RAF WYTON, UK --- The cavernous space inside RAF Wyton, an airbase near Cambridge, resembles a newsroom. But the stories traded here are heavily classified. The Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre, which opened in 2012, is the world’s only hub where personnel from across the Five Eyes alliance (comprising America, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand) keep a round-the-clock watch on the world’s hotspots.
The logo of GCHQ, Britain’s signals-intelligence agency, hangs above one desk. That of America’s Defence Intelligence Agency above another. In a crisis, 1,200 people could fit around the open-plan desks; during a pandemic, things are roomier.
The British government is nearing the end of an “integrated review”, a sweeping reassessment of defence policy that will also consider the country’s foreign, security and aid policies in the round. The starting-point for that effort is the threat that Britain faces. And the intelligence flooding into Wyton from submarines, satellites, human sources and open sources (like social media) is painting a different picture from the one seen in the past, explains Lieutenant-General Jim Hockenhull, the chief of defence intelligence. (end of excerpt)
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