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The Vienna Trilogy by Tom Gilligan (2023)
In the summer of 1947, Europe was in turmoil. Displaced persons were everywhere. The Red Army occupied Poland, Czechoslovakia, parts of German, and other countries. Austria was divided into zones – Russian, American, British, and French. The NKVD secret police followed on the heels of the Red Army, arresting, kidnapping, even killing those who opposed the communists. This is the setting for Tom Gilligan’s trilogy focused on 11-year old David Hale, whose father, a doctor, was deeply involved with medical treatment for refugees, and also was a former intelligence officer during World War II and continued to support American intelligence in post-war Austria. With his mother and sister on vacation in the US that summer, young David became involved in several intelligence support operations. The trilogy – Escape to the West, Nazi’s on the Run, and Stopping the Russian Bear – recount in fascinating detail how David assisted his father, and an American Intelligence agent, in three gripping adventures.
Gilligan, a former CIA DO officer, has written a book appropriate for young readers. The characters are well drawn. The stories are well constructed and gripping. Each of the trilogies is a little more than 100 pages. The author explains the sophisticated words used and espionage terminology and concepts in footnotes, which is a clever tool for young readers to learn vocabulary and understand how HUMINT works. Gilligan also clearly explains the geo-political situation of 1947 in Europe via conversations between David and his father.
OSS Society William J. Donovan Award Presentation
in Washington, DC, to CIA Director William Burns. (Picture left to right) Dr. Mike Vickers, CIA Director William Burns,
former CIA Director George Tenet, former commander of the US Special Operations Command Admiral Eric Olson,
and OSS Society President Charles Pinck.
LATEST FROM AFIO
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Protecting & Preserving the U.S. Intelligence Community
Interview of Monday, 31 July 2023 between Michael V. Hayden, General USAF (Ret), Former Director of NSA and CIA and first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI), and AFIO President James Hughes, a former senior CIA Operations Officer. They discuss some of Mike Hayden's biggest challenges in the senior positions he held in the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also offers advice to those considering careers in intelligence.
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LATEST PODCAST: Interview of I.S. Berry. In this episode, former CIA Operations Officer, lawyer, and novelist I.S. Berry discusses her latest novel, "The Peacock and the Sparrow", a spy thriller that takes place against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. Recorded 5 July 2023. Interviewer: Jim Hughes, AFIO President and former CIA Operations Officer.
AFIO Podcast here.
28 November 2023 (Tuesday), 5 - 6 pm EST - Washington, DC - IWP hosts IN-PERSON book presentation by Dr. John Gentry on "The Politicization of U.S. Intelligence: Causes and Consequences"
The Institute of World Politics invites you to attend an IN-PERSON book lecture by Dr. John Gentry, Author and Professor at the School of Defense and Strategic Studies, Missouri State University, discussing "The Politicization of U.S. Intelligence: Causes and Consequences."
from SpyGuide Tours Inc.
POLL: American Voters are Growing Hostile Towards Intelligence Agencies - Big Leage Politics, 26 Oct 23
According to a Rasmussen poll, 48% of likely United States voters perceive the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) favorably, which includes 17% with a very favorable impression. 41% view the CIA unfavorably, which includes 22% with a very unfavorable opinion. 10% are unsure. 51% currently believe US intelligence agencies have their own political agenda. By contrast, 36% of voters believe the agencies generally behave in an impartial manner. An additional 13% are unsure. 65% of voters believe it is likely that US intelligence agencies are influencing the corporate media’s coverage of political issues, which includes 38% who believe it’s very likely. 28% of voters said it’s not likely intelligence agencies are shaping media coverage. 77% of Republican voters, 53% of Democrat voters, and 65% of independent voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that American intelligence agencies are influencing corporate media coverage of political matters. (Full article here.)
Russia's FSB Increasingly 'Sabotaging' Putin's Orders: Report - Newsweek, 24 Oct 23
Cases of sabotage are increasing among Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) employees who wish to leave the agency, according to an independent Russian news outlet. A former FSB employee told Important Stories, an investigative Russian publication, that after Putin last year banned people from resigning from the agency while his partial mobilization decree remains in place, many employees have been acting out, hoping to be fired. The Russian president declared a partial mobilization of the population in September 2022, months into his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on September 21 last year that Russia would be targeting 300,000 reservists and ex-military personnel with "certain military specialties and relevant experience." The Kremlin has said it will not issue a decree ending the partial mobilization. (Full article here.)
