'The study of intelligence as an academic subject is a growing area'

August 24, 2007

A lecturer in war studies is starting a project as the official historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

How the Government uses the intelligence it receives from its secret services has come under unprecedented scrutiny ever since it became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Now the previously closed world of the Joint Intelligence Committee - the much-criticised body responsible for co-ordinating the work of the intelligence agencies and briefing ministers and officials - is to be opened to unprecedented academic scrutiny.

From next month, Michael Goodman, 29, lecturer in the department of war studies at King's College London, will start a two-year project as the official historian of the JIC.

Dr Goodman joined King's in 2004 after achieving a BA in history and archaeology from Leicester University and an MA in politics and contemporary history from Nottingham University. His doctoral thesis examined British intelligence estimates of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme during the early Cold War, an account of which will be published in December - Spying on the Nuclear Bear: Anglo-American Intelligence and the Soviet Bomb .

Dr Goodman will be seconded to the Cabinet Office and will contribute to its official history programme, which is intended to provide accounts of events in British history from the time of the JIC's origins in 1936 to the end of the Cold War.

A key focus of his work will be to examine how governments have used JIC findings historically.

Dr Goodman said he hopes to make the history of intelligence more accessible and to promote openness in respect of intelligence information in the public domain. He said: "The study of intelligence as an academic subject is a growing area, largely influenced by the current situation in Iraq."

His work, drawing on classified sources, will be published in 2011 to coincide with the JICs 75th anniversary.

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