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Graduate Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis (ISSA) Course Descriptions

  • 6191, 6291, 6391 Research. Individual research problems for superior students in intelligence, security studies, and analysis. May be repeated for a total of six semester hours credit.
    Prerequisite: Approval from the Chair of the Department is required prior to enrollment.

    6300 Intelligence and National Security (3-0). The intelligence reform mandated following the attacks on 9/11 created the most fundamental structural change in the National Intelligence Community in its history. The National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), as updated, will provide the framework of analysis for this course. The integration of the National Intelligence Community, and the complexities this integration brings, will be analyzed. This course covers the intelligence cycle (Planning and direction, collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination). It also covers key aspects of intelligence such as warning and surprise; denial and deception; covert action; oversight and civil liberties; role of policymakers; and intelligence reform. Students will evaluate how changes in the national intelligence community are meeting the objectives of the war on terrorism and contributing to more effective intelligence. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Security Studies 6313.)

    6301 Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis, and Rationality (3-0). This course employs a Clausewitzian approach to explore the interactions between intelligence analysis, context, culture, and rationality (the ways in which different individuals and groups think), and the ways in which understanding those interactions can help intelligence professionals determine and counter an enemy’s grand strategy. While the focus is on the grandstrategic level, students will also see how these interrelationships influence intelligence analysis and its effectiveness at the military-strategic, operational,
    and tactical levels.

    6302 The Transformational Imperative: Reorganizing in a Multi-polar World (3-0). This course examines American intelligence and national security policies and planning from World War II to the present. Students examine how ideas and interests shape and transform national security decision making from the white house to the war fighter and how the complexities of a multi-polar world have affected the traditional policy formulation
    process. The course will address theory, practice, and processes as they relate to the most important national security topics of the day. Students will debate and explore how ideas and interests work together or in opposition to shape national security policies and priorities. Students will learn how the “war of ideas” has evolved from the Cold War to the global war on terrorism; the influence of the media, social media, and think tanks on intelligence; and how the definition of intelligence and national security has changed.

    6303 Advanced Intelligence Analysis: Operating in Complex Environments (3-0). This course is about critical thinking and will examine successes and failures in intelligence, and organizational and operations practices of U.S. and foreign intelligence, using a case-study approach. The course will examine flawed approaches to intelligence analysis and how we might draw from these cases to improve the Intelligence Community. The objective of the course is to apply these “lessons learned” to the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community today. Case studies include Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Yom Kippur War, proliferation issues, and Cold War Counterintelligence.

    6304 The Practice of U.S. Intelligence and National Security (3-0). This course explores the organization and functions of the U.S. Intelligence Community, the nexus between national security and intelligence policy makers, key issues about its workings, challenges it faces in defining its future role, and the debates regarding intelligence reform. It will also look at some of the key intelligence missions, such as strategic warning, counterterrorism, counter proliferation, and counterinsurgency. The events of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq have focused new attention on national intelligence and driven the most significant reorganization of the community since the National Security Act of 1947. The course will highlight some of the major debates about the role, practices, and problems of national intelligence.

    6305 Research Methods in Security Studies (3-0). Research methods with application to intelligence, homeland security, criminal justice, and other security-related interests. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Security Studies 6305, Border Studies 6334, or Criminal Justice 6334.)

    6306 Applied Statistics (3-0). Statistical methods with application to intelligence, homeland security, criminal justice, and other security-related interests. This course formalizes key data that can be numerically represented in a way that permits useful analysis and application of the results. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 6307 or Criminal Justice 6307.)
    Prerequisite: Border Security 6334 or Criminal Justice 6334 or Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis 6305.

    6307 Cryptology (3-0). The history of ciphers, cryptanalysis, computer security system design, investigation of security system breeches, user access issues, and associated policies are discussed. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 6303).

    6309 Intelligence Support to Policy Making: The Impact of 9/11 (3-0). This course examines the principal roles of intelligence in a post 9/11 environment and in national policy formulation, in the provision of strategic and tactical warning, in providing support for military operations, and in covert action. The focus is on problems inherent in conducting intelligence in a democracy and on the ethical considerations associated with providing high quality intelligence analysis. The course examines national security policy formulation, the factors that influence and constrain policy choices, and the role of intelligence in this process. The changing nature of intelligence vis-a-vis policy formulation, with illustrations from the global war on terror and the Iraq war, serve as examples of the relationship between intelligence and policy. Students will analyze and evaluate the future political, cultural, and institutional challenges facing the National Intelligence Community as it supports national security policy.

    6310 Military Intelligence: Strategic, Operational, and Tactical (3-0). If war is in fact the extension of politics by other means, this course aims to understand how and why states use force in pursuit of their national interests. Class studies classical theories of warfare, including Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Case studies in warfare from 19th and 20th centuries develop a model of how states have traditionally used war and supporting intelligence to accomplish policy aims at strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Technological and political shifts of the last decade are explored to determine what they imply about how sates can and will use force in the future as part of their national security policies. Course reviews how intelligence supports each level of warfare and how intelligence failures affect strategic outcomes.

    6311 Special Operations and Intelligence: Creating Strategic Effects (3-0). Over the last ten years, special operations forces have become a core element in America’s response to trans-national terrorism. These units have trained and advised foreign military and paramilitary forces; captured or killed thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban commanders and foot soldiers; and conducted a variety of operations around the globe. This course will focus on the ways in which special operations forces have been incorporated into national security strategy and policy. Through the use of a series of case studies, students will investigate the differences between special operations forces and other elite units; scrutinize the roles and missions of these organizations; understand their unique intelligence support requirements at tactical, operational, and strategic levels; consider the influence of popular culture; and probe the impact of bureaucratic politics and organizational culture between the special operations community and international allies, Congress, the interagency community, and conventional military forces.