Declassified CIA Satellite Spy Program Reveals Lost Ancient Roman Forts - Arkeonews, 30 Oct 23
Archaeologists have discovered “massive” ancient Roman forts that redraw the borders of the ancient empire using images from a declassified satellite spying program of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). High-resolution images were analyzed in a new study that was taken by multiple satellites during two U.S. military programs: the Corona Project (1960 to 1972) and Hexagon (1971 to 1986). The photos, which were taken by the U.S.’s CORONA and HEXAGON spy satellites, shed new light on the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire, revealing a constantly shifting frontier as the Romans grappled with Arab nomads and Persian armies for dominance over a strategically important region known as the Fertile Crescent. Before the publication of the study in the Antiquity Journal, it was believed that Roman forts in what is now Syria and Iraq were a line of defense. But this new data questions that hypothesis and suggests that the forts were actually for the safe passage of goods and people. (Full article here.)
Kenya: Noordin Hadji's National Intelligence Service Shakeup - The Nation, 26 Oct 23
National Intelligence Service Director-General Noordin Haji has been a busy man. Since his appointment in June, the former DPP has been working on crafting a spy agency that is more responsive, effective and aggressive in securing the country's interests. And this has come with both structure and personnel changes, including the agency's first female deputy spy chief. (Full article here.)
Crack a 1999 NSA Cryptography Standard and Win a Bounty - The New Stack, 22 Oct 23
A former Cloudflare/Golang cryptographer has offered a $12,288 "bounty" for finding the seeds of five elliptic curves produced by the NSA in 1999 that have since become an industry standard. Filippo Valsorda describes it as “a call to arms” to “help fill in a page of cryptographic history.” The former Cloudflare/Golang cryptographer has announced a $12,288 “bounty” for finding the seeds of five elliptic curves produced by the NSA in 1999 that have since become an industry standard. Valsorda calls them the “elliptic curves that power much of modern cryptography,” noting that they’re used, among other things, for the certificates securing millions of websites. They’ve been augmented over the decades with even more utility-enhancing formulas and interfaces. (Full article here.)
Indian Covert Action: pro-Modi media hints at other cases - Intelligence News, 27 Oct 23
Following Canada’s accusation of Indian involvement in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, there have been a number of suggestions that the killing reflects a broader hardline policy. The Telegraph reported last month that Prime Minister Narendra Modi favours a ‘more muscular and assertive’ role for India’s foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). The agency’s set up means it is difficult to glimpse policy shifts, but there have been reports of bigger budgets and the promotion of operational field staff over those with more analytical backgrounds. The Telegraph contrasts this with a more traditional approach described by Dr Dheeraj Paramesha of Hull University: You don’t have Indian-trained intelligence operatives who are trained assassins, but it would be wrong to consider that Indian intelligence agencies are above and beyond the practice of assassinations, because their way of doing it is to use one group against another group. (Full article here.)
How the CIA Secretly Used Jackson Pollock & Other Abstract Expressionists to Fight the Cold War - Open Culture, 27 Oct 23
What’s the difference between the United States of America and a cup of yogurt? If you leave the cup of yogurt alone for 200 years, it develops a culture. So goes one of many jokes long in circulation about the supposed American tendency toward low-minded, expedient philistinism. I grant, as an American myself, that such humor surrounds at least a grain of truth. But there was a time when the federal government of the U.S., an organization not often accused of excessive high-mindedness, took an active role in promoting the country’s home-grown avant-garde — an appropriate term, notes Lucie Levine at JSTOR Daily, since it “began as a French military term to describe vanguard troops advancing into battle,” and American modern art had become a continuation of politics by other means. (Full article here.)
NPR's Scott Simon looks back and ahead at Israel's security challenges with Ami Ayalon. He's the former head of Israel's domestic intelligence service. Security has been at the core of Israel since it was founded in 1948 as a refuge in the world for people who have been targets of oppression and genocide for centuries. The Hamas attacks of October 7 shook that view. Ami Ayalon began his military service in 1963. He led Israel's navy and then Shin Bet, its domestic intelligence group, after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He joins us from Jerusalem. Thank you for being with us. (Full article here.)
Capturing the Beauty in Intelligence - CIA, 25 Oct 23
Every day officers crisscross the corridors of CIA Headquarters thousands of times passing historic intelligence artifacts and paintings on display. Many walk past on the way to their office or a meeting. Others stop to admire. Everyone who has been at the Agency for some time is familiar with the art and the missions they depict, but not everyone knows the artists behind the works—or that two were painted by CIA’s own, Deborah Dismuke. When Deborah picked up a paintbrush as a child, she never imagined that she would one day join the CIA let alone earn the distinction of being the first officer, first African American, and first woman, to have her work featured in the Intelligence Art Gallery inside its Headquarters. Her works are a snapshot in time of key intelligence figures or intelligence in action, shaping the course of history. (Full article here.)
