Spies and the Virus: COVID-19 and Intelligence Forewarning in the United States

Seminar by Dr Joseph Fitsanakis at CeSaR, University of Edinburgh
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 15:00

Our friends in the Centre for Security Resarch (CeSaR) at the University of Edinburgh are hosting a seminar entitled ‘Spies and the Virus: COVID-19 and Intelligence Forewarning in the United States'. The seminar takes place on 23rd March at 15.00 GMT and you can register here.

Dr Fitsanakis' talk will explore the lessons of SARS-CoV-2 for strategic warning intelligence in these volatile and unpredictable times. The United States global biosecurity programme dates back to the early 1960s, when the CIA began monitoring disease outbreaks in Asia. Today, America’s biosurveillance and biodefense functions encompass dozens of federal agencies, and are among the most advanced in the world. Dr Fitsinakis will ask why Washington’s response to COVID-19 was so catastrophically slow, resulting in a biosecurity disaster of unparalleled magnitude.

Dr Fitsanakis is Associate Professor of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in the United States, where he teaches in the Intelligence and National Security Studies program. He has written extensively on intelligence and security, and has published research on intelligence agencies in the United States, Greece, China, Sudan, and North Korea, among other countries. Before joining Coastal Carolina University, Joseph built the Security and Intelligence Studies program at King University, where he also directed the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies. He is also deputy director of the European Intelligence Academy and manging editor of The Journal of European and American Intelligence Studies. Joseph is a proud alumnus of Edinburgh University, having received his MSc from the Science Studies Unit in 1997, and his PhD from the Department of Politics and International Relations in 2002