Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 18 January 2019

Teaching Intelligence in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada

Summary and Keywords

Intelligence studies, as taught by specialized departments or institutes and leading to degrees with the word “intelligence” in their titles, is a relatively new phenomenon. Intelligence is considered a profession, while intelligence studies can probably best be described as an emerging discipline that has yet to reach full maturity. Much of the more recent data on teaching intelligence is in the hands of professional associations, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations dealing with the intelligence profession. Some of the government academic institutions which served as the wellspring for many of the nongovernmental programs that blossomed later are the Department of Defense institutions, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the National Defense University. There are also professional journals and other publications covering intelligence studies courses, as well as nongovernmental professional organizations that students of intelligence can join, such as the National Military Intelligence Association and the International Studies Association. At the international level, intelligence studies courses are offered in countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Israel, and Brazil. The next step is to determine what specifically is being taught, and how, among the growing number of colleges and universities getting into the business of teaching intelligence, especially in the wake of 9/11. A significant is the phenomenal growth of online programs, which allow deployed military and civilian personnel to study intelligence while practicing the theory they are learning.

Keywords: intelligence studies, intelligence, government academic institutions, Department of Defense, National Defense Intelligence College, National Defense University, nongovernmental professional organizations, National Military Intelligence Association, International Studies Association, professional journals


This review essay focuses on the literature pertaining to the teaching of intelligence; that is, the imparting of instruction to students preparing for careers in the intelligence profession, be they analysts, collectors, managers, or even consumers. In essence, the topic deals primarily with the tools available to teach the subject matter covered by the other essays in this Compendium.

There are a variety of opinions on whether so-called intelligence studies warrants being considered a separate discipline, not to mention disagreement over whether intelligence should even be considered a profession in the classical sense of the term. Based on the author’s recent dissertation research, which focused primarily on intelligence education within US civilian colleges and universities, and as a result of several subject matter expert interviews and extensive questioning of young intelligence professionals, the consensus is that intelligence is indeed a profession, while intelligence studies can probably best be described as an emerging discipline still in the maturation process (Spracher 2009). This matter has also been a recurring topic of discussion at conferences and colloquia sponsored by the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) (Spracher 2006).

From time to time, the terms intelligence studies and intelligence education will be used almost interchangeably, though most scholars with whom the author has conversed see intelligence studies as a subset of intelligence education. Professors have been teaching intelligence for decades, but usually that has occurred more as an ancillary mission subsumed in programs belonging to the more traditional departments such as political science or history, the professional schools such as law, or the interdisciplinary offerings such as international relations. The phenomenon of intelligence studies per se, taught by specialized departments or institutes and leading to degrees with the word “intelligence” in their titles, is relatively new. One vector of the author’s dissertation explored whether the best approach for intelligence education professionals is a classical liberal arts curriculum, which has been the traditional path in the past, or a more narrowly focused intelligence studies curriculum, which more often than not focuses on analysis. Although a definitive conclusion was not reached, the tendency of most professionals queried was to prefer the traditional liberal arts path. This tentative conclusion likely parallels what organizations which routinely study such matters, such as the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association (ISA), have determined over the years, but the growth of more specialized intelligence studies, departments, institutes, and programs, especially since September 11, 2001 (hereafter referred to as 9/11), is rapid and undeniable.

Reviewing the Literature

The literature of intelligence is rich and voluminous. The literature of teaching intelligence, intelligence education, or intelligence studies, on the other hand, is much more sparse. The topic of intelligence has long captured the imagination of readers, in part because it has been sensationalized and made to sound more intriguing than it probably is in real life. The highly charged atmosphere surrounding national intelligence in the United States since 9/11 is the epitome of a swirling trend in which anything related to intelligence is magnified through the ever-watchful lens of the media and, according to some observers, politicized for partisan purposes. Authors breathlessly await the declassification of government documents decades after a particularly nasty chapter of American history or, if they cannot wait, seek to obtain documents expeditiously through the Freedom of Information Act process. This is not the sort of literature in which we should be most interested, though the best pieces of it are certainly utilized in college-level courses on intelligence.

The dilemma with which intelligence studies must deal, and the challenges faced by a teacher of intelligence jumping into the messy business of balancing theory and practice in a supercharged world of politicization, fear of terrorism, and sometimes mass hysteria fueled by sensationalism, were aptly summed up by John Macartney in a perceptive essay, “Teaching Intelligence: Getting Started,” originally prepared for the February 1999 annual convention of the ISA. It was condensed and updated for the Conference on Teaching Intelligence Studies at Colleges and Universities, sponsored by the then Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC) in Washington, DC, in June 1999 (attended by this author). Macartney’s essay was included in a JMIC publication, Occasional Paper No. 5 (Macartney 1999:11–35) offering several papers written for that event, titled “A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies,” which was edited by JMIC research director Russell Swenson. That one-day conference was keynoted by former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operative, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director, and then-President of Hampden-Sydney College Samuel V. Wilson.

Regarding Macartney’s essay, he begins by explaining why intelligence should be studied in a serious way, cutting through all the chaff produced by spy novels, Hollywood movies, and salacious headlines about the latest FBI scandal or CIA “failure.” He defines intelligence as “a dedicated and usually tailored foreign information support service for government policymakers, planners and implementers” (Macartney 1999:12). Macartney should know his craft. He was a long-time Air Force intelligence officer, Commandant of the Defense Intelligence College (DIC), DIA guest instructor at the National War College and, until his untimely death in 2001, professor at American University, where he taught a graduate course on “The CIA and Foreign Policy.” In discussing approaches to teaching intelligence and how he developed his own courses, he clarified a few common misconceptions: (1) Intelligence is not policy; (2) intelligence is not covert action; (3) intelligence is not just the CIA; and (4) intelligence is not law enforcement (Macartney 1999:14), though in the post-9/11 world and with the rollout of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the walls between intelligence and law enforcement have been reduced in number and size, and justifiably so.

In the 1980s, when Colonel Macartney was head of the DIC, there were very few civilian intelligence programs existing on college campuses and few books on the subject of teaching intelligence produced outside the government training institutions themselves. Most of the literature then was home-grown, consisting of books and monographs by faculty, government documents, and training manuals, many of them classified. There was no general “textbook” per se that could be found on the shelves of the majority of government and nongovernment academic institutions – one that often fills that bill today is Mark Lowenthal’s Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (4th edn., 2008). Even reference works for finding intelligence publications were inbred. For many years, the DIC and its predecessor, the Defense Intelligence School (DIS), used a volume edited by noted intelligence scholar and former CIA archivist Walter Pforzheimer, who often lectured at the College. The latest version of his comprehensive Bibliography of Intelligence Literature: A Critical and Annotated Bibliography of Open-Source Intelligence Literature available to the author is the eighth edition (1985), though that may not be the last he produced before his death.

Traditionally, serious intelligence educational institutions tended to rely on their internal sources for teaching materials. Most of the commercial literature on intelligence at the time was of the provocative, former insider, “tell-all” variety, which was of dubious accuracy, objectivity, and utility for teaching intelligence, at least from a balanced perspective. Thus, it will be helpful to look briefly at the government academic institutions which served as the wellspring for many of the nongovernmental programs that blossomed later. The literature produced by these institutions is still used both inside and outside government circles to teach intelligence, but it is complemented by a host of other diverse sources, to include the plethora of material available on the internet.

Government Educational Entities

The Early Years

Intelligence training programs were instituted by the individual armed services decades ago, with most commencing either between World Wars I and II or soon after the end of World War II, with the onset of the Cold War. As noted, the teaching materials they used were by and large self-produced. In fact, the predecessor organization of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the OSS, was established under the Army in the early stages of World War II and headed by William J. Donovan, a Wall Street business tycoon. Since there were few intelligence professionals to tap who already had wide experience in this field, the OSS did most of its recruiting on US college campuses. A large number of OSS analysts came from Ivy League universities and other reputable institutions along the Eastern Corridor; others hailed from industry and prestigious law firms. Many were professors already, or got into teaching after leaving the service.