China to tighten its state secrets law in biggest revision in a decade - South China Morning Post, 27 Oct 23
All state employees with access to classified information will be banned from traveling overseas without prior approval – and even for a period after they leave the job or retire – under a draft revision of China’s state secrets law. A dozen new clauses have been added to the Law on Guarding State Secrets in the revision, the details of which were made public on Wednesday. The revision – the first in a decade – expands the depth and reach of the law’s coverage, ranging from education, technology and internet use to military facilities. The sweeping changes come as Beijing is locked in an intelligence war with the US and its allies and reflects that national security remains a top policy priority for the leadership. (Full article 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.
24 Oct | “Sayeret Matkal: Israel’s Top-Secret Elite Commando Unit” – with Aviram Halevi Lt. Col. (ret.) Aviram Halevi joins Andrew Hammond to discuss Israel’s top secret commando unit, Sayeret Matkal. Aviram formerly served as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Sayeret Matkal.
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.
27 Oct | Countervailing forces are at play in the Israeli strategic decision about when and how extensively to execute its ground invasion in Gaza. Over two weeks after the brutal Hamas massacre, the Israelis are strategizing how to best decimate Hamas while saving as many hostages as possible. In a small country like Israel, that has historically been willing to make substantial concessions to bring home even a single Israeli hostage, the impact of several hundreds being held in Gaza should not be underestimated in their collective calculus. In the past two days, Israel has conducted two significant incursions into Gaza in preparation for the much-anticipated invasion. (Full version available to AFIO members in the coming days 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.
31 Oct | Amidst Tensions Among UN Member States, the Humanitarian Situation in Gaza Continues to Deteriorate
24 Oct | What Follows Hamas in Gaza?
Inside the SCIF - 26 Oct - Israel vs. Hamas
Target USA Podcast - 26 Oct - Israel-Hamas Conflict: The US military making moves
The Hunt Broadcast - 18 Oct - The fallout of the Israel-Hamas conflict
28 Oct | Target Moscow - Jeff Stein
27 Oct | Israel Turns to Advance Tech to Spy On Hamas Tunnels - Jonathan Broder
Article: Vulnerabilities in Cellphone Roaming Let Spies and Criminals Track You Across the Globe - The Intercept, 26 Oct 23
The very obscure, archaic technologies that make cellphone roaming possible also makes it possible to track phone owners across the world, according to a new investigation by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab. The roaming tech is riddled with security oversights that make it a ripe target for those who might want to trace the locations of phone users. As the report explains, the flexibility that made cellphones so popular in the first place is largely to blame for their near-inescapable vulnerability to unwanted location tracking: When you move away from a cellular tower owned by one company to one owned by another, your connection is handed off seamlessly, preventing any interruption to your phone call or streaming video. To accomplish this handoff, the cellular networks involved need to relay messages about who — and, crucially, precisely where — you are. (Read full report here.)
Article: Netanyahu Apologizes After Blaming Security Chiefs for Failure in Hamas Attack - New York Times, 29 Oct 23
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has not taken responsibility for Israel’s lapses in the Oct. 7 massacre, deleted a social media post in which he had pointed a finger at security agencies. The rifts and disarray among Israel’s top leaders erupted into the open on Sunday when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to blame the military and security establishment for the failures that led to the surprise Hamas assault on Oct. 7 — even as Israeli forces were broadening their ground war in Gaza. The comments by Mr. Netanyahu on X, formerly Twitter, prompted a furious response, including from within his own war cabinet. The post was deleted, and the Israeli leader apologized in a new post, saying: “I was wrong.” (Read full report here.) (NOTE: This material may require a one time free subscription or sit behind a paywall.)
Book Review: CIA plots, coups and a gold-capped molar in Congo: The Lumumba Plot by Stuart Reid - The Economist, 26 Oct 23
Patrice lumumba was prime minister of newly independent Congo for less than three months in 1960, before he was murdered at the age of 35. Yet his tumultuous life—and gruesome death—set a pattern for coups and post-colonial interference that shaped Congo’s torrid path, as well as the gameplan for cia interventions and assassinations worldwide. “The Lumumba Plot” by Stuart Reid, an editor at Foreign Affairs, is many things at once: a biography, a history of Congo’s chaotic independence, a dissection of the un’s first big peacekeeping mission and a thriller about plots to kill Lumumba. There are villains of every stripe, from rogue Belgian pilots to shamelessly scheming un officials and racist ambassadors. This is a tragic tale but also a rollicking read. (Read full report here.)
