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Stories by Phil Gurski

A rare insight into Canada’s most secretive spy agency

Opinion|By Phil Gurski
All in all, CSE's report is a very welcome peek behind the espionage curtain.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
It makes sense for nations to share intelligence where they can.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
When we have so little to go on it is best to refrain from pronouncing judgment on a violent incident.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
There is no easy way to put this. China is not Canada’s friend. It is a serial human rights abuser in Xinjiang against Uyghur Muslims. It is destroying culture in Tibet and Hong Kong is under pressure.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
The added difficulty in all this is that terrorism has become complicated. Not that it was ever 'simple,' but we now need our security intelligence and law enforcement agencies to look at multiple actors.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Can we really apply older models to current realities? Maybe it is best to sit the next one out. That would be problematic, probably immoral, and politically unpalatable.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Good intelligence requires that the best people be assigned to the job. We must allow our spy agencies to get the resources they need to accomplish the task before the next pandemic hits.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
We all know why CSIS is not an open book, but when it does give us a peek behind the curtain we do learn a lot.
Author
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Spies act in the shadows for obvious reasons: does this mean they are constrained by privacy issues? We can, and should, have laws in place to protect our privacy, but we must also allow CSIS to do its job.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Like COVID-19, terrorism is scary enough. It would be a bad idea to overstate the impact of those who intend to do us harm in the furtherance of an ideology whether during these trying times or on any other occasion.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
When it comes to the 'causes' of terrorism, it has been long known that there is no such facile list.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, so they say: so what about ‘disinformation’?
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Perhaps our existing security services can provide some guidance. CSIS, for example, has an act that both allows and restricts what it can do.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Saudi Arabia has been the major ideological contributor to global Islamist extremism for decades. Some believe the country will change its ways once MBS sits on the throne. Don’t count me among that lot.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
So now what? What will those opposed choose to do? Relaunch sit-ins and blockades? How will they do this in a time where any gathering of more than five people is at a minimum frowned upon?
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Canada suffered casualties during its mission in Afghanistan and it is tragic that a Western departure will not bring peace.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Yes, there is a role for our spies in these times. COVID-19 is not the only threat we are faced with. Let’s hope they can continue to do their work and keep us safe.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
It is up to decision makers, policy wonks, and, yes, in the case of the U.S., the president, to take action.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
I’d like to make a humble entreaty for humility. If you used to work for CSIS or an analogous agency, be honest with your audience. Do not embellish or exaggerate your deeds or your perspective.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Canada is still considering Huawei as a supplier of 5G, despite the opposition of some of our allies, including the U.S. Should the government choose Huawei, there could be real implications for intelligence sharing.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Canada is proudly a land of many nations, but sometimes homeland conflicts come to roost.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Federal and provincial authorities, and, yes, this includes law enforcement and security intelligence agencies folks, have to prepare for the worst, while all the time hoping for the best.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
But what is the role of principle? What is the place for standing up for what is morally right? In the end, what do we, as Canadians, represent? How do we want to show ourselves to the rest of the world?
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
I hope that those responsible for making decisions in this regard have the training and understanding of terrorism and the terrorist mindset to make the right call.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Terrorism may be a rare scourge, but it gets a lot of attention. We have to do this better to retain public confidence. I just pray that the plan includes a mix of specialists and former practitioners.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
If we elect to put ourselves out there, do we not give up our right to privacy? In other words, do we not lose control over who sees it and how they choose to use it?
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Dougal MacDonald’s insipid views do not belong in Canadian society, let alone on a university campus.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Are we a rollover international dupe? Are other countries laughing and pointing at us saying, 'Hey, it doesn’t matter what we do 'cause Canada will pay!'?
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Developments and trends around the world demonstrate quite clearly that Islamist extremism has not disappeared, the ‘defeat’ of the Islamic State notwithstanding.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
When counterterrorism is done sloppily, it undermines everything else we do in that regard. It is already hard enough to sell these efforts to Canadians. This charade makes it harder.
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
China is playing us for dupes. We need to understand that no one, and especially no state, does anything important out of altruism.

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