|Advisor on Islamic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense|
May 1982 – January 2010
September 19, 1949 |
|Alma mater||Temple University (B.A.)
Columbia University (M.A.)
Columbia University (M.Phil.)
Columbia University (PhD)
Harold Rhode (born September 19, 1949) is an American specialist on the Middle East. He worked as an analyst at the Pentagon for 28 years. Harold Rhode studied in and traveled extensively throughout the Islamic world and has studied and done research in universities and libraries in Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.
Early life and education
Harold Rhode was born on September 19, 1949, in Philadelphia. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in Islamic History, specializing in the history of the Turks, Arabs, and Iranians. Rhode was studying at Ferdosi University in Iran during the early stages of the revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeni to power.
Harold Rhode taught Islamic history at the University of Delaware as an adjunct professor from 1979 until 1981. In May 1982, he joined the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon as an adviser on the Islamic world with a special emphasis on Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. He retired from this position in 2010. During his tenure he wrote papers on how to understand, negotiate, and deal with Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and other Arab countries.
During the Gulf War, Rhode served as the Turkish Desk officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). While having this position he wrote papers for OSD officials on Iran, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern issues.
Between 1991 and 1994 Harold Rhode served on the US Department of Defense’s Policy Planning Staff. While in this position he wrote strategy papers on Middle Eastern and Central Asian topics.
Harold Rhode, who was a friend of this writer at Central High School in Philadelphia (225th Class, June 1966), was the principal author of the document, "Project for A New American Century," as documented by Greg Palast and Molly Ivins (Harold told me in 2006 that he didn't know who she was). That is the document to which Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz subscribed, but, as its principal author who promulgated the doctrine that the United States could go anywhere and do anything to any country for any reason whatsoever whenever it wanted, he should be considered the principal moving force behind the Iraq War, not George Bush, Richard Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, or Donald Rumsfeld.
Rhode also brought Douglas Feith, a fellow Central High School graduate and a tuition student from Abington Township at this public high school in Philadelphia (230th Class, June 1971) into the U.S. Defense Department. Feith wrote a book and blamed everything about the War on everyone else, taking absolutely no responsibility for any of his own actions.
From 1994 until 2010 Harold Rhode worked as an adviser on Islamic Affairs in the Office of Net Assessment, an in-house think tank for the Pentagon.
Rhode was a subject of a probe conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee for a U.S. government-authorized meeting he and Larry Franklin had in Rome in late 2001 with Manucher Ghorbanifar, who was part of the Iran-Contra scandal.
- Levinson, Charles (2010-03-10). "Israeli Faith in Iran's Opposition Gains Favor". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- Evyatar, Ilan. "From the Pentagon’s think tank". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- Evyatar, Ilan (2010-04-09). "On the ‘crazies’ in Iran". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- Chehab, Zaki (2006). Iraq ablaze: inside the insurgency. I.B.Tauris. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-84511-110-6. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- Isikoff, Michael; Mark Hosenball (2004-09-06). "And Now a Mole?". Newsweek. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- Joshua Micah Marshall (2001-12-12). "Iran-Contra II?". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- The Concept of Brotherhood in Islam by Harold Rhode, The Gatestone Institute
- Regime Change in Iran: A Win for the Gulf and the West by Harold Rhode, PJ Media
- On the "Crazies" in Iran Interview with Harold Rhode, The Jerusalem Post
- CrossTalk: Iran's Charm offensive, Discussion with Harold Rhode, Russia Today