Article: Russia launches anti-spy operation in Ukraine’s south - New Age World, 27 Oct 23
Russia said on Friday that it killed a suspected Ukrainian spy and shut down two pro-Kyiv online outlets during an operation in the occupied part of Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region. Since seizing control of large swathes of Ukraine last year, Russia has claimed to have foiled repeated acts of alleged sabotage as it tries to crack down on pro-Ukrainian resistance among the local population. ‘As a result of a special operation in the territory of Zaporizhzhia region, the FSB suppressed the activities of three large agent groups coordinated by Ukrainian intelligence,’ the FSB security service said in a statement. One man it suspected of working for Ukrainian intelligence was killed in a gunfight during the operation, the FSB said, without providing further details. The administrators of a pro-Ukrainian chat room and a media outlet in the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol were detained, it added. It said the administrators persuaded residents to gather information on the ‘locations and movements of Russian military personnel’ and had been fomenting ‘an anti-Russian agenda in the region’. (Read full report here.)
Article: Indians given death penalty in Qatar accused of spying for Israel, sources say - Reuters, 27 Oct 23
Eight Indian former naval officers who were handed the death penalty by a court in Qatar on Thursday were charged with spying for Israel, a source in India and another in Qatar said. Neither New Delhi nor Doha has officially stated the charges against the eight who were arrested in August 2022. In India, a government official aware of Doha's stance said the Qatar authorities had accused them of spying for Israel. The eight Indians will be able to appeal the death sentence, the source briefed on the case in Qatar told Reuters, as well as also saying they had been charged with spying for Israel. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the case. A spokesperson for India's foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment about the sources' comments. There was no immediate reply from Qatar’s foreign ministry. (Read full report here.)
Article: ‘Intelligence’ Review: Jake Heggie’s Songs for Spies - Wall Street Journal, 25 Oct 23
In 2000, Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” launched a flurry of activity in the creation and production of new American operas. It became one of the most produced 21st-century titles and made it to the Metropolitan Opera last month. On Friday, Houston Grand Opera opened its season with the world premiere—the company’s 75th—of Mr. Heggie’s most recent work, “Intelligence.” Like “Dead Man,” “Intelligence” is based on a true story, this one more than a century older. During the Civil War, Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond landowner, ran a Union spy ring with the assistance of Mary Jane Bowser, an enslaved woman in her household. Mr. Heggie, librettist Gene Scheer and director/choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar have blended historical record and imagination to fashion a tale centered on Mary Jane’s journey toward finding the truth of her traumatic past. The path is logical, but that narrative drive, full of heavy-handed foreshadowing, toward Mary Jane’s discovery—a slave auction and the forced separation of mother and child 20 years earlier—feels formulaic. The lengthy opera is an inert, mechanical structure, its characters and situations erected as plot points rather than an authentic, developing story with dramatic sweep. (Read full report here.) (NOTE: This material may require a one time free subscription or sit behind a paywall.)
Article: Former NSA worker pleads guilty to trying to sell US secrets to Russia - Associated Press, 23 Oct 23
A former National Security Agency employee from Colorado pleaded guilty Monday to trying to sell classified national security information to Russia. Federal prosecutors agreed to not ask for more than about 22 years in prison for Jareh Sebastian Dalke when he is sentenced in April if he adheres to the terms of a plea deal, but the judge will ultimately decide his punishment. Dalke, a 31-year-old Army veteran from Colorado Springs, technically faces up to a possible life sentence for giving the information to an undercover FBI agent who prosecutors say Dalke believed was a Russian agent. However, accepting responsibility for a crime usually leads to a lighter sentence. (Read full report here.)
Article: Who’s Responsible for the Gaza Hospital Explosion? Here’s Why It’s Hard to Know What’s Real - Wired, 18 Oct 23
Yesterday evening around 7 pm local time, an explosion rocked the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City. Within minutes, information about what had happened was distorted by partisan narratives, disinformation, and a rush to be first to post about the blast. Add in mainstream media outlets parroting official statements without verifying their veracity, and the result was a chaotic information environment in which no one was sure what had happened or how. “There’s just been this massive sort of pressure to get videos out there, get your take, get your analysis, and it’s like a perfect storm for chaos,” Kolina Koltai, a senior researcher at open source intelligence (OSINT) news outlet Bellingcat, tells WIRED. (Read full report here.)
Article: Roads not taken in satellite photo-reconnaissance: Part 2, the 1970s - The Space Review, 30 Oct 23
Throughout the 1960s, American aerospace companies proposed and/or studied various reconnaissance satellites that were never put into development. These were intended to fulfill various requirements, often not very well-defined, to improve ground resolution, area coverage, or timeliness. (See part 1 here.) That continued into the 1970s. The early part of the decade included numerous proposals for satellites to produce imagery on a much quicker basis—a day or less—than existing systems. The latter part of the decade included many studies of systems to replace the incredibly capable HEXAGON area search satellite that entered service in 1971. By the end of the decade, electro-optical imaging technology had finally entered service and spelled the end of the film-return technology that defined the early era of satellite reconnaissance. (Read full report here.)
