Growth and Uncertainty: The Impact of 9/11 on Intelligence and National Security Studies

  • Joseph FitsanakisEmail author


It can be argued that few academic disciplines have been affected by the dramatic events of 9/11 as directly as Intelligence and National Security Studies (INSS). The latter used to be a strictly graduate endeavor, with much of the relevant instruction hidden under thick layers of classification. However, the insecurity fears resulting from the 9/11 attacks prompted an unprecedented growth in the field and accelerated its development in the undergraduate domain. Ironically, the remarkable academic vibrancy of INSS in our century has been overshadowed by the marginalization of the field in the realm of government. There is mounting evidence that the role of intelligence in national decision-making has reached unprecedented lows. At the same time, the intense post-9/11 scholarly preoccupation with Islamic-inspired extremism appears to have developed at the expense of other notable threats to the homeland. There are reasons to believe that the tacit association of terrorism with foreigners, and Muslims in particular, may be distracting American INSS scholars from studying the growth of domestic far-right militancy. Also ignored are security threats posed by the increasingly unregulated domestic gun market, which are statistically far more dangerous than the phenomenon of Islamic extremism in the domestic field. Finally, this chapter argues that INSS scholars were caught unprepared by the post-9/11 emergence of a wholesale model of mass surveillance—both domestic and international—that is slowly changing the relationship between state and civil society in America and is affecting America’s relations with its foreign allies.


  1. Ackerman, Spencer. 2012. DHS Crushed This Analyst for Warning About Far-Right Terror. Wired, August 7.Google Scholar
  2. Aid, Matthew M. 2009. The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.Google Scholar
  3. Andrew, Christopher. 2009. The Defense of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5. New York, NY: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  4. Anonymous. 2013. US-Geheimdienst Hörte Zentrale der Vereinten Nationen Ab. Der Spiegel, August 25.Google Scholar
  5. Anonymous. 2015. Deadly Attacks Since 9/11. Washington, DC: The New America Foundation. Accessed 2 Oct 2015.
  6. Baker, Kelly. 2011. Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915–1930. Kansas City, KS: The University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  7. Bamford, James. 2004. A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies. New York, NY: Random House.Google Scholar
  8. Betts, Richard K. 2007. Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Cap, Piotr. 2015. Monologic Follow-Ups in Political Macro-Discourse: The US Anti-Terrorist Discourse as a Case in Point. In The Dynamics of Political Discourse: Forms and Functions of Follow-Ups, ed. Anita Fetzer, Elda Weizman, and Lawrence N. Berlin, 59–85. Amsterdam, Holland: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carey, Henry. 2011. Reaping What You Sow: A Comparative Examination of Torture Reform in the United States, France, Argentina and Israel. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.Google Scholar
  11. Conetta, Carl. 2000. Can the United States Spend Less on Defense? Toward a Smaller, More Efficient, and More Relevant US Military. Briefing Memo #17. Cambridge, MA: Project for Defense Alternatives.Google Scholar
  12. Coulthart, Stephen, and Matthew Crosston. 2015. Terra Incognita: Mapping American Intelligence Education Curriculum. Journal of Strategic Security 8 (3): 44–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crenshaw, Martha. 1998. The Subjective Reality of the Terrorist: Ideological and Psychological Factors in Terrorism. In Current Perspectives on International Terrorism, ed. Robert O. Slater and Michael Stohl, 12–46. London, UK: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  14. Davies, Philip H.J., and Kristian C. Gustafson. 2013. Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  15. de Rugy, Veronique. 2010. The Economics of Homeland Security. In Terrorizing Ourselves: Why US Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It, ed. Benjamin H. Friedman, Jim Harper, and Christopher A. Preble, 121–138. Washington, DC: The Cato Institute.Google Scholar
