09 - 15 November 2022
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The Surprising Variety of NGA Commercial Capabilities
Interview of NGA Deputy Director Shelby Pierson
Interviewer: Jennifer Daniel, AFIO Board member and former Senior NGA Officer
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Latest podcast episode: Itai Shapira, Col. (Ret.), former Israeli Defense Intelligence, on "Intelligence Culture in Israel (Recorded 26 Aug 22)
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It requires a quick pre-approval process described here to all newly joined and current AFIO members. And then allows you to purchase directly from the EAA online for their unusual logo'd gift items for self or colleagues. Above is the latest photo EAA released on 7 October 2022 featuring some of their newest 75th Anniversary items and other gift suggestions.
Details About Top Secret X-37B's Payload Adapter Revealed After Record-Setting Mission - The War Zone, 14 Nov 22
For the first time, we’ve got to see the U.S. Space Force’s top-secret X-37B reusable spaceplane together with its service module, a bolt-on payload package that boosts the number of missions that this shadowy uncrewed orbital platform can undertake. The photo disclosure came soon after X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-6, or OTV-6 — signaling its sixth mission — returned to Earth after a record 908 days (or roughly two and a half years) spent in orbit. X-37B OTV-6 touched down at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility on Saturday, at 5:22 AM local time, accompanied by sonic booms heard around Florida. (Full article here.)
China’s new satellite-hunting radar aims to blind US - Asia Times, 14 Nov 22
China’s new electronically scanned array radar aims to blunt the military advantages long provided by satellite intelligence, raising proliferation concerns in Washington and other Western capitals. The 10-meter-tall SLC-1 radar unveiled at this year’s Zhuhai Airshow can detect and track low-orbiting satellites and predict their paths, its manufacturer China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) claimed at the show, the South China Morning Post reported last week. The state-owned Chinese company also claimed that the SLC-18 high-power, low-frequency P-band radar can function around the clock in all weather conditions and has an exceptionally large search range. (Full article here.)
How US intelligence agencies can diversify secretive workforces - Federal Times, 14 Nov 22
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been clear: The intelligence community workforce must represent the diverse expertise and experiences of the American people. “To provide strategic advantage to policymakers and warfighters, we need to understand the world, which is constantly evolving and more connected than ever,” said Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence. “Building an IC workforce made up of people who think differently, see problems differently and overcome challenges differently is a prerequisite for success.” (Full article here.)
Espionage is Deadly. It Will Metastasize if Left Unchecked - Clearance Jobs, 13 Nov 22
If we are honest, espionage is like cancer. It infects a place where secrets are held, gradually leeching away the lifeblood until the what should have been protected is no longer viable. Today, espionage is appearing in different ways and targeting places seldom approached in the past. Take for instance recent Russian expulsions for espionage from Colombia. Yes, the South American country. Two agents of Russia’s intelligence agencies, one from their civilian FSB and the other from their military GRU, were expelled. They were speculated to have stolen information regarding Colombia’s mineral and energy initiatives. Another spy, this time alleged to be working for Egypt, was arrested by our own FBI in New York. This man spied on Americans on behalf of agencies of Egypt. His mission was to determine their dissident activities against the autocratic President of Egypt. (Full article here.)
How Foreign Intelligence Services Compromise, Exploit U.S. Technology - Homeland Security Newswire, 14 Nov 22
The Defense and Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA) has released this year’s edition of its annual report, titled Targeting U.S. Technologies: A Report of Threats to Cleared Industry. The focus of the annual report is on foreign efforts to compromise or exploit cleared personnel, or to obtain unauthorized access to classified information or technologies resident in the U.S. cleared industrial base. DCSA provides a snapshot of its findings on foreign collection attempts and provides analysis that covers the most pervasive foreign collectors targeting the cleared contractor (CC) community during fiscal year 2021 (FY21). The agency says that the report serves to articulate the threat to industry and U.S. Government leaders. (Full article here.)
US intelligence document describes UAE efforts to influence American politics - The Guardian, 12 Nov 22
A classified US intelligence report details efforts undertaken by the United Arab Emirates to influence American politics, offering a scrutinizing look at a close US ally, according to the Washington Post. Written by the National Intelligence Council, the report says that the UAE has for years – across multiple presidential administrations – illegally and legally attempted to shape US policy. The Post cited three anonymous sources who have read the report, which the council has been showing to policymakers in recent weeks. Those familiar with the report said that it included influencing measures known to national security officials, but also operations that “more closely resemble espionage”, the Post said. According to the report, the UAE has spent over $154m on lobbyists since 2016 and millions more on donations to US universities. (Full article here.)
Shin Bet admits spying on journalists through mobile phones - Middle East Monitor, 12 Nov 22
The Israeli General Security Service Shin Bet admitted that it spied on journalists through a database collected from mobile phone companies. It also used this database in investigations into criminal incidents, not only in security investigations. This came in the Public Prosecution's response to a petition submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) to the High Court. Data on mobile phones is stored in a database. The information in it includes the places where a journalist has been, the conversations they had, their duration and other information. Through the petition, ACRI demanded the removal of a clause from the law regulating Shin Bet's operations that forces mobile phone companies in Israel to provide the agency with information regarding every call or message that took place on the phone. (Full article here.)
