Arab Revolts Have Weakened U.S. Intel

Arab Revolts Have Weakened U.S. Intel

The Americans have spent long years building liaison relationships with key figures in the military and intelligence apparatuses of countries across the Middle East who might deliver that kind of detailed information. But now, says Christopher Boucek of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "the Libyans, the Tunisians, the Egyptians, the Yemenis—they are either gone or going." And a particularly cruel irony, as a former CIA station chief in the Middle East points out, is that these relationships were so focused on catching a handful of terrorists that they missed the oncoming tidal wave of popular revolt. "What intelligence is supposed to do is be ready for things like this," he says.

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