Intel and the Arab Spring: What Does the Future Hold?
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When: From 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: International Spy Museum

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"The Arab Spring…was ‘an intelligence disaster for the US'".—Michael Scheuer, The Guardian, August 28, 2011.

How could the world have missed the signs that an Arab Spring was coming? Did the U.S. suffer from poor intelligence, compromised relationships, or simply a failure of the imagination? And now how do we prevent the reemergence of blind spots as we build relationships with rapidly emerging regimes and their intelligence services? Join experts Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East, and a former Middle East specialist in the CIA's Clandestine Service; and Colonel W. Patrick Lang, former Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism, author of Intelligence: The Human Factor, and expert consultant on intel operations in Muslim countries; for a spirited discussion of how the U.S.'s understanding—or misunderstanding—of the Middle East affects intelligence collection and analysis in the region. The CIA has a long history of dealing with dictatorships. Often the nastier the dictator, the easier the liaison relationship. Sparks may fly when the speakers share their potentially conflicting ideas about how the U.S. can alter a decades-old paradigm of, "He may be an S.O.B., but he's our S.O.B.”

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