Bush School Hosts Key Foreign Intelligence Conference

January 16, 2009

Scowcroft speakingA final pre-acceptance analysis of a major report that deals with global trends affecting national security during the first quarter of the 21st century was the focus for a host of foreign policy experts who met November 17 – 19 at the Bush School.

Twenty-four national and regional foreign policy experts assessed the Global Trends 2025 report during the Ansary Foreign Policy Conference sponsored by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the Bush School’s Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. Their observations and recommendations may affect the final version, according to Griffin Rozell, assistant director of the Scowcroft Institute.

The report is the government’s newest “estimative” intelligence—that is, forward-looking assessments of national security issues—for senior U.S. policymakers. The conference at the Bush School is one of the few times that assessments of such a major report have been undertaken outside of Washington D.C.

Scowcroft signing booksThis year’s conference consisted of six panels covering a range of topics. Panelists included Gideon Rachman, foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times; Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute; Marianne Kah, chief economist at ConocoPhillips in Houston; and scholars from major universities and think tanks across the country. Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft opened the three-day meeting with an overview address, which was part of the institute’s prestigious William and Dianne Moss Lecture Series.  Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James Clapper was the closing speaker.

Over the past quarter century, the NIC has developed into an all-source center of strategic thinking. Drawing on the best available expertise inside and outside government, it provides the director of national intelligence and other U.S. government policymakers with an authoritative voice addressing current international issues and identifies and illuminates those that lie ahead. Policymakers can address questions to the intelligence community via the NIC, which also provides a locus for experts in academia and the private sector to broaden the intelligence community’s perspective.

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