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Of interest: "The Mechanics of Deception"
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New and Forthcoming Books of the Week
Shrewd, provocative analysis. Wood looks beyond Putin to explore the profound changes Russia has undergone since 1991. In the process, he challenges many of the common assumptions made about contemporary Russia. Though commonly viewed as an ominous return to Soviet authoritarianism, Putin's rule should instead be seen as a direct continuation of Yeltsin's in the 1990s. And though many of Russia's problems today are blamed on legacies of the Soviet past, Wood argues that the core features of Putinism—a predatory, authoritarian elite presiding over a vastly unequal society—are integral to the system set in place after the fall of Communism.
What kind of country has emerged from Russia's post-Soviet transformations, and where might it go in future? Culminates in an arresting analysis of the country's foreign policy—identifying the real power dynamics behind its escalating clashes with the West—and with reflections on the paths Russia might take in the 21st century.
Book may be ordered here.
A new biography of Sir Walter Ralegh (c. 1554-1618), a handsome, wily, politically astute, and powerful figure in Elizabethan England. Presents a sharp, sympathetic portrait of a charming man of "dark, Celtic, good looks" who became a favorite of Elizabeth I only to fall precipitously from grace under the queen's successor, James VI of Scotland. He married in secret without the queen's approval, was a "cultural relativist in a century of religious absolutism" and a "poster boy" for "a more decent form of British imperialism, concerned not with "trade and plunder" but with settlement. His plan to found the colony of Virginia was, "only a tiny part of a larger geo-political struggle; Protestant England's war with Catholic Spain"—the adversary nation that Ralegh hated vehemently. "He was the master of persuasion, a man who could make you believe that defeat was victory, that black was white." In 1592, imprisoned by Elizabeth, he bribed his way to freedom; two years later, he was "a freewheeling adventurer" once again, in South America on a quest for gold. After Elizabeth died, he became "a small cog in the very large machine of international power politics," imprisoned, condemned, and beheaded.
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Information Session: November 15 at 6:00pm in RLP 1.302E
EU Agrees Plan for Joint Spy School. The European Union has agreed plans for a joint spy training centre, along with 16 other projects, as the bloc makes tentative step towards closer military integration after Brexit.
The Joint EU Intelligence School will be led by Greece and based in Cyprus. It will train intelligence agency staff from around the EU in cooperation with national agencies and Nato.
Britain, Denmark and Malta are not taking part in the scheme, which is part of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact to encourage closer defence cooperation.
The UK has blocked previous moves towards a joint intelligence centre for the EU, arguing it would undermine the "five eyes" alliance of Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Brexit means that the British can now safely be ignored. [Read more: Crisp/TheTelegraph/19November2018]
Ethiopia Arrests Former Deputy Spy Chief Yared Zerihun. Ethiopia's former deputy intelligence chief has been arrested amid investigations into corruption and human rights abuses committed by the security forces.
Yared Zerihun, the former deputy head of the national security agency, is one of more than 60 intelligence and military figures arrested since Monday.
Mr Yared has not yet commented on the allegations.
The move has been widely welcomed by human rights groups. [Read more: BBC/16November2018]
German Prosecutors Charge Chinese-born Engineer in Industrial Espionage Case. German prosecutors are pressing criminal charges against a former employee of chemicals maker Lanxess for allegedly stealing trade secrets to set up a Chinese copycat chemical reactor.
The case underscores fears among German officials and executives about industrial espionage in Europe's largest manufacturing nation.
State prosecutors in the city of Cologne, where the company is headquartered, told Reuters they had brought criminal charges in June against a Chinese-born German national based on a complaint filed with police by Lanxess about two years ago.
There have been several reports in Germany of manufacturers with operations in China catching local staff doing work for copycat rivals. But the alleged data theft at Lanxess is a rare case in which a suspected leak has been identified at home. [Read more: Reuters/15November2018]
CIA Key Official Makes Secret Visit to Seoul. A senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official on Korean affairs secretly visited South Korea and met senior officials of the two Koreas, according to local media reports last week.
Andrew Kim, chief of the CIA's Korea Mission Center (KMC), made his visit to Seoul and went to the border village of Panmunjeom on a four-day trip from Wednesday to meet officials of the two Koreas, and returned to the U.S. on Saturday.
Kim was said to have mediated efforts by the U.S. and two Koreas to narrow differences on denuclearization ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to North Korea in late November, the reports said. [Read more: Park/KoreaTimes/18November2018]
Intel Agencies Lack 'Adequate Tech' for FOIA Requests. If the intelligence community wants to lessen its information request backlog and avoid lawsuits, the agencies need to make better use of technology and stop applying an "industrial age process ... to a digital age challenge."
A Sept. 28 report from the intelligence community inspector general released publicly last week found the agencies' processes for responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, is inefficient and will continue to lead to growing backlogs and litigation if not improved. Among the issues is a lack of "adequate technology" to support processing FOIA requests.
Technology is being used to manage FOIA requests across the IC, though not uniformly. The inspector general looked at 10 standard use cases for technology in this area and found only the CIA was using those tools in every instance. Other agencies hit most of the areas of effort, though two, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, only showed progress in five and six areas, respectively. [Read more: Boyd/NextGov/19November2018]
How An American Spy Predicted the Cold War. On August 23, 1944, a young Eastern European king in his early 20s was arresting the head of his government and switching sides from fighting with the Germans in World War II to joining the Allies. History credits King Michael of Romania with having changed the course of his country's history and shortening the war by months.
With the Germans now depleted of oil resources in the Carpathian region, the Soviets were slowly taking over the Eastern European country, changing key people in the government and replacing them with Communist figures. America and the U.K. were far away, and both were keen on keeping their alliance with the Soviet Union, regardless of signs that Moscow was about to take over much of Central and Eastern Europe.
It is in this context that Frank Wisner, a lawyer enrolled in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Bucharest, began reporting to Washington about the first signs of what would become the Cold War, reveals a new book by George Cristian Maior, Romania's ambassador to the United States. Throughout his time in Romania, Wisner ran the Office of Strategic Services, an early espionage mission in southeastern Europe that paved the way to what would later become the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, in the U.S.
Wisner was a spy, mixing seamlessly with both the Turkish and the Romanian elite from his assignments in both countries [Read more: Radu/USNews/15November2018]
Russia's Security Agency Pulls Ambitious Satellite Internet Venture Back To Earth. It's been a bright spot for Russia's wobbly space industry:
A contract, estimated at $1 billion, to launch 21 Soyuz rockets over the next two years carrying "micro-satellites" - part of a U.S.-based company's plans to offer broadband Internet access over remote territories of the globe, including parts of Siberia.
For the company, OneWeb, the effort was seen as a critical step in building out its "constellation of small satellites" and validation for investors who have put up nearly $2 billion. For Russia's space agency, Roskosmos, the contract was both a crucial source of private revenue, and a foothold in the burgeoning global market for small-scale satellite launches.
Now, just months before the planned maiden launch, it appears that the Federal Security Service (FSB) may put a stop to it entirely. [Read more: Eckel/Rferl/18November2018]
A Life of Spying Puts Iraqi Double Agent in a Canadian Conundrum: His Cloak-and-Dagger Means He Can Neither Stay Nor be Deported. A man who led an eccentric life of spying and espionage, skulking in the shadows as an agent and then a double agent for both Saddam Hussein and Israel's Mossad, has been given a new chance at remaining in Canada, where he is trying to avoid coming face-to-face with those he betrayed.
Hussein Ali Sumaida, 53, has won yet another court appeal, one of many legal wins and losses that have so far ended in a stalemate spanning 28 years.
Canada's justice and immigration systems have not been able to reconcile the Sumaida conundrum: his years of cloak-and-dagger put him in danger of torture if he is deported to the Middle East, but also make him ineligible to remain in Canada because of concern his activities amounted to crimes against humanity. [Read more: Humphreys/EdmontonJournal/18November2018]
Mossad Unveiled: Human Side of the World's Most Mysterious Intelligence Agency. Everybody fantasizes about being invisible, says Israeli filmmaker Duki Dror.
"What it would be like to be in a place with a different identity. The subject of covert operations and the people who work undercover is always fascinating," said the 50-something Israeli son of Iraqi political exiles.
