Miller Center

The Global War Against Radical Islamic Terrorism

Howard  Hart Howard Hart

Speaker: Howard Hart
Date: February 11, 2005

Howard P. Hart argues that the United States is involved in a global war against radical Islamic terrorism and a massive counter-insurgency effort in Iraq. It also faces a host of related problems, ranging from the potential consequences of a nuclear-armed Iraq; the threat of an irrational North Korea; and potential instability in so-called "allied" Islamic states. These issues have serious domestic and foreign policy implications, many of which, he says, the country has not properly or thoroughly addressed. Hart explores the fundamental factors that produce the fighting in Iraq; the endless standoff over the Palestinian issue; and the general antipathy toward America in much of the Muslim world. He asks, what are our options and their consequences? What domestic sacrifices must the country accept to pursue President Bush's determination to bring "freedom to the darkest corners of the globe"? Hart addressed these issues from the perspective of an intelligence officer serving in CIA's Clandestine Service with many years of experience in the Middle East and South Asia. He attempted to identify the key issues of fact and examine some of the alternatives that policy makers must grapple with. A retired very senior Clandestine Service officer, Hart brings unusual experience to bear on the Iraq issue, since for some years he directed the successful insurgency against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He also served in Iran up to and after the overthrow of the Shah's government; in the Persian Gulf; and in counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East. His exploits were celebrated in Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 2001; and in George Crile's Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. Hart now lives in Virginia.

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