  16. Diamond, John. 2008. The CIA and the Culture of Failure: US Intelligence from the End of the Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Faddis, Charles. 2010. Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion of Homeland Security. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press.Google Scholar
  18. Falk, Richard. 2008. The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order After Iraq. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Forsyth, Murray. 1988. Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan. In The Political Classics, ed. Murray Forsyth and Maurice Keens-Soper, 120–145. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fox, Craig. 2011. Everyday Klansfolk: White Protestant Life and the KKK in 1920s Michigan. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gill, Peter. 1994. Policing Politics: Security Intelligence and the Liberal Democratic State. New York, NY: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  22. Goldenberg, Suzanne. 2004. Bush Ignored Warnings on Iraq Insurgency Threat Before Invasion. The Guardian, September 28.Google Scholar
  23. Goodman, Melvin A. 2008. Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Greenwald, Glenn. 2013. XKeyscore: NSA Tool Collects ‘Nearly Everything a User Does on the Internet’. The Guardian, July 31.Google Scholar
  25. Groeling, Tim, and Matthew A. Baum. 2015. The Longest War Story: Elite Rhetoric, News Coverage, and the US War in Afghanistan. In Strategic Narratives, Public Opinion and War: Winning Domestic Support for the Afghan War, ed. Bob De Graaf, George Dimitriu, and Jens Ringsmose, 318–348. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Hamm, Mark S. 2003. Hate Crimes. In Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime, ed. Eric Hickey, 213–215. London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Harris, Shane, and Nancy A. Youssef. 2015. 50 Spies Say ISIS Intelligence Was Cooked. The Daily Beast, September 9.Google Scholar
  28. Hayden, M. Alan, Glenn Greenwald Dershowitz, and Aram Ohanian. 2014. Does State Spying Make Us Safer? The Munk Debate on Mass Surveillance. Toronto, Canada: The House of Anansi.Google Scholar
  29. Hecking, Claus, and Stefan Schultz. 2013. Spying ‘Out of Control’: EU Official Questions Trade Negotiations. Der Spiegel, June 30.Google Scholar
  30. Higgs, Robert. 2002. US National Security: Illusions Versus Realities. Oakland, CA: The Independent Institute, June 30.Google Scholar
  31. Holsti, Ole R. 2011. American Public Opinion on the Iraq War. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. IAFIE. 2004. About Us. The International Association for Intelligence Education, Erie, PA. Accessed 13 Sept 2015.
  33. IAFIE-Europe. 2015. Mission Statement of the IAFIE—Europe. The International Association for Intelligence Education—Europe. Accessed 13 Sept 2015.
  34. IIHA. n.d. Association. International Intelligence History Association. Accessed 2 Feb 2017.
  35. Jeffreys-Jones, R. 1989. The CIA and American Democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, United States.Google Scholar
  36. Ketl, Donald F. 2014. System Under Stress: The Challenge to 21st Century Governance. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Kilcullen, David. 2009. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Landon-Murray, Michael. 2013. Moving US Academic Intelligence Education Forward: A Literature Inventory and Agenda. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 26 (4): 744–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lenz, Ryan, and Mark Potok. 2014. War in the West: The Bundy Ranch Standoff and the American Radical Right. Montgomery, AL: The Southern Poverty Law Center.Google Scholar
  40. Lockyer, Andrew. 1988. Aristotle: The Politics. In The Political Classics, ed. Murray Forsyth and Maurice Keens-Soper, 37–68. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Lowenthal, Mark. 2009. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy. Washington, DC: CQ Press.Google Scholar
  42. Macdonald, Stuart, and David Mair. 2015. Terrorism Online: A New Strategic Environment. In Terrorism Online: Politics, Law and Technology, ed. Lee Jarvis, Stuart Macdonald, and Thomas M. Chen, 10–34. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Mazzetti, Mark, and Matthew Apuzzo. 2015. Inquiry Weighs Whether ISIS Analysis Was Distorted. The New York Times, August 25.Google Scholar
  44. Moghadam, Assaf. 2006. The Roots of Terrorism. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers.Google Scholar
