PSCI 361
The CIA and American Foreign Policy Fall 2021
Division II
Cross-listed HIST 355 / LEAD 361
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Despite an American aversion to espionage captured by Secretary of State Henry Stimson’s oft-cited (yet unsubstantiated) remark, “Gentlemen don’t read each other’s mail,” intelligence history in the United States dates back to the Revolutionary War. Still, it took the shock of Pearl Harbor for the United States to establish a permanent peacetime civilian intelligence service independent of another federal department–the Central Intelligence Agency. Since then, the agency and others which comprise the loose entity called the Intelligence Community (IC) have played a pivotal albeit intensely controversial role in US foreign and national security policies. Yet their roles and missions remain largely misunderstood and divisive, as attested to by recent debates surrounding the multiple investigations of the 9/11 tragedy, the flawed pre-war estimates of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) capabilities, the reporting on Benghazi, the Snowden revelations, and much more. This course seeks to provide greater understanding of the relationship between intelligence and US foreign and national security policy by examining the CIA’s and IC’s roles and responsibilities, illuminating their history alongside the history of America and the World, assessing their successes and failures, evaluating their reforms, and correlating their behavior and capabilities with US values and institutions.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 14
Expected: 14
Class#: 1936
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Midterm, several short papers, and a research paper.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science and History Majors, prior coursework in American foreign policy.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 355 Division II LEAD 361 Division II PSCI 361 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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