The Communist International (Comintern) had one of its earliest outposts in the small northern Norwegian border town of Vardø. In dealing with the raison d’etre of this so-called liaison point Vardø Etat the paper adopts anon-state actors’ intelligence perspective, by uncovering the secret communist activities and identities of the main actors involved in the transnational clandestine network and comparing its features with the characteristics of insurgent intelligence actors. The paper argues that the political aim of exporting the October Revolution to the rest of the world, together with a heritage of pre-revolutionary Bolshevik organizational practice and experience, contributed to forming the Vardø Etat’s use of internal security, counterintelligence, HUMINT and covert actions. Though, despite similarities to other insurgent groups the Vardø Etat was a hybrid, a state proxy, deeply entwined with the Soviet state and its intelligence agencies. Reckless militancy was downplayed as the Comintern took form in the period of 1919–1921 quickly evolving toward a more centralized apparatus staffed by professional cosmopolitan communists. In a longer perspective the Vardø Etat can be perceived as part of the first wave of many later waves of Marxist-Leninist insurgent groups around the world throughout the twentieth century and after.
|Journal||The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Event||Need to Know VIII: Access to Secrets. New sources and new interpretations of Intelligence - Norsk Luftfartsmuseum, Bodø, Norway|
Duration: 29 Nov 2018 → 30 Nov 2018
|Conference||Need to Know VIII|
|Period||29/11/2018 → 30/11/2018|