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What Went Wrong? Intelligence Expert Available to Discuss Afghanistan
The U.S. intelligence community is being accused of a massive intelligence failure, which led to the chaotic withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan. And now there’s a question of whether the dissolution of U.S. intelligence on the ground will make it easier for the Taliban to go back on its pledge to keep al Qaeda and other terror groups out of Afghanistan.
If you’re looking for an expert voice for your ongoing coverage of the Afghanistan withdrawal, Syracuse University professor Kristen Patel is available for an interview. Patel, the Gregg Professor of Practice in Korean and East Asian Affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, specializes in intelligence and has more than 25 years of experience leading intelligence and analytics programs in the public and private sectors.
Patel has developed and managed numerous large teams of high-performing intelligence analysts focused on proactive intelligence and network analysis, particularly qualitative and quantitative analysis of large, transnational networks to identify a wide spectrum of financial crime and national security risks.
Patel most recently served as Regional Head of Research & Analytics in Asia-Pacific for HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, where her responsibilities included building and managing a regional financial crime intelligence capability based in Hong Kong. Prior to joining HSBC in 2017, Patel served as the deputy director of Intelligence at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Patel has also served in a variety of senior management roles in Asia and Washington, D.C., at the DNI Open Source Center (OSC) and Central Intelligence Agency. In addition to serving as OSC Bureau Chief in Seoul, South Korea, and managing day-to-day operations in the CIA/Sherman Kent School’s largest analytic program, she led U.S. government interagency initiatives related to counterterrorism and proliferation issues and provided daily intelligence briefings for senior National Security Council staff and White House advisors.
For use in your stories, here is what Patel says about the U.S. intelligence community and Afghanistan:
“Media reporting on the topic has been mixed; many outlets are quoting former and current U.S. government and military officials who are laying blame on others, or making comparisons to previous failures, such as the faulty Iraq WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) analysis by CIA analysts and the U.S. withdrawal in Vietnam.
“Ultimately, we will not know who is to blame without knowing what was briefed to policymakers and U.S. military leaders prior to the withdrawal. It is possible that both sides are being truthful from their point of view; the IC (intelligence community) and military may have provided strategic warnings and assessments to the administration and senior military leadership, but the reports and analysis were not deemed specific enough to alter course, or the sources used in the warnings may not have been credible or were discounted.
“Alternatively, the administration may have received unambiguous intelligence assessments and decided to ignore them for policy reasons, and/or it was ‘execution failure’ by the U.S. military. The only way for the public to know is to wait for the post-mortem study to determine what went wrong.”
Thank you for your consideration. For more information or to request an interview with Professor Patel, please contact:
Media Relations Specialist
T 315.443.2990 M 315.254.9037