investigative journalists . In exchange, those states received a mixture of military, political and intelligence support. There is also no doubt that most European states were willing to increase this cooperation as they saw real threat that Islamic terrorism constituted not only for the US but also for European states.
Timothy W. Crawford
It was the nature of both in multilateral and bilateral relationships. The level of cooperation has been different depending on a state. Usually, the biggest ally of the US — the UK, has led in intelligence liaison. But it is now visible that the rest of the EU has not stayed behind, and tried to contribute to the liaison in many different ways. All those alleged facts lead to the conclusion that the future liaison between the US and the European member states will increase even further as long as there will be a common strong threat to the security to all participating states.
In the above chapters, it has been indicated with relevant evidence that there has been increased liaison between intelligence services of the US and EU member states. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume and indeed it is argued by some authors  that EU institutions have been and will be in the future in charge of certain intelligence duties.
To explore possible cooperation between US agencies and the EU as a supervising body it would be necessary to evaluate the cooperation between EU member states within EU institutions first. There are five institutions within EU responsible for intelligence sharing. The Berne Group the Club of Berne was founded in s with the purpose of providing security forum to, at that time six and now twenty seven EU member states. According to Walsh, it serves primarily as a point of contact for heads on national intelligence services who meet on a regular basis .
Unfortunately, providing intelligence by individual members of the group is not compulsory, depending to a large extent on the good will of the members. Member states do not seem to have used the Berne Group to share operational intelligence. Instead, it is rather a forum for exchanging ideas about effective tools and policies to fight counter-terrorism or organized crime . Therefore, it can reasonably be doubted whether the liaison supposed to be at the heart of this group is effective. This becomes clear in the light of Chapter One of this dissertation where it was demonstrated that voluntarily exchanged information can be either non-relevant or serve misinformation purposes.
Although it is difficult to believe that European allies would share misinformation, it is hard to judge how much relevant information the group does share. Taking into account all the doubts, the Berne Group shows little usefulness even after creating the Counter-Terrorist Group when intelligence sharing duties, especially those concerning terrorism threat, have been shifted to better the organised and already possessing a specialised Computer System TECS Europol. The formal establishment of Europol was agreed in the Maastricht Treaty on European Union of 7 February , to improve cooperation between member states in the areas of drug trafficking, terrorism, and other serious forms of international organized crime.
Europol commenced its first activities on 1 July . The main task of Europol is to support the liaison between national law enforcement agencies of the EU. To fulfil these duties, there is a delegated body of staff, of which approximately are Europol liaison officers.
This can give an impression that the main duty of Europol is indeed to support EU national enforcement agencies. To facilitate this cooperation Europol maintain a central computerized system TECS which allows the input, access, processing and analysing of data, including personal data.
This exchange, however, is under the control of the Joint Supervisory Body, consisting of fifteen national data protection commissioners. Previous to that period, the organization was concentrated on facilitating communication on organized crime, and drug and human trafficking.