  45. Morgan, Murray J. 2008. The American Military After 9/11: Society, State and Empire. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nomikos, John, and Joseph G. Fitsanakis. 2017. Intelligence Beyond the Anglosphere: Mediterranean and Balkan Regions. Athens, Greece: Research Institute for European and American Studies.Google Scholar
  47. Olmsted, Kathryn S. 1996. Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  48. Owen, Thomas. 2011. US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing.Google Scholar
  49. Perez, Evan. 2015. DHS Intelligence Report Warns of Domestic Right-Wing Terror Threat. CNN, February 20.Google Scholar
  50. Perlroth, Nicole, Jeff Larson, and Scott Shane. 2013. NSA Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web. The New York Times, September 5.Google Scholar
  51. Pillar, Paul P. 2011. Intelligence and US Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Poitras, Laura. 2013. NSA Spied on European Union Offices. Der Spiegel, June 29.Google Scholar
  53. Poitras, Laura, Marcel Rosenbach, and Holger Stark. 2013. NSA Snoops on 500 Million German Data Connections. Der Spiegel, June 30.Google Scholar
  54. Post, Jerrold M. 1998. Terrorist Psycho-Logic: Terrorist Behavior as a Product of Psychological Forces. In Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, ed. Walter Reich, 25–41. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center.Google Scholar
  55. Ross, Jeffrey I. 2006. Will Terrorism End? New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers.Google Scholar
  56. Russomano, Joseph. 2011. Tortured Logic: A Verbatim Critique of the George W. Bush Presidency. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  57. Silke, Andrew. 2007. The Impact of 9/11 on Research on Terrorism. In Mapping Terrorism Research: State of the Art, Gaps and Future Direction, ed. Magnus Ranstorp, 76–93. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  58. SISG. 2000. Aims and Objectives. The Security and Intelligence Studies Group, United Kingdom Political Studies Association. Accessed 2 Feb 2017.
  59. Smith, Jonathan. 2013. Amateur Hour? Experience and Faculty Qualifications in US Intelligence Courses. Journal of Strategic Security 6 (3): 25–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Smith, Jordan M. 2012. FBI: Right-Wing Terror is Real. Salon, August 7.Google Scholar
  61. Taylor, Brendan. 2012. The Evolution of National Security Studies. National Security College Occasional Paper 3. Acton: Australian National University.Google Scholar
  62. Tooze, Adam. 2014. The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order, 1916–1931. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  63. United States Senate. 2004. Report on the US Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. Washington, DC: Select Committee on Intelligence. 108th Congress, July 7.Google Scholar
  64. US Department of Health and Human Services. 2002. Deaths in World Trade Center Terrorist Attacks. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 51: 16.Google Scholar
  65. US Government. 2002. National Intelligence Estimate: Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Washington, DC: US National Intelligence Council, October.Google Scholar
  66. US Government. 2005. Report to the President of the United States. Washington, DC: Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, March 31.Google Scholar
  67. US Government. 2009. Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division. Washington, DC: Department of Homeland Security, April 7.Google Scholar
  68. Wade, Wyn C. 1998. The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. New York, NY: The Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Walt, Stephen M. 1991. The Renaissance of Security Studies. International Studies Quarterly 35 (2): 211–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Webb, Maureen. 2007. Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post-9/11 World. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books.Google Scholar
  71. Woodward, Bob. 2008. State of Denial: Bush at War. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  72. Zakaria, Tabassum, and Warren Strobel. 2013. After ‘Cataclysmic’ Snowden Affair, NSA Faces Winds of Change. Reuters, December 14.Google Scholar
  73. Zegart, Amy B. 2007a. Universities Must Not Ignore Intelligence Research. The Chronicle of Higher Education 53 (45): 9.Google Scholar
  74. Zegart, Amy B. 2007b. Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 911. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coastal Carolina UniversityConwayUSA

Personalised recommendations