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Book Lecture: Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence after 9/11

Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

You are cordially invited to a book lecture for

Blinking Red:
Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence after 9/11 

with author 
Michael Allen 

Tuesday, February 18
4:30 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Parking map  


Please contact with any questions.

Blinking Red

About the book

After the September 11 attacks, the 9/11 Commission argued that the United States needed a powerful leader, a spymaster, to forge the scattered intelligence bureaucracies into a singular enterprise to vanquish America’s new enemies-stateless international terrorists. In the midst of the 2004 presidential election, Congress and the president remade the post-World War II national security infrastructure in less than five months, creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

Blinking Red illuminates the complicated history of the bureaucratic efforts to reform America’s national security after the intelligence failures of 9/11 and Iraq’s missing weapons of mass destruction, explaining how the NSC and Congress shaped the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks. Michael Allen asserts that the process of creating the DNI position and the NCTC is a case study in power politics and institutional reform. By bringing to light the legislative transactions and political wrangling during the reform of the intelligence community, Allen helps us understand why the effectiveness of these institutional changes is still in question. 

Michael AllenAbout the author

Michael Allen is a Founder and Managing Director of Beacon Global Strategies LLC.

From 2011-2013, Mr. Allen served as the Majority Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Under Chairman Mike Rogers’ (R-MI) direction, the HPSCI restored the process of an annual intelligence authorization bill to fund and give direction to the seventeen elements of the intelligence community, enacting measures for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013. The HPSCI also led the House of Representatives’ consideration of cyber security legislation, passing the Cyber Information Sharing Protection Act (CISPA) with bipartisan majorities in 2012 and 2013.

Prior to joining the HPSCI, he was director for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s successor to the 9/11 Commission, the National Security Preparedness Group, co-chaired by former Congressman Lee Hamilton and former Governor Tom Kean.

Previously, Mr. Allen served in the White House for seven years in a variety of national security policy and legislative roles. At the National Security Council (NSC), he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counter-proliferation Strategy from June 2007 to January 2009 under National Security Advisor Steve Hadley. As Senior Director, he contributed to the development of the U.S. government’s policy on counter-proliferation issues, including on the Iranian, Syrian, and North Korean nuclear files; missile defense; civilian nuclear cooperation including the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement; U.S. exports controls; bio-defense; and WMD and terrorism.

As the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Legislative Affairs from March 2005 to June 2007, Mr. Allen was the NSC’s chief liaison with the national security committees of Congress and led the confirmation teams of DNI nominees Negroponte and McConnell and CIA Director General Michael Hayden.

From December 2001 to February 2005, Mr. Allen worked in the legislative affairs office of the White House’s Homeland Security Council. As Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, Mr. Allen was part of team that managed the White House effort to enact the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

At the beginning of the Bush Administration, Mr. Allen worked in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs at the Department of State. Mr. Allen received his L.L.M. with distinction in International Law from the Georgetown University Law Center, his J.D. from the University of Alabama (cum laude), and his B.A. from Vanderbilt University.

In addition to his work at the Bipartisan Policy Center, in 2009, Mr. Allen taught National Security Policymaking at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and served as an advisor for the congressionally-created Commission on WMD and Terrorism co-chaired by Senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent. Mr. Allen was the Intelligence Team Lead for the Romney for President Transition Team.