    6312 Cyber Arms Race and the Intelligence Policy Nexus (3-0). When is a cyber attack an act of war? What is the role of the U.S. military in defending the United States from cyber attacks? Who forms cyber policy for the U.S.? Is cyber an intelligence problem? How does cyber fit the traditional national security-intelligence policy construct? Cyber conflict is a new and complicated strategic problem that will engage not only the United States but the international community at many different levels. The cyber environment challenges traditional strategic thinking, and work on national security and intelligence policies and strategies to manage and benefit from cyber conflict is at an early stage. Traditional security concepts need to be re-examined and adjusted for the cyber environment. This course will look at various dimensions of cyber conflict in the larger international security context.

    6313 Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism (3-0). This course explores a wide range of questions in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of the origins and evolution of modern terrorism, and the intelligence challenges posed by terrorist groups to states with an emphasis on the United States. The course is divided into three parts. Part 1 examines the nature, objectives, strategies, and organization of terrorism and terrorist
    groups. It also addresses the political, psychological, socioeconomic, and religious causes of terrorist violence. Part 2 consists of student presentations on active terrorist organizations. Part 3 focuses on counterterrorism and the challenges of collecting intelligence against terrorist organizations. Based on recent American experience in combating terrorism, the course will introduce students to the strengths and weaknesses of counterterrorist tools, domestic and international intelligence requirements and collection strategies, and the need to balance civil liberties and security.

    6314 Strategic Thought and Leadership (3-0). This course offers students an opportunity to explore how strategic leaders at the executive level of organizations think and influence actions amid volatility and adversity. Students study leadership, ethics, analysis, decision-making, and strategy along a spectrum of adversity that ranges from business to international conflict. Historical case studies highlight commonalities and habits of mind.

    6315 Legal and Ethical Issues in Intelligence (3-0). Following the events of September 11, 2001, there has been rapid growth in the number of professional intelligence training and educational programs across the United States. This course covers the wide spectrum of topics involving the need for surveillance to ensure our nation’s continuing security as well as the necessity of providing Constitutional protection for individual freedoms. Unfortunately, the intelligence profession is filled with moral and ethical dilemmas that require “doing the right thing” on a daily basis. This course requires the student to think critically about those dilemmas.

    6321 Intelligence for Homeland Security and Law Enforcement (3-0). Everyone understands the need for “Homeland Security,” but few know the precise definition. In fact, the government itself has changed the definition every few years since 2001. Very few law enforcement professionals appreciate the complexity of the homeland security mission, nor understand the need for intelligence support for that mission. This course covers in detail how the intelligence enterprise supports our homeland security and law enforcement programs. Using the accepted home security paradigm—prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, and recover, it describes the current state of “homeland security intelligence” and explains how that discipline relates to our national security.

    6335 Data Mining (3-0). A course in statistics particularly geared to pattern analysis, information continuity, and data recovery. Inferential and descriptive techniques for decision analysis are included. This course uses a variety of data bases associated with business, census, terrorism, and crime statistics from which students conduct research projects. Personal computers with fundamental software programs such as Excel, SPSS or SAS are necessary for students to complete this course. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 6335).

    6342 Cybersecurity and Constitutional Issues (3-0). This course discusses telecommunications law and policy as it applies to the rapidly evolving technologies and capabilities of the internet, telecommunications, satellite and imagery systems available for commercial and government exploitation. The legal implications of a global internet, recourses available to law enforcement, treaties, etc. are reviewed from an international perspective including processes by which international cooperation is gained to deal with cyber threats. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 6342).

    6350 Cyber Vulnerability (3-0). Students discuss at length the reliability and vulnerability of computer-based technologies, biometrics, and security technologies. Included are case analyses of external (hacking) and internal (man-in-the-middle) attacks on government and private communications systems. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 6350).

    6351 Emerging Technologies in Homeland Security (3-0). In this course, a variety of cutting-edge technologies associated with Homeland Security are discussed. The technologies are analyzed and evaluated for functionality, usefulness, cost effectiveness, and reliability. Depend on the technologies analyzed, students may be required to participate in field research. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 6351).

    6371 Internship. This course is designed to familiarize students with the application of knowledge gained in course work and with operations and problems in the field of intelligence, security studies, and analysis. Students must be pursuing a Master’s degree in Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis. Approval of instructor is required. Grading will be either pass or fail.

    6380 Capstone in Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis (3-0). This course is designed for students in the non-thesis option. Students will take this course in their last semester. The course brings elements of previous courses together in order for students to think critically across the broad spectrum of intelligence, security studies, and analysis.

    6381 Special Topics (3-0). A course in selected intelligence topics. May be repeated once for credit when topics vary.

    6399 Thesis. A total of six hours is required for thesis. The student may repeat this course to obtain the necessary six hours credit. Students have the option of enrolling is ISSA 6699 for one semester or ISSA 6399 for two separate semester/terms in order to fulfill the six-hour thesis requirement.

    6699 Thesis. A total of six hours is required for thesis. Students have the option of enrolling is ISSA 6699 for one semester or ISSA 6399 for two separate semester/terms in order to fulfill the six-hour thesis requirement.