Christopher Andrew, Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Cambridge and former Official Historian of British Security Service MI5, delivered this year’s Stimson Lectures on World Affairs, a series of three lectures that took place over the course of the first week in November at the MacMillan Center. Known for his scholarship on the history of intelligence, he addressed the topic “The Lost History of Global Intelligence—and Why It Matters.”
Throughout the three lectures, Andrew stressed a few overarching themes. He noted that although the strategic importance of signal intelligence (SIGINT) is commonly accepted, there is a surprisingly poor understanding of its history. “No WWII or post-WWII profession was as ignorant of its own history as the intelligence community,” he said, attributing this ignorance to the inherently clandestine nature of espionage operations. Because of its ignorance of its history, the intelligence community is unable to learn from past mistakes. Andrew said, “intelligence history is not linear… it sometimes goes backwards.” He also expressed frustration at how modern SIGINT is commonly seen as more advanced than SIGINT in history, using as an example the code-breaking superiority under Queen Elizabeth I compared to that of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Yale’s Jackson Institute should become a school of global affairs featuring a robust, faculty-driven research program dedicated to solving real-world problems and shaping a better future for humanity, according to a vision described in an advisory committee report released Nov. 14.
Founded in 2010 largely as a teaching enterprise through a generous gift from John Jackson ’67 and Susan Jackson, the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs currently houses a thriving educational program that serves hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students each year. In 2017, Provost Benjamin Polak convened an advisory committee of eight senior faculty members to consider the institute’s future and assess whether Jackson should be transformed into an independent professional school.
One challenge in studying a once-in-a-century financial crisis is that it only happens once in a century; lessons aren’t easily passed down to the people who will face the next one. Yale SOM’s Andrew Metrick and a team at the Yale Program on Financial Stability are studying the global financial crisis of 2007-09, working to create the knowledge and tools to prepare the next generation of policymakers who find themselves in the eye of a monetary maelstrom.