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Thomas A. Twetten  

Former Chief of the CIA Clandestine Operations

Tom Twetten retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 1995, after serving thirty-four years in its clandestine services. Twetten spent the majority of his career in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. In 1983 he began five years of leadership in the CIA Near East Division. He worked closely with the Washington Congressional and Executive branch leadership, and with a wide range of other governments to forge a united front in support of the Afghan people. After courageous sacrifices by the Afghans, this effort led to the Soviet decision to quit Afghanistan, ending nearly ten years of brutal occupation. In recognition of his leadership, DCI William Webster picked him to become the deputy of the clandestine service. For nearly six years he was the deputy or the chief of the CIA clandestine operations.

During this period Twetten boldly re-directed intelligence resources in support of new democracies in Eastern Europe, supported a coalition of allied forces in the Gulf War following Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, and placed new emphasis on fighting international narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. For his development and leadership of new strategies, Twetten was twice awarded the distinguished Intelligence Medal, the Agency's highest honor.

A native of Iowa, Twetten received his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University, and a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University. He served as lieutenant in Germany with the U.S. Army.

Topics

• The Future of American Intelligence

• The Globalization of Terrorism, and the Response of Global Intelligence

• Can the FBI and CIA Win Against Islamic Extremism?

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