Dearest Delegates to the Central Intelligence Agency,

Welcome to the most powerful committee at Harvard Model Congress! The Central Intelligence Agency is the primary organization within the US government tasked with intelligence gathering, processing and analyzing intelligence from around the world in order to defend and further US interests. Formed immediately following World War II in an attempt to centralize US intelligence gathering, the agency has rapidly evolved. Originally, this was primarily accomplished through the use of informants and other traditional espionage techniques. However, in recent years there has been a shift towards new intelligence gathering techniques in response to the increasing importance of computers. The CIA’s standard operating procedures are shrouded in shadows for the sake of national security; many of their actions are classified as top secret and the public rarely is aware of them.

On September 11, 2001, the United States was victim to one of the largest attacks on national security in American history. In response, congressional and executive action in the Bush administration expanded its program on combating terror, namely adopting a policy of rendition and detention. The policy enables intelligence agencies to extradite suspected terrorists to states to be detained and interrogated. Has this policy been effective in combating this national campaign of the “war on terror?” With so much political strife and controversy surrounding rendition and detention, do the costs even outweigh the benefits? Moreover, what are the moral ramifications of adopting such a policy? These are the questions we will consider, debate, and resolve in an intense conversation with the CIA.

Additionally, the future of warfare is upon us. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and increasingly better robot design, experts today are considering a future battlefield in which robots, not humans, conduct much of the fighting. Beyond the obvious attraction of minimizing the risk of human loss of life, such modernization rests within a context of a global arms race - how should the US approach their development such that it maintains an edge in tomorrow’s militarized world? However, development of such “killer robots” also raises profound ethical concerns, and can create particular discomfort when considering the ramifications of developing AI that can decide for itself if it will kill humans.

The CIA is truly an amazing committee. During the conference, you'll grapple with challenging dilemmas affecting national security, human rights, and the future of conflict itself. We will spend time examining the CIA's authority to detain individuals overseas and bring them across borders. We'll consider how to approach warfighting in the Age of AI. As delegates representing the US's largest foreign intelligence agency, you will be challenged to make decisions that will have a tremendous impact on the safety and security of Americans and people around the world. As you can tell, we have our work cut out for us! Ladies and gentlemen, buckle your seatbelts and put on your helmets as we traverse the untraversed and launch into four days of intense debate!

We look forward to meeting you all in January at this session of HMC Dubai!

Yours truly,
Daniel Nguyen
Will Matheson
Chairs, Central Intelligence Agency, HMCD 2018