Iran-born brothers charged in Sweden with spying for Russia - Associated Press, 11 Nov 22
Two Iranian-born brothers were charged in Sweden with aggravated espionage for allegedly spying for Russia and its military intelligence service GRU for around a decade, prosecutors said Friday. One of the men worked for Sweden’s domestic intelligence agency. Authorities identified them as Peyman Kia, 42, and Payam Kia, 35. One of the brothers was also indicted for the alleged gross unauthorized handling of secret information. It wasn’t immediately clear which of them it was. “It has been a complex investigation concerning a crime that is very difficult to investigate and the suspicion concerns very serious criminality directed against Sweden’s intelligence and security system,” National Security Unit chief prosecutor Per Lindqvist said. (Full article here.)
Hamas Emerges as Newest Cyber Espionage Powerhouse - Washington Free Beacon, 11 Nov 22
The Iran-backed Hamas terror group is investing great resources in its cyber espionage capabilities, opening an increasingly dangerous front in its war against Israel, according to a new report. "Hamas has demonstrated steady improvement in its cyber capabilities and operations over time, especially in its espionage operations against internal and external targets," the Atlantic Council think tank said in a report this week. "The group’s burgeoning cyber capabilities, alongside its propaganda tactics, pose a threat to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and U.S. interests in the region—especially in tandem with the group’s capacities to fund, organize, inspire, and execute kinetic attacks." (Full article here.)
Berlin embassy spy case reminiscent of John Le Carre thriller - The Independent, 11 Nov 22
The Berlin embassy spy case could have been a plot from an early John Le Carre Cold War thriller – although the potential harm to British national security could not be more real. The late, great novelist – apparently a favourite of British security guard David Smith – drew on his experiences of living in Germany to pen his most famous work, The Spy That Came In From The Cold. After the Cold War officially ended in 1991, hopes of a warmer co-existence with Russia were gradually snuffed out, culminating in the invasion of Ukraine this year – the first war in Europe since the Second World War. Nearly 20 years ago, President Vladimir Putin was welcomed by the late Queen on a state visit to the UK – the first since 1874 – but raised eyebrows when he kept her waiting for 15 minutes. Since then, Russia has gone on to cement its rogue state status under President Putin, himself a former intelligence officer who first came to power in 2000. (Full article here.)
Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role - Washington Post, 08 Nov 22
An offshore company that is trusted by the major web browsers and other tech companies to vouch for the legitimacy of websites has connections to contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement, according to security researchers, documents and interviews. Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, nonprofit Firefox and others allow the company, TrustCor Systems, to act as what’s known as a root certificate authority, a powerful spot in the internet’s infrastructure that guarantees websites are not fake, guiding users to them seamlessly. The company’s Panamanian registration records show that it has the identical slate of officers, agents and partners as a spyware maker identified this year as an affiliate of Arizona-based Packet Forensics, which public contracting records and company documents show has sold communication interception services to U.S. government agencies for more than a decade. (Full article here.)
Intel service: Swiss ready to block Russian spies if need be - Associated Press, 09 Nov 22
Switzerland’s intelligence agency says a widening rift between Western democracies and autocracies like Russia and China has underpinned a rise in spying activities, warning that Switzerland will move to keep Russian agents off its soil if necessary. The Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, in an annual threat assessment presented on Wednesday, said the Alpine country is facing a “deteriorated” politico-security environment, in part due to fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It added that security and defense cooperation in Europe is likely to become increasingly important for Switzerland — which has long touted its neutrality. Foreign intelligence services in Switzerland, the report said, are already targeting and spying on critics of their leadership back home or on members of ethnic and religious minorities on Swiss soil. “Geneva remains a hotspot for spying activities,” it added. The Swiss city is home to many international and United Nations institutions and advocacy groups. (Full article here.)
How to Reinvigorate the National Security Community One Young Worker at a Time - Government Executive, 10 Nov 22
At a conference several months ago, I was sitting in a conversation about talent management when the speaker, in all seriousness, asked the group, “So what if my best employee doesn’t make enough money to afford his own place? Why can’t we have more patriotic Americans like him who are willing to work for the government and live in their parents’ basement?” I was appalled, but unfortunately this is a sentiment I’ve heard far too often even from senior leaders in the Department of Defense. Increasingly, this sentiment reflects the dearth of young, civilian, Millennial and Gen Z workers entering national security jobs both in federal service and private industry supporting government. In fact, there are more unfilled jobs now than there have ever been since the statistic was first tracked. The lack of workers isn’t because young workers are uninterested in getting a job. For instance, it’s estimated 48% of workers age 24 or younger are considering quitting their jobs this year to switch jobs, not to leave the workforce. This may appear to be a daunting statistic, but it presents a significant opportunity for the national security establishment to acquire top tech talent. (Full article here.)
The desperate pleas come flooding into David Tyson’s cellphone, from a country that has fallen off the American radar. The texts are from Afghans who fought alongside him and his colleagues, and they are asking for help to flee Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. The messages often include graphic videos: whippings, torture, the stoning of women, even executions, Tyson said. Tyson was among the first Americans to fly into Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, as part of a CIA unit dropped into Taliban-controlled territory five weeks after the attacks. Team Alpha fought the first major battle of the U.S. war in Afghanistan at a fort in northern Afghanistan, and Tyson’s teammate, Johnny “Mike” Spann, was the first American killed in combat in the conflict. (Full article here.)
Amid spying fears from hostile nations, Japan to track land sales - WIONews, 08 Nov 22
Amid spying fears from hostile nations, the Japanese government is mulling over creating a land registration system to track sales near military bases and civilian structures owned by foreign powers. For years, there has been a growing concern that countries such as China, Russia and North Korea have been purchasing property close to important military facilities operated by the Japanese or the US militaries. Additionally, the authorities suspect that the foreign powers are also buying properties near airports, seaports, nuclear plants, dams and key bridges. (Full article here.)