Article: A Call to Action for the Intelligence Community Following Hamas Terror Attack - Cipher Brief, 30 Oct 23
The October 7 massacre perpetrated against innocent Israelis, Americans and other foreign nationals by the terrorist group Hamas and enabled by its primary patron Iran represents a failure for U.S. intelligence. This is not the first time the Intelligence Community (IC) has been surprised, nor will it be the last. Given the scope of the Hamas attacks and the regional and global implications, this failure has been compared with al Qaeda’s attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, as well as the Egyptian-Syrian attacks on Israel in October 1973. In response to previous intelligence shortcomings, detailed post-mortem assessments were conducted to understand what happened and recommend remedial actions. For example, most Americans are familiar with the report of the national commission to investigate the 9/11 attacks. Decades earlier, then-Director of Central Intelligence William Colby commissioned a multi-agency assessment of the performance of the IC before the October 1973 attacks on Israel. (Read full report here.)
Article: U.S. Tries New Tack on Russian Disinformation: Pre-Empting It - New York Times, 26 Oct 23
An article that appeared in August on an international news outlet, Pressenza, recycled a false Russian claim that the West was looting religious relics and art from a monastery in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, one of the holiest sites in Russian Orthodoxy. The article stands out, U.S. officials said, not because of what it claimed — but because of its source and intended audience. State Department officials have linked the article to what they describe as a covert information operation to spread Russia propaganda in Central and South America by producing articles that appear to originate with local media organizations, not the Russian government. The operation is nascent, but the department’s Global Engagement Center is disclosing the influence campaign in hopes of blunting its effect in a region where Russia has sought to discredit the United States and erode international support for Ukraine. (Read full report here.) (NOTE: This material may require a one time free subscription or sit behind a paywall.)
Reel Life vs Real Life: Social Media and Your Security Clearance - Intelligence and National Security Alliance, October 2023
This paper assesses messaging from the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) regarding the examination of clearance applicants’ publicly available social media accounts. Social media in this paper refers to all forms of online networking platforms, to include: Discord, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, and TikTok1. As the federal government adapts to rapidly changing technology and online behaviors by individuals using social media, it is imperative that it update policies and procedures associated with personnel vetting. Additionally, there is a need to improve messaging to the general public and the cleared community regarding how online conduct can impact eligibility for obtaining a clearance. The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) is currently implementing Trusted Workforce (TW) 2.0, a new paradigm for investigating candidates’ backgrounds and adjudicating clearances. An integral part of the TW 2.0 initiative is Continuous Vetting (CV), a regular automated review of seven categories of databases that provide insight into potentially concerning activities of cleared individuals. (Full report here.)
Shades of Grey: Cyber Intelligence and (Inter)national Security - EU Cyber Direct, 16 Oct 23
This paper about cyber intelligence in the context of national and international security builds on the discussion held during the third EU Cyber Direct Research Seminar organised by Leiden University on 3 November 2022. The paper acknowledges that despite earlier assumptions, cyberspace is less a war-fighting domain than one in which there is constant competition between intelligence agencies. It highlights the scope, scale and tenacity of many of the intelligence and intelligence-led cyber operations discovered over the past decade, each of which has set new precedents in terms of the number of government institutions, businesses and individuals affected, has caused much consternation, yet has led to little discernible action in terms of discussing possible legal or normative restraints or limits at the international level. The paper nonetheless highlights some of the normative actions that are slowly taking place at the national level, or in specialised bodies that shape national-level decisions, to place some restraints on the means and methods used in intelligence and intelligence-led cyber operations. (Full report here.)
Chinese State Security in Africa - Grey Dynamics, 23 Oct 23
China’s state security has a growing footprint in Africa. The Belt and Road Initiative has revealed a security vulnerability for China’s state-owned enterprises (SOE) in Africa. Chinese state security involvement in Africa ranges from the deployment of law enforcement and the use of commandos to the training and education of local governments. The number of personnel associated with Chinese state security has grown dramatically in the past decade. China’s motivations include enterprise security, the spreading of soft power, and intelligence collection. The rest of this content is locked and only accessible to Secret Plan, Top Secret Plan, Secret Plan Annual , and Top Secret Plan Annual members only. (Watch here.)
