Official: CIA Exacerbated Arab Spring Missteps

Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:00am

The Washington Post previews a new book by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, 
The Great War of Our Time
, which finds that “U.S. intelligence agencies ­badly misjudged al-Qaeda’s ­ability to take advantage of political turmoil in the Middle East and regain strength across the region after Osama bin Laden was killed.”  

“Senior U.S. intelligence officials have previously acknowledged failures to anticipate the Arab Spring movement, which toppled governments in the Middle East and North Africa. But the former official, Michael ­Morell, wrote that the CIA compounded those errors with optimistic assessments that the ­upheaval would prove devastating to al-Qaeda.”  

“U.S. intelligence agencies failed to anticipate the Arab Spring in part because the CIA and other U.S. spy services had over time become deeply dependent on their counterparts in Middle Eastern governments for insights.”