Derek Harvey

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Derek Harvey
Derek Harvey.jpg
Derek Harvey in 2010
AllegianceUnited States United States of America

Derek J. Harvey is a retired US Army Colonel who currently serves on the staff of Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.[1][2][3] Harvey is a former National Security Council (NSC) staffer in Donald Trump's administration and was the first Director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), having been selected by General David Petraeus in 2009 to lead the new organization.[4] Harvey was the previous senior analytical specialist for Iraq to Petraeus, then Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq.[5]



Harvey retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel in 2006 after 26 years service as an intelligence officer and Middle East Foreign Area Officer. Prior to joining DIA as a civilian in early 2006, then Colonel Harvey was the Senior Analyst for Iraq, Joint Staff Directorate for Intelligence, from November 2004 to December 2005.[6] Previously, he was Chief, Commander’s Assessments and Initiatives Group/Senior Intelligence Analyst for MNF-Iraq, and “Red Cell” Team Chief for CJTF-7 in Iraq. He also participated in the Joint Strategic Assessment Team established by Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus to assess the situation in Iraq and to develop their combined campaign plan.[7] Harvey is credited by some sources for predicting the insurgency in Iraq, as well as the defeat of Al-Qaida in Iraq early 2007.[8][9][10]


Associate Editor of Washington Post Bob Woodward wrote in his 2010 book titled Obama's Wars (Simon & Schuster, NY): Derek Harvey was "one of [the U.S. Lt. General and then Commander of CENTCOM, David] Petraeus' most trusted intelligence advisors in Iraq", who in January 2009 was at CENTCOM HQ in Tampa, FL, as part of a team of 80 intelligence specialists "drilling down on the Afghanistan component of [President Obama's National Security Council directed Strategic] review". Woodward said, "Harvey approached intelligence with a step-by-step methodology of a homicide detective...Harvey 'widened the aperture' studying prisoner interrogations, battlefield reports, and reams of enemy sifting through the enemy's paper trail, he pieced together clues that others might miss." In a personal meeting of Harvey with Gen. Petraeus in January 2009 as part of the NSC strategic review, Woodward reports that Petraeus asked what Harvey had learned about the Afghanistan situation. In reply, Harvey stated: "It's the blind leading the blind." According to Woodward, Harvey told Petraeus the US remained dangerously ignorant about the Afghan insurgency. Basic questions had gone unasked over the [7 prior year] course of the war: Who is the enemy? Where are they? How do they see the fight? What are their motivations? Harvey told Petraeus "We know too little about the enemy [in Afghanistan-Pakistan region] to craft a winning strategy" (see p. 77, State of War) Harvey added the current strategy put America on the path to defeat and—unless the intelligence gaps were filled—a new strategy would be futile. Harvey added that, despite the contrary view of then U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, "reconciliation efforts are likely the only way out of the war."

Based on what Harvey reported to General Petraeus, according to Woodward's book, Petraeus "decided to create his own intelligence agency inside CentCom" (p. 78, "Obama's War") to offset the shortcomings of the DNI, CIA, NSA, DIA and other US intelligence gathering agencies in gathering information about the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. He asked Harvey to draft plans for an agency modeled on Harvey's approach. Reports Woodward, "Soon, Harvey was appointed director of the new Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence based at CentCom headquarters in Tampa, Florida." States Woodward, "Harvey threw his life into the [new] job. He started each morning at 4 a.m., worked 15-hr days and rarely slept through the night. The obsession came at a personal cost. Harvey's wife filed for divorce...". Woodward goes on to explain Harvey's approach in the new CentCom intelligence agency in some detail, and that Harvey reached the conclusion that "the war could be won, but the U.S. government would have to make monumental long-term commitments for years that might be unpalatable with voters" (p. 79, Obama's Wars).

National Security Council[edit]

On January 27, 2017, Harvey was tapped by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to join the National Security Council, as the Senior Director for Middle East and North African affairs.[11] National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, a long time associate of Harvey's and fellow Petraeus acolyte, dismissed him from his position on the National Security Council on July 27, 2017 after a series of reported disagreements.[12]

United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence[edit]

In September 2017, following his dismissal from the National Security Council, Harvey Joined the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff, which was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections until March 12, 2018.[3][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Rick. "The Walls Are Closing In on Trump". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  2. ^ Gray, Rosie. "An Ousted NSC Official Is Joining the House Intelligence Committee Staff". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Derek Harvey joins congressional committee's Russia probe". The Washington Times. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  4. ^ DVIDS, U.S. Central Command Public Affairs – Derek Harvey, August 25, 2009
  5. ^ Harvard University conference, Air and Land Power in Counterinsurgency Operations: Implications of a Civilian Center of Gravity, September 2007
  6. ^ Iraq Study Group, Iraq Study Group Consultations
  7. ^ Harvard University conference, Air and Land Power in Counterinsurgency Operations: Implications of a Civilian Center of Gravity, September 2007
  8. ^ IntelBase, Petraeus to Open Intel Training Center, August 24, 2009
  9. ^ United Kingdom, Ministry of Defense, Security and Stablisation: The Military Contribution – Joint Doctrine Publication 3-40, p. 378, November 2009
  10. ^ Woodward, Bob (2008). The War Within, Simon and Schuster. pp. 17–26
  11. ^ "Petraeus's 'Favorite Intelligence Officer' Joins National Security Council Staff". Weekly Standard. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "McMaster Fires Iran Hawk From NSC". Foreign Policy. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  13. ^ "House Intelligence Committee Ends Russian Probe: 'No Evidence Of Collusion'". Deadline. Retrieved April 11, 2018.

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