US Lethal Strikes Program Continues to Violate Int’l Human Rights Law - Just Security, 27 Oct 23
Last week, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC) reviewed U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the core international human rights treaty that protects civil and political rights, including the right to life. During the review, the Committee raised critical questions about the U.S. government’s ongoing use of lethal force outside of recognized conflict, including through drone and other air strikes. “The use of lethal drone strikes outside of recognized theaters of conflict is presumptively illegal and violates several covenant rights… [including] the right to life as the supreme right from which no derogation is permitted,” noted Canadian member Marcia V. J. Kran. The Committee is right to be concerned. As a group of civil society organizations, including ours, noted in a submission for its review, the secretive and unaccountable U.S. program of killing those it deems terrorism suspects outside of recognized conflict has caused tremendous harm, in particular to Black, Brown, and Muslim communities around the world. According to independent monitoring groups, the United States has carried out hundreds of lethal counterterrorism strikes outside the context of armed conflict since 2002, including in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, that have killed thousands of people. These strikes continue under the current administration. According to Airwars, the Biden administration has conducted at least 32 declared strikes in Somalia and at least 6 alleged strikes in Yemen since Jan. 20, 2021. (Full report here.)
Why America needs a hypersonic Spy Plane (23 mins) - Sandboxx News, 27 Oct 23
With conflicts raging the world over and a renewed focus on competition between global powers, the United States may need to harken back to a Cold War approach to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance by fielding a new generation of supremely capable, and optimally high-speed, spy planes. But in this era of reusable rockets and advanced spy satellites, one of the biggest challenges that such a program could face, both among lawmakers and the general public, is the pervasive belief that high-flying reconnaissance aircraft are a thing of the past. (Full report here.)
"Surveillance: From Vision to Data” Explores History of Surveillance - Homeland Security News, 26 Oct 23
The term surveillance may suggest images of high-tech cameras or George Orwell’s ever-watching Big Brother, but surveillance involves more than watching and being watched. To understand surveillance and its consequences, look to data: who collects it, what information is compiled, how it is interpreted, and ultimately, why it matters. The new exhibition, “Surveillance: From Vision to Data,” opened at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments on Sept. 22. The exhibition delves into the multifaceted concept of surveillance, exploring its historical origins, impact on society, and evolution into the digital age. Throughout history, scientists have created diverse instruments for producing and analyzing data. Colonial powers, intelligence agencies, and corporations alike have in turn wielded these techniques for surveillance — to oversee land, to make certain people visible, and to control behavior. The effects of surveillance through data have been both subtle and overt, from enabling new forms of discipline to entrenching social hierarchies. (Full report here.)
Ranked: The World's Top 25 Defense Companies by Revenue - Visual Capitalist, 27 Oct 23
Every year, the world’s most powerful countries spend billions of dollars on defense—but where does this money actually flow? To gain insight, we’ve ranked the world’s top 25 defense companies by 2022 revenues, using data from Defense News. Note that our graphic shows each company’s revenues from defense, and not total revenues. This is because many companies such as Boeing also generate revenue from non-defense related industries and sectors. (View graphic here.)
Wasp Network is a 2019 spy thriller film written and directed by Olivier Assayas, based on the book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War by Fernando Morais. It stars Penélope Cruz, Édgar Ramírez, Gael García Bernal, Ana de Armas and Wagner Moura. It tells the true story of Cuban spies in American territory during the 1990s. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 1 September 2019. It was released in France on 31 January 2020 by Memento Films, and was released on 19 June 2020 by Netflix.
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 email@example.com
Professional Courage: My Journey in Military Intelligence Through Peace, Crisis, and War
Professional Courage by Major General Jack Leide is a captivating journey through the life and career of an exceptional soldier and intelligence officer. With a profound blend of history, personal experiences, and invaluable insights, this book is a must-read for historians, students of warfare, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the military and intelligence realms. Leide's narrative takes you through his remarkable career, spanning airborne infantry, intelligence organizations, and special operations. His dedication to serving his nation and supporting fellow soldiers shines through the pages, offering a firsthand account of the challenges and sacrifices made in the line of duty. The book offers a unique window into the latter half of the 20th century, with vivid accounts of combat in Santo Domingo, the jungles of Vietnam, and the intense war room during Desert Storm. Leide's role as a defense and army attaché to China during the Tiananmen Square massacre and the evacuation of American citizens adds another layer of depth to his experiences. This book also sheds light on the challenges of working within international coalitions during combat, the value of human intelligence and special operations forces, and the moral dimensions of war.
Order book here.
Revealing Secrets: An unofficial history of Australian Signals intelligence and the advent of cyber
What is Australian signals intelligence? Why do we have a national signals intelligence agency and why are our three armed services involved? What do they all do and why is it controversial? And how significant are our ties with, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, the formidable Five Eyes partnership?
Order book here.
Spy Dust: Two Masters of Disguise Reveal the Tools and Operations That Helped Win the Cold War
The successive heads of the CIA's disguise and technical operations department, who are married to each other, recount their work to protect and rescue a source as they struggle against the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.
Order book here.
