JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Statecraft and Intelligence Analysis in the Kautilya-Arthashastra

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  • October 2014
    Volume: 
    8
    Issue: 
    4
    Focus

    In the Kautilya-Arthashastra, espionage and other ‘operational’ activities of the secret service—notably ‘active measures’ and ‘covert action’—are addressed often and in detail. In contrast, Kautilya seems to say very little about intelligence analysis, assessment and estimates which provide the basis of strategic planning and grand strategy—and arekey components of statecraft. However, the central proposition of this article is that ‘ideas’ (or meanings) underlying these modern intelligence terms are very much present in the Arthashastra. Moreover, Kautilya does submit key methodological and theoretical ideas and concepts for intelligence analysis, assessment, estimates and strategic planning.Therefore, the Kautilya-Arthashastra is quite relevant for the history of ideas of the political science sub-discipline, intelligence studies.

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