POL326Y1 Lecture 13: CIA Lecture

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26 Aug 2019
CIA Lecture
The United States especially since WWII established sophisticated set of intel agencies with capacity to
gather intel that’s paralleled by other countries in the world
o This was acknowledged by Obama and Snowden engaged by National Security Agency worldwide
o Cellphone communications were intercepted; spying included phone of Angela Merkel
You must understand the threats that face you; US and others do this
US has technological capacities around the world; it’s safe to say that Americans’ capacities are
unparalleled; the US is highly capable to recognizing threats to security but in fact that we came to
different conclusions
o The most pessimistic assessment was offered by Gabriel Coco
Argues that in his research that he can’t think of an example where a piece of intel changed
the foreign policy of America
One of the main problems is a consumer-producer problem: there are intel agencies that are producers of
intel and there are consumers (politicians in Washington)
o If you’re working in the intel agencies, then you have a duty to provide policymakers with what
they’re looking for; if you don’t, then there’s a strong tendency to get ignored and certain chance
that you will get ignored
o Politicization of intel: agencies shape intel reports to the interests of the consumers (decision
makers) and can take various types of forms
o Stove-piping: tendency of raw intel to go straight from raw intel to desk of policymakers without
checking their accuracy
o Cherry-picking: when you have 16 different intel agencies, there’s bound to be disagreement over
various threats; allows policymakers to choose different intel reports supporting their agenda
When we’re talking about intel agencies with America, ‘til the creation of the DH Security, the central
organization of coordinating w/ various agencies were associated with Directorate of Operations
o Now called US Clandestine Services
CIA was established by NSC Act of 1947; Americans had limited intel capacities with defense
The OSS was named by General William (wild bill)
o Considerable cowboy in East Asia and developed connections
o Department of Navy muddying the waters in its own operations; the OSS was eliminated in 47
o The dirty tricks the OSS was involved in WWII had no place during peacetime
o However, as it turned out, the OSS was turned into a directorate of operations, which created two
cultures within the CIA
One among those in espionage and intel gathering and one that was involved in covert
operations; these 2 cultures were described as unequal and contemptuous
By ’64: 2/3s of CIA budget went to the directorate of operations
Covert interventions: took a couple of different forms.
o Ex. Iran intervention in 70s
A secular nationalist who wanted to propel Iran out of the domination of Britain solely to
restore itself into a great power status within that region
The Iran oil company was anglicized; interestingly,
in ’45, the newly elected government of Venezuela, tackled the same issue
o from an American perspective, this was an enormous success; military intervention would’ve cost
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