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University of Oklahoma

[IAS 5940] Topics - International Studies - 495

Christopher Sartorius

Course Description

Topics in International Studies: U.S. Intelligence Community


The US Intelligence Community (IC) is a vital national security institution with a critical mission and a rich, fascinating history.  This course is designed to provide a comprehensive survey of the historical origins and continued development of US intelligence capabilities.  The course will also provide an in-depth overview of intelligence processes, including collection disciplines and analytic techniques, the US IC uses to produce finished, all-source intelligence products for senior national security decision makers.  We will take a comprehensive look at the roles, missions, and structure of the 17 organizations which comprise the US Intelligence Community.  The course will also examine how the US IC supports national security decision making, how the three branches of the US federal Government provide oversight, and how the IC is adapting to new international security challenges.  We will examine the ethical and moral issues associated with intelligence operations.  Finally, the course will also look at foreign intelligence services, their targets, and operational successes and failures.

Course Dates

DatesJuly 12 - August 31, 2022
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyJune 13, 2022

Site Director

This is a three-credit hour online course. Please see your local Site Director or email our online site coordinator at

Professor Contact Information

Course ProfessorChristopher M. Sartorius
Mailing AddressOU Department of International and Area Studies, Farzaneh Hall, Norman, OK 73019
Telephone Number(405) 343-5277
Zoom VTC (by appointment)
Professor availabilityPlease contact the instructor via e-mail or phone for questions related to the course. To arrange a phone or video conference meeting with the instructor, please contact the instructor via e-mail or phone for an appointment.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.


Additional reading materials and interactive learning presentations for this course are posted on the OU Canvas learning management system.  Access Canvas at  Enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password and select the IAS 5940 U.S. Intelligence Community course.  Please contact the instructor if you need assistance accessing Canvas.  To optimize this learning opportunity for you and other class members, please read all the assigned material for each unit.  The instructor may periodically supplement the reading to ensure course content remains relevant and up-to-date based on current events. 

Intelligence : From Secrets to Policy
Intelligence : From Secrets to Policy
by Lowenthal, Mark M.
Published by CQ Press
ISBN: 9781506342566

OU Email

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address.


Email Account and Canvas: Students are expected to check their OU email accounts and the course site on Canvas daily for updates from the instructor


Course Objectives

Upon conclusion of this course, students will have gained an improved understanding and appreciation for the following:

  1. How intelligence supports national security decision making
  2. The history of US intelligence
  3. The mission and organization of the U.S. Intelligence Community
  4. The intelligence process and intelligence disciplines
  5. The legal control and oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community and moral/ethical issues facing the community
  6. The history and current operational targets of foreign intelligence services

Course Outline




Class Activity

Assignment(s) Due


12-16 July

Course Introduction and

Introduction to Intelligence

Lowenthal, Chapter 1

Discussion Question Response (16 July)



17-21 July

History of the US Intelligence Community

Lowenthal, Chapter 2

Sign-up for Espionage Case study (no later than 17 July)

Discussion Question Response (21 July)

Espionage Case Study


22-26 July

The US Intelligence Community:  Roles and Missions

Lowenthal, Chapter 3

Discussion Question Response (26 July)

Espionage Case Study


27-31 July

The Intelligence Process

Lowenthal, Chapters 4

Discussion Question Response (31 July)

Espionage Case Study


1-5 Aug

Intelligence Collection Disciplines

Lowenthal, Chapter 5

Discussion Question Response (5 Aug)

Espionage Case Study


6-10 Aug

Intelligence Analysis

Lowenthal, Chapter 6

Discussion Question Response (10 Aug)

Espionage Case Study


11-15 Aug

Covert Action

Lowenthal, Chapter 8


Discussion Question Response (15 Aug)

Espionage Case Study


16-20 Aug

Oversight and Accountability

Lowenthal, Chapter 10

Discussion Question Response (20 Aug)

Espionage Case Study


21-25 Aug

Ethical/Moral Issues

Lowenthal, Chapter 13

Research Paper

(21 Aug)

Discussion Question Response (25 Aug)




Foreign Intelligence Services

Lowenthal, Chapter 15


Discussion Question Response (30 Aug)


Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

We will use the following learning formats in this course:  Textbook readings, discussions, case study presentations, and research/writing.