The Latest National Security Topic Interview by Former Acting D/CIA Mike Morell
This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with the National Intelligence Officer on North Korea from 2014-2020 Markus Garlauskas about his assessment of North Korea's missile tests and the threat of nuclear weapons. Garlauskas lays out how the U.S. can deter North Korea even as China works as an enabler for the regime.
More about Intelligence Matters by Michael Morell here.
Spycast is the official podcast of the International Spy Museum and hosts interviews with intelligence experts on matters of HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, OSINT, and GEOINT. Spycast is hosted by historian Andrew Hammond, PhD.
08 Nov | "Nazis on the Potomac" with National Park Service Chief Historian Bob Sutton Bob Sutton joins Andrew to discuss the mysterious intelligence site P.O. Box 1142. High-value Nazis were interrogated here during WWII.
In Other News The proprietary analytic newsletter crafted for The Arkin Group's private clients by former CIA Acting Deputy Director for Operations Jack Devine.
10 Nov | A View from Abroad – the Nuclear Issue The nuclear dimension in European foreign policy is back. Over the past 30 years, after intense debates on nuclear proliferation in the eighties, the nuclear threat in Europe gratefully retreated into the background. Out of the spotlight, the polarization of the previous decades disappeared, and nuclear arms control and disarmament treaties were updated and often concluded. European cooperation with Russia and China on non-proliferation, like with DPRK and Iran, even seemed possible. The existence of nuclear weapons was glazed over with opaque phrases such as ‘NATO as a nuclear alliance’, without an active understanding of what the stakes for using those weapons might be. Instead, leaders paid frequent lip-service to the greater aim of the Non-Proliferation Treaty: full nuclear disarmament. (Full version available to AFIO members here.)
Intel Brief The Soufan Center’s flagship, daily analytical product focused on complex security issues and geopolitical trends that may shape regional or international affairs. The Soufan Center was founded by former FBI Special Agent and Soufan Group CEO Ali Soufan.
15 Nov | French Withdrawal from Mali Leaves UN Peace Operation Vulnerable
Inside the SCIF - 11 Nov - Paul Whelan, Kherson withdrawal, Russian nuclear torpedo, $400 million Ukraine security package, and more.
Target USA Podcast - 10 Nov - The Russian Military Pullout from Kherson Looks Like a Trap - Yevheniia Kravchuk, a Member of Ukraine's Parliament says "that's why we listen to our Minister of Defense and not Russia's". And Tuuli Duneton, Undersecretary of Defense Policy at Estonia's Ministry of Defense explains what Russian President Vladimir Putin's long-term goal is.
The Hunt Broadcast - 09 Nov - France ends 8-year counterterrorism operation in Africa’s Sahel region
False Flag Nation and MAGA Election Violence Absent - For Now - Jeff Stein and Colleagues in SpyTalk (Substack)
11 Nov | False Flag Nation - Jeffrey Morely
09 Nov | MAGA Election Violence Absent—For Now - Elain Shannon
03 Nov | Accused CIA Mole to Make Public Rebuttal - Jeff Stein
31 Oct | Admit We Have Nukes, Top Israeli Military Figure Says - Jonathan Broder
20 Oct | Clean Out the FBI and Secret Service - Jeff Stein
To support SpyTalk, subscribe here.
Marines Flummoxed on Their Birthday - National Review, 10 November 22
November 10 is the birthday of the Marine Corps, celebrated in every American embassy and every major city in America. Why? Because for 247 years, the very word Marine has symbolized discipline and toughness in battle. The statue of six Marine grunts raising the flag on Iwo Jima in 1945 is emblematic of American grit. Marines are seen as being ready to fight anywhere at any time, bringing to bear its aircraft, artillery, and tanks to support the riflemen who close with and destroy the enemy. The grunt is the organizational heart and the guiding soul of the Marine Corps. Until now. On this birthday, for the first time in its history, the grunt is not the Marine centerpiece. Advised by only a few officers, the current Commandant, General David H. Berger, has decided that shooting missiles, not rifles, will be the centerpiece of the Marines going forward. (Full article here.)
Taken Hostage: An American Experience Special on November 14 and 15 - PBS, 08 Nov 22
Revisit the Iran hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Unfolding like a political thriller, the story is told through the eyewitness accounts of those who took part in the events. (More details and links to video here.)
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Precarious State of a Double Agent during the Cold War - International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 25 Jul 22
While scholarly literature has paid attention to human intelligence professionalism from the perspective of the agent handler, we know relatively little about the precarious positions in which (double) agents often find themselves and what their ensuing needs from their handlers consist of. This article suggests that (double) agents desire a reciprocal, affect-based relationship with their handlers, involving trust and gratitude, more than just a negotiated relationship based on (financial) agreements. This article explains the importance of such a relationship. The main source of this research consists of original, in-depth oral history interviews with former double agent “M.” He operated from the 1960s through the 1990s for the Dutch Security Service and the Central Intelligence Agency against the East German Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. The article analyzes the varying degrees of appreciation that these services showed for his work, and it investigates their consequences on the psychological well-being of the double agent. (Full article here.)
