National Security Experts


Michael F. Scheuer

Biography provided by participant

New York Times and Washington Post bestselling author Michael Scheuer is the former head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit. He resigned from CIA in November 2004 after nearly two decades of experience in covert action and national security issues related to Afghanistan, South Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author of the new book, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq (Free Press, 2008). He also wrote Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism (Potomac Books, 2004), and Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America (Potomac Books, 2002). Scheuer's writings also have appeared in the Atlantic, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle,, New York Times, American Conservative, Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, India Today, Washington Post, the National Interest, and the American Interest. Scheuer has been featured on such national television news programs as Meet the Press, Nightline, 60 Minutes, the O'Reilly Factor, and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, as well as on international television news programs in Britain, Australia, France, Spain, Japan, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, China, and Germany. He has been interviewed for broadcast media and documentaries -- including Frontline, the History Channel, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and PBS -- and has been the focus of print media worldwide. Scheuer holds a B.A., two M.A.'s, and a Ph. D. He is an Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University and a consultant for CBS's 60 Minutes.

Recent Responses

March 15, 2012 07:07 AM

I certainly concur with Colonel Lang. I would add that the act under discussion also may be the result of the pressure on the soldier in question -- and probably on all his colleagues in Afghanistan -- from fully knowing that presidents Bush and Obama had no intention of winning the war he and they were sent to fight in Afghanistan. They were and are, in essence, targets for our enemies and their civilian supporters. The best hope of our Marines and soldiers is to live through another useless exercise of war as social work in Afghanistan. No man or woman wants to be the last soldier to die in any war, but the real question is why any man or women would serve in the U.S. military if they know that their commander-in-chief and his senior civilian and uniformed military advisers have no intention of winning any of the many wars they start. If Bush, Obama, Gates, Petraeus, McChrystal, Panetta, the COIN experts, the Brookings boys, et. al. really believe their mantra that "there are no military solutions" to the wars we fight, why do we got to war? To loose, as

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March 6, 2012 12:30 PM

It is interesting that the question as posed does not ask whether a war with Iran is in America's genuine national interrest, or whether the AIPAC fifth column ought be consulted by Obama in place of the Congress and the American people. Obama, in essence, stood before AIPAC as a despot, presenting himself -- all to accurately these days -- as the sole decider in the United States on the issue of going to war. In this practice, he follows other recent Democratic and Republican presidents who have illegally arrogated to themselves the Congress's sole prerogative to declare war. Indeed, from out on the campaign trail Mitt Romnet spoke to AIPAC and sounded as if he intended to out-despot Obama.

But the real oddity of Obama's weekend performance and Romney's statement is that they adroitly mixed the two roles they had to play before AIPAC, not only that of the despot but also that of the slave. Even in the Internet Age, some news seems to travel slowly. Neither man seemed aware that the U.S. Constitution was long ago amended to outlaw slavery.

Last weekend, Barack O

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July 23, 2010 07:27 AM

The "Anbar Miracle" was a cheap political expedient Petraeus designed to get both parties past the 2008 presidential election without having Iraq on the front pages. And it was only possible because of al-Qaeda's al-Zarqawi and his brutal stupidity. It is even now unraveling before our eyes as al-Qaeda is returning and the Shia-Sunni civil war In Iraq nears.

Petraeus will fail in Afghanistan as he did in Iraq. No al-Zarqawi reddux is coming to that four-star hoax's rescue. The Taleban have won the war. We will withdraw with our tail between our legs. The Muslim world will be galvanized by the defeat of the second superpower.

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July 9, 2010 10:42 AM

Wouldn't it be great if the four serving members of the federal legislature who are listed as contributors to this blog would write and explain how wrong critics of the U.S.-Israel are about Washington's subservience to Israel First? They could give all contributors the straight skinny on how the world's greatest power is the master of its own fate, how israel cannot draq America into war, and how AIPAC cannot corruptly influence the congressional elections its targets. Come on, Congress people, after all you work for and are paid by US, so tell all of us, using specific examples, just how much material benefit the United States gets from being Israel's shield, shill, and cash cow (and no whinning about the Holocaust and the Middle East's "small island of democracy"!) Why haven't you helped us by providing the "facts" on this week's question.

Oh, I know! You are too busy to write because you are all out battling for the free speech rights of CNN's Octavia Nasr, just as you exhausted yourselves battling for those of Helen Thomas! Oh well, maybe next tim

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July 6, 2010 08:45 PM

Netanyahu's strategy is to spout hopeful nonsense about an unobtainable peace in public, and then come to here to give Obama his marching orders.