There are three graded components to the course which are summarized in the table below:


Due Date

Percent of Grade

Online Discussion Topics

Every five days during the course (12 July-30 August 2022), 11:59 p.m. (see the “Assignment Due” column in Table 1 above for exact dates which correspond with each unit of instruction.

Complete responses for 5 of 10 possible discussion questions presented during the courseFor each question you answer, provide a response to three other students on their post.  Provide your responses in the Canvas Discussion Section


Espionage Case Study - Presentation

Various periods – see Canvas or Table 3 below for your assignment presentation due date.  Sign up for your case study no later than Sunday, 17 July 2022.

Upload slides/audio presentation to the 1) Canvas Assignment Section and 2) your case discussion board


Research Paper

Sunday, 21 August 2022 11:59 p.m. - Upload to the Canvas Assignment Section


Total Points




Graded Assignment Instructions:


Online Discussion Topics – The instructor will post a discussion question in the Canvas Discussion section based on the reading content for the upcoming unit.  Students should analyze the question and write a thoughtful response to the question no later than the corresponding due date at 11:59 p.m.  The objective of this assignment is to prompt you to engage the reading and provide your own independent analysis of the issue.  Please use the textbook and outside research from credible sources to support your answer.  Include a list of sources you used to inform your response at the end of your answer.  Discussion question responses should be approximately 200-300 words in length.  Respond to three students for each discussion question you complete.  Complete 5 of 10 discussion questions throughout the course.  Given you must answer only five of ten questions, late work will not be accepted.


Espionage Case Study Presentation – Students will research, make one slide/audio presentation, and respond to any questions/comments other students post for your presentationPlease sign up for your topic no later than Sunday, 17 July 2022 via the Espionage Case Study discussion board link under the “Start Here” module in Canvas.  Please see the instructions on Canvas for additional information on this assignment.


Students can choose their desired topic from the list below (see Table 3), but the sign-up will be first come, first-served.  Please select the available case which most interests you.  Each student will conduct research, develop visual aids (Power Point, Prezi, etc.), and make a 15-minute audio presentation (plus or minus 1 minute) on the selected intelligence topic followed by an online discussion and question and answer period.  Please review the instructions posted on Canvas for additional instructions on this assignment.  Grading will be based on the quality of your presentation and your responses to the posted questions and comments from other students.  After posting your presentation, please closely monitor your discussion board for questions/comments and respond promptly to the other students.  Actively participate in the discussion of other students’ presentations.


Espionage Case Study Presentations - Table 3



Espionage Case


Due Date


Virginia Hall

US CIA officer in Europe

Friday, 22 July


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Soviet agents and Manhattan Project

Saturday, 23 July


Harry Dexter White

Soviet agent in US Treasury Department

Sunday, 24 July


Alger Hiss

Soviet agent in US State Department

Monday, 25 July


Rudolph Abel

Soviet case officer operating in the U.S.

Tuesday, 26 July


Kim Philby

Soviet agent inside MI6 and CIA

Wednesday, 27 July


Francis Gary Powers

U-2 pilot who flew missions over the Soviet Union

Thursday, 28 July


Oleg Penkovsky

U.S./British agent in Soviet GRU

Friday, 29 July


Yuri Nosenko

US agent in Soviet KGB

Saturday, 30 July


Adolph Tolkachev

US agent in Soviet defense establishment

Sunday, 31 July


Aleksandr Ogorodnik

US agent in Soviet Foreign Ministry

Monday, 1 Aug


Walker Family

Soviet agents inside U.S. Navy

Tuesday, 2 Aug


Ronald Pelton

Soviet agent in NSA

Wednesday, 3 Aug


Edward Lee Howard

Soviet agent in CIA

Thursday, 4 Aug


Clayton Lonetree

Soviet agent in U.S. Marine Corps

Friday, 5 Aug


Oleg Gordievsky

British/U.S. agent in Soviet KGB

Saturday, 6 Aug


James Michael Hall and Jeffrey Carney

East German agents in U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force