Video: Spycameras - The Soviet Neozit Clandestine Camera. (08 mins) - Spycamerasaurus, 06 Nov 22
This is the modern, 1970s updated version of the Soviet Ajax F-21, now with a plastic body, relatively quiet electric motor film advance, and an electric remote release. This camera was known as the 'Neozit'. It was used in the Soviet Union by the KGB. Like its predecessor, the Neozit was intended to be used covertly taking photographs from within concealments. The camera has a button disguise to enable it to be worn on the operator’s body. It is also known to have been hidden within various bags, briefcases, or even hard backed books. The remote cable release contains two 3v rechargeable button cells. The camera end of the electric release cable has two small holes that allow a special battery tester to verify the charge condition of the batteries. The electronic shutter speeds are 1/60 to 1/500 s. film sensitivity is set on a sliding control within the camera. The 'Nailon' (Ajax F21 with electronic shutter) is similar. The Neozit has a 24x24 mm frame and uses 27 mm wide film cut from un-perforated 35mm film. (Watch here.)
Video Interview: Former CIA Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center Darrell Blocker (108 mins) - The Team House, 11 Nov 22
Darrell M. Blocker is a former American intelligence officer who served for 28 years with the Central Intelligence Agency. He held prominent positions including deputy director of the Counterterrorism Center (CTC), Chief of Africa Division, and Chief of Training at Camp Peary, Virginia, better known as "The Farm". Within the intelligence community, Blocker was known for participating in a number of semi-professional musical ensembles during his postings abroad. He retired in 2018 as the most senior black officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations. Since 2019 Blocker has been chief operating officer of intelligence and advisory firm MOSAIC, and a contributor for ABC News. In November 2020, Fox News reported that president-elect Joe Biden had included Blocker among his shortlist of candidates to nominate for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; in the end, the position went to William Burns. (Watch here.)
Analysis: Rethinking the National Defense Strategy - Admiral Gary Roughead - Real Clear Defense, 12 Nov 22
Crafting and articulating national security and defense strategies are hard, more so during a time of unusual economic, geopolitical, and technical change. They must be ambitious yet credible, but, ultimately, our national defense will hinge largely on what we buy in things, people, and readiness. It's unfortunate the National Defense Strategy (NDS), and accompanying Nuclear Posture Review, and Missile Defense Review were not issued earlier in the Biden Administration’s four-year term. Clearly, the war in Ukraine gave pause, but the fundamentals of our time of multi-faceted change and challenge are well known - China as the pacing threat, Russia as a disruptor, and Iran and North Korea as unpredictable states. Those fundamentals are consistent with the previous administration’s assessment, and for national strategies, consistency of assumptions is good. (Read full report here.)
Analysis: US National Security Strategy And 20th CCP Congress - What They Mean For ASEAN Regional Security - Eurasia Review, 13 Nov 22
On 12 October, the United States published its National Security Strategy (NSS), outlining how it would use all instruments of national power to advance its vital interests and prioritizing China as its “most consequential geopolitical challenge”. Ten days later, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concluded its 20th national congress, cementing President Xi Jinping’s power, unveiling a new leadership filled with people known to be close to Xi, and envisioning how China would advance its vital interests. The juxtaposition of these two developments augurs the widening gap between both powers’ competing visions for the world, as the United States seeks to secure its role as a leading Pacific power and China promotes itself as the dominant alternative. In the context of the upcoming ASEAN Summit and related meetings hosted by Cambodia, it is crucial that ASEAN is fully cognizant of the implications of great power rivalry and boost its efforts to maintain its relevance in the Asia-Pacific. (Full report here.)
Analysis: U.S. Midterm Results Are a Net Plus for National Security - Foreign Policy, 11 Nov 22
Just before the 2022 midterm elections, I argued in Foreign Policy that a Republican victory in the House of Representatives would not be all bad for U.S. strategic competition with China because of the Republicans’ attention to defense spending and trade policy and the broad bipartisanship around the Biden administration’s alliance-centric strategy for the Indo-Pacific. The actual result looks to be even better than that, even if we won’t know the final outcome for a few days or weeks. Yes, a Republican House may well go after Hunter Biden and outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney—and generally provide bread and circuses for their base that makes U.S. President Joe Biden look weak and Congress look dysfunctional to U.S. allies. But the public spectacle won’t change the fact that Republican control of key House committees will also give the Biden administration’s hawks and realists a helpful boost. While watching Jacobin show trials on cable TV, foreign-policy experts should remind themselves of what the author Mark Twain said about the music of German composer Richard Wagner: “It’s not as bad as it sounds.” (Full report here.)
Video: The CIG/CIA "Spyman" Statuette (04 mins) - Spy Collection, 08 Nov 22
In this episode we cover a rare artifact from the United States, a figurine made out of wood and known as the "Spyman." Its history goes as far back as the WWII Office of Strategic Services (OSS), its successor, the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), as well as CIG's successor, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with its Office of Technical Service (OTS). (Watch here.)
Infographic and Report: Charted - The Dark Web Price Index 2022 - Visual Capitalist, 10 Nov 22
The Dark Web Price Index 2022: Did you know that the internet you’re familiar with is only 10% of the total data that makes up the World Wide Web? The rest of the web is hidden from plain sight, and requires special access to view. It’s known as the Deep Web, and nestled far down in the depths of it is a dark, sometimes dangerous place, known as the darknet, or Dark Web. This graphic by Enrique Mendoza provides us a glimpse at this shrouded part of the internet, showing us some of the common items that are sold on there, and how much they typically cost. (Access visual tool and full report here.)
AMC+ and Sundance Now revealed the official trailer and December 16 premiere date for four-part drama Litvinenko, starring Emmy winner and series co-executive producer David Tennant (Des, Broadchurch) as Alexander Litvinenko. The series is based on the true story of the police investigation into the poisoning of former Russian spy Litvinenko in 2006.
