2013 - 2014


Materials presented in chronological order.

Chivers, C.J., and Eric Schmitt. "Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid." New York Times, 24 Mar. 2013. []

"With help from the C.I.A.," the governments of Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey "have sharply increased their military aid to Syria's opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders. The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows."

Crowley, Michael. "So, Who Can We Kill?" Time, 1 Apr. 2013, 20-24.

"During the 2012 campaign, Obama's use of drones to kill terrorists without risking the lives of U.S. troops was a bragging point. But in the months since, his drone war has turned from asset to headache.... Now Washington is rethinking some of its basic assumptions about the drone war. Congress and the White House are discussing ways to bring new legal clarity to targeted killing."

Erwin, Marshall Curtis. Intelligence Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 23 Apr. 2013. Available at:

"Members will likely [be] confronted by a new set of intelligence challenges resulting from budgetary realities and from second-order effects stemming from post-9/11 changes. These include:" Consolidation and redundancy, information security and management, and intelligence support to counterterrorism and operations.

Gellman, Barton, and Greg Miller. "U.S. Spy Network's Successes, Failures and Objectives Detailed in 'Black Budget' Summary." Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2013. []

"The $52.6 billion 'black budget' for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from ... Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny.... Spending by the CIA has surged past that of every other spy agency, with $14.7 billion in requested funding for 2013.... Formally known as the Congressional Budget Justification for the National Intelligence Program, the 'top-secret' blueprint represents spending levels proposed to the House and Senate intelligence committees in February 2012. Congress may have made changes before the fiscal year began on Oct 1."

Londoño, Ernesto, and Greg Miller. "U.S. Weapons Reaching Syrian Rebels." Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2013. []

According to U.S. officials and Syrian figures, "[t]he CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria.... The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department" of nonlethal gear, including "vehicles, sophisticated communications equipment and advanced combat medical kits.... The latest effort to provide aid is aimed at supporting rebel fighters who are under the command of Gen. Salim Idriss, according to officials.... Idriss is the commander of the Supreme Military Council, a faction of the disjointed armed opposition."

Aftergood, Steven. "Intelligence Directive Bars Unauthorized Contacts with News Media." Secrecy News, 21 Apr. 2014. []

An Intelligence Community Directive issued in March "prohibits unauthorized 'contact with the media about intelligence-related information, including intelligence sources, methods, activities, and judgments.'" See Intelligence Community Directive 119, "Media Contacts," signed 20 Mar. 2014, at:

Crosston, Matthew. "Soft Spying: Leveraging Globalization as Proxy Military Rivalry." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 28, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 105-122.

DeYoung, Karen. "Officials: Saudi-led Action Relied on U.S. Intelligence." Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2015. []

According to senior U.S. and Persian Gulf officials, "Saudi Arabia told the Obama administration and Persian Gulf allies early this week that it was preparing a military operation in neighboring Yemen, and relied heavily on U.S. surveillance images and targeting information to carry it out." On 23 March 2015, "the Saudis began to call in chits already offered by allies. As Persian Gulf neighbors flew attack planes to bases in southern Saudi Arabia, Saudi intelligence and military officials met with U.S. officials to identify targets. A joint Saudi-U.S. cell was established in Riyadh to share real-time information from U.S. intelligence assets over Yemen."

Harman, Jane. "Disrupting the Intelligence Community: America's Spy Agencoes Need an Upgrade." Foreign Affairs 94, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 2015): 99-107.

This article is worth a read. The director, president, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former senator notes that "a central mission of the CIA -- developing human intelligence -- is getting much tougher to carry out." She mentions some things that the CIA might do to deal with that situation, but also concludes that "the CIA's edge is paramilitary." Harman argues that NSA's "top priorities should be code-making, code-breaking, and cyberwarfare." She also sees the intelligence community moving away from "traditional espionage and toward open-source analysis."

Mazzetti, Mark, and Dan Levin. "Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.." New York Times, 16 Aug. 2015. []

"The Obama administration has delivered a warning to Beijing about the presence of Chinese government agents operating secretly in the United States to pressure prominent expatriates -- some wanted in China on charges of corruption -- to return home immediately, according to American officials."

Bennett, Brian, and W.J. Hennigan. "U.S. Builds Up Arctic Spy Network as Russia and China Increase Presence." Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2015. []

"Over the last 14 months, most of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have assigned analysts to work full time on the Arctic.... In addition to relying on U.S. spy satellites orbiting overhead and Navy sensors deep in the frigid waters, the analysts process raw intelligence from a recently overhauled Canadian listening post near the North Pole and a Norwegian surveillance ship called the Marjata, which is now being upgraded at a U.S. Navy shipyard in southern Virginia."

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