Sunday, 7 Aug


Larry Wu-tai Chin

Chinese agent in CIA

Monday, 8 Aug


Dmitri Polyakov

US agent in Soviet GRU

Tuesday, 9 Aug


Jonathan Pollard

Israeli agent inside U.S. Navy

Wednesday, 10 Aug


Aldrich Ames

Soviet agent inside CIA

Thursday, 11 Aug


Robert Hanssen

Soviet agent inside FBI

Friday, 12 Aug



German agent with knowledge of Iraqi WMD capabilities

Saturday, 13 Aug


Wen Ho Lee

PRC agent inside the U.S. nuclear weapons research and development program

Sunday, 14 Aug


Ana Belen Montes

Cuban agent inside DIA

Monday, 15 Aug


Russian “Illegals Program” in the U.S.

Russian sleeper agents in the U.S.

Tuesday, 16 Aug


Arkady Shevchenko

US agent in the Soviet Foreign Ministry.  Most senior Soviet official to defect to the West.

Wednesday, 17 Aug


George Trofimoff

Soviet agent in the US Army

Thursday, 18 Aug


Walter Kendall Myers

Cuban agent in the US State Department

Friday, 19 Aug


Noshir Gowadia

PRC agent who provided aerospace defense information

Saturday, 20 Aug



Research Paper – The objective of the research paper is to provide you with an opportunity to research and learn more about a historical or contemporary intelligence issue or foreign intelligence service.  To complete this assignment:

  1. Select one of the six topics listed below:
  2. Intelligence Policy Issue – select a current U.S. Intelligence Community policy issue and write a paper which describes the current issue by including background/historical information on the issue and analyzes why the issue is relevant today, what are the opposing viewpoints on the issue, your assessment concerning the most likely policy outcome, and finally how that outcome will impact future intelligence operations.
  3. Intelligence Success – select an intelligence “success” from U.S. intelligence history and write a paper which describes the background/history of the intelligence success.  Include the short- and long-term impacts of the success and your assessment of the effectiveness of the policy.
  4. Intelligence Failure – select an intelligence “failure” from U.S. intelligence history and write a paper which describes the background/history of the intelligence failure. Include the impacts of the failure, what was done to correct the underlying issues which resulted in the failure, and your assessment of the effectiveness of the policy improvements resulting from the corrective action.
  5. Covert Action – select a U.S. covert action from U.S. intelligence history and write a paper which describes the background/history of the covert action, analyzes the effectiveness of the operation, and the short and long-term consequences for the U.S. and other relevant actors.
  6. Ethical/Moral Issue in U.S. Intelligence – select an ethical or moral issue which has faced or is facing US intelligence today. Describe the issue, explain the competing values which make confronting the issue difficult, assess how the U.S. IC has handled the issue and how community intelligence leaders have explained and justified the actions of the community. Explain how international law, human rights groups, and individuals on the other side of your chosen issue have framed their argument.  Explain your position on the issue.
  7. Foreign Intelligence Service – select a foreign intelligence service and write a paper which describes the background/history of the organization, describes the primary targets the organization works against, and describes key operations the organization has conducted.
  8. Write a 2,000-word (approx.8 pages) research paper using APA, MLA, Chicago, or other academic paper format.
  9. Upload the assignment to the Canvas Assignment Section.


Please use the American Psychological Association (APA), MLA, or Chicago formats for your research paper.  Additional formatting guidance can be found at the OU Writing Center:  If you need assistance with the quality of your writing, please consult with the instructor and/or use the OU Writing Center.  The OU Writing Center is an incredible resource available to improve your writing abilities. 


Instructor Office Hours - The instructor will be available for to provide students guidance and answer any questions regarding the course content or course assignments.  Please contact the instructor via e-mail or phone (Cell +1 (405)-343-5277) to set up an appointment for a telephone conference or an online video conference (using Zoom-  All students should check Canvas regularly for additional information/communication from the instructor.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F.

