I retired from the US Government in early January 2019 following a 39-year career with the US Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research where I managed, mentored, and wrote voluminously about diplomacy, politics and military affairs for elected leaders, foreign policy decision-makers, military officials and congressional figures. I started my intelligence career when when Jimmy Carter was President and Cyrus Vance was Secretary of State, and counted among my mentors Hugh Montgomery (photo, presenting me with an award), OSS counter-intelligence officer, handler for Oleg Penkovsky, director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1981 - 1985) and US Ambassador to the United Nations. I was present when the intelligence community and the State Department made the transition from manual typewriters and rotary telephones to email and internet connectivity -- a prolonged, uneasy shift which, while obviously necessary, in my judgment affected and continues to impair the quality of analyses being delivered to policymakers. During my career I received numerous awards for my unique analytic work on the USSR (1980-87) and the Middle East (1987-2014).
From 1980 to 1987, I worked on the USSR (known today as "Russia"), discerning Soviet leadership thinking and intentions from open media (Pravda, Izvestiya, etc.). I was trained in Kremlinology by colleagues, some of whom had earlier in their careers worked for the Office of Strategic Services.
During this time I explored and wrote about the implications of a broad range of Soviet clandestine activities and covert operations and eventually was recruited to be the sole writer for the Active Measures Working Group. Please click here to read a study documenting the activities of the AMWG.
In 1987 I was invited by the department leadership to work on the Middle East, and for the next 27 years examined the Arab-Israeli conflict, US-Israel relations, Israel's relationship with Iran, Syria, Russia, the Palestinians, internal Israeli politics, political-military relations and the strategic balance. I worked on foreign policy issues related to Africa for several years prior to my retirement.
During the course of my career I received numerous Departmental and intelligence community awards for my leadership skills and scholarship. I penned thousands of articles, memos, research papers and in-depth analyses on a vast array of topics for policymakers, Congress and the White House, and appeared before Congressional committees to provide testimony and assessments. I am intimately familiar with analytic tradecraft and the intelligence profession more generally; my expertise is open-source and all-source intelligence analysis. Please contact me if I can be of assistance. Thank you.