Vienna Connection is a cooperative deduction game set in the midst of the Cold War. Players take on the roles of CIA agents, carrying out covert operations throughout Central Europe, collecting information, gathering clues, and analyzing data to complete a series of missions. This stand-alone game uses the Detective Investigation System, first used in the award-winning game Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. Both games are designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, known for other popular board games, such as Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, Empires of the North, Imperial Settlers and 51st State. More information here.)
Walking Tours - Washington, DC - Sundays (Dates/Times Vary)
Former intelligence officers guide visitors on two morning and afternoon espionage-themed walking tours: "Spies of Embassy Row" and "Spies of Georgetown." For more information and booking, click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Stealing Fire: Memoir of a Boyhood in the Shadow of Atomic Espionage
When Saville Sax and Theodore Hall first met as undergraduates at Harvard, little did either realize that a day would come when they would be passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. Their acts of espionage could have led, as in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, to death in the electric chair. But unlike others (Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass, Morton Sobell) they were never even tried for what they did, let alone convicted. Professor Boria Sax, an eminent scholar in the field of human/animal studies, and the elder son of Saville Sax, here relates his stressful experiences growing up in a troubled home, one in which his father lived in constant fear of the FBI. It was only as an adult that Professor Sax came to fully comprehend the magnitude of his father’s deed, one he does not condone. As a result, he can now relate how Saville Sax’s puzzling behavior affected every member of his family, and the price each one had to pay. This very personal memoir is also an account of a Russian Jewish community that settled in the United States, torn between the desire for continued intimacy and the need to assimilate. The examination of social and political events over several generations invites readers to reflect back on their own experience and its implications.
Order book here.
The Venlo Sting: MI6's Deadly Fiasco
On 9 November 1939, two unsuspecting British agents of the Special Intelligence Services walked into a trap set by German Spymaster Reinhard Heydrich. Believing that they were meeting a dissident German general for talks about helping German military opposition to bring down Hitler and end the war, they were instead taken captive in the Dutch village of Venlo and whisked away to Germany for interrogation by the Gestapo. The incident was a huge embarrassment for the Dutch government and provided the Germans with significant intelligence about SIS operations throughout Europe.
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The Cuban Missile Crisis: When Intelligence Made a Difference
The Cuban Missile Crisis-the most dangerous event of the Cold War- has been chronicled in countless books and several movies that speak primarily to the political and diplomatic aspects, with only marginal reference to activities of U.S. intelligence before and during the crisis. Nothing in the historical record portrays the scope of those efforts which were critical to President Kennedy as he sought to resolve the crisis in a peaceful manner and on terms favorable to the U.S.. Recognizing the absence of the intelligence chapter in the historical record of the crisis, the author undertook to document that story in The Cuban Missile Crisis: When Intelligence Made a Difference. The author's account is a unique story of what American intelligence knew, when it knew it, and how it knew what the Soviets were doing in Cuba prior to and during the crisis-and what we now know, 60 years later, quite accurately, what the Soviets were actually doing in Cuba. In that way this book is a valuable addition to the history of the crisis. There are intriguing aspects of the Cuban Missile Crisis that scholars still debate: Why did Khrushchev take the enormous gamble that he did? Did the mysterious backchannel between the Washington KGB chief and an ABC newsman help to resolve the standoff between Moscow and Washington? The author sheds light on these and other mysteries of the Cuban Missile Crisis. There are striking parallels between the Russian war in Ukraine and the Soviet misadventure in Cuba: In both, the Soviets and the Russians lied and deceived to conceal their true intentions, and in both, Soviet and Russian leaders badly miscalculated.
Order book here.
Call For Information: Harvard student seeks primary source documents, historical records, or points of contact regarding Freedom Company, aka Eastern Construction Company, of the Philippines
Ryan Santos, a senior at Harvard, is writing his history thesis titled “The outsourcing of freedom”: Filipino operatives in the origins of the American war in Indochina, 1954-1967. The focus of the research project is on the Freedom Company of the Philippines (later became the Eastern Construction Company in 1958), a dynamic private enterprise funded by the US to send Filipino paramilitary specialists - who were successful in suppressing their own local communist insurgency in the Huks - to assist in counterinsurgency and nation-building operations in Vietnam, Laos, and Indonesia. Ryan hopes to use his research on the Freedom Company of the Philippines and the Eastern Construction Company to underscore the diversity of geopolitical agents involved in American foreign policy during the Cold War, the development of US-Philippine relations, and the origins of American involvement in Indochina. If this project is of any interest or if there are any primary source documents, historical records, or points of contact that would be helpful, please contact him at email@example.com.
Call For Articles: Threats and Opportunities in 2050, Divergent Options
Divergent Options is a non-politically aligned non-revenue generating national security website that, in 1,000 words or less, provides unbiased, dispassionate, candid articles that assess a national security situation, present multiple options to address the situation, and articulate the risk and gain of each option. Please note that while we assess a national security situation and may provide options, we never recommend a specific option. Divergent Options is calling for national security papers assessing situations or discussing options related to Threats and Opportunities in 2050. Submission deadline is 18 December 2022. For more information, including submission instructions and suggested topics, click here.