Following the war, the CIA was formally established by the National Security Act of 1947, and the nascent agency continued to recruit heavily from this same base of liberal arts scholars and analytical thinkers, the so-called “best and brightest” US colleges had to offer (a term popularized by the late David Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest, his 1972 book about policy making during the Vietnam War). Meanwhile, as the Cold War threat deepened and more highly technical intelligence collection platforms were developed to peer beyond the Iron Curtain, military intelligence programs grew in number and prominence. Still, their professional development aspects were viewed as training, not education. By the 1960s, it became increasingly clear that the future of intelligence would be in the joint arena and not dealt with solely in the narrow confines of a single armed service.

Department of Defense Institutions

The National Defense Intelligence College (NDIC), a subordinate entity of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), founded in 1962 in Washington as the Defense Intelligence School (DIS), has made a conscientious effort over the last decade or so to demonstrate that it is in the business of education, not training. Hence, in 1993, the same year it was renamed from the DIC to the JMIC, a name it retained until December 2006, when it was again renamed, JMIC split away its purely training functions into a newly created Joint Military Intelligence Training Center (JMITC), while its military attaché training was given over to a new Joint Military Attaché School (JMAS) under the supervision of DIA’s Deputy Director for Operations. The JMIC retained the same core mission as the former DIC, yet in many ways was a radically different institution. According to its Dean at the time, it was now solely an institution of higher education in intelligence.

The major graduation requirement for students in NDIC’s Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) program is a written thesis, which for full-time students is normally completed during their year in residence, but for part-time students can take a few years. NDIC also offers a degree completion program, the Bachelor of Science in Intelligence (BSI), for those close to having enough credits for a baccalaureate degree. On occasion, a student who earned the BSI degree at the College will return later to study for an MSSI degree, though service requirements often preclude such a person being permitted to spend too much time in school, away from troops. The BSI program is much smaller in scope and number of students than the MSSI program, but is important for giving junior analysts a solid footing on which to begin developing their critical thinking skills. The newest degree offering is an exclusive cooperative PhD program established by NDIC and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM), which leads to a doctorate in “Policy Studies,” not “Intelligence Studies.” Again, this is a case where intelligence subject matter is taught, but the degree awarded does not directly reflect it.

Washington Consortium

NDIC benefits greatly from interaction and collaboration with several civilian institutions through membership in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. According to the Consortium’s informational brochure, the collection of schools “represents the combined resources of the Capital region’s best academic institutions. For an organization of its size, its members are among the most diverse in the nation. Member institutions include colleges and universities that are public, private, federal, historically black, religious, secular, devoted to the deaf and hard of hearing, and women’s education. Their student body sizes range from 1,000 to 33,000” (Consortium of Universities brochure, undated).

Current members include American University, the Catholic University of America, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, the George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Marymount University, Southeastern University, Trinity University, University of Maryland, College Park, University of the District of Columbia, National Defense University, and National Defense Intelligence College. Of note, Trinity was the first institution designated for funding under the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence (IC CAE) program. “A student enrolled at one Consortium institution is eligible to take classes at another – dramatically expanding the available course offerings,” the brochure adds. The member schools share lessons learned regarding teaching methodologies, outcomes assessment, and curriculum development (Consortium of Universities brochure, undated).

National Defense University and the National Security Education Program

The National Defense University (NDU) is the executive agent of the federal government and the Department of Defense (DoD) for the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a highly beneficial linkage between the national security community and the higher education community. In December 1991 the President signed the National Security Education Act: “The Act provides for the establishment of the National Security Education Program, the National Security Education Board, and the National Security Education Trust Fund, to carry out the following mission. To lead in developing the national capacity to educate United States citizens to: understand foreign cultures; strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness; and enhance international cooperation and security” (, accessed February 23, 2006).

Within NDU, there is no intelligence school per se, but there is an Information Resources Management College and a number of intelligence electives are taught in the “flagship” senior service colleges (National War College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces). Several courses are taught by representatives of CIA’s Officer-in-Residence program, overseen by the Agency’s Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). These experienced CIA officers take a couple of years off from their normal duties and serve as visiting scholars at NWC and ICAF.

In the absence of a “senior service college” (SSC)-level institution for the IC, NWC and the SSCs of the various armed services for decades have reserved a small number of seats in their classes for IC civilians. Even the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), which is categorized officially as a foreign school though it is located in Washington and awards SSC credit to US students, offers one seat annually to a DIA civilian. The year the author attended the IADC, the DIA selectee was an arms proliferation analyst. NWC has taken its intelligence instruction one step further, establishing the Sherman Kent Center for Intelligence Studies, which is mainly an outlet for publications on intelligence matters by students and faculty. The first major volume emanating from this Center, published by NDU Press, was an anthology titled Intelligence and the National Security Strategist: Enduring Issues and Challenges (2004), edited by Roger George and Robert Kline.

Yet another subordinate institution of NDU is the recently renamed College of International Security Affairs (CISA), formerly the School for National Security Executive Education (SNSEE). This small institution has evolved from preparing US government civilians aspiring to selection to the Senior Executive Service to teaching both US and international students of divergent ranks and backgrounds about security issues, with a particular focus since 9/11 on counterterrorism. While the flagship senior service colleges under NDU have been authorized for over a decade to award master’s degrees in national security studies, the then SNSEE began its own degree-granting program in 2007, authorized to award the degree of Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies (MASSS).

Individual lessons on intelligence are also taught in most of the DoD Regional Centers, three of five of which were originally assigned to, but now are just academically affiliated with, NDU. For example, for several years this author taught a module on “Intelligence Management” and a separate intelligence-oriented portion of the module on “Legislative Control and Oversight” during the core Defense Planning and Resource Management course at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS). From time to time, this instruction was supplemented by a presentation given by the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight, who runs an office in the Pentagon providing worldwide support to DoD entities. Prompting students to value intelligence for their own nation’s security, with vigorous oversight, was the motive of the instruction.

Other DoD Intelligence Schools

Although they will not be covered in detail here, it should be mentioned that, just as DIA has NDIC, other DoD intelligence agencies have their own schools. The National Security Agency (NSA) has its National Cryptologic School (NCS) located in College Park, Maryland. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has its National Geospatial-Intelligence College (NGIC) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with branches at the Washington Navy Yard and in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, NDIC runs graduate centers for NSA and NGA so that part-time students wishing to earn an MSSI degree can do so utilizing both in-house instructors and members of the NDIC faculty who travel to remote locations to offer courses.

Other Governmental Educational Entities and Programs

The final government agency to be discussed with a fairly robust educational and training component is the Central Intelligence Agency. The so-called CIA University consists of several subordinate centers focused primarily on training CIA employees, the most notable of which is the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis. The Kent School exists to conduct “intelligence analysis training for the Directorate of Intelligence”; that is, it is the Agency’s internal schoolhouse for its own analysts (, accessed February 23, 2006). An assessment of the institution was written by Stephen Marrin, a former analyst for the General Accountability Office (GAO), who now teaches intelligence studies at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania. His article, “CIA’s Kent School: Improving Training for New Analysts,” was published in 2003 in the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. Marrin concludes, “The Kent School’s Career Analyst Program is a step in the right direction, but more steps may be necessary in order to produce a measurable improvement in the CIA’s analytic quality” (2003).

The CIA also operates the aforementioned Center for the Study of Intelligence, some of whose work is available in the public domain for nongovernmental students focusing on intelligence issues. The mission of the CSI is multifaceted. In the area of intelligence research, it publishes the quarterly classified journal (with an annual unclassified edition) Studies in Intelligence, and hosts independent researchers who publish books and monographs on intelligence topics. Oft-cited examples include Rob Johnston’s “Developing a Taxonomy of Intelligence Analysis Variables” (2003) and Jeffrey Cooper’s “Curing Analytic Pathologies: Pathways to Improved Intelligence Analysis” (2005). The CSI also published the acclaimed volume by Richards J. Heuer, Jr., Psychology of Intelligence Analysis (1999), in which he goes into considerable depth about the widely utilized analytical technique known as Alternate Competing Hypotheses (ACH). Heuer authored another article in the international journal Orbis in 2004, “Limits of Intelligence Analysis,” in which he claims that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report of pre-Iraq War assessments are illustrative of a lack of understanding of the problems faced by intelligence analysts in making judgments based on incomplete, ambiguous, and potentially deceptive information. In 2009 Heuer is teaming with Randolph Pherson in producing a new book titled Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, to be published by Congressional Quarterly Press.

