Does Every Company Need Its Own CIA?

My current Foreign Policy column takes a look at the privatization of intelligence you’ve never heard of — the development of in-house political risk units inside many of America’s leading companies. These outfits have bland names like the Office of Global Safety and Security. But they look and act a lot like the CIA, are staffed with former FBI, CIA, and military folks, and are monitoring events around the world, 24/7, to assess risks to their parent company operations, people, and brand. I think this is the wave of the future. Find out why.


  1. says

    I’m not sure I buy this explanation. The “name” people you cite are players, not analysts. Sure, it sounds good. But in the current crony-capitalist system it makes much more parsimonious sense that large companies would do well by having well-connected once and future members of the security state on their payrolls. They get inside information on US policy and the goodwill that comes with providing sinecures for those whose faction might be currently out of power.