The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
In this seminar Michael Sulick, former Director of CIA’s National Clandestine Service, will cover a brief overview of the history of different espionage cases inside the United States.
In each case he focuses on the motivations that drove these individuals to spy, their access and the secrets they betrayed, their tradecraft or techniques for concealing their espionage, their exposure and punishment, and the damage they ultimately inflicted on America’s national security.
After highlighting the accounts of many who have spied for traditional adversaries such as Russian and Chinese intelligence services, Sulick will discuss how spy hunters today confront a far broader spectrum of threats not only from hostile states but also substate groups, including those conducting cyberespionage.
His talk will serve as basic introduction to understanding America’s vulnerability to espionage, which has oscillated between peacetime complacency and wartime vigilance, and continues to be shaped by the inherent conflict between our nation’s security needs and our commitment to the preservation of civil liberties.
After a twenty-eight year career, Michael Sulick retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2010 as the Director of the National Clandestine Service (NCS). As Director NCS, Mr. Sulick was responsible for coordinating the espionage activities of the US Intelligence Community and managing global covert operations on terrorism, weapons proliferation, and regional and country-specific issues.
Mr. Sulick held a number of other senior positions in the clandestine service both at CIA headquarters and overseas. In 2004 he served as the deputy in CIA’s Clandestine Service. Prior to that, as chief of CIA counterintelligence, Mr. Sulick strengthened collaboration with the FBI on major espionage cases. A specialist in Russia and Eastern Europe, Mr. Sulick was chief of the Central Eurasia Division responsible for intelligence collection operations and managing foreign liaison relationships in Russia, Eastern Europe and the former republics of the Soviet Union.
Overseas Mr. Sulick served as the senior CIA representative in Russia and Poland where he managed operations and foreign intelligence relationships during an era of dramatic post-Cold War change. Earlier in his career he served at locations in the former Soviet Union, Asia and Latin America. In 1991 he was the first CIA officer to enter the Soviet Union to forge new relationships with the intelligence services of a newly independent former Soviet republic.
In retirement Mr. Sulick has served as a consultant on international affairs and insider threats to US and foreign corporations and lectured on intelligence topics at various universities and public forums. He speaks Russian, Polish and Spanish and has written about intelligence issues in CIA's Studies in Intelligence, the Los Angeles Times and Cipher Brief. He is the author of Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War and American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present, both published by Georgetown University Press.
A native of New York City, Mr. Sulick earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the City University of New York and an M.A. and B.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham University. He also served in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps.