17.908 Reading Seminar in Social Science: Intelligence and National Security

As taught in: Fall 2005

An image of a globe with surrounding stars indicated by colored dots.

Starlight information modeling. Originally developed for the U.S. Intelligence community. (Image courtesy of the: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.)




Prof. Robert Vickers

Course Features

Course Description

This course will examine the origins, structure and functions of the U.S. Intelligence Community and its relationship to national security policy. It will look in some detail at the key intelligence agencies and the functions they perform, including collection, analysis, counterintelligence and covert action. It will also look at some of the key intelligence missions, such as strategic warning, counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and counterinsurgency. Finally, it will examine some of the major controversies concerning intelligence, including its successes and failures, relationship to policymakers, congressional oversight, and the need for reform.