Bruce Riedel

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Bruce Riedel is a former CIA officer and presidential advisor on Middle East and South Asian. He is Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy.


Bruce Riedel

M.A., Harvard University, 1977
B.A., Brown University, 1975


Special Advisor, NATO, Brussels, Belgium (2003-2006); Member, Royal College of Defense Studies, London, UK (2002-2003); Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs, National Security Council (2001-2002); Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs, National Security Council (1997-2001); Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense (1995-1997); National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asian Affairs, National Intelligence Council (1993-1995); Director for Gulf and South Asia Affairs, National Security Council (1991-1993); Deputy Chief Persian Gulf Task Force, Central Intelligence Agency (1990-1991); Various assignments, Central Intelligence Agency (1977-1990)[1]


Riedel was appointed by US President Barak Obama to chair a review of Afghanistan and Pakistan policy, which was completed in March 2009.

On 1 December 2009, the day before Barak Obama's announcement of a 30,000 'surge' of US troops, Riedel was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's PM programme. Asked by presenter Eddie Mair about the wisdom of announcing a time frame for US withdrawal, Riedel replied:

Well he’s announcing some kind of exit strategy because that’s the only way he can sell this to his fellow democrats on Capital Hill. War weariness has now reached this side of the Atlantic as well and especially his own political party. He has to show them that he has a plan on how to get out but the more specific he is about a date the more that sends a message to every Afghan, and every Pakistani General, that the Americans aren’t here to stay, that its only a matter of time before they leave, and that is a very self-destructive message to send because it undermines the effectiveness of what we are trying to do. [2]




  1. Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel (accessed 5 June 2008)
  2. BBC Radio 4, PM, 5:00pm, 1 December 2009