52 Items

tourists ride classic convertible cars on the Malecon beside the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Report – Havana Syndrome: American Officials Under Attack

In September 2021, the CIA recalled its Vienna station chief reportedly over his response to a series of “anomalous health incidents” experienced by over two dozen personnel. These incidents mark the latest entry in a series of mysterious afflictions more commonly referred to as “Havana Syndrome.”

A person touches the name of a victim inscribed on the National September 11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

Mike Segar/Pool Photo via AP

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Report - 9/11: Intelligence and National Security Twenty Years Later

Contemplating the causes and effects of 9/11, as well as the experiences of those on the ground that day, yields useful insights into tackling today’s intelligence and policy challenges. This report is derived from 9/11: Intelligence and National Security Twenty Years Later, a full-day conference hosted by the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project that examined the impact of the 9/11 through personal stories and policy reflections. It explores how strategic intelligence on Al Qaeda’s intentions failed to lead to policy changes that could have prevented the attacks on 9/11. It also examines how the U.S. can draw on the experience of 9/11 as it faces the specter of great power competition with China against the backdrop of globalized, existential threats posed by climate change and novel disease outbreaks like COVID-19. It also explores the critical nexus between intelligence warning and policy action. More broadly, the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 is an opportunity to reflect on who we are as a nation and who we want to be in confronting violent extremism—both at home and around the world.

Larry Bittman in scuba gear at Black Lake in May 1964.

Archiv bezpečnostních složek (Security Services Archive)

Analysis & Opinions - Sources and Methods

Cold War Disinformation: New Revelations about Operation NEPTUNE from Czech Archives

| Sep. 21, 2021

Calder Walton unravels the details of Operation NEPTUNE, a disinformation campaign by the former Czechoslovak intelligence service intended to smear public figures in West Germany through forged Nazi documents.

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Report - Intelligence Project

Report: Climate Change, Intelligence, and Global Security

This report is derived from a half-day conference in April 2021 co-sponsored by the Intelligence Project and the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, along with the Center for Climate and Security and The Cipher Brief. It explores the requirements of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) to fulfill the mission prescribed by President Biden, DNI Haines, and Secretary Kerry. The IC must rise to challenge, unshackled from the past, to re-imagine its role in combatting climate change. The IC has talked the talk about climate change, and now it needs to walk the walk. The stakes are too high not to do so.

Salvador Allende sculpture in Santiago, Chile

Flickr CC/David Berkowitz

Journal Article - Review of International Affairs

What Constitutes Successful Covert Action? Evaluating Unacknowledged Interventionism in Foreign Affairs

| 2021

Covert action has long been a controversial tool of international relations. However, there is remarkably little public understanding about whether it works and, more fundamentally, about what constitutes success in this shadowy arena of state activity. This article distills competing criteria of success and examines how covert actions become perceived as successes.

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News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

John Kerry Adds Exclamation Point to Climate Change, Intelligence, and Global Security Conference

| Apr. 27, 2021

On Friday, April 23, the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project and Environment and Natural Resources Program, along with the Center for Climate and Security, co-hosted a half-day conference on Climate Change, Intelligence, and Global Security. The conference featured a keynote address from Secretary John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and came directly after President Joe Biden’s Earth Day Leaders Climate Summit.

Audio - Canada’s History

Gouzenko Deciphered Part 2

| Oct. 07, 2020

Calder Walton is interviewed about the defection of the Russian cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, in September, 1945, who revealed to Canadian authorities a web of Soviet espionage spun throughout Canada, with threads running through atomic military research, Canadian parliament, and across the world — in Washington DC, London, and Moscow. Seventy-five years later, we can observe how this single defection sent ripples and cracks throughout the global military and political landscape.

Announcement

Intelligence Project Fall 2020 Study Group

| Sep. 02, 2020

The Intelligence Study Group is designed for students considering careers in government or private sector intelligence, as well as for those interested in a broad introduction to intelligence as applied in business and government decision-making. Over the course of 10 sessions, participants will become familiar with intelligence history, methodology, organizations and practice. The Study Group will use historical examples (‘Applied History’), current readings, and discussion to examine how intelligence enhances policy decision-making, where it fails, and the differences between intelligence in liberal democracies and one-party states.

The sessions will be led by former senior CIA officer Paul Kolbe, Director of the Belfer Center Intelligence Project, and Intelligence Historian, Calder Walton, Belfer Intelligence Project Director of Research.

Participation is limited to 20 students determined by application. Please see below for how to apply!