It was this fascination with how people observe others - especially secret agents and especially the Mossad, about which so little is known - that led Dror to make a film about the experiences of the people working for this almost mythological organization. He was interested, he says, in how actions, "taken by someone unknown, somewhere in the world," could impact history.
The result is "Inside the Mossad," a compelling documentary that unmasks the human faces behind Israel's legendary intelligence agency. [Read more: Joseph/TimesofIsrael/15November2018]
Intelligence and You: A Guide for Policymakers. It's 9:00 pm somewhere in the trenches of the national security bureaucracy. You are a mid-level policymaker and are scrambling to prepare for the big National Security Council meeting in the morning, when principals will debate and decide the U.S. course of action for the crisis du jour. You need to write a 'read-ahead' paper and be able to convincingly brief your principal and maybe even the National Security Council on the state of play in the conflict, policy options based on that analysis, pros and cons of each option, and to ultimately make a recommendation. You, however, have not been reading your intelligence - and you do not even know where to start.
Sure, your intentions were good. But the time-sucking reality of recurring crises, endless paper churn, non-stop meetings, and ensuring you are invited to said meetings (with the correct location and a speaking role) overwhelmed you. You have cancelled more morning briefs than you have held. Piles of unopened daily intelligence readbooks spill out of your safe. You can barely remember the names of the analysts supporting you, let alone how to contact them (they went home for the night hours ago, FYSA). You've skated by through weeks of interagency meetings with your three trusty talking points, but now, when the analytic rubber hits the policy road, you realize you do not sufficiently understand the issues at play, nor what options the United States could or should pursue to address them. You, my mid-level policymaking friend, lack intelligence.
This scene is, unfortunately, not uncommon in Washington. [Read more: Katz/WarOnTheRocks/14November2018]
A Kremlin Spy Mystery in Vienna Shakes the World Capital of Espionage. For a century, Vienna has been the world capital of espionage. It's a city of world-class mystery and intrigue, as depicted in countless spy novels and films. Vienna has it all: lovely vistas, great food and wine, affordable prices, and an extraordinarily permissive environment for espionage.
In Austria, you're free to spy on nearly whomever you want, and there are plenty of targets. Everybody has an embassy in Vienna, plus it's the second city of the United Nations. When it comes to espionage, the only way to get in trouble in Vienna is by spying on your hosts - and that's just what the Russians got caught doing.
The recent arrest of a retired Austrian army colonel on charges of spying for Moscow has shed light on something nobody in Vienna or the Kremlin wanted discussed openly. The suspect, identified only as Martin M. due to stringent privacy laws, is facing a raft of charges. He stands accused of passing Austrian secrets to Russian military intelligence, that is GRU, for a generation. [Read more: Schlindler/Observer/13November2018]
Prosecuting Wikileaks, Protecting Press Freedoms: Drawing the Line at Knowing Collaboration with a Foreign Intelligence Agency. The inadvertent disclosure of the likely existence of a sealed indictment against Julian Assange raises the question of what the constitutional implications of such an indictment might be. Only an indictment narrowly focused on knowing collaboration with a foreign intelligence agency, if in fact the evidence supports such a finding, would avoid the broad threat that such a prosecution would otherwise pose to First Amendment rights and press freedoms.
Any prosecution for the publication of the Chelsea Manning disclosures (war logs; embassy cables) or for involvement in the Edward Snowden disclosures would meet the same constitutional difficulties that arose at that time. As I argued in detail in 2011, and then as a witness for the defense in the Manning trial, for purposes of constitutional protection it is impossible to distinguish Wikileaks from more traditional media on stable grounds that cannot be leveraged against all manner of media organizations over time, including both partisan and mainstream media. No distinguishing line can usefully be drawn in organizational terms. Central to this discussion are federal cases concerning journalists' privilege under state law, as well as the Supreme Court's clear statement that "Liberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer who uses carbon paper or a mimeograph just as much as of the large metropolitan publisher who utilizes the latest photocomposition methods" from Branzburg v Hayes.
