Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


This course will explore the organization and functions of the U.S. Intelligence Community, its interaction with national security policymakers, key issues about its workings, and the challenges it faces in defining its future role. The events of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq have focused new attention on national intelligence, including the most significant reorganization of the community since the National Security Act of 1947. The course will highlight some of the major debates about the role, practices, and problems of national intelligence. Lectures are important and will include a discussion period in each session. Additional readings may be assigned as the semester progresses. One research paper will be required at the end of the semester. Suggested topics will be distributed separately.


There is one long paper (about 30 pages) required for this class. Grading is roughly 80% paper, 20% class participation.

Required Texts

Lowenthal, Mark M. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2003. ISBN: 9781568027593.
This book by a senior intelligence official provides a fundamental overview of the subject. It should be read prior to the first session and reviewed periodically for basic background on each session.

Treverton, Gregory. Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780521580960.
Focuses on the changing role of intelligence since the end of the Cold War.

Richelson, Jeffrey T. The U.S. Intelligence Community. 4th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780813368931.
An in-depth look at the organization and functions of the intelligence community. Many chapters can be skimmed unless there is special interest in the subject.

Online Intel Resources

The Literature of Intelligence: A Bibliography of Materials, with Essays, Reviews, and Comments, compiled by J. Ransom Clark of Muskingum College, is an exhaustive online compendium of intelligence literature divided by author and topic.

The CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence publishes unclassified articles and conference proceedings.

The Federation of American Scientists and the National Security Archive also maintain useful web sites on intelligence topics.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Written Assignments