Call For Articles: AFIO Journal, The Intelligencer
For the past four years, AFIO has included in The Intelligencer a series of articles on “when intelligence made a difference.” Written by scholars, intelligence practitioners, students, and others, they cover events from ancient times to the modern world and in many countries. AFIO is soliciting articles for future issues. Most articles run between 2,000 and 3,000 words, although some are longer or shorter. If you have an idea for an article that fits the theme, email senior editor Peter Oleson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call For Assistance: Researcher Seeks Copy of 1941 FBI Booklet
An AFIO member who is conducting research on the beginnings of industrial security programs before WWII is in search of a copy of a 55-page FBI booklet, dated December 1941, titled "Suggestions for Protection of Industrial Facilities." Digital copies or photocopies are acceptable. Please contact email@example.com with any information.
Call For Papers: Urban Security 2023 in Journal of Strategic Security Special Issue
The special issue will look at a range of urban security issues including urban warfare, urban insurgency, urban crime and insecurity, operating in dense urban terrain (DUT), mega cities, and subterranean spaces (SubT), and in the Urban-Littoral interface, as well as the protection of the populace. Papers addressing the full range of violent actions from high intensity crime to civil strife and other situations of violence, non-international armed conflict (NIAC), and large scale combat operations (LSCO) during international armed conflict (IAC) are encouraged. All papers submitted to the special issues issue will be subject to double-blind peer review. Below is a list of urban security issues the special issue editors would like to see submissions on:
Faculty Opening - Teaching Intelligence Analysis - James Madison University - Harrisonburg, Virginia
The Faculty of the Intelligence Analysis (IA) Program at James Madison University (JMU) are searching for a dynamic new colleague to join us in the ongoing co-creation of an exceptional educational experience to prepare the next generation of analysts. Our program is in its 16th year, and our graduates regularly secure positions as analysts in the public and private sectors, including the Intelligence Community, military and law enforcement organizations, defense contractors, and major consulting firms. Our vision is a versatile, multidisciplinary undergraduate education that simultaneously emphasizes methodology, technology, and communication, with a specialization in intelligence analysis. We especially seek a new colleague who can strengthen our longstanding distinctive focus on developing good reasoning and/or our more recent focus on research design and analytic production.
Additional details and further online application instructions can be found here.
Intelligence Practice Lead - SOS International, Washington, D.C.
The Intelligence Practice Lead, Americas, alongside the Consulting and Solutions Practice Director, Americas, is responsible for developing the Intelligence business within the regional security consulting team. The Intelligence Practice Lead will oversee the development, positioning, sales and the effective coordination and delivery of all intelligence consulting and solutions, including Intelligence Managed Services, in the US and Canada region. In this role the individual will oversee the provision of support to International SOS’s US and Canada regional distribution channels to drive customer satisfaction and profitable growth across relevant business lines, in the technical domain of Intelligence. The individual will help to translate International SOS’s Security value proposition into clear priorities and actions, in support of the business lines’ commercial road maps. In addition, the role will be responsible for: driving day-to-day delivery of Intelligence consulting deliverables (including capability assessment, planning, training etc); establishing a cadre of analyst external consultants; educating key internal stakeholders and clients; leading/contributing to the expansion of intelligence methodologies and deliverables; along with their cadre of external consultants.
Additional information and application here.
Supervisory Criminal Investigator (Special Agent-In-Charge) - U.S. Army CID, Nationwide
Serves as the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Field Office Special Agent-In-Charge (SAC) and is the principle law enforcement expert and advisor responsible for all investigations and operations conducted by CID offices within their area of responsibility (AOR). Directly supervises multiple Supervisory Criminal Investigators, full-performance level GS-13 and GS-14 criminal investigators, and support personnel in co-located and satellite offices.
Additional information and application here.
Retired Federal Government Employees Wanted - National Security Agency - Fort Meade, Maryland
The National Security Agency (NSA) may occasionally need skilled civilian retirees to augment the existing work force on high priority projects or programs. In order to fill these temporary positions quickly, we need to know who may be interested and available to return to work with us on a short notice basis as well as their skills. Retirees provide expertise and corporate knowledge to temporarily support mission requirements, manpower shortfalls, and/or mentor the next generation of Agency employees. Salary Range: $86,335 - $170,800.
Additional information and application here.
Assistant/Associate Professor of Intelligence Studies (Global Security and Intelligence Studies) - Embry-Riddel Aeronautical University - Prescott, Arizona
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Arizona campus is accepting applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate-level professor of intelligence studies to teach intelligence courses to students in the Global Security and Intelligence program. The successful candidate will teach students about the intelligence community, strategic intelligence, the intelligence cycle and intelligence analysis, writing, and briefing. Prior experience working in the intelligence community is strongly preferred. We are interested in candidates with teaching acumen in intelligence analysis and writing using structured analytical techniques.
Additional information and application here.
Teaching Associate - Intelligence and National Security Studies - Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina
The Department of Intelligence and Security Studies ( ISS ) at Coastal Carolina University is accepting applications for a pool of Teaching Associates (part-time adjunct faculty) to teach introductory and undergraduate elective course offerings for the program beginning in August 2022. While the ad is open to any specialization within the field of study, courses in the areas of homeland security, law enforcement intelligence, counter-narcotics, and cybersecurity are of particular interest. Course offerings can be in a face-to-face or synchronous online modality. To be considered, candidates must have a masters or doctoral degree in a relevant subject area. Prior professional experience in the profession, as well as prior teaching experience are preferred.
Additional information and application here.