An unclassified article in a recent unclassified edition (December 2008) of Studies in Intelligence is worthy of mention for its excellent discussion of how intelligence analysis is taught in an international setting. Michael Goodman and Sir David Omand, in “What Analysts Need to Understand: The King’s Intelligence Studies Program,” outline some of the conclusions they have drawn from the first four courses they taught over the past couple of years in the UK. They insist they are not concerned with the acquisition of subject knowledge or the honing of techniques of analysis, as such teaching is best delivered in a secure environment with classified databases and other tools to which analysts have routine access in their work. Exposure to an academic environment, they observe, such as in the War Studies Department at King’s College London, can add several elements that may be harder to provide within the government system: “close access to academic disciplines, such as military history, intelligence history, international relations, social sciences and so on; an introduction to the relevant literature; and exposure to a variety of critical views, including the unorthodox. But most of all, it offers a continuing space in which analysts from every part of the community can explore with each other the interplay of ideas about their profession” (Goodman and Omand 2008:35–6). They go on to encourage analysts to look at their profession from four points of view: (1) the functional approach; (2) the historical/biographical approach; (3) the structural approach; and (4) the political approach (ibid.:37). The authors also urge analysts to distinguish between intelligence “gaps” and intelligence “failures” (ibid.:44).

In the area of intelligence history, the CSI conducts oral history projects, produces monographs on CIA and IC history, supports the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, and promotes public understanding of intelligence. In October 1993, the CSI held a symposium on the teaching of intelligence in colleges and universities. The purpose was twofold: “to discuss developments in American intelligence today with university scholars who find intelligence topics relevant to their teaching and research and to receive their insights and perspectives. Topics included intelligence support to policymakers, covert action, secrecy and democracy, intelligence research, and emerging intelligence issues” (Gries 1993:iii). The Center’s university programs “encourage and improve the teaching of intelligence” and “sponsor CIA Officers-in-Residence on campuses” (, accessed September 3, 2003). The CSI is an integral part of the CIA, but its campus is located separate from Agency headquarters in northern Virginia. A part-time Center employee and retired CIA official, John Hedley, published an article in Studies in Intelligence on the history of the Officer-in-Residence program (2005). Incidentally, the long-time (1994–2009) President of NDIC, A. Denis Clift, sat on the editorial board of this journal for many years. It is evident that such close linkages among rival intelligence academic entities are both constructive and mutually reinforcing.

Classics of the Literature: Academe and Intelligence

Any respectable intelligence studies program must be grounded in the so-called “classics”; in other words, those seminal works that have stood the test of time and are represented in all the well-resourced bibliographies. They are in the basic toolkit of the most renowned teachers of intelligence. These works often assess the relationship between intelligence professional and decision maker, or between intelligence practitioner and academician. The classics truly bridge the gap between theory and practice. Without them, intelligence courses are intellectually shallow and bereft of the sort of lessons learned that contribute definitively to the development of professionals responsible for the success of the IC.

Despite the earlier observation that the literature on intelligence education is sparse, the studies themselves are abundant and used widely by teachers of intelligence subjects. Some have attained the status of classics as they weather years of scrutiny, reinterpretation, and applications by diverse actors under decidedly different political regimes utilizing intelligence in myriad ways. Only a few of the classics will be examined here, and those in terms of either what they have to say about intelligence education or how their theories can be accommodated in a curriculum for that education.

Sherman Kent’s Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy, first published in 1949 (hereafter referred to as Strategic Intelligence: see Kent 1966), has been called “probably the most influential book ever written on US intelligence analysis” (Davis 1991:37). Kent himself is often revered as the “father of strategic intelligence.” Nevertheless, some of his views early on were not accepted without controversy. Willmoore Kendall, one of Kent’s teaching colleagues at Yale’s Institute of International Studies, critiqued Strategic Intelligence in a review titled “The Function of Intelligence,” also appearing in 1949 in World Politics, a new journal at the time published by the same Yale entity.

Ray Cline, who served with the Office of National Estimates in the 1950s and as CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence in the 1960s, was a recognized authority on intelligence organization, control, and oversight. He lectured regularly at JMIC (and its predecessors DIS and DIC). Cline wrote an insightful book titled Secrets, Spies, and Scholars: Blueprint of the Essential CIA (1976), which goes into depth regarding the critical relationship between academics and intelligence operatives. It was written at a tumultuous time when intelligence agencies, and the CIA in particular, were being investigated by Congress for abuse of authority and improper exploitation of nongovernment human assets such as clerics and academics. Cline concludes, “We should keep the specifics of our intelligence operations closely guarded, but much of the knowledge that emerges from our analytical research can be made available more widely…findings should be distributed wherever they are useful to enrich the public dialogue and provide a sound factual footing for political debate on defense and international affairs” (1976: 271).

Another book of this genre is Military Intelligence and the Universities: A Study of an Ambivalent Relationship, an edited anthology (Watson and Dunn 1984). It discussed ways of building bridges between the two communities, which had become estranged as a result of intelligence monitoring of campus protest activities during the 1960s and the plethora of investigative commissions that followed in the mid-1970s, some of which looked into the alleged use of professors traveling overseas for academic purposes as intelligence gatherers. The days of the OSS recruiting from the most elite universities were long gone. Ever since the Vietnam War, relations between the bulk of academia, considered generally leftist, and federal intelligence agencies, usually tending toward the other end of the spectrum, has been cool at best.

An early, yet insightful, assessment of the relationship between the IC and academia, “CIA and the University,” was presented by then CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence Robert Gates, during a speech delivered at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in February 1986 (later published in Studies in Intelligence). The future Director of Central Intelligence and Secretary of Defense started out by refuting a 1985 Boston Globe comment: “The scholar who works for a government intelligence agency ceases to be an independent spirit, a true scholar.” After peering into Gates’s mindset at the time, it is clear that scholars should not work for a government intelligence agency but rather with it, on a voluntary and witting basis only.

The CIA’s head analyst offered “two simple propositions”: (1) preserving the liberty of this nation is fundamental to and prerequisite for the preservation of academic freedom – the university community cannot prosper and protect freedom of inquiry oblivious to the fortunes of the nation; (2) in defending the nation and our liberties, the federal government needs to have recourse to the best minds in the country, including those in the academic community. Tensions inevitably accompany the relationship between defense, intelligence, and academe, but mutual need and benefit require reconciliation or elimination of such tensions (Gates 1986: 27). In responding to controversy that arose at Harvard regarding appropriate CIA–university relationships, Gates carefully explains why CIA needs academe and vice versa. While the Agency possesses experts in virtually all subjects of concern, he notes, “There is a vast reservoir of expertise, experience, and insight in the community of university scholars that can help us, and through us, the American government, better understand these problems and their implications for us and for international stability” (30).

A popular historical treatment on the use of academics in intelligence operations is Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939–1961, by the late Yale University historian Robin Winks (1996). He investigates fully how the OSS was established and what it achieved, basing his findings on previously unpublished private papers, recently declassified documents, and interviews with former OSS and CIA agents. More specifically, Winks looks at men who moved easily, at least in the early days, from one Ivy League campus to the world of intelligence. He assesses their preparation for this profession from different perspectives, depending on their roles in the university and the ways they became educated and socialized to the intelligence business. As Winks notes, “Somehow the idea of Yale as a place, and of intelligence work as an activity, became linked, if not by Hale [Nathan, an eighteenth-century Yale graduate often regarded as America’s first spy], then by the events of World War II” (15). Sadly, this tight linkage was upset by the visceral divisions caused by the Vietnam War, and Ivy League campuses have not been very hospitable to the intelligence profession ever since.

Teaching with Case Studies, Simulations, and Games

Many educators and trainers endorse the use of simulations, war games, and case studies as a way of introducing students to how intelligence analysts should interact with their customers and consumers – the policy makers. Not only does such training benefit the current practitioners, but the inclusion of historical materials about the ways various US presidents used intelligence and case studies of actual crisis situations taught in intelligence and national security curricula can go a long way toward preparing future analysts for their sometimes politically and bureaucratically uncomfortable roles in the decision-making process.

One example of such current application is by Thomas Shreeve, the creator and first director of the Intelligence Community’s Case Method Program. This retired US Marine Corps Reserve officer, who was also a faculty member for NDIC’s program tailored for reservists, a member of the adjunct faculty at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and chair of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) board of directors in its second year (2005–6), learned the craft of case method teaching as an MBA student at the Harvard Business School and has applied it throughout the IC (Shreeve 2004). Another useful article along these same lines, but more generic, is John Gerring’s “What is a Case Study and What is it Good For?” in the May 2004 issue of American Political Science Review.

For an incisive look at how war games can be used to enhance the teaching of intelligence, see Jonathan Lockwood’s “Wargaming and Intelligence Education,” published in 1998 by the then JMIC as a Discussion Paper. NDIC regularly sends its MSSI students to the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and to the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island to play the roles of intelligence officers in simulations developed for students of those SSCs. In the Spring 1999 issue of NDU’s Joint Force Quarterly, then NDIC President Denis Clift published an incisive article “Intelligence Education for Joint Warfighting.” In a section on gaming and simulation, he insists that the College “draws on the teaching tools of case methodology, gaming, and simulation. Wargame electives are designed within the settings of major wargames hosted by the military staff and war colleges with whom JMIC maintains a working relationship: the National War College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Armed Forces Staff College, U.S. Army War College, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and Air University” (Clift 1999:97). NDU, to which NWC, ICAF, and the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC, previously AFSC, or Armed Forces Staff College) belong, also does quite a bit of work in this area through its National Strategic Gaming Center, a component of its highly reputed think tank, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS).

The UK likewise is doing some impressive work in the area of simulations and gaming. Philip H.J. Davies reports, in the Winter 2006–7 edition of International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, progress in a new master’s degree program in intelligence and security studies as part of a wider program of initiatives tied to the establishment of the Brunel University Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS). Davies is Director of Studies at BCISS and assesses his program in detail in the article “Assessment BASE: Simulating National Intelligence Assessment in a Graduate Course,” where “BASE” stands for the Brunel Analytical Simulation Exercise. The author argues for this type of hands-on learning due to his conviction that “training which focuses on only formal theory or historical precedent appears to make very little impact on attempts to avoid or mitigate the intelligence problems, dysfunctions, or failures that such courses examine” (722).

Davies states that the purpose of the BASE is “to get students to apply concepts and issues from course work to practical activity, and especially to appreciate how subtle and pernicious the classic intelligence pathologies and causes of failure can be…the BASE actually offers a unique opportunity for a policy-oriented, as well as educational, simulation function…Graduate teaching on intelligence is thereby taken out of the traditionally sterile teaching domains of history and theory and transformed into hands-on practical experience. More than ‘just’ a simulation, because it is not merely an artificial and formal approximation of an event or process, BASE is an actual, live, genuine open-source analysis which produces a very real piece of estimative intelligence at the end of the day” (731–3). Davies’ article is highly recommended for those in this country looking to develop simulations on national security and intelligence, enhancing the National Intelligence Council/Officer (NIC/NIO) development process, or making MA/PhD courses in intelligence and security studies more lively and interactive.

Compendia of Intelligence Studies Courses

A few attempts to capture what is going on in the college classroom have been made over the years, but none is current. Two volumes list some institutions that taught intelligence studies late in the twentieth century, Teaching Intelligence in the Mid-1980s: A Survey of College and University Courses on the Subject of Intelligence, edited by Marjorie Cline (1985), and Teaching Intelligence in the Mid-1990s, with the same sub-title, edited by J.M. Fontaine (1992), both published by the National Intelligence Study Center (NISC). They were heavily focused on schools in the Washington area; provided course names, instructors, and syllabi summaries; but offered little in the way of evaluating the courses’ effectiveness. Also active in the latter part of the twentieth century was a grouping of scholars known as the Consortium for the Study of Intelligence, loosely headed by political science professor Roy Godson of Georgetown University. Evidently, the NISC worked closely with the Consortium, whose program concentrated on providing background information for academics wishing to receive guidance in establishing courses. The president of NISC in its heyday was Ray Cline. The Consortium is no longer active, according to the current head of Georgetown’s intelligence studies program, Jennifer Sims, but Godson is still teaching government as he nears retirement (pers. comm., October 8, 2008).

The CIA’s CSI also publishes a collection of syllabi of intelligence courses being taught at a number of US colleges and universities. The Syllabi of Intelligence Courses was first published in 1997, followed by a supplemental edition in 1999. In 2004, this author was informed that the CSI was beginning to work on a new edition and was asked for input. The CSI contact was not sure when, if ever, an update would be published, as it was not one of the higher-priority tasks under the Center’s new leadership.

In 2000, the journal Intelligence and National Security offered an article by Meredith Hindley of American University on her “Teaching Intelligence Project.” The author describes this as the first installment in what the publisher intended to be a regular feature of the journal. “The impetus for the project came from two desires: first, to provide an international overview of the classes taught on the history of intelligence; and second, to provide an opportunity for those teaching about intelligence to exchange ideas with each other. Forty-six instructors from nine countries submitted their classes for inclusion in the project. The list is not complete by any means,” she concedes, “but rather represents a collection of scholars willing to share information about their classes and teaching philosophy” (Hindley 2000:191). Countries represented in her finding include the UK, Canada, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Israel, and the US.

New Literature on Teaching Intelligence

A number of professional journals provide a wealth of information useful to teachers of intelligence through current articles which receive visibility more quickly than full-length books, due to the slow publishing process. The International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence (or IJIC) is a respected professional journal owned by the UK’s Taylor and Francis Publishing Group. Its editorial committee and advisory board are sprinkled with former intelligence practitioners and academics from the US and a handful of foreign nations, mostly from the British Commonwealth. It strives to be international in its outlook and make-up, with such notable names in its editorial advisory board listings as Robert Jervis of Columbia University, Loch Johnson of the University of Georgia, former SSCI Chairman and current University of Oklahoma President David Boren, Frederick Hitz of Princeton University, intelligence author and editor of the signals intelligence-oriented journal Cryptologia David Kahn, William Nolte of the University of Maryland (and first Chancellor of the National Intelligence University System), Martin Rudner of Canada’s Carleton University, Richard Pipes of Harvard University, and H. Bradford Westerfield of Yale University (who died in early 2008). The Editor-in-Chief is Richard Valcourt of American Military University.

IJIC publishes a balance of historical pieces and current assessments dealing with national and international subjects. Sample articles from representative post-9/11 issues include “The Downside of Open Source Intelligence,” by Arthur Hulnick (2002–3) and “The Intelligence Reform Quandary,” by Robert Vickers (former National Intelligence Officer for Latin America) (2006). An interesting recent re-look of critical thinking as applied to the intelligence profession was done by Noel Hendrickson of James Madison University in “Critical Thinking in Intelligence Analysis” (2008–9).

New IJIC articles dealing with teaching intelligence include “Training and Educating U.S. Intelligence Analysts,” by Stephen Marrin (2009) and “Intelligence Studies in Higher Education: Capacity-Building to Meet Societal Demand,” by Martin Rudner (2009). The Canadian author was gracious enough to forward a draft for perusal by this author in 2008, who found it to be an excellent historical review of material seen in bits and pieces elsewhere. Rudner argues that a chronic scarcity of available, qualified faculty remains a constraint on teaching intelligence. Qualified faculty exist, in this author’s opinion, but they need to be recruited and vetted more effectively, and offered better incentives to enter the often low-paying world of academe, which is often nonappreciative of intelligence professionals. Then again, at times the old-line practitioners who end up in academe are not necessarily the best teachers. A balance between deep experience, solid academic credentials, and teaching ability must be struck.

Another widely read journal with a decidedly British flavor is Intelligence and National Security (or INS), formerly published by Frank Cass in London but recently transferred to Taylor and Francis. INS reflects a heavy emphasis on intelligence history, and especially that of the Cold War, making it an invaluable resource for teachers looking for more dated material to use in designing case studies on intelligence. For example, the Spring 2000 issue covered themes ranging from Nazi spies in Vichy France in the 1940s, to US communications intelligence (COMINT) in the Korean War in the 1950s, to US signals intelligence (SIGINT) in the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s. That particular issue also boasted the article by American University’s Meredith Hindley on her “Teaching Intelligence Project.”

