Interview of Thursday, 17 September 2020 between Bruce Riedel, Director, The Intelligence Project at the Center for Middle East Policy, and AFIO President James Hughes, a former CIA Operations Officer.
TOPIC: Mr. Riedel discusses his background and crucial work while on the National Security Council during the Iraq War. The interview runs 30 minutes.
BIOS: BRUCE RIEDEL - Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Center for Middle East Policy Director - The Intelligence Project Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, part of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. In addition, Riedel serves as a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency, including postings overseas. He was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was also deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels. Riedel was a member of President Bill Clinton’s peace process team and negotiated at Camp David and other Arab-Israeli summits and he organized Clinton’s trip to India in 2000. In January 2009, President Barack Obama asked him to chair a review of American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the president announced in a speech on March 27, 2009. In 2011, Riedel served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked him to brief the United Kingdom’s National Security Council in London on Pakistan. His book "What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979-1989" (Brookings Institution Press, 2014) won the gold medal for best new book on war and military affairs at the INDIEFAB awards. His new book is "Beirut 1958 How America’s Wars in the Middle East Began" (Brookings Institution Press, 2019). Riedel is a graduate of Brown (B.A.), Harvard (M.A.), and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London. He has taught at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, and he has been a guest lecturer at Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, and other universities. Riedel is a recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Distinguished Intelligence Career Medal..
JAMES R. HUGHES currently serves as the 17th President of AFIO. His service began January 2015. He had a career of US Government service spanning 37 years in numerous foreign countries with a particular focus in the Middle East. He started in U.S. Military Intelligence in the late 1960s and then joined the CIA’s Clandestine Service. He served overseas as a Chief of Station several times, and at CIA Headquarters in a number of senior management positions, including as Chief of the Near East and South Asia Division, in the Directorate of Operations [today’s National Clandestine Service]. He was also named the Associate Deputy Director of Operations (ADDO) at the National Security Agency, 1998-99. Following his retirement from the government in 2005, he joined EDS in Herndon, Virginia, as the Client Industry Executive for the U.S. Intelligence Community. After the HP acquisition of EDS, he continued to serve in a similar capacity until his retirement in 2012. His parents were missionaries in Turkey in the 1950s, where Jim spent his formative years. He attended the prep schools of two of the most famous missionary-founded universities in the Middle East: Robert College in Istanbul and the American University-Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon. He is fluent in Arabic, and has extensive knowledge of, and appreciation for, the arts, geography, culture, and religions of that region. He has been an AFIO member since 2005 and joined the board in 2009.
Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z93_tv9BHUE
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