Visit To The Atlantic Council

Monday, December 1, 2014 at 5 p.m. at the Atlantic Council. During my time at the Atlantic Council, I was very interested from the beginning on how the mediator of the talk with Dr. Gregory F. Treverton, the Chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, asked specific and more personal questions. The Questions were dealing with Iraq and Russia were on how things could have been prevented, or dealt with better as problems arose.

In the first section of the interview, Russia was the main focus. Not what was going on in Russia, but the United States’ relationship with them. The first question to the chairman was, “Should we have known where things were going in Russia? What is YOUR take? Take us back, and how you feel now.” The chairman responded in a very unique way. He referred to first the Cold War, saying that in 1989-1991 after long debates and a drawn out process, peace was finally found. Also, he talked about 9/11 and how there was a clear cut set of “instructions” to deal with the issue; go after the bad people. He stated that although maybe one geopolitical framework is gone, it is not being replaced by a new one, and the US was kind of dismissive of the subject. This in turn was seen as a “diss” to Putin, and since Russia was not as much of a power as they were during the Cold War era, the US jumped to new feelings towards Russia, and showed things will quickly change with time.

Other than Russia, the chairman was also asked about the United States and securities take on the ISIS situation in Iraq. “We failed to sense how fast ISIS would sweep across Iraq. Is there anyway this could have been different?” The chairman responded by basically saying it was not just the work of ISIS, but their success has and will continue to be partially on behalf of how fast Iraqi forces melted. Their will to fight could not be changed and disintegrated at the first sight of the conflict and violence going on. The US was wrong about their adversaries and allies in thinking that would want to fight to try and end the terrorism going on. Also, even with ISIS being careful not to unveil any important information, the violence and brutality came as a surprise to outsiders looking in on things such as the videos of American’s being beheaded. With all this trouble in Iraq and with ISIS, the chairman is certain ISIS will be caught up to.

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