Netanyahu knows that since his last visit Obama has been briefed on the destruction AIPAC and the Israel Firsters can and are willing to inflict on the already poor prospects of Democrats at the mid-term polls in November. Listening to Obama's groveling words after meeting with Netanyahu today it is clear that our president has been threatened by AIPAC, that he believes the threat is genuine, and that reelecting Democrats this fall is far more important to him than is keeping the United States out of Israel's religious wars with Muslims. What was proven today is that the U.S. government's executive and legislative branches are wholly owned subsidiaries of AIPAC and the Israel-Firsters; that almost all of the U.S. media recognizes and approves of this reality, the ongoing and blatant corruption that produces it, and the media's own clear subservience to the corrupters; and that the views of American voters on this iss

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July 1, 2010 03:30 PM

There was no baiting involved in my response. Most of the U.S. journalistic community has an agenda which is left-of-center, anti-military, and always ready to compromise U.S. national security for a scoop. Dana Priest, for example, opted to grasp for the Pulitzer Prize even at the cost of severely degrading a working and productive U.S. intelligence program. And, obviously, she was rewarded for her anti-U.S. action by the doyens of the journalistic community, which surely must reflect on their attitudes as well. How supportive of the U.S. war effort is that?

The hyprocrisy that sticks most in my throat, however, comes from the crocodile tears so many journalists shed over the astounding number of amputees our armed forces have suffered because of land mines and IEDs. Deaths from both causes could be greatly reduced if the U.S. military simply mined the Pak-Afghan border and the appropriate Iraqi borders to staunch the flow of such devices and other ordnance into each country.

We don't and are troops are killed and maimed because much of the media and other left-of

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July 1, 2010 08:12 AM

Leave the system alone except for stopping the practice of embedding reporters with U.S. combat units.

The bulk of the U.S. and Western media is anti-military, anti-U.S., and more interested in finding and reporting negative things about our forces than they are in seeing us win the war. More than a few of the rest are simply pro-Pentagon shills who specialize in taking small, one-off, and transitory local successes in Iraq or Afghanistan and extrapolating them into countrywide triumphs. How many times have we read front-page stories in the Washington Post or NY Times about a small success in Konar, Helmand, Kandahar, or some other Afghan province that is hailed as the miracle cure for the war, and then a few weeks later learn that the Taleban have returned to control the area? The media, on the whole, is negative force that makes winning wars much more difficult. That said, it is better to cope with that reality and let the pests do as they please and avoid any sort of censorship. But stop the process of embedding. If the big, brave journali

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June 24, 2010 01:12 PM

General McChrystal's insubordinate but perfectly accurate words disqualified him from continuing to command U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Obama is a wimp, Holbrooke is a fool, and Biden is marooned in the Cold War. Still, if you take the king's shilling and you must do the king's bidding, and do it silently. The problem of McChrystral is over and will have no impact on the Afghan War. That war was lost more than a year ago by Obama, Biden, Holbrooke, McChrystal, and Petraeus and their fantasy counterinsurgency policy.

Four months after the first field test of their policy in a place called Majrah District in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province the forces of the U.S.-led coalition are still fighting an enemy they predicted would be easily removed. It has, however, succeeded in reopening the local market, improving the irrigation system, and building miles of new roads. What they have utterly failed to do is what the counterinsurgency experts -- especially two men named John Nagl and David Kilcullen -- asserted would be easy to do; namely, by "protectin

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June 16, 2010 10:18 AM

For America, the keys to sovereignty, independence of action, and wars fought only for genuine national interests are to avoid formal alliances whenever possible and establish non-intervention as the country's default response to international affairs. "Friends with all, allies with almost none" may well be a good synopsis of the conditions for which U.S. diplomats should aim. As noted by other contributors, the Cold War put a premium on concluding alliances with as many countries as we could, with NATO as primus inter pares. But the reality is that Mutually Assured Destruction and skilled U.S. and British leaders, not NATO and the other alliances, prevented a war between the United States and the USSR. Nonetheless, we have since 1991 treated NATO and the others as somehow sacrosanct when they are really more burden than blessing. We are still in Afghanistan, for example, at least in part because we took the continental NATO countries with us and they proved for the most part militarily useless and eager to placate those in need of killing. Overall

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June 8, 2010 03:20 PM

Washington's bipartisan groveling to and knee-jerk support for Israeli actions are nearing an epic success. They are shattering the last of the thin veneer of Westernization in Turkey; reminding the Turks they are Muslims; pushing the Turks into the Muslim world; and encouraging Islamism in Turkey. This is a nightmarish achievement of Homeric dimensions and was caused by Israel and its U.S.-citizen friends corrupting, intimidating, and ultimately dictating policy to U.S. politicians and media. With an economy on the rocks, two wars being lost, and Obama's lynch-law-style chase of BP unfolding, we find the decision about war in the Levant, and whether the United States joins it, is in the hands of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ability to divine what God wants done to protect His chosen people. This is insane. The solution to the problem is for America to stop intervening. No U.S. politician should tell the Israelis how to defend themselves. If Israel's leaders believe their country's security depends on the IDF boarding and shooting up relief

