Course description

This course explores the opaque world of intelligence and international security. The course begins with a survey of disciplines and methods of analysis before reviewing intelligence requirements as a component in policy processes that drive and inform decision making within the national security system. We consider various intelligence related topics including espionage, covert action, politicization, counterintelligence, public oversight, intelligence failure, and reform. The course strikes a balance between contemporary issues and the storied histories of intelligence systems around the world. Though predominantly focused on the United States, the course also considers intelligence activities in the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and elsewhere. Students grapple with historical and hypothetical problem sets based on real-world scenarios to develop assessment capabilities. Required readings and assignments draw on classic and influential work in addition to declassified documents which illuminate the historical narrative in a tangible way. The course concludes with reflections on how past experience informs current perspectives and might elucidate future intelligence requirements to better anticipate and understand the changing world.

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