Five Eyes Intel Sharing Unhindered By Trump Tweets

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Bottom Line: While President Donald Trump’s tweets at times unnerve America’s closest allies, especially those that attack U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, the “Five Eyes” network of the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand continues to share intelligence almost as one nation. The intelligence relationship arguably provides stability and reassurance that Washington’s national security apparatus remains on watch against transnational threats such as cyber insecurity and a resurgent Russia, despite U.S. turmoil with investigations over alleged connections between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. The recent coordinated attribution of the disruptive NotPetya campaign to Russia by all Five Eyes partners suggests such sharing is still going strong.

Background: In many respects, the Five Eye’s intelligence sharing network, sometimes written as FVEY, is the most enduring and robust alliance, eclipsing even NATO in terms of information exchange among members. The origins of the network can be found in the wake of World War II, when the U.S. and UK formalized their signals intelligence (SIGINT) partnership in the UKUSA Agreement, signed in March 1946. The agreement expanded to include “Second Party” members, with Canada joining in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand joining in 1956.

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