Call for Information: Dr. Andrew Hammond and Dr. Mark Stout are seeking interviewees for a journal article on the CIA’s Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA). The final output will be based on oral history interviews which can be (a) on-the-record (b) off-the-record or (c) utilizing a pseudonym. The data will be used for this project only and thereafter destroyed.Our aim is to understand how people who served in SOVA or who worked alongside SOVA made sense of it: what was it like, what was its culture, what were its strengths and weaknesses, how did it relate to the rest of the CIA and other agencies, is there anything we can learn from SOVA re the new era of Great Power Conflict, etc.? If you served in SOVA during the period 1981 to 1992 and would like to be interviewed, please contact Dr. Andrew Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Information: Seeking information on Al "Albert" Purdum, stationed at Arlington Hall 55, Defense Language School - Albanian 55-56, NSA Linguist, Sr. Cryptologist 57-95. Looking for colleagues or friends who knew him, of him. Researching Role of National Security Linguists and Foreign Affairs. Contact email@example.com.
Call for Information: Seeking information on Octavio Bermudez, State/Commerce Attache Latin America Crosley Broadcasting- 1922-1942. Sources needed - Passenger list of Hoover's 1928 Good Will Tour, Details/objectives by country, 25 year agreement with Ecuador to build broadcast station in Quito- role in Open Source Enterprise, WWII locating Axis Spies, American Propaganda/Spy Communication Network. 41-46 OCIAA propaganda, embedded code/scripts for broadcast, hand delivered to Crosley, Cincinnati - the only fenced compound, with 24 hr. armed guards, watch tower. Researching Role of Foreign Service Attaches - Development of American Broadcasting Capabilities pre WWII in Latin America. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Information: Author drafting a book on the Clinton administration seeks contact with the person who served as COS Manila in November 1996 for the purpose of background research. Members who can identify the COS and/or are in contact with him, please forward this request to the COS or contact the author. Responses may be sent to email@example.com.
Call for Information: Seeking information on, Sgt Major Charles “Chuck” Remagen, assigned to MACV/SOG in Vietnam 67-68. Seek details about his role as a Sgt Major with MACV “Studies and Observations Group in Vietnam 7/1/67 to 1/21/68. Responses may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Sources: Intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979, Operation Urgent Fury, Leonard Barrett
The Washington Post is developing a multi-part audio documentary series (i.e. podcast) chronicling the Grenadian revolution and the US intervention in 1983. They've interviewed nearly 100 people so far, ranging from the heads of state, former Grenadian officials, current and former US officials, veterans, and intelligence officers. They're looking for people who served at the time and may be knowledgeable about intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979 and Operation Urgent Fury. They would also be interested in speaking with anyone who knew Leonard Barrett during the same period. If anyone is interested in participating, please reach out to Washington Post reporter Ted Muldoon via email at email@example.com or on Signal at 651-497-5449.
Call For Articles: AFIO Journal, The Intelligencer
AFIO is seeking authors for its section on "When Intelligence Made a Difference" in the semi-annual Intelligencer journal. Topics of interest for which we are seeking authors include:
Interested authors please contact Peter Oleson, senior editor The Intelligencer, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adjunct Faculty - MS in Intelligence Analysis - Johns Hopkins University - Maryland
The Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) division of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences seeks non-tenure-track adjunct faculty to teach 473.665 Human Intelligence Operations within the MS in Intelligence Analysis program. The course will be taught fully online/asynchronously beginning Spring 2024. Candidates with online course development and teaching experience and those with experience teaching and engaging students from diverse backgrounds are of particular interest.
Additional information on qualifications and application instructions here.
Assistant/Associate Professor of Intelligence Studies (Global Security and Intelligence Studies) - Embry-Riddle 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.
Robert Hermann — Former NSA Deputy Director for Research and Engineering
Jim Pasquarelli —Former CIA and NSA Officer
9 November 2023 (Thursday), 11:00 a.m. PST - Las Vegas, NV - Las Vegas Chapter Meeting features Amir Eden, Friends of The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Director of Nevada, and Colorado Chapters, discussing situation in Mideast. The AFIO Las Vegas Chapter meeting features Amir Eden, Friends of The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Director of Nevada, and Colorado Chapters. Given current world events we are fortunate to have this special speaker lined up that I’m sure you will enjoy. The event will be held at Charlie’s Lakeside Bar and Restaurant, 8603 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89117.
9 November 2023 (Thursday), 11:30 a.m. PST, - San Francisco, CA - AFIO San Francisco Chapter meeting features Ricky Deutsch on "Spies in the Sky: HEXAGON -- A History of the Last Film-Based Satellite."
11 November 2023 (Saturday), 11:30 a.m. EDT, - Indiatlantic, FL - The AFIO Florida Satellite Chapter hears from Col Susie Dabrowski USAF (Ret) on "High-Impact Operations."
