5 Items

Report - Intelligence Project

Report: Marking the CIA’s 75th Anniversary: Reflections on the Past, Visions of the Future

Since its creation in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been at the heart of supporting United States foreign policy and national security decision-making. From the early days of the Cold War to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the CIA has been a critical instrument of foreign intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. However, the CIA is often misunderstood, as its own work and history, particularly its successes, are rarely seen by the public. To help unpack this storied history, and in honor of the agency’s 75th anniversary, on September 16, 2022, former directors, officers, scholars, students, and the public gathered to discuss the past, present, and future of the agency. 

The Indo-Pacific Region

USINDOPACOM Map (US State Dept.)

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

Old Friends and New Horizons: Recalibrating American and French Indo-Pacific Strategy

France and the United States are the two Western countries with the highest sovereign interests in the Indo-Pacific region. Ensuring sovereign integrity and the security of their citizens are the first strategic priority of both nations. Furthermore, as longtime allies, Washington and Paris share mutually supporting interests that align their geopolitical security within the diplomatic, economic, and military spheres. Traditionally thought of as national interests, many now transcend borders to reflect inclusive interests of both Washington and Paris versus the exclusivity of a single nation-state. There is an increasingly common strategic vision that can bolster regional security by developing physical and digital connectivity to ensure a free, safe, and open Indo-Pacific. Shared strategic vision requires apt diagnosis of the state of play before consideration of potential policy prescriptions that might strengthen a unified approach to the Indo-Pacific. This report identifies the best approaches for the US, France, and the EU to support their Indo-Pacific allies within a framework of collaboration, coordination, and consultation, underpinned by common values.

A large CIA seal to the right of an American flag on a flagpole topped with a gold eagle finial.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

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

The Past, Present, and Future of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the American Intelligence Community

| Apr. 13, 2022

In more than seven decades of study after study, the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) has identified a lack of diversity in the workforce as a problem. Beginning with a 1953 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on women in the agency, tellingly titled “The Petticoat Panel,” organizations have documented a lack of presence and opportunity for women, minorities, and other groups including people with disabilities. Recommendations and actions were repeated over the years with marginal results. This paper reviews efforts of what has been done, what has succeeded, and what has failed as an important starting point for building a robust intelligence workforce for the latter half of the twenty-first century. It then offers recommendations for overcoming systemic challenges and fostering culture change to improve diversity across the community.

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

| Nov. 04, 2021

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

| Sep. 23, 2021

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.