Module Identifier IP36020  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr John P Maddrell  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Daniel Hucker  
Course delivery Lecture   13 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 2 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module. For further clarification please contact the Academic Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

- assess critically and discuss how the US intelligence community has developed
- assess critically and discuss what functions it currently performs on behalf of the US Government
- assess critically and discuss how important intelligence has been to American war-making, defence planning and foreign policy
- evaluate methodological and historiographical problems in the study of intelligence

Students will also improve their skills of research, analysis and expression during the course, as well as those of time and learning resource management.

Brief description

The module examines the history and current activities of the US intelligence community, looking above all to see how it has promoted the political, military and other interests of the USA.


The aims of the module are to provide students with an understanding of how the US intelligence community serves the US Government and how it has developed since the latter part of the nineteenth century. The module will demonstrate to students how US Intelligence has assisted American war-making and defence planning, and how it has enabled the United States to influence political developments worldwide.


The module examines the historical development and current activities of the US intelligence community. Within that framework, it examines: how intelligence has assisted the USA's armed forces in war; how it has assisted American defence planning; how it has assisted American foreign policy; the role that covert operations have played in American foreign policy; what role intelligence and covert operatons have played in domestic politics; and how the intelligence community is held accountable to the USA's political system.

Transferable skills

Students have the opportunity to develop, practise and test a wide range of transferable skills. In sum, they learn to understand, analyse and organise information and ideas. Throughout the module, students practice and develop their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management. In seminars, students enhance and develop their analytical skills and practice listening, explaining and debating skills. Essay-writing encourages students to practise independent research, writing, analytical and IT skills; the examination will test these skills under conditions of time constraint.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Supplementary Text
editors, Richard K. Betts and Thomas G. Mahnken. Paradoxes of strategic intelligence : essays in honor of Michael I. Handel Portland, OR ; London: Frank Cass 071465471X
Ambrose, Stephen E. (1998) Ike's spies : Doubleday, 0385144938
Bamford, James. The puzzle palace : Penguin Books, 0140067485
Craig Eisendrath National insecurity : U.S. intelligence after the Cold War Temple University Press 1566397448
Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri Cloak and Dollar Yale U.P. 0300074743
Johnson, Loch K, (1999) Secret agencies : Yale University Press, 0300066112
Johnson, Loch K. America's secret power : Oxford University Press,
Lowenthal, Mark M. US Intelligence edition 2r.e. . Praeger 0275944352
Prados, John. Presidents' secret wars : I.R. Dee, 1566631084
Ranelagh, John. (1998) The agency : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 0297790269
Treverton, Gregory F. Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information Camb.U.P. 052153349X
Wirtz, James J, The Tet offensive : Cornell University Press, 0801424860
Wyden, Peter. Bay of Pigs : Cape, 0224017543
C Andrew (1995) For the President's Eyes Only: Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush
E Drea (1992) MacArthur's ULTRA
J Richelson (1999) The US Intelligence Community


This module is at CQFW Level 6