What's more, the long history of rabid partisan presses in the nineteenth century, and the rise of frankly partisan media in the present media environment, mean that we cannot anchor the limits of press freedom in the organizational habits and institutional forms of professional journalism of the few decades between World War I and the rise of Fox News. [Read more: Benkler/JustSecurity/19November2018]
America's Overt Payback for China's Covert Espionage. While the bombastic U.S.-China "trade war" has been getting the headlines, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been waging a quieter battle to combat Chinese theft of trade secrets from American companies - a practice so widespread that even boosters of trade with China regard it as egregious.
The Trump administration's much-ballyhooed campaign of tariffs will eventually produce some version of a truce - economists say any other result would amount to a mutual suicide pact. But the battle against Beijing's economic espionage is still accelerating, and it may prove more important over time in leveling the playing field between the two countries.
To combat Chinese spying and hacking, U.S. intelligence agencies are increasingly sharing with the Justice Department revelatory information about Chinese operations. That has led to a string of recent indictments and, in one case, the arrest abroad of an alleged Chinese spy and his extradition to the United States to face trial.
The indictments don't just charge violations of law; they also expose details of Chinese spycraft. [Read more: Ignatius/WashingtonPost/15November2018]
The Latest Khashoggi Leak Violates Important Norms. The front page of the Washington Post has a revelation: the CIA thinks that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a direct role in the killing of Post correspondent Jamal Kashoggi. This is big news and another scoop for the Post's excellent team of reporters. They have done their job well.
And it really, really is a problem that they have succeeded. In normal times - by which I mean the entire course of the American Republic, and certainly the time from 1945 until just a couple of years ago - the CIA's conclusions about bin Salman would have been some of the most highly classified secrets within the American government, subject to dissemenation to a small, select group of individuals. The reasons for this secrecy are, classically, two-fold: First, disclosure of what we know deprives the country's leaders of freedom of action, to act with knowledge that U.S. adversaries don't know we have and to select courses of action that maximize America's benefit. Second, disclosure of what the government knows will often "burn" sources and methods so that the inquiry is of the "one and done" variety. When U.S. opponents know what America knows, they often learn how America knows it - and change their behavior accordingly.
And so it is beyond belief that some in the CIA (or elsewhere in the classified community) feel the necessity to disclose this Top Secret information publicly through the Post. [Read more: Rosenzweig/Lawfare/17November2018]
Jim Gamble, Career CIA Operations Officer.
The AFIO Florida Satellite chapter presents a double-barreled
meeting. Guest Speaker James (JJ) Justice,
president of Rolling Thunder Florida Chapter One, will discuss the
role of his organization in educating the public about the hidden
reality that many American Prisoners of War were left behind after
all previous wars, to correct the past, and to protect future
Veterans from being left behind should they become POWs or Missing
In Action. Rolling Thunder is also committed to helping American
Veterans and their families from all wars.
Location: Suntree Country Club, One Country Club
Dr, Melbourne, FL 32940
LOCATION: Society of Illustrators building: 128 East 63rd Street Between Lexington Ave and Park Ave in Manhattan.
TIME: Meeting starts 6:00 PM. Registration starts 5:30 PM
COST: $50/person. Cash or check payable at the door only.
REGISTRATION: Strongly recommended, not required. Phone Jerry Goodwin 1-646-717-3776 or Email email@example.com
Speaker: Dr. William H. Overholt, President of
Fung Global Institute; Senior Research Fellow at John F. Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University and Principal of
AsiaStrat, LLC., discusses "China's Crisis of Success."
Contact Mariko Kawaguchi, Board Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
In a change of pace from our more typical subject matter, we are most fortunate to have as our speaker Mr. Larry Kraus, who is the Director, Intelligence-Led Policing Section of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Intelligence-led policing is a new paradigm in law enforcement, sharing a number of traits common to operations in the Intelligence Community. Criminal intelligence flows up to decision-makers at the executive level, who set priorities for enforcement and prevention, and then passes these priorities back down to lower levels of the organization for operational tasking.
Fee: luncheon fee is $20 paid by check or cash at the door. Luncheon reservations and arrangements for base access for those without military ID must be made by Tuesday, 4 December by contacting Chapter Secretary at email@example.com.