One of the founding editors of INS is the eminent Christopher Andrew of Cambridge University. The current co-editors are Loch Johnson of the University of Georgia and Peter Jackson of the University of Wales. In its promotional brochure, Richard Betts of Columbia University remarks about the INS, “Intelligence studies have mushroomed into a serious field of research, and this journal has led the way as the main outlet for the best articles on the subject” (2006). Of course, since 9/11 the Global War on Terrorism has received increasing attention in INS, as is reflective of two articles in the February 2007 issue, “Evaluating Intelligence Oversight Committees: The UK Intelligence and Security Committee and the ‘War on Terror’,” by Peter Gill of Liverpool’s John Moores University, and “Intelligence to Counter Terror: The Importance of All-Source Fusion,” by Jennifer Sims, Director of Intelligence Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Control and oversight and all-source/open-source analysis have been abiding themes in intelligence education of late, and especially since the analysis “failures” of 9/11 and those related to the issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Less known is the Journal of Intelligence History, which can be accessed electronically at A fairly recent issue offered a couple of fascinating book reviews, one dealing with the complex involvement of Pakistan’s secret service, the Directorate-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), with the Taliban before and after 9/11, and another covering a book by NDIC’s former Coast Guard instructor on the “Rum War” during the controversial Prohibition Era in the US. Reviewers reflect the international flavor of this journal, in these two cases being British and German, respectively. Again, this is another journal that offers something to teachers of intelligence looking for lessons learned with current and future application. Critical thinkers cannot ignore history, or do so at their peril; some of the richest intelligence literature is reflected in its historical gems.

The Defense Intelligence Journal (or DIJ) was published by the National Defense Intelligence College Foundation. Articles in DIJ ranged the gamut of intelligence-related subjects. For instance, compelling articles include Denis Clift’s “Safecrackers: The Past, Present and Future of U.S. Intelligence” (1998), Mark Kauppi’s “Counterterrorism Analysis 101” (2002), Russell Swenson’s “Meeting the Intelligence Community’s Continuing Need for an Intelligence Literature” (2002), and Michael Collier’s “A Pragmatic Approach to Developing Intelligence Analysts” (2005). In the latter, which reprises the oft-surfaced “art versus science” question, the author argues that “intelligence analysis is first and foremost a science,” but adds there is a “need for analysts to use creativity, imagination, and innovation in their work.” Of more recent vintage, and of interest to this author as one who has taught a similar regionally focused intelligence course at NDIC, is Allen Keiswetter’s “The Middle East: Teaching Intelligence Concepts and Issues” (2007). Also of relevance due to the work of NDIC’s research center, and because of the importance of research to intelligence studies overall, is Mark Marshall’s “Teaching Intelligence Research” (2005). Both Keiswetter and Marshall are former NDIC faculty members. It was announced in early 2008 that DIJ was changing its name to National Intelligence Journal (NIJ), while broadening its scope and audience, and the inaugural issue is now expected to be published sometime in late 2009 or early 2010, according to the editor and executive director of the sponsoring organization, which now goes under the name of the National Intelligence Education Foundation.

The armed services’ professional military journals publish a large number of articles on intelligence and intelligence-related subjects, focusing most heavily, as expected, on current intelligence support to operational decision-making. Without delineating all of those journals in this essay, simply because they are too numerous and many are not widely distributed to civilian university libraries, three from the US Army merit mention. Starting from the tactical level and moving upward, there is generally some sort of publication coming out of each of the Army branches’ training institutions; most deal with nonintelligence, training (not education) subjects, but there are notable exceptions. The US Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona publishes Military Intelligence. At a higher, operational level is Military Review, published by the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

At the highest level, that of a senior service college, the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania publishes the highly respected quarterly journal Parameters, which not only highlights works by students and faculty but also those by leaders of the other services, joint commands, and even civilian academia. For instance, an intriguing article used in the NDU/CHDS curriculum for several years is “Intelligence Warning: Old Problems, New Agendas” (1998), by the aforementioned Richard Betts, a widely respected intelligence studies scholar, political science professor at Columbia University, and former Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. Betts served on the staff of the original SSCI and continues to consult for the IC. He has written on intelligence issues for other reputable foreign policy and intelligence journals. Worth reading, and including in any intelligence studies curriculum, are his “The New Politics of Intelligence” in Foreign Affairs (journal published by CFR) (2004) and “Policy-Makers and Intelligence Analysts: Love, Hate, or Indifference?” in Intelligence and National Security (1988).

Another intelligence-related journal now published by Taylor and Francis is Small Wars and Insurgencies, which in 2006 incorporated the former Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement. The latter often included articles on intelligence. For instance, this author published “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Can Oil Mix with Water in an Open Society?” (2002), an article discussing in detail the problem of merging disparate organizational cultures and covering the implications for civil liberties of the various intelligence- and security-related pieces of Congressional legislation during America’s relatively short history. This article was reprinted in a JMIC anthology, Learning with Professionals: Selected Works from the Joint Military Intelligence College (2005), which was distributed to college professors attending a summer seminar on teaching intelligence in American universities, jointly sponsored by JMIC and ODNI.

A comprehensive, but now somewhat dated, assessment of intelligence journals can be found in Hayden Peake’s The Reader’s Guide to Intelligence Periodicals, published in 1992 by the National Intelligence Book Center. Peake is the curator of CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection and a member of the editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. A foreword is written by the late Walter Pforzheimer, mentioned previously. According to an internet review, “Peake has collected information (including addresses and telephone numbers) on 155 intelligence periodicals, newsletters, and databases from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The task of tracking down all this esoterica would overwhelm most bibliophiles, but then he goes on to offer well-written, interesting descriptions averaging almost two pages for each” (

A not-all-conclusive listing of other periodicals on intelligence, which occasionally have articles on teaching, includes Covert Action Quarterly, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Law and National Security Intelligence Report, National Security Law Report, Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly, Spokesman (published by the Air Intelligence Agency), INSCOM Journal (published by the Army Intelligence and Security Command), Signal (published by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, or AFCEA), and the relatively new Journal of Strategic Security (published by Henley-Putnam University Press).

Nongovernmental Professional Organizations

A great way for an eager student just starting to ease into the game is to join one or more professional organizations dealing with the subject of intelligence education as either a primary or secondary mission. These entities provide not only a wealth of information through their publications and periodic conferences, but also a tremendous opportunity to “network.” Virtually all welcome youthful and fresh ideas, except for a couple of veterans-only groups focused more on intelligence history. Some organizations offer discounted student rates to attend their events or even sponsor students gratis. A few have instituted scholarship programs tied to intelligence studies.

National Military Intelligence Association

The National Military Intelligence Association (NMIA), founded in 1974, is “a non-profit, non-political, professional association, supporting American intelligence professionals and the U.S. Intelligence Community, primarily through educational means” (American Intelligence Journal, Vol. 25, Summer 2007, p. i). Despite its name, NMIA’s membership consists not only of active duty and reserve military intelligence personnel of all services, but also former military and civil service personnel and ordinary US citizens in industry, academia, or other civil pursuits interested in intelligence. It also administers a scholarship program for graduate and undergraduate students majoring in intelligence studies or a closely related field.

The principal written product of NMIA is the American Intelligence Journal, or AIJ, published semiannually. In addition to NMIA members, Journal subscribers, and contributors, each issue is distributed to key government officials, members of Congress and their staffs, and university professors and libraries. Typical recent articles pertinent to the teaching of intelligence include “Intuitive Tools? Design Lessons from the Military Intelligence Community,” by Per-Arne Persson and James Nyce (2007), and “Intelligence Analysis: Structured Methods or Intuition?” by Stephen Marrin (2007). The organization also publishes a quarterly newsletter, which it touts as a tool for promoting the marketplace of ideas and dialogue among members.

NMIA sponsors several conferences and symposia each year, supported by “corporate members” of the Association. In the completely unclassified arena, probably the most popular benefit of NMIA membership is receipt of its daily electronic product known as the “ZGram,” a rubric deriving from the first name of its editor. Similar to the widely distributed “Early Bird,” a DoD product that extracts media articles dealing with defense issues for its broad readership, the ZGram does the same for NMIA members, but concentrates on articles dealing with intelligence and national security. In early 2006, NMIA began distributing, gratis for members, a monthly product from counterparts in Canada known as the “Intelligence Security Diary,” the motto of which is “Action from Knowledge.” This “diary” features a daily breakdown of significant intelligence- and security-related developments around the world, excerpts from unclassified websites such as the popular STRATFOR (Strategic Forecasting, Inc.), and précis summaries of articles appearing in well-known newspapers, primarily the Wall Street Journal. These three products disseminated by NMIA reflect merely a small portion of the wealth of information currently available in unclassified form to students who are willing to join such professional organizations.

