Nigel Inkster

Nigel Norman Inkster CMG (born April 1956) is the former director of operations and intelligence for the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also known as MI6), and is currently the Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Inkster was educated at Oxford and joined SIS in 1975, for which he served in posts in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Beijing, and Hong Kong. He rose to become deputy to SIS chief, Richard Dearlove, and was widely assumed to be in line for the top spot when Dearlove announced his departure in 2003. The selection of John Scarlett instead of Inkster was the subject of considerable political controversy. Inkster was a member of the SIS board for seven years. Inkster left SIS in 2006.

Inkster has argued that the UK should not take part in direct military action in Syria, although supporting rebel forces was sensible.

Books in order of publication:

Drugs, Insecurity and Failed States: the Problems of Prohibition – 2012
The Great Decoupling: China, America and the Struggle for Technological Supremacy – 2021

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