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Spies, Lies & Intelligence

Professor Sir Michael HowardThe Conflict series conference attracted over 250 participants in early September. The speaker list was headed by Professor Sir Michael Howard (photo left) and other speakers included Bill Duff, formerly with the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and Oleg Gordievsky, former KGB Colonel and head of its London station. He had worked secretly for British Intelligence for 11 years until his exfiltration from the Soviet Union in 1985. He gave an overview of 20th century Soviet intelligence activity in Britain and a most moving description of his own escape from certain execution.

The college’s annual autumn conference in its popular Conflict series attracted an attendance of over 250 participants in early September.  The event again enjoyed a strong following from Britain and overseas, some guests sampling a Christ Church Conflict event for the first time, others returning for this the sixth event in the series.

 

The speaker list of over 20 experts, historians and practitioners was headed by Professor Sir Michael Howard OM CH MC D Litt FBA, Honorary Student of Christ Church, who opened the proceedings. A warmly received newcomer was Bill Duff, formerly with the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, an expert speaker on the lessons learned in Northern Ireland during the years of IRA and ‘loyalist’ terrorism.

 

Oleg Gordievsky, former KGB ColonelThe star closing speaker was Oleg Gordievsky, former KGB Colonel and head of its London station.  He had worked secretly for British Intelligence for 11 years until his exfiltration from the Soviet Union in 1985.  Though his talk was ostensibly an overview of 20th century Soviet intelligence activity in Britain, his most moving description was of his own escape from certain execution.

 

At the end of the conference, John Harris, Steward of Christ Church, and director of the college’s conference programmes, announced the 2007 conflict theme: Nature of War.  This will be held at the House between Sunday 9th and Friday 14th September 2007 and is led by Professor Hughes Strachan, Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford.  Details will be on this website shortly and a printed programme will again be available.

 

Guests who attended Spies, Lies & Intelligence can listen again to these lectures and those by all other conference speakers via a special feature on this website.

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