Policy on Late Assignments

Modest extensions required by urgent circumstances may be granted for written work if requested well in advance.

Incomplete Grade Policy

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.


A grade of “I” is not automatically assigned, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting to the instructor a “Petition for and Work to Remove an Incomplete Grade” form. An “I” can never be used in lieu of an “F” nor can an “I” be assigned because of excessive failure to participate in class activities.

Technical Support Information

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357).


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access the material.


Procedures for Completion of Course Evaluation: 

Upon completion of the course students should go to the Advanced Programs Online Learning Information webpage and click on the applicable semester link under “Online Course Evaluation” which will direct them to the evaluation.  The evaluation will take approximately five minutes to complete.  Completion of the online evaluation is an important tool allowing Advanced Programs to gain information and student feedback for improvement of courses.

Your responses will be kept confidential.  They will be reviewed by the department and only supplied to the professor once grades for the course have been submitted.


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access material. Please contact your local the IT Help desk at 405-325-HELP if you require assistance.  IT is available 24/7

Statement about the MHR Program Planner and Human Relations Website

Students should become familiar with the MHR Program Planner that was sent to each student upon admission into the program.  The planner has a description of the HR program objectives and requirements, suggestions for graduate study, financial assistance, and graduation information. Of particular interest is the information on the comprehensive exams and the internship.  For further information please visit the Department of Human Relations Website at:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities.  Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him or her from fully demonstrating his or her abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities.  Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations in this course.  The Office of Disability Services is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405-325-3852 or TDD only 405-325-4173. For more information please see the Disability Resource Center website


Civility/Inclusivity Statement:

We understand our members represent a rich variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Human Relations Department is committed to providing an atmosphere for learning that respects diversity. While working together to build this community we ask all members to:

  • share their unique experiences, values and beliefs
  • be open to the views of others
  • honor the uniqueness of their colleagues
  • appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from each other in this community
  • value each other’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner
  • keep confidential discussions the community has of a personal (or professional) nature
  • use this opportunity together to discuss ways in which we can create an inclusive environment in this course and across the University of Oklahoma community.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without a penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays, without penalty.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Christopher M. Sartorius



  • Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
  • M.S. in Strategic Intelligence, National Intelligence University, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC
  • M.A. in Management, Webster University, St. Louis, MO
  • B.S. in Political Science (International Public Administration), minor in History, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  • Professional Military Education:  Graduate - Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College


Current Position

  • Instructor, College of International Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • Instructor, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, College of Professional and Continuing Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK


Frequently Taught Courses

  • IAS 5043 Global Security (OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies)
  • IAS 5940 U.S. Intelligence Community (OU College of International Studies)
  • IAS 3003 – Intelligence and National Security/IAS 3003 – Global Intelligence Challenges
  • History of the Cold War (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute-OLLI)
  • Espionage in the Cold War (OLLI)
  • Introduction to U.S. Intelligence (OLLI)
  • Current Issues in International Security (OLLI)
  • Foreign Intelligence Organizations (OLLI)
  • History of US Intelligence – Colonial America to the Civil War (OLLI)
  • Imagery Intelligence (OLLI)
  • Presidents and US Intelligence (OLLI)
  • Israeli Intelligence Operations (OLLI)


Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interests

  • Intelligence Studies
  • International Security Studies
  • NATO History and Strategic Policy
  • European Security Studies
  • Cold War History


Representative Publications and Presentations

  • Ph.D. Dissertation:  Warning Intelligence and Nuclear Crisis Management:  Avoiding Catastrophic Miscalculation
  • M.S. Thesis:  Democratic Control of Slovak Defense Forces:  Structural Progress and Governmental Interference
  • M.A. Thesis:  Capital Budgeting Techniques Used by Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution, Assembly, and Printing Firms in Alexandria, VA
  • NATO History and NATO Strategic Concept presentations at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, and the General Staff Academies in Kiev, Ukraine; Thessaloniki, Greece; and Cherchell, Algeria
  • WMD Threats, Intelligence Support to Peacekeeping Operations, and the Strategic Implications of Ballistic Missile Defense presentations at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany