OK. Interesting how common usage can skew the meaning of a word. According to Wiktionary, you are correct about how espionage is defined. So what would you call the activities of an agency that combined espionage, counterespionage, sabotage, assassinations, and other covert and counter covert actions?
I just don't want to bicker over terms and terminology. If any of it goes in let us have all of it.
The thing is you don't combine those agencies, each one's goals and purposes are incompatible with eachother, as odd as that sounds.
Espionage is soley for gathering of the information while remaining undiscovered, thus allowing the agents to move feeely about.
Counter espionage is just that, dedicated, to uncovering and capturing enemy spies and covert ops, but is non combat.
Covert operations generaly cover assainations and sabotage. Since the effects are immidiate, once they are used they lose any long term benefit and the agents have to be extracted.
Now historcally these generally were combined, for example the OSS, but in todays world they are generally seperate most of the time CIA is espionage, FBI is generally counter espionage, along with the department of homeland security(counter covert ops) As for our covert ops (assinations and such are general done by the SEALs and DELTA forces, SAS would be another example.
There is of course inter angency cooperation but each tends to focus on its own areas of experties.