International Association for Intelligence Education

A much newer professional entity is the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), whose sole mission is the promotion of educational pursuits related to intelligence. This organization was formed in 2004 as a result of a gathering of over 60 intelligence studies educators and trainers at the Sixth Annual International Colloquium on Intelligence hosted by Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania.

IAFIE membership comprises professionals from various intelligence disciplines including national security, law enforcement, and competitive intelligence. It strives to provide a catalyst and resources for the development of those diverse disciplines and that of the “Intelligence Studies discipline.” The Association brings together professionals from across the globe to share skills, techniques, tools, and opportunities with others in the field, and to increase communication among intelligence educators and trainers. The organization decided in 2007 to produce a quarterly newsletter, IAFIE News, while in the past relying on “IAFIENET,” an online forum for the exchange of ideas on education and training. This website consists of articles, course documents, and announcements of job openings and special events for educators and students. It also offers a membership directory to stimulate networking, a comprehensive list of affiliated programs/agencies, documentation to assist in the preparation of intelligence courses, and continually updated information on intelligence education and training.

The organization has five main purposes: (1) to serve as the association for advancing research, knowledge, and professional development in intelligence education; (2) to provide a forum for the communication and exchange of ideas and information for those interested in and concerned with intelligence education; (3) to foster relationships and cultivate cooperation between intelligence professionals in academia, business, and government; (4) to develop, disseminate, and promote theory, curriculum, methodologies, techniques, and best practices for pure and applied intelligence; and (5) to act as a liaison with other professional organizations and centers of excellence (pers. comm., IAFIE Events Coordinator, May 12, 2005). At its 2009 annual conference, IAFIE presented its first-ever “Outstanding Teacher Award.” The recipient was James Holden-Rhodes of the Air Force Research Laboratory, and formerly of New Mexico State University.

The interaction of competitive intelligence may be a little less clear to the average citizen, but not so to those working in the “intelligence–industrial complex” or those who have straddled the fence by taking alternating jobs inside government and big business. Much the same way that a “revolving door” is evident between the federal government and academia, depending on the party in power at the time and the direction the political winds are blowing, a similar door exists between the IC and big business. In fact, during a 2006 commencement address at JMIC, then DNI John Negroponte called intelligence a “business” and described his job as heading up a “unified enterprise” (August 13, 2006). The most well-known organization of business intelligence professionals is the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP). A number of SCIP members have joined IAFIE; similarly, quite a few IAFIE members from the law enforcement field came from the International Association for Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA).

Association For Intelligence Officers

A professional intelligence organization with a long and illustrious history is the Association For Intelligence Officers (AFIO – previously the Association of Former Intelligence Officers), with headquarters in McLean, Virginia. Through educational programs and publications such as its quarterly Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies, AFIO “fosters public understanding of the role and importance of intelligence and the need for a strong and healthy U.S. intelligence/counterintelligence capability to protect U.S. citizens, to serve U.S. national interests, and for world stability. AFIO provides a venue for applying independent, seasoned professional expertise and perspectives to historic, current, and future national, corporate, and public security issues” (AFIO website,, June 23, 2004). The organization awards undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate scholarships and prizes, and hosts numerous conferences and symposia, many of which are open to the public.

An especially useful activity of AFIO is its Academic Exchange Program (AEP), which is a listing of professors teaching courses on intelligence or intelligence-related topics in US colleges and universities. AFIO members are urged to submit their names to the list if teaching in those fields. Despite the potential gold mine of data this service offers, the author was informed by more than one AFIO member that the listing is difficult to keep current and in recent years has usually been seriously out of date.

International Studies Association

The International Studies Association (ISA) was founded in 1959 by a group of scholars and practitioners to pursue mutual interests in international studies. It has over 4000 members worldwide. ISA consists of geographic subdivisions called “Regions” and 20-plus special interest groups called “Sections.” The Association’s flagship journal is International Studies Quarterly, though it produces several other publications. The subordinate entity of ISA most pertinent for this essay is the Intelligence Studies Section (ISS), currently headed by Daniel Gressang, a former NDIC and NCS faculty member. The ISS is “devoted to the advancement of research on all aspects of intelligence as it relates to international studies. Dedicated to studying and teaching the specific subject of intelligence, the ISS also believes that the subject should be addressed in the larger context of international relations, foreign policy, international law, ethics, and the efforts of nation-states to maintain political, economic, and military security […] [it] cooperates with other professional organizations in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain in promoting intelligence studies” (, accessed June 28, 2009).

There are many other intelligence and intelligence-related organizations that will not be discussed here in detail. A sampling includes the OSS Society, the Association of Old Crows, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), and the nascent International Intelligence Ethics Association (IIEA), which has been holding an annual conference for the last four years. IIEA recently obtained 501(c)(3) status, is planning on instituting a journal, and will begin enrolling dues-paying members in 2009.

The “Intelligence–Industrial Complex”

The intricate intertwining of academic enterprises and the business world, especially that related to defense/intelligence contracting, demonstrates just how close these communities are. Often intelligence studies, monographs, and other publications are contracted out to companies that specialize in producing intelligence hardware systems or in designing intelligence architectures. The student who learns how to take advantage of these sources of information and participates actively stands a good chance of finding a lucrative position in one of these companies after graduation.

Intelligence organizations are contracting out much more than just publications. Over the last couple of years, the media have focused on the wide-ranging practice of contracting out such sensitive missions as interrogations, surveillance, and undercover operations. The outsourcing of intelligence operations is beyond the scope of this essay, which focuses on the literature of intelligence education. Contractors do play an important role in education, however. Graduates of intelligence studies programs are increasingly being recruited by contract companies. Contract firms are urged to give on-site demonstrations of their education-related products at intelligence agencies and representatives from academia are often invited. A recent example co-sponsored by the Chancellor of the National Intelligence University (NIU), who wears an additional hat as Assistant Deputy DNI for Education and Training, and the Directors of DIA and NSA was held August 28–9, 2007, at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center in Washington. The event was billed as the “Intelligence Community Educational Simulations & Serious Games Symposium – Enabling Powerful Learning through Simulations and Serious Games.” In his introduction to the program, the then NIU Chancellor boasted that attendees “will have the opportunity to learn from leading-edge technology experts from government, academia, and industry […]. At the conclusion of the symposium, we will report our findings to senior IC education and training leadership” (Eoyang 2007). A new Chancellor was appointed in July 2008, the former Provost of NDIC.

Northrop Grumman is just one defense firm heavily involved in the intelligence education business. Among other products, it published a 2005 monograph by Sidney E. Fuchs titled “The Intelligence Education Framework for the 21st Century.” This paper addresses “the concept of establishing a community-wide intelligence education framework that meets the needs of intelligence professionals at all levels of federal, state, and local government.” The author argues convincingly that Intelligence Education and Training (IET) “lacks a converged approach with standards by which intelligence education is available in a consistent form, focused on producing intelligence professionals in all areas” (Fuchs 2005:1). The company also has made recommendations about a conceptual framework for the NIU System (Fuchs 2005:3–4).

Another corporation getting into the intelligence teaching business, but from a training perspective rather than education, is Lockheed Martin. Its Center for Security Analysis now teaches four courses – Counterterrorism Analysis, Critical Thinking, Strategic Intelligence & Homeland Security, and Asymmetric Threat Operations. Each of these courses is open to public registration on a group or individual basis (Lockheed Martin 2009).

Likewise, a company called i2 Inc. has been active in helping educate analysts and investigators. i2 developed a Collegiate Outreach Program which provides eligible universities and colleges with software, support, and instructor training out of the financial reach of many small colleges, to include the popular Analyst’s Notebook utilized by DIA/JMITC and a number of other institutions within both academia and government. i2 regularly supports previously mentioned organizations such as IAFIE and IALEIA and has established “Collegiate Partnerships” with many institutions of higher learning, both governmental and nongovernmental.

