Reuel Marc Gerecht is an American diplomat. He serves as senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focusing primarily on the Middle East, Islamic militancy, counterterrorism, and intelligence. He is a former director of the Project for the New American Century's Middle East Initiative and a former resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Gerecht also served as a case officer at the CIA, primarily working on Middle Eastern targets.

Biography[edit | edit source]

In the 1990s, when Gerecht was living abroad, he occasionally wrote under the pseudonym of Edward Shirley.

He writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and many other publications. A contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, Mr Gerecht has been a foreign-affairs columnist for The New Republic magazine's foreign-affairs blog and a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly.

Gerecht holds a hawkish position on Iran and in an interview with PBS Frontline has said "The Iranians [...] have terrorism in their DNA."[1] Simultaneously however, Gerecht has also advocated the re-establishment of diplomatic relationships with Tehran before any military action is taken.[2] According to journalist Andrew Sullivan, Gerecht also defends the use of physically coercive interrogation techniques in the ticking time bomb scenario.[3]

Gerecht has been associated with the neoconservative movement in foreign affairs, which advocates American hegemony overseas. He was a strong proponent of military strikes against the Taliban and al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan in the 1990s, a backer of both the Afghan and Iraq wars, and has repeatedly urged a hawkish approach to the Islamic Republic of Iran, including preventive strikes against the Iranian regime's nuclear sites and military retaliation for the alleged Iranian assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador in the United States. Gerecht was a harsh critic of the Central Intelligence Agency's performance in the 1990s against the Islamic terrorist target, and has often written about the difficulties of reforming the American intelligence establishment. A disciple and friend of the Princeton historian Bernard Lewis, Gerecht has nevertheless argued that Islamic fundamentalists, not Muslim liberals, will be the engine of political reform and democratization in the Middle East. His views have often been condensed into the remark, "No Thomas Jefferson without Martin Luther".

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997).
  • The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy (AEI press, 2004)
  • The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East (Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 2011)

References[edit | edit source]

"Can't Anyone Here Play This Game?" The Atlantic Monthly, February 1998 "The Counterterrorist Myth," The Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2001 "The Sorry State of the CIA," July 19, 2004, The Weekly Standard.

External links[edit | edit source]

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