Assistant Professor of Intelligence and National Security Studies - University of Texas, El Paso
The Department of Criminal Justice is seeking to fill one full-time tenure-track position beginning Fall 2023 at the Assistant Professor level. Responsibilities include conducting and publishing scholarly research, seeking extramural funding, teaching face-to-face and online courses, and service to the department, university, and profession. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a closely related field in Intelligence and/or Security Studies from an accredited university (e.g., criminal justice, political science, public policy, security studies). ABD applicants will be considered if doctorate will be in hand by Fall 2023. Active research agenda and published scholarly journal articles are required to apply. Applicants with only a J.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. will not be considered. All research/teaching areas of intelligence/national security studies will be considered, but preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated teaching and/or research areas in at least one of these areas: Homeland Security, Intelligence Analysis, or Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism.
Adjunct Professor - The Institute of World Politics, Washington, D.C.
The Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, D.C. seeks an adjunct professor to teach its graduate course on the Russian intelligence and security services. The course is an elective in the Strategic Intelligence Studies (SIS) Master's degree and Counterintelligence Certificate programs. The four-credit course consists of 14 weekly, three-hour instructional meetings, plus a final examination, and a research paper. A course syllabus and lecture materials are available for use. Candidates should possess professional experience (at least 15 years) as a professional intelligence officer involved in operations, or analysis with knowledge of the Soviet and Russian intelligence and security services, and preferably teaching experience at the university level, either undergraduate or graduate.
Thomas Yosick — NSA Communications Security Retiree
Frank Arias — Career CIA Operations Officer
Kathy Kane — CIA SIS Officer and Career Achievement Medal Recipient
Clarice Campbell — Career NSA Officer
Betty Hart — Career CIA Officer and Tandem Spouse
Tony Oettinger — National Security Icon
Members and allied IC associations are invited to attend (via Zoom) AFIO Atlanta's webinar "Current Arms Control and Security Environment" featuring Mr. Neil Couch, the Director of the Office of Verification, Planning, and Outreach for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, U.S. Department of State. Neil will speak about contemporary diplomatic and military issues concerning global nuclear nonproliferation efforts. He is an accomplished diplomat and military officer, and above all Neil is a Citadel graduate ('82).
SLCDR Tyson B. Meadors (USN) will participate remotely from his current assignment in DC and will address the Navy’s cyber dilemma and why the Navy needs its own specialized cyber force to fulfill its traditional mission of protecting the nation’s maritime-based economy. The cost to attend this luncheon in person is $15, including a box lunch. Please contact the Chapter Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information or to attend either in-person or via Zoom. Advance registration is required, with a registration deadline of noon on Thursday, 10 November.
Schuyler Foerster will summarize where we are in the war as of mid-November, examine the prospects for either side's victory, defeat, stalemate, escalation, or negotiation, and highlight the issues ahead for all of us in the West. Mr. Foerster is emeritus professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he served as the Brent Scowcroft Professor for National Security Studies from 2010-2016. He also teaches as a visiting professor at Colorado College and at Masaryk University, Czech Republic. During his 26-year military career, he served in several assignments as a senior advisor in security and arms control policy. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he holds a doctorate from Oxford University in politics and strategic studies and was a national security fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. For more information, please contact email@example.com
Russia's invasion of Ukraine unmasked the Kremlin's ambitions towards all the states that were once part of the Soviet Union or Russian Empire. The countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, many of which are rich in oil, gas, uranium, and other resources, are working to maintain the independence they won just over 30 years ago. But Russia's ambitions are not the only threat; there are also Chinese and Iranian ambitions, Turkey's evolving role, and the threats of terrorism, religious extremism, and drug trafficking. While almost half a world away, the U.S. has its own geostrategic interests in the region as well and many of these countries look for a more active U.S. engagement. Ambassador (ret.) Robert Cekuta will look at this evolving situation in a strategic part of the world and what the United States is, and should be doing to advance our interests there.
The program will be a very current educational video on China's Oil and Gas "problem." The program covers China's motives for the Silk Road initiative, expansion into the South China Sea and development of overseas installations.
08 Dec 22, 1200 (PST) - San Francisco, CA - The Andre LeGallo San Francisco Chapter hosts Gurvais C. Grigg, former FBI Agent and current Chief Technology Officer, Chainanalysis on "The use of crypto currencies by state and non-state actors.""
Speaker Bio: Mr. Gurvais C. Grigg is a bilingual technology executive and recognized thought leader with over 28 year of public and private sector experience leading complex organizations, investigations and technical programs. Mr. Grigg retired from the FBI after 23 years of service and joined Chainanalysis as the Global Public Sector CTO. He is responsible for connecting global governments with the cryptocurrency industry and providing them with the best data and tools to manage risk, address threats, and conduct effective investigations.
The Florida Suncoast AFIO Chapter’s last meeting of the year will be held at noon Thursday, 08 December, at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Avenue, Tampa, FL 33618-1828. Check-in starts at 1145. Veteran Houston trial lawyer Michael Pullara will present in-person to recount his years-long investigation into the 1993 murder of CIA agent Freddie Woodruff. Pullara put his multi-year fight for truth into a book, The Spy Who Was Left Behind, that he will have available for purchase and inscription at the meeting. The cost to attend this luncheon in person is $15, including a box lunch. Please contact the Chapter Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to attend either in-person or via Zoom. Advance registration is required, with a registration deadline of noon on Thursday, 1 December.
See the AFIO Calendar of Events for scheduling further in the future.
ISS World North America is the world's largest gathering of North American Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Defense, Public Safety and other members of the Government Intelligence Community as well as Telecom Operators responsible for cyber threat intelligence gathering, DarkNet monitoring, lawful interception, and cybercrime investigations. ISS World Programs present the methodologies and tools for Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Government Intelligence Communities in the fight against drug trafficking, cyber money laundering, human trafficking, terrorism, and other criminal activities conducted over today's Telecommunications networks, the Internet, and Social Networks. (More information and registration here.)