RAND is yet another organization that is heavily into contracting and publishing in the fields of intelligence and security. Just one example of the many studies RAND has produced is a 2005 book by Lorne Teitelbaum, The Impact of the Information Revolution on Policymakers’ Use of Intelligence Analysis. It was derived from an October 2004 dissertation for a doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School (RAND brochure, undated). The company LexisNexis is well known in college libraries for its searchable databases on a host of subjects, deriving from its early days focusing on documents from the legal profession. LexisNexis is now heavily involved in the intelligence data-gathering and -storing field. For instance, on August 4, 2005, company officials presented a symposium at DIA in cooperation with the JMIC Foundation with the theme “Commercial Best Practices and Technologies for Open Source Collection and Analysis” (Lexis Nexis symposium program 2005).

Many of the private companies involved in the intelligence effort belong to a relatively new organization known as the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). Since its creation in November 2005, INSA has become “the premier professional association for the intelligence and national security communities, supporting government, private sector and academia at all levels” (INSA Voice, Spring 2007:2). In 2007, the National Defense Intelligence College Foundation joined INSA as an educational arm of the Alliance. Since 2005, INSA has sponsored classes taught at NDIC and helped fund the publication of the Defense Intelligence Journal. As part of the new arrangement, the President of INSA also became President of the NDIC Foundation (5). The first Chairman of the INSA Board was VADM (Ret) Mike McConnell, until he stepped down in early 2007 upon confirmation as DNI (3).

The post-9/11 era has been lucrative for intelligence- and security-related contracting firms and nongovernmental organizations. It has also been a time of broadening interest in these topics on college campuses. Interest by students appears to be on an upward trend, while interest on the part of the institutions themselves may in part be altruistic, but likely more related to sponsoring courses that attract a lot of students and outside funding from the highly motivated industrial sector.

Leaving aside the normative question of whether increased contractor influence within the IC is healthy, it is clear that the professional intelligence organizations, with their corporate support, do contribute to intelligence education. Not only do contracting firms directly fill gaps in expertise and personnel availability for overly stressed government agencies; they can and often do provide jobs and other forms of assistance to intelligence program graduates. Many intelligence students in colleges and universities have benefited from technical assistance and internships with these companies while pursuing their studies. That gives students a breadth of experience and a baseline for networking with retired intelligence professionals, and preprofessionalizes prospective young analysts who face the challenges of obtaining a high-level security clearance and developing an ethos appropriate for employment in the government intelligence sector.

International Intelligence Education

This essay has admittedly been US-centric, which is a significant limitation that invites future scholarship to fill the gap. US colleges and universities, and academic organizations such as ISA and IAFIE, benefit from close relationships with scholars from other nations who are involved in similar intelligence education endeavors. The UK has been mentioned from time to time in this essay, as has Canada. These are the two nations with probably the closest educational ties to the US, though others such as Australia, South Africa, Israel, and Brazil are rapidly increasing their intelligence teaching ties to the US. Increasingly, information is flowing more easily across national boundaries.

Let us look briefly at just one example, America’s neighbor to the north, Canada. The principal organization for intelligence education is the very active Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS). Another resource is the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies (CCISS) at Ottawa’s Carleton University, whose first director was respected intelligence scholar Martin Rudner. “Canadian higher education, media, and indeed public and parliamentary discourse, show little knowledge about intelligence issues,” Rudner observed. “By way of contrast, intelligence studies is rapidly expanding in American, Australian, British and European universities.” CCISS was the first research center in Canada dedicated to intelligence studies, looking at both policy and operational issues, and can be viewed as loosely paralleling Mercyhurst College’s Institute for Intelligence Studies in the US Carleton is one of a handful of universities offering undergraduate and graduate studies in intelligence (This Is Carleton 2002). Canada and other nations, the UK in particular, are collaborating with the US in intelligence education matters, and offer additional resources for strengthening US intelligence studies programs.


As has been demonstrated in this essay, there is no shortage of literature on intelligence, though most of the extant literature on intelligence studies, intelligence education, and the teaching of intelligence is anecdotal. Some formal works, most now dated, address higher education courses on intelligence. Much of the more recent data on teaching intelligence is in the hands of professional associations, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations dealing with the intelligence profession. Their journals, websites, and conferences/symposia provide a wealth of information easily accessible by teachers and students alike.

The next step is to determine what specifically is being taught, and how, among the burgeoning number of colleges and universities getting into the business of teaching intelligence, especially in the wake of 9/11. The reader is referred to the author’s dissertation, which goes into considerable detail regarding specific institutions, programs, and courses. These schools are increasingly developing intelligence professionals carefully selected and adequately prepared intellectually to function competently in the complex post-9/11 milieu. There are skeptics, such as UCLA’s Amy Zegart, who critiques the trend in a 2007 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by insisting the best schools in the US are teaching just about everything except intelligence studies. (Zegart 2007). Nevertheless, even the most elite schools are now beginning to dabble in intelligence, strategic security, and homeland security, and the numbers do not lie.

Particularly significant is the phenomenal growth of online programs, which allow deployed military and civilian personnel to study intelligence while practicing the theory they are learning. Teaching intelligence is no longer hamstrung by geography, security, or access. The possibilities seem endless, given the wealth of resources available, many of them unclassified, totally open and transparent, and financially supported by the federal government. The only constraints may be psychological and political, as teaching intelligence always seems to come with fairly heavy baggage.


Andrew, C.M. (2006) Keynote address to the International Association for Intelligence Education Second Annual Conference, May 2, Intelligence Studies: The Academic Discipline of the Future? Herndon, VA: Author.Find this resource:

    Betts, R. (1988) Policy-Makers and Intelligence Analysts: Love, Hate, or Indifference? Intelligence and National Security 3 (1), 184–9.Find this resource:

      Betts, R. (1998) Intelligence Warning: Old Problems, New Agendas. Parameters 28 (1), 26–35.Find this resource:

        Betts, R. (2004) The New Politics of Intelligence. Foreign Affairs 83 (3), 2–8.Find this resource:

          Center for the Study of Intelligence (1994, April) Conference report, Symposium on Teaching Intelligence, held in Tysons Corner, VA, October 1–2, 1993.Find this resource:

            Clift, A.D. (1998) Safecrackers: The Past, Present and Future of U.S. Intelligence. Defense Intelligence Journal 7 (1), 107–26.Find this resource:

              Clift, A.D. (1999) Intelligence Education for Joint Warfighting. Joint Force Quarterly, Spring, 96–9.Find this resource:

                Cline, M.W. (ed.) (1985) Teaching Intelligence in the Mid-1980s: A Survey of College and University Courses on the Subject of Intelligence. Washington, DC: National Intelligence Study Center.Find this resource:

                  Cline, R.S. (1976) Secrets, Spies, and Scholars: Blueprint of the Essential CIA. Washington, DC: Acropolis Books.Find this resource:

                    Collier, M.W. (2005) A Pragmatic Approach to Developing Intelligence Analysts. Defense Intelligence Journal 14 (2), 17–35.Find this resource:

                      Cooper, J. (2005) Curing Analytic Pathologies: Pathways to Improved Intelligence Analysis. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence.Find this resource:

                        Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Brochure, undated.Find this resource:

                          Davies, P.H.J. (2006–7) Assessment BASE: Simulating National Intelligence Assessment in a Graduate Course. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 19 (4), 721–36.Find this resource:

                            Davis, J. (1991) The Kent–Kendall debate of 1949. Studies in Intelligence Summer, 37.Find this resource:

                              Eoyang, C. (2007) Program, Intelligence Community Educational Simulations & Serious Games Symposium, August 28. Washington, DC: National Intelligence University.Find this resource:

                                Fontaine, J.M. (1992) Teaching Intelligence in the 1990s: A Survey of College and University Courses on the Subject of Intelligence. Washington, DC: National Intelligence Study Center.Find this resource:

                                  Fuchs, S.E. (2005) The Intelligence Education Framework for the 21st Century. Point paper by the President, TASC, a business unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation. At:, accessed August 11, 2006.

