Having served in the Military, Law enforcement and Intelligence I have experienced firsthand how set in our ways we can become in how we do things. Traditionally there has not been an openness to change in these organization’s on how they do things, which has led governments to not only spend more resources on the little results they get but miss very actionable information.

Early in law enforcement and move to the private sector I was learning about the trade craft of intelligence gathering. I soon learned in the private sector there was a more efficient and less costly way to gain information to act on.

The difference from Covert and Commercial Cover operations is in the approach. Covert operations dictate low profile, do not use the same hotels, restaurants twice or with different targets. Keep a low profile and do not become recognizable at the places you go. Be discreet, do not dress or do flashy things that would cause people to remember you. The covert approach takes a lot of time, resources and has a limited target base to work on.

I stumbled onto the effectiveness of Commercial Cover operations when I started to build my private network out around the word. The significant difference from Covert is the approach. You want to become known; you use the same hotels and restaurants and want to be remembered. When you bring a target into your favorite restaurant you want to impress your target with being known and this gives them comfort, they are dealing with a reputable person.

I found the significant difference in recruiting for commercial assets, was when you have an old company and are known on the worlds stage, in your area of work, people are interested in collaborating with you. In my business of Investigation, Security and Intelligence needed for my clients it involves all aspects of a country’s activities including the political climate.

When I started building my international network I was engaged in Israel and southern Lebanon and realized that not to for in the future would intelligence around terrorist activities be a worldwide need. With clients around the world and U.S. based clients looking to set up operations in foreign countries we had a need to be able to advise them accurately about the advisability of going forward in the country they might choose.

To build a proper profile on the country we needed real time information from the ground around every aspect of life and business. That included safety, security, business climate, schools, family living and the political climate both currently and looking forward.

My target list of agents to recruit would need a law enforcement and intelligence background and could still be working or retired with contacts. From my work and knowledge in Israel and Lebanon I started my search across Europe using close friends in government work who referred me to potential prospects. I spread from country to country by the relationships I established, and they referred me to others.

Already having a base in Mexico and south I looked to East Asia and developed a relationship with the retired head of CID of Hong Kong police, and he referred me to other countries in the region.

My approach was to task them with a subject and have them report monthly on that area and when a specific case for a client came up, they would react to what was needed including protection teams on the ground.

Thankfully, the technology has changed from the written report or cable through the fax machine to the internet and real time information. But the problems have only gotten worst and bigger. We still need good intelligence to make the right business decisions, which is increasing with the instability of the world.

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Until next time be safe.