Honors | Post Cold War Espionage Challenges (SPEA)
V450 | 26192 | Gene Coyle


TuTh 11:15am-12:30pm

Espionage may be the world’s second oldest profession and certain
fundamental concepts remain constant, but its importance, targets
and methods do change with the times.  Change may result from new
technologies or from new political realities.  Two major and related
shifts came with the end of the Cold War in 1991 and the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America.  Since the end of WW II, the
primary focus of America’s intelligence services had been the Soviet
Union and Eastern Europe and other communist-oriented states.  After
1991, there were still many intelligence targets, but they were much
more fragmented.  After the September 11th attacks, the work shifted
even more from nation-state entities to targeting small terrorist
groups or even individual fanatics.

This course will begin with a brief look at the way it was during
the last decades of the Cold War so as to provide a base line upon
which to recognize the changes.  We will then discuss the massive
reduction in intelligence personnel and budgets in America and
around the world during the 1990’s and examine what was left to spy
on. The third section will look at all the changes in America’s
espionage apparatus after the shift to chasing terrorists in a post-
9/11 world.  Billion-dollar satellites that were great for counting
Russian tanks and missiles have proven almost useless in finding
Osama Bin Laden.  It may not have been easy to recruit a Russian or
Chinese diplomat to become an American spy, but at least the CIA
always knew where to find the targets – at the Russian and Chinese
embassies.  Today, how do American or British or French intelligence
officers even find a possible terrorist to talk to and what can you
offer a fanatic to convince him to become a spy rather than be a
suicide bomber?  How does the NSA find the one important terrorist
phone call out of the millions of hourly worldwide calls?  We’ll
explore all the legal changes that have occurred in America that now
allow the CIA and FBI to more easily share information under the
logic that the United States border is just an artificial separation
of the investigative work needed to stop terrorist attacks.  How
does all this affect our privacy and civil liberties?  How coercive
should an interrogation of a captured terrorist be in order to
prevent a terrorist act from occurring?  Has the creation of the
Director of National Intelligence really improved how the American
Intelligence Community functions?  Have the Congressional Oversight
Committees kept up with the new challenges?  We’ll examine these and
related questions in what is no longer your father’s world of
intelligence.  The course is taught by a recently retired CIA
operations officer.