course syllabus - Mr. Trainor`s Page

Welcome to Intelligence and Security
Instructor: Mr. Trainor
[email protected]
• Texts:
• For the Presidents Eyes Only:
Secret Intelligence and the
American Presidency from
Washington to Bush,
Christopher Andrew, 1995.
• Intelligence: From Secrets to
Policy (3rd Edition), Mark M.
Course Description
• This class will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the United
States Intelligence Community (IC) with an emphasis on the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA). The course will review the role of intelligence in American policymaking from the American Revolution to the Obama Administration and
beyond. We will begin by defining intelligence, and examining the role of an
intelligence agency – why have such an agency? What does it do? How does it
do it? This unit will include a broad discussion of the “intelligence cycle”
(collection, integration, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence to policymakers). Next, we will review the role of intelligence in U.S. policy-making
from George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt and World War II. When doing
so we will consider some of the tensions surrounding the relationship between
the Intelligence Community and government leaders/policy-makers. We will
then examine the many facets of intelligence during the Cold War and beyond
culminating with the tragic events of 9/11/2001 and the role of the IC in these
calamitous terrorist attacks. Finally, the course will conclude with intelligence
in the post-9/11 world with an examination of changes made to the IC in the
aftermath of the attacks, a look at some foreign intelligence agencies
(comparing and contrasting them to the U.S. IC), and a discussion about the
future of intelligence in American Democracy.
Course Objectives
Students will:
• Develop an understanding of basic intelligence concepts.
• Review the history of the development of the modern U.S. Intelligence
• Discuss intelligence analysis and its potential impact on policy-making.
• Assess the role of covert action as an instrument of foreign policy.
• Understand how intelligence agencies influence cultural development and
how they have been portrayed through popular culture.
• Explore the moral and ethical dilemmas inherent in the use of intelligence
as a policy tool and the appropriate response of a democratic society.
• Consider new threats and challenges facing the Intelligence Community
and assess how resources are being deployed against them.
Unit I – Introduction and American Intelligence
up to the end of World War II.
• Why spy?
• What is an intelligence agency? – Introduction of key words: HUMINT, SIGINT,
COMINT, covert operations vs. clandestine operations, counterintelligence, etc.
• How does an intelligence agency conduct its business? - The Intelligence Cycle:
Collection, integration, analysis, dissemination to policy-makers.
• Intelligence, George Washington, and the American Revolution – Case study:
Compare and contrast motives and effectiveness of Benedict Arnold and Nathan
• Intelligence and the American Civil War – Case Study: Rose O’Neal Greenhow and
the role of women in early intelligence operations.
• Woodrow Wilson, William Wiseman, and the role of Intelligence in World War I.
• Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Intelligence – to what extent, if at all, did Roosevelt’s
background in intelligence shape his actions as President?
• World War II – origins of the US-UK intelligence alliance (BRUSA), the increase in
the use of SIGINT, and the OSS. Emphasis on “Wild Bill” Donovan and General Hoyt
Vandenberg. Allen Turing and the relationship between technology and spying –
importance of SIGINT to the war effort.
Unit II – The end of the War and the creation of
the Central Intelligence Agency
• President Truman and the Congressional debate over
the CIA or “American Gestapo” – continuities with OSS
and the influence of early Cold War on attitudes
towards foreign intelligence.
• Political tensions between CIA, FBI, and military
intelligence agencies over jurisdiction and influence.
• Frank Wisner (Wisner’s Wierdo’s), the Office of Policy
Coordination, Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, Hoyt
Vandenberg and lobbying for a foreign intelligence
• The creation of the National Security Agency (NSA) and
the growth of SIGINT.
Unit III – Intelligence and President
• Covert operations in the “Golden Age” of the
CIA – Case Study: Iran (Kermit Roosevelt) and
• Unanticipated consequences of covert actions.
• Overhead reconnaissance – Gary Powers and
the U-2 program.
• SIGINT, the downing of American aircraft, and
NSA defections – early connection to Edward
Snowden and the morality of intelligence.
Unit IV – John F. Kennedy and Lyndon
B. Johnson – Intelligence in the 1960’s
Intelligence failure at the Bay of Pigs, success at Cuban Missile Crisis.
Covert action to overthrow Fidel Castro regime in Cuba.
The assassination of JFK, the CIA, and LBJ.
The CIA, NSA, FBI, and domestic spying – Operation MHCHAOS.
CIA and culture – CIA front groups, the “cultural Cold War” – writers, artists,
musicians, filmmakers, students, women, Catholics, African Americans,
• The CIA, William Colby and operation PHOENIX in Vietnam.
• The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, by John le Carre (1963) – novel by exBritish intelligence officer – to what extent do the themes in the book
reflect what we have learned in the course so far?
• The Good Shepard (2006), directed by Robert De Niro. Explain the title of
the film. How does the film portray the “Golden Age” of the CIA? What
messages do you think the director is intending for the audience? Who are
the villains in the film? The victims?
Unit V – Intelligence in the 1970’s –
Crisis and Reorganization
• Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and intelligence – Case
Study: Chile.
• The CIA and the Watergate Affair – “The most powerful
government ever to fall as a result of American covert
action was the administration of Richard Nixon”.
• The “Year of Intelligence”
• Senator Frank Church, Congressman Otis Pike, William
Colby, congressional oversight, and the “Year of
• The new congressional oversight committees and the
administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
Unit VI – Intelligence in the 1980’s – Failures,
quagmires, and a constitutional crisis
• Ronald Reagan, Robert Gates, and William
Casey – Nicaragua, and the Iran-Contra Affair.
• The CIA and the fall of the Soviet Union – did
the CIA “miss” it? What kinds of predictions
are possible with given data and the effect of
• The CIA, Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan, and
the creation of Al Qaeda.
Unit VII - 9/11
• To what extent, if at all, was the CIA responsible for the
rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the attacks on
• To what extent was 9/11 preventable?
• Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan,
and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September
10, 2001 by Steve Coll (2006).
• The Looming Tower: Al- Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
by Lawrence Wright (2006).
• The role and effectiveness of foreign intelligence
services – MI6, Mossad.
Unit VIII – Intelligence in a post-9/11
• Reorganization and management problems after 9/11 – Top Secret
• The politicization of intelligence and the “weapons of mass
destruction” debacle – Case study: Paul Pillar and Valerie Plame.
Dilemma – working-level analysts are not able to get their
conclusions across because senior officials do not want to hear a
discrepant message.
• The hunt for Osama bin Laden – “The Man Who Killed Bin Laden…is
Screwed” (Esquire Magazine) vs. Zero Dark Thirty, directed by
Kathryn Bigelow (2012).
• Edward Snowden and the NSA – Is he a traitor or a patriot (or
neither, or both)?
• Drones, targeted killings, meta-data and the future of intelligence.
• How can we maintain an effective intelligence community in an
open democracy? Should we?
Grades for the Course will be based
on the following criteria:
• Persuasive Essays: 30%
• Term Projects: 30%
• Homework: 20%
• Class Participation: 20%

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