                                  Gates, R.M. (1986) CIA and the University. Studies in Intelligence 30 (2), 27–36.Find this resource:

                                    George, R., and Kline, R. (eds.) (2004) Intelligence and the National Security Strategist: Enduring Issues and Challenges. Washington, DC: NDU Press.Find this resource:

                                      Gerring, J. (2004) What is a Case Study and What is it Good For? American Political Science Review 98 (2), 341–54.Find this resource:

                                        Gill, P. (2007) Evaluating Intelligence Oversight Committees: The UK Intelligence and Security Committee and the “War on Terror.” Intelligence and National Security 22 (1), 14–37.Find this resource:

                                          Goodman, M.S., and Omand, D. (2008) What Analysts Need to Understand: The King’s Intelligence Studies Program. Studies in Intelligence 52 (4), 35–46.Find this resource:

                                            Gries, D.D. (1993) Foreword. In Symposium on Teaching Intelligence, October 1–2, 1993, A Report. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, p. iii.Find this resource:

                                              Halberstam, D. (1972) The Best and the Brightest. New York: Random House.Find this resource:

                                                Hedley, J.H. (2005) CIA in the Classroom: Twenty Years of Officers in Residence. Studies in Intelligence 49 (4), 31–9.Find this resource:

                                                  Hendrickson, N. (2008–9) Critical Thinking in Intelligence Analysis. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 21 (4), 679–93.Find this resource:

                                                    Heuer, R.J., Jr. (1999) Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence.Find this resource:

                                                      Heuer, R.J., Jr. (2004) Limits of Intelligence Analysis. Orbis 49 (1), 75–95.Find this resource:

                                                        Heuer, R.J., Jr., and Pherson, R. (2009) Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.Find this resource:

                                                          Hindley, M. (2000) Teaching Intelligence Project. Intelligence and National Security 15 (1), 191–218.Find this resource:

                                                            Hulnick, A. (2002–3) The Downside of Open Source Intelligence. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 15 (4), 565–79.Find this resource:

                                                              Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Public Law 108–458, 108th Congress. At:, accessed August 10, 2006.

                                                              Johnston, R. (2003) Developing a Taxonomy of Intelligence Analysis Variables. Studies in Intelligence 47 (3). At:, accessed August 10, 2006.Find this resource:

                                                                Kauppi, M.V. (2002) Counterterrorism Analysis 101. Defense Intelligence Journal 11 (1), 39–53.Find this resource:

                                                                  Keiswetter, A.L. (2007) The Middle East: Teaching Intelligence Concepts and Issues. Defense Intelligence Journal 16 (2), 105–19.Find this resource:

                                                                    Kendall, W. (1949) The Function of Intelligence. World Politics 1 (4), 542–52.Find this resource:

                                                                      Kent, S. (1955) The Need for an Intelligence Literature. Studies in Intelligence. Reprinted in Studies in Intelligence, 2000, Fall, Special 45th anniversary issue, 1–11.Find this resource:

                                                                        Kent, S. (1966) Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy, 3rd edn. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Find this resource:

                                                                          Lockheed Martin (2009) Intelligence Analysis Training. At:, accessed June 26, 2009.

                                                                          Lockwood, J.S. (1998) Wargaming and Intelligence Education. Discussion Paper No. 6. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, April.Find this resource:

                                                                            Lowenthal, M.M. (2008) Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, 4th edn. Washington, DC: CQ Press.Find this resource:

                                                                              Macartney, J. (1999) Teaching Intelligence: Getting Started, in A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies. Occasional Paper No. 5. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, June.Find this resource:

                                                                                Marrin, S. (2003) CIA’s Kent School: Improving Training for New Analysts. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 16 (4), 609–37.Find this resource:

                                                                                  Marrin, S. (2007) Intelligence Analysis: Structured Methods or Intuition? American Intelligence Journal 25 (1), 7–16.Find this resource:

                                                                                    Marrin, S. (2009) Training and Educating U.S. Intelligence Analysts. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 22 (1), 131–46.Find this resource:

                                                                                      Marshall, M.G. (2005) Teaching Intelligence Research. Defense Intelligence Journal 14 (1), 89–113.Find this resource:

                                                                                        Peake, H. (1992) The Reader’s Guide to Intelligence Periodicals. Washington, DC: National Intelligence Book Center.Find this resource:

                                                                                          Persson, P.-A. and Nyce, J. (2007) Intuitive Tools? Design Lessons from the Military Intelligence Community. American Intelligence Journal 25 (1), 38–50.Find this resource:

                                                                                            Pforzheimer, W.L. (ed.) (1985) Bibliography of Intelligence Literature: A Critical and Annotated Bibliography of Open-Source Intelligence Literature, 8th edn. Washington, DC: Defense Intelligence College.Find this resource:

                                                                                              Rudner, M. (2009) Intelligence Studies in Higher Education: Capacity-Building to Meet Societal Demand. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 22 (1), 110–30.Find this resource:

                                                                                                Shreeve, T.W. (2004) Experiences to Go: Teaching with Intelligence Case Studies. Discussion Paper No. 12. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, September.Find this resource:

                                                                                                  Sims, J. (2007) Intelligence to Counter Terror: The Importance of All-Source Fusion. Intelligence and National Security 22 (1), 38–56.Find this resource:

                                                                                                    Spracher, W.C. (2002) Homeland Security and Intelligence: Can Oil Mix with Water in an Open Society? Small Wars and Insurgencies 11 (1), 29–54. Reprinted in Learning with Professionals: Selected Works from the Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC, 2005).Find this resource:

                                                                                                      Spracher, W.C. (2006) Intelligence Studies: A Legitimate Academic Discipline? Presentation to 8th International Colloquium on Intelligence, June 6. Erie, PA: Mercyhurst College Institute of Intelligence Studies.Find this resource:

                                                                                                        Spracher, W.C. (2009) National Security Intelligence Professional Education: A Map of U.S. Civilian University Programs and Competencies. Doctoral dissertation. Washington, DC: The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development.Find this resource:

                                                                                                          Swenson, R.G. (ed.) (1999) A Flourishing Craft: Teaching Intelligence Studies. Occasional Paper No. 5. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, June.Find this resource:

                                                                                                            Swenson, R.G. (2002) Meeting the Intelligence Community’s Continuing Need for an Intelligence Literature. Defense Intelligence Journal 11 (2), 87–96.Find this resource:

                                                                                                              Syllabi of Intelligence-Related Courses (1999) Supplement to 1997 edition, same title and publisher. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                Symposium on Teaching Intelligence, October 1–2, 1993: A Report (1994) Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, April.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  Teaching Intelligence at Colleges and Universities (1999) Proceedings, Annual Conference, June 18. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    Teitelbaum, L. (2005) The Impact of the Information Revolution on Policymakers’ Use of Intelligence Analysis. Washington, DC: RAND.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      This Is Carleton (2002) New Centre Will Aid Intelligence Community. This Is Carleton 4 (8), April 29.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        Vickers, R. (2006) The Intelligence Reform Quandary. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 19 (2), 356–64.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          Watson, B.W., and Dunn, P.M. (eds.) (1984) Military Intelligence and the Universities: A Study of an Ambivalent Relationship. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            Winks, R.W. (1996) Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 2nd edn. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              Zegart, A.B. (2007) Universities Must Not Ignore Intelligence Research. The Chronicle of Higher Education 53 (45), 9, 52.Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                The Center for the Study of Intelligence. At, accessed November 2009. A subordinate element of the CIA, which publishes Studies in Intelligence, produces books and monographs on intelligence topics, and runs an Officer-in-Residence program on various university campuses.

                                                                                                                                The International Association for Intelligence Education. At, accessed November 2009. An organization founded to promote educational pursuits related to intelligence and to explore various accreditation and certification standards for university intelligence studies programs.

                                                                                                                                The Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association. At, accessed November 2009.

                                                                                                                                The Association For Intelligence Officers. At, accessed November 2009. Also known by its previous name of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, this is an organization founded to foster public understanding of the role and importance of intelligence and the need for a strong and healthy US intelligence/counterintelligence capability.

                                                                                                                                The National Defense Intelligence College. At, accessed November 2009. The flagship institution of graduation education for the National Intelligence University System. Publications available include books, discussion papers, occasional papers, conference proceedings, and proceedings of the annual International Intelligence Fellows Program.

                                                                                                                                The section of the National Defense University website focused on the National Security Education Program. At, accessed November 2009. This site discusses the development of a national capacity to educate US citizens to understand foreign cultures, strengthen economic competitiveness, and enhance international cooperation and security.


                                                                                                                                The author is grateful for the guidance and inspiration offered by two members of his dissertation committee under the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Dr. James Douglas Orton, former professor in the Executive Leadership Doctoral Program at GWU, and Dr. Russell G. Swenson, former Director of Research at the National Defense Intelligence College, were invaluable resources on this and other critical projects in the field of intelligence education.