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Failures of Imagination: The US Intelligence Community and 9/11

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Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security

1620 L Street Northwest

Suite 700

Washington, DC 20036

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Failures of Imagination: The US Intelligence Community and 9/11 Presentation by Thomas Dowling

Thomas Dowling will present his views on why the US Intelligence Community failed to prevent the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Mr. Dowling served in eight countries ranging from Tunisia to Mongolia during his 30 year career in the Foreign Service. While most of his career was spent working in the Middle East or on regional issues, he also spent three years as State Department representative and eventually deputy head of the delegation to the US-Soviet Nuclear Testing Talks. (NTT). At NTT, he was the US co-chair of the US-Soviet working group that produced new protocols for the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on Peaceful Nuclear Explosions.

In his final years at the State Department, he was Acting Director and Deputy Director of North Africa, Near East and South Asia analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

After retirement, he served as a professional staff member of the 9-11 Commission working on the origins of Al Qaeda. From 1998 to 2015, Thomas Dowling was a faculty member of the National Intelligence University where he created and taught over 50 courses on the Middle East, Islam in the Modern World, Conflict and Operational Capability Analysis.

He is an honors graduate in political science from the City University of New York, holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence Analysis from what is now the National Intelligence University.

He has spoken at a range of institutions including delivering a paper on the obstacles American analysts face in understanding the Middle East at the 2010 World Conference on Middle East Studies in Barcelona. He is the author of a chapter on Iranian lessons learned from US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Professor Dowling is an avid amateur military historian with a deep interest in the birth and early years of US military intelligence.

His awards include the National Intelligence Medal, the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Medal and a variety of other awards including the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Admiral Nimitz Prize for Archival Research.

RSVP required.

Business attire required.

Daniel Morgan Graduate School reserves the right to refuse admission and may ask for government issued photo identification.

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Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security

1620 L Street Northwest

Suite 700

Washington, DC 20036

View Map

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