>Studies in Intelligence



As much as I enjoy the study of a wide-range of topics, I must reveal that the title of today’s post has nothing to do, in the literal sense, with how the brain works.

Studies in Intelligence” is a little used resource provided by our government’s Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed from the CIA’s home page, the resource provides a series of articles, opinions, and histories regarding the collection and use of information gathered to help government officials create and adapt policies used for managing relationships with other countries.

I say it is “little used,” as I have know few people that realize that the CIA has documented its own exploits, and the exploits of intelligence agencies of foreign governments around the world. The agency itself acknowledges that the source is barely used beyond its own agency and a few others.

The breadth and depth of information available is pretty staggering. Readers can find articles about a secret war in El Paso, TX. The United States was working with factions during the Mexican Civil War. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the precursor to the CIA. Few people probably realize that our National Parks were used as training grounds for our spy network. However, an online book, published by our National Parks Service documents the use of public lands for clandestine operations.

An afternoon or evening could easily go by reading the documents available from Studies in Intelligence. One of my tenets of teaching is that to understand how people, or countries, are today, they have to be examined in an historical context. Why do they act that way? Why do we (the United States) behave the way we do? Why are some countries friendly with some and grumpy with others?

Resources like the National Security Archives and the Studies in Intelligence can help fill in our gaps in knowledge. Not that these resources provide a complete answer into and of themselves, but the picture becomes less murky once more details are illuminated.

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