2016 "Bobby R. Inman Award" Recipient and Semifinalists Announced

Aug 10, 2016

Austin, Texas – The Intelligence Studies Project of the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the winner and two semifinalists of the second “Bobby R. Inman Award” recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The recipient of the 2016 “Inman Award” is Quentin Buckholz, a Masters of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. In his paper, “The 1980’s War Scare: Misperceptions, Mistaken Beliefs, and Missed Signals in US-Soviet Relations,” Mr. Buckholz assesses how the Soviet Union came to believe in the threat of a nuclear first strike by the United States in the early 1980s, and how US intelligence misinterpreted or dismissed that fear.

The graduate student semifinalist is Daniel Severson, a recent J.D. and M.P.P. graduate of Harvard University. His paper, “National Security Reporting Requirements: Managing the Tension Between Secrecy and Accountability,” explores the potential benefits and limitations of reporting requirements mandating disclosure to Congress of the legal rationale underlying certain sensitive intelligence activities.

The undergraduate semifinalist is James “Jake” Barnett, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Barnett’s History Honors Thesis, “When Culture Eats Strategy: Examining the Phoenix/Phung Hoang Bureaucracy in the Vietnam War,” uses statistical methods to assess the effectiveness of (and accountability for) US counterinsurgency programs undertaken during the Vietnam conflict.

More than 150 high-quality papers from students at dozens of U.S. colleges and universities were submitted in the second Inman Award competition. The papers were evaluated on their academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the US intelligence community. The Intelligence Studies Project extends sincere thanks to the participating students (and their professors) for continued support of this unique award program.

The Intelligence Studies Project was established at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 as a joint venture of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security. In partnership with the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Project’s mission is to improve understanding of intelligence activities and institutions through research, courses, and public events bringing intelligence practitioners together with scholars, students, and the public.

The Inman Award recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Admiral Inman served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and the University of Texas. His previous intelligence posts include Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. He continues to serve as a teacher and mentor to students, faculty members, and current government officials while occupying the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Additional information on the Inman Award competition and the Intelligence Studies Project is available at http://intelligencestudies.utexas.edu/inman-award.