Dr. David Strachan Morris, SFHEA, MSecII

Lecturer in Intelligence and Security

School/Department: History Politics and International Relations, School of



Dr. David Strachan-Morris, SFHEA, MSecII is the Programme Director for the Distance Learning MA in Intelligence and Security and is Co-Director of Distance Learning for the School of History Politics and International Relations. Previously he worked as a political and security risk analyst in the private sector, served in the British Army as an intelligence operator, and was a Police Officer in the West Midlands Police Force. He holds a PhD from the University of Wolverhampton, awarded in 2011. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Security Institute of Ireland. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Policing Intelligence and Counterterrorism, the Journal of Security Intelligence and Resilience Education, and Intelligence and National Security as well as being a board member of the Europe Chapter of the International Association for Intelligence Education. Dr. Strachan-Morris’ research interests cover intelligence counterinsurgency and private security companies.


Before joining the University of Leicester I worked as a political and security risk analyst in the private sector and served in the British Army so my academic research interests largely reflect my previous background and experience. My primary research interest is intelligence, concentrating on issues of risk and uncertainty, and looking at how intelligence agencies - in the public and private sectors - can best support decision makers in complex environments. My secondary research interest is counterinsurgency, focusing on its continued utility as an operational level tool to enable a military force to achieve a specific aim in a specific area. Finally, I also have a special interest in private security companies and their role. At the moment I am researching and writing on Military Intelligence with a focus on Combat Intelligence.



Spreading Ink Blots from Da Nang to the DMZ: An Analysis of the US Marine Corps Strategy in Vietnam, published by Helion in 2020.


'Developing Theory on the Use of Intelligence by Non-State Actors: Five Case Studies on Insurgent Intelligence', in Intelligence and National Security, Vol 34, No 7, December 2019; 

'The Use of Intelligence by Insurgent Groups: the North Vietnamese in the Second Indochina War as a Case Study', in Intelligence and National Security, Vol 34, No 7, December 2019; 

'The Who, What, Why, and How of Teaching Intelligence: The Leicester Approach' (co-authored with Mark Phythian and Helen Dexter), in Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 32, No. 7, June 2017; 

'Threat and Risk: What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter?', in Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 27, No. 2, April 2012, pp. 172-186; 

'Leadership Decapitation: Al Qaida in Iraq as a Case Study', in RUSI Journal, Vol. 155, No. 4, 2010. 

Book Chapters:

'Controlling the Corporate Warrior in Iraq' in Gary Schaub (ed.), Private Military and Security Contractors: Controlling the Corporate Warrior (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016); 

'The Intelligence Cycle in the Corporate World: Bespoke or Off the Shelf' in Mark Phythian (ed.), Understanding the Intelligence Cycle (Routledge, 2013); 

'From the Banana Wars to the Three Block War: Warrior Scholars in the US Marine Corps', in Mumford and Reis (eds.), Warrior Scholars in Counterinsurgency (Routledge, 2013);

'Iraq', in Farson et al (eds), PSI Handbook of Global Intelligence and Security: National Approaches, (Westport, CT, Praeger Security International, 2008).


I am keen to supervise PhD projects focusing on Intelligence, but I will also consider projects on Counterinsurgency and Private Security Companies.


MA Courses: MA DL Intelligence and Security

Modules: PL7540 Intelligence - Key Concepts and Debates; PL7541 Intelligence Techniques and Tradecraft; PL7542 Intelligence Failure; PL7543 Intelligence Ethics

Press and media

I would be happy to answer press queries on Intelligence, Counterinsurgency, and Private Security Companies.


Editorial Board Member: Intelligence and National Security; Journal of Policing Intelligence and Counter Terrorism; Journal of Security, Intelligence, and Resilience Education

Board Member: International Association for Intelligence Education Europe Chapter

Association Member: International Studies Association; International Association for Intelligence Education; Security Institute of Ireland


BA (Hons): War Studies with Politics (University of Wolverhampton)

PG Cert: Information Systems Management (De Montfort University)

PhD: Thesis Title "An Analysis of the Origins and Implementation of the US Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Strategy in Vietnam March 1965 to November 1968" (University of Wolverhampton)

Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Member of the Security Institute of Ireland (MSecII) 

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