See the AFIO Calendar of Events for scheduling further in the future.
01 Nov 23, 1200-1300 (ET), - Leadership Analysis: Understanding an Intelligence Discipline - Virtual - Johns Hopkins University
Join Michael Ard for a curated conversation with Deborah Wituski on "Leadership Analysis: Understanding an Intelligence Discipline." Wituski is the vice president for Resilience and Risk Foresight at Google and is responsible for the global program that informs business decisions with trusted resilience and risk analysis to protect Google's people, property, and ideas. Prior to Google, Wituski served in the U.S. government for 20 years. Starting as a leadership analyst in Iraq for the Central Intelligence Agency, Wituski went on to work on Middle East and counterterrorism issues and held senior positions, including chief of staff to the director, CIA. Wituski earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in political science from West Virginia University and a PhD in political science from Ohio State University. Details and free registration here.
8 November 2023, 6 - 8pm EST - Williamsburg, VA - Veterans Day Book Talk with Brian Morra '78 on "Cold War History to Today's Russian Invasion of Ukraine"
Please join us for a Veterans Day event with W&M alumni Brian J. Morra ’78, who will be discussing his book "The Able Archers." The talk will focus on Brian’s writing process, the history of the Cold War period depicted in the book, and connections that can be drawn to the present-day Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Brian is a former U.S. intelligence officer and a retired senior aerospace executive. Learn more about him. A reception and book signing will follow the talk, and the library’s Special Collections Research Center will have select military collections on display. The W&M Bookstore will be there selling copies of his book. This event is produced in partnership with W&M Libraries, W&M Military and Veteran Affairs, and Association of 1775. Location: Swem Library, Read and Relax, 400 Landrum Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185
28 November 2023, 5 - 6pm EST - Washington, DC - IWP hosts IN-PERSON book presentation byDr John Gentry on "The Politicization of U.S. Intelligence: Causes and Consequences"
The Institute of World Politics invites you to attend an IN-PERSON book lecture by Dr. John Gentry, Author and Professor at the School of Defense and Strategic Studies, Missouri State University, discussing "The Politicization of U.S. Intelligence: Causes and Consequences."
14 - 25 April 2024 - Gary Powers' Cold War Espionage Tour of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary - Travel Dates: April 14 to 25,2024 - 12 days/10 nightsJoin author & historian Gary Powers Jr. on this 12-day tour of Cold War and espionage related sites in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary
The deadline to enroll is 11/30/23 with a required deposit of $495. Final payment is due 12/30/23.
What's Included: • Round-trip air transportation from Washington, DC; • 10 nights in centrally located, four-star hotels; • Full-time CHA Tour Director; • Valuable insight & informative commentary by Gary Powers Jr.; • On-tour transportation by private motorcoach; • Breakfast & dinner (or lunch) daily; • Sightseeing tours & visits shown in itinerary (subject to change based on availability)
Tour Prices: Full Tour Price: $5,695 per person; Land Tour Price: $4,645 per person (does not include round-trip airfare and airport transfers); Repeat Gary Powers travelers will receive a $200 discount! Price based on double occupancy.
A $600 single room fee will apply for travelers without roommates.
The deadline to enroll is 11/30/23 with a required deposit of $495. Final payment is due 12/30/23.
Questions? Call 1-800-323-4466 or email email@example.com.
Enroll Online at: www.cha-tours.com/GaryPowers
NEW Gray long-sleeved polo shirts with embroidered AFIO logo. Men's sizes only.
NEW 20 oz ceramic Mug with color glazed logo. Made in America. Check out our new tapered, sleek AFIO coffee mug!! This handsome 20 oz. ceramic mug is made in the USA, has a white matte exterior, sports a beautiful navy-blue interior, and is dishwasher safe. Order yours today! $35 per mug includes shipping to a CONUS address. [includes shipping to U.S. based address, only. For foreign shipments, we will contact you with a quote.] SHIPPING: For shipment to a U.S.-based CONUS address, shipping is included in price. For purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, Canada, or other foreign countries the shipping fees need to be calculated, so please call our office M-F 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at 703-790-0320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org providing following information: 1) your name, 2) mailing address (or addresses where each gift item will be shipped), 3) name of the AFIO store items you wish to purchase, 4) quantity of each, 5) your credit card number and expiration date, 6) amount (except for additional of shipping fees) authorized to charge, and 7) your phone number and email should we have questions. Foreign shipments fees will be calculated and estimates emailed to you, awaiting your approval. Order this and other store items online here.
Black short-sleeved polo shirts with Embroidered AFIO logo
Guide to the Study of Intelligence...and...When Intelligence Made a Difference
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