It is that time again and the holidays are upon us. We are
pleased to announce this year's holiday party. Please join the
chapter for an evening of good food, camaraderie, and a very
special guest speaker.
Fee: $30 per person. Guests are welcome.
How The World Bank Manages Risk will be the presentation by Am'd'e
Prouvost, Director, Operational Risk (CROOR) World Bank
Group Risk Officer Vice President
Where: Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security, 1620 L
St NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
RSVP is required and guests must
check in prior to entering the event. DMGS Reserves the Right to
Refuse entry and May Ask for Government Issued Identification.
Qs?: Direct Qs to Frank Fletcher, Director of Lectures & Seminars, at firstname.lastname@example.org. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
For your calendar. A special evening to illuminate the critical role of individuals and organizations serving the Intelligence Community, and to raise funds in support of the International Spy Museum.
The William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award Dinner will
take place at The Ritz Carlton Hotel. More than 600 attendees are
anticipated and will recognize the men and women who have served
in the field of National Security with integrity and distinction.
This annual tribute dinner is given by the International Spy
Museum to an individual who has embodied the values of Judge
William H. Webster. This year's honoree is a patriot
for whom love of country has been his guiding principle: Admiral William H. McRaven, former US Special
Operations Commander, former Joint Special Operations Commander,
and Chancellor of The University of Texas System.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. - Washington, DC - Trouble in the Kingdom: An Appraisal of the US-Saudi Relationship with Brian Weidner and Michael Doran at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security
Trouble in the Kingdom: An Appraisal of the US-Saudi Relationship with Brian Weidner and Michael Doran.
RSVP Required; Daniel Morgan Graduate reserves the right to refuse entry and may ask for government issued identification.
30 November 2018, 8 am - 5:15 pm - Austin, TX - Texas
National Security Forum, "The Return of Great Power
Of interest to AFIO Members:
SESSION III. A Special Conversation on Global Threats...see agenda here.
Location: Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, The University of Texas at
All Quiet on the Eastern Front: War in Ukraine from 2015 to 2018 is the presentation at Daniel Morgan GS by Tomasz Grzywaczewski.
Event Details: When: Friday December 7, 2018 11:00 am - 12:00 pm; Where: 1620 L St NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036; Cost: Free
RSVP is required and guests must check in prior to entering the event. DMGS Reserves the Right to Refuse entry and May Ask for Government Issued Identification.
Qs?: Direct Qs to Frank Fletcher, Director of Lectures & Seminars, at email@example.com.
The PENFED Foundation hosts their annual "Night of Heroes Gala" at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC. Hold the date. Details to follow.
Gift Suggestions:AFIO's 788-page Guide to the Study of Intelligence. Peter C. Oleson, Editor, also makes a good gift. View authors and table of contents here.
Perfect for professors, students, those considering careers in intelligence, and current/former officers seeking to see what changes are taking place across a wide spectrum of intelligence disciplines. AFIO's Guide to the Study of Intelligence helps instructors teach about the large variety of subjects that make up the field of intelligence. This includes secondary school teachers of American History, Civics, or current events and undergraduate and graduate professors of History, Political Science, International Relations, Security Studies, and related topics, especially those with no or limited professional experience in the field. Even those who are former practitioners are likely to have only a limited knowledge of the very broad field of intelligence, as most spend their careers in one or two agencies at most and may have focused only on collection or analysis of intelligence or support to those activities.
For a printed, bound copy, it is $95 which includes Fedex shipping to a CONUS (US-based) address.
To order for shipment to a US-based CONUS address, use this online form,
To order multiple copies or for purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, or other countries call our office at 703-790-0320 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to hear of shipment fees.
Order the Guide from the AFIO's store at this link.The Guide is also available directly from Amazon at this link.
These 2017 mousepads have full color seals of all 18 members of the US Intelligence Community on this 8" round, slick surface, nonskid, rubber-backed mouse pad with a darker navy background, brighter, updated seals. Also used, by some, as swanky coasters. Price still only $20.00 for 2 pads [includes shipping to US address. Foreign shipments - we will contact you with quote.] Order MOUSEPADS here.
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