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June 3, 2010 09:00 AM

1.) A federal government that cannot control its spending, is irretrievably in debt, and concentrates its borrowing from the coffers of U.S. enemies, China and Saudi Arabia. 2.) A military establishment that is the best and most expensive in the world, but is led by men and women who cannot win a war or even define winning. 3.) A federal government that takes $25-30 billion/yr from citizens and gives it to foreigners, while Americans, some jobless and hungry, watch the industrial/transport infrastructure rot. 4.) A higher education system that has taught three generations of kids that wars can be fought without killing, and that, in any event, America is not really worth defending. 6.) A culture that cries crocodile tears for dead Gulf of Mexico shrimp, but celebrates the use of a "right" that has seen AMA members kill for profit 47-million Americans since 1973. 7.) A federal government that will not lift a finger to control its borders, thereby knowingly endangering national security and surrendering a

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May 27, 2010 08:58 AM

It really does not matter who is charge anymore because the Intelligence Reform Act was proposed by liars (the 9/11 Commission), drafted by fools (U.S. congressional staffers), passed by men and women who never read the bill (Congress and Senate), and signed by a light-weight (George W. Bush). On top of that it became law because of the whining and preening of the families of those killed on 9/11. An analogy to that process would find Franklin Roosevelt and General Marshall calling in the family of ordinary seaman Jones, killed at Pearl Harbor, to offer condolences and say: "You know, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, we seem to have a little trouble with Imperial Japan, please tell us what U.S. war policy should be." Following this tack, the grandchildren of Roosevelt and General Marshall would now be truckling to the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, just as both our political parties truckle to anyone who will sell us oil or lend us money. The problem lies at base in the lying 9/11 Commission report which identified the plumbing chart of the Intelligence C

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May 17, 2010 12:33 PM

There surely cannot be a more telling indictment of the U.S. educational system than to find two consecutive administrations, staffed by the brightest graduates of prestigious U.S. universities, wondering what to do in Afghanistan. The cause of this confusion lies in our teachers -- especially in high school and university -- teaching the young that freedom is the universal value. The indoctrinated students carry this insane notion with them into adulthood and adhere to it throughout their lives; it seems to take deepest, most harmful root in those we elect to federal office. If this fatuous theory is dropped, there would be no basis for confusion about what to do in Afghanistan, (or in many other foreign policy problems). Simply accept that power is the universal value and then, with this clear, timeless truth in hand, the Afghan issue is easy to understand. For the United States: (a) Afghanistan it is a military problem; (b) We will win there or we will lose; and (c) there is nothing satisfactory or even plausible between winning and losing. The Taleban and its all

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May 8, 2010 06:38 AM

Why not simply declare that the United States will not go to war against Iran or any other Arab regime Israel dislikes without: (a) prior consultation and agreement on the need for war between the Obama Administration and Israel; (b) a request by the president that Congress declare war; and (c) a full and public debate in Congress before it votes on whether or not to commit the lives and fortunes of 300 million Americans to war on Israel's behalf against a country -- Iran, Syria, etc. -- that poses no threat to the United States.

This process would have the advanatge of following the Founders' intent and the letter of the constitution. And if conducted in an adult manner, it would allow enough time for the U.S. electorate to inform their federal representatives of their views on allowing Israel and its disloyal U.S. citizen proxies to dictate U.S. policy in the Muslim world and get increasing numbers of their soldier-children killed.

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April 17, 2010 10:26 AM

Poor Mr. Serwer. He has reached the point that all living in Washington risk reaching -- an absolute in ability to distinguish between motion and movement, and between skill and artifice. The world I live in is the one all Americans live in; that is, one where our recent presidents in both parties have failed utterly to defend America. Obama has little to do with the issue, except that like he, like his three predecessors, is unwilling to do the hard things needed to protect the country and works only for re-election. The nuclear conference was a hoax, and to even dream that Obama is in the same league as the other presidents whose ultimate aim was no nukes suggests a pressing need for anti-hallucinatory medication. Poor Pollyanna Obama is just fresh red meat for Medvedev and Putin to munch on at their leisure. Anyway, too much nuclear stuff has been loose for too long. A nuclear device is on it's way to C0NUS from somewhere, and the one, slim chance to stop it is to control our borders and Obama, like his predecessors, will not do that, and so -- BOOM.