Government, industry, and academic leaders will gather to hear The Hon. Christopher Scolese, Director, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) at INSA’s first Leadership Dinner of the 2023 fiscal year. Dr. Scolese will discuss NRO’s acquisition needs, current challenges and opportunities, and strategic outlook for the year ahead. Following his prepared remarks, Dr. Scolese will join INSA Chair Tish Long for a moderated Question and Answer (Registration and more details here.)
Join host Michael Ard for a curated discussion with Youngho Kim of Sungshin University and Yong-Sup Han of Korea National Defense University as they discuss Nuclear Politics on the Korean Peninsula. Dr. Youngho Kim is a Professor of Political Science and Foreign Affairs at Sungshin University. He served as Human Rights Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (2012-2013). He also served as the Secretary to the President for Unification during the Lee Myoung-bak administration (2011-2012). He was a Visiting Professor at Keio University (2015-2016). He received his BA from Seoul National University and a PhD from the University of Virginia. Dr. Yong-Sup Han is a Professor Emeritus of Korea National Defense University. He is a member of APLN (Asia-Pacific Leadership Network) for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament. Dr. Han launched the Korea Nuclear Policy Society and served as its first President (2012-15) and he had been Vice President of KNDU (2010-12), and President of Korea Peace Research Association (2007-10). He also directed the Research Institute for National Security Affairs of Korea National Defense University (2005-08).Before joining in the faculty of Korea National Defense University, Dr. Han served as a special assistant to the Korean Minister of National Defense, participating in the inter-Korean denuclearization negotiations while doing policy recommendations to the Korean government on policies of arms control and denuclearization and the Korea-US alliance. Dr. Han received his BA and MA in Political Science from Seoul National University, a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a PhD in Security Policy from the RAND Graduate School, RAND Corporation of the United States. (More information and registration here.)
The world of 007 is known for its guns, gadgets, and grandiose schemes to take over the world, but would any of these weapons, tech, or plots make it in the real world? With her new book, Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond, international bestselling author, Dr. Kathryn Harkup has set out to explore how science and technology intersect with the world of Bond. From Dr. No to Skyfall, Harkup takes on the really difficult questions such as: Will being covered in gold paint really kill you? Can you run across crocodiles? Can you sled in a cello case? And how do suicide pills work and can you survive taking one? Join us for a conversation with Harkup about some of our favorite Bond weapons, technologies, and tactics and just how rooted in reality they are. (More information and registration here.)
In this 45-minute moderated conversation, Rear Adm. Studeman will discuss ONI’s assessments of foreign naval capabilities and its application of naval intelligence to global geopolitical challenges, including Russian shipping in the Black Sea, power projection in the Arctic, and China’s projection of sea power in the South China Sea and beyond. He will also discuss the Navy’s use of technical tools to better understand the maritime domain, such as AI to model and analyze critical data, the application of machine learning to enhance maritime surveillance, the use of geospatial intelligence to track shipping of concern, and the use of technical intelligence to assess foreign navies’ sensors, weapons, platforms, and combat systems. (More information and registration here.)
SPY with Me is an interactive virtual program for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Join SPY as we use music and artifacts to explore some of our favorite spy stories. Programs last one hour and are held virtually through Zoom once a month. Free, but space is limited. To register, email Shana Oltmans at email@example.com. More information at www.spymuseum.org.
The DIA's third ranking officer, John Kirchhofer will discuss key elements of the organization’s strategies, policy, and enterprise management. Topics for discussion will include the Agency’s integration of AI, machine learning, and open source information into intelligence analysis; its use of secure cloud-based computing to facilitate information sharing and dissemination; JWICS and IT modernization; and the Agency’s collaboration with both key international partners and the defense industrial base. (Registration and more details here.)
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and GEOHuntsville are co-sponsoring the first-ever Geospatial Advantage Conference. With the theme “Why Where Matters,” this conference is an opportunity for government agencies non-profit organizations, academia and industry to engage in discussions on partnerships, innovative technologies, and the growing geospatial ecosystem in Huntsville. NGA’s Deputy Director Tonya Wilkerson will provide the opening keynote at the conference. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle will deliver closing remarks. The event will be hosted by Intelligence National Security Alliance (INSA) President, Suzanne Heckenberg. Discussions will revolve around: Leveraging commercial data and imagery; The future of artificial intelligence; Geospatial learning inside and outside the classroom; Fostering a geospatial ecosystem. Students, academics, government and industry are all invited to join the conversation during this one-day, in-person event at the Jackson Center with a networking social and student career fair immediately to follow. (Registration and more details here.)
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is excited to welcome participants to the 2022 Department of Defense Intelligence Information System (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference in San Antonio, Texas! From 12 – 15 Dec 22, senior decision makers, technical experts, and innovators from across the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, industry, academia, and FVEY partners will come together to collaborate and share unique insights. The theme of this year’s conference – Transcending Strategic Competitors through Innovation, Adaptation, and Collaboration – underscores the urgent race to collectively develop and unleash emerging technologies to maintain strategic and tactical advantage. Mission success in an era of strategic competition demands a willingness to embrace disruption and elevating partnerships to serve as overwhelming force multipliers. (Information and registration here.)
Join author and historian Gary Powers Jr. on this unforgettable 10-day tour of Cold War and Espionage related sites throughout Germany and the Czech Republic
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Guide to the Study of Intelligence...and...When Intelligence Made a Difference
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