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April 13, 2010 07:27 PM

QUESTION: Why would President Obama think a "nuclear free world" is possible?

ANSWER: Because -- like Woodrow Wilson -- he has been trained to see the world he wants, not the one that's on offer.

The nuclear cat is long out of the bag. Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama have treated nuclear proliferation and fully securing the FSU's WMD arsenal as part-time, little interest, all-talk activity since the Berlin Wall fell. North Korea and Pakistan have become nuclear powers since the Bolsheviks went belly up; Iran is on the brink; and who knows how many weapons the war-mongering Israelis have added to their unaccounted-for WMD arsenal. The world also seems pretty much rife with loose enriched uranium, nuclear waste, CBW stuff, and -- perhaps -- a loose nuke or two.

As a result, this is preeminently an era where we ought to be maintaining and improving the quality of our WMD arsenal. This is especially the case because our enemies -- nation-state and non-nation-state -- have seen us repeatedly prove that U.S. conventional military forces cannot

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March 23, 2010 09:05 AM

Not since Citizen Genet has a foreigner behaved as atrociously in America as did Netanyahu at last night’s conclave of 8,000 cheering U.S. citizens -- which the media say included 300-plus congressmen and senators -- who are more loyal to Israel than the United States and want to kill their fellow citizens‘ kids in a war with Iran. The behavior of Genet and Netanyahu, I think, reflects the fact that each represents an arrogant government that rules by violence. Still, thanks to Netanyahu Obama has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- dump the Israelis and the Palestinians now. The thoughts and daring of General Petraeus are worth having, but more worth having would be a clear public Obama presentation to Americans describing the Israelis’ plans for continuing to annex Palestinian land, as well as their vision for a Palestinian "state," a state that would have all of a nation-state‘s attributes except independence, sovereignty, and self-rule; that is, a Palestinian state that would be a pathetic and dependent grand duchy of Israel.

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March 18, 2010 09:39 PM

With respect for Colonel Lang, these prisoners should absolutely be prisoners of war and they should be kept as far away from the civilian legal system as possible. This would immediately prevent any chance of harsh intrerogation, torture, call it what you will. It also would help Americans understand that we are engaged in a war, and that our soldiers and Marines are not dying to clear up a more-aggravated-than-usual legal problem.

And let us be frank about nomenclature. I do not know what Bush or the reptilian Cheney wanted to do with the prisoners. I do know, however, why they were not called prisoners of war. The Bush team decided not to give them the POW categorization because the Israelis forbid it. Any Muslim defending himself, his faith, his family, or his society is -- by Israeli definition -- a "terrorist" pure and simple. The Israelis want no truck with the terms "insurgent" or "prisoner of war" -- Wolfowitz blocked DoD's use of the term "insurgent" in Iraq for as long as he could -- because it prevents torture and is ofte

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March 17, 2010 10:04 AM

The appointment of these lawyers underscores the iron law of contemporary American politics -- elect Republicans and get hubris, stupidity, profligacy, and mindless overseas interventionism, elect Democrats and you get the same, plus anti-Americanism executed by the dregs of our society who are appointed to high office. The controversy over these seven lawyers unfortunately shifts the focus from the real issue, which is President Obama's apparently deep dislike of the country that elected him. Presidential appointments, and especially the appointment of cabinet officers, invariably reflect the ideology, political/social/ religious beliefs, and historical orientation the president is comfortable with in those who work with him or are associated with implementing his agenda. This, of course, is true of presidents of both parties. Given this hard-and-fast rule, the focus of the debate over the seven lawyers should be on President Obama and his "comfort zone" as much it is on the lawyers itself. If that focus is made, one finds an arrogant man, mo

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March 10, 2010 08:33 PM

If there is anything for the U.S. to learn from Europe it is that we should leave all the Europeans home when we go to war. Notwithstanding the always expected portion of traditional American Europe-envy seen here -- "Oh, gosh, isn't Europe just so ...", fill in the blank with civilized, sophisticated, thoughtful, modern, and all the other fawning, puke-inducing adjectives -- Europe is a wheezing, expendable, near-corpse.

Europe is dying demographically; culturally sensitive and multicultural to the point of continental suicide; quaking in fear over a domestic Muslim problem they refuse to name; and above all a gang of cowards preening as moral paragons. We need these governments in wartime like we need a second Obama term -- that is not at all, ever. Go to war with the Europeans and you extend the war, don't kill a tenth of the number of enemy and their supporters that merit killing, and come home without winning and with the same war to fight over again.

We should get out of NATO as quickly as possible, surely before the bomb explodes that we madly lit

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