Last updated on: 4/3/2014 | Author:

Dennis Blair, MA Biography

Former US Director of National Intelligence
Con to the question "Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?"

“[T]he important question today is whether continued unilateral drone attacks will substantially reduce Al Qaeda’s capabilities. They will not… Al Qaeda officials who are killed by drones will be replaced. The group’s structure will survive and it will still be able to inspire, finance and train individuals and teams to kill Americans. Drone strikes hinder Al Qaeda fighters while they move and hide, but they can endure the attacks and continue to function.

Moreover, as the drone campaign wears on, hatred of America is increasing in Pakistan. American officials may praise the precision of the drone attacks. But in Pakistan, news media accounts of heavy civilian casualties are widely believed. Our reliance on high-tech strikes that pose no risk to our soldiers is bitterly resented in a country that cannot duplicate such feats of warfare without cost to its own troops.

Our dogged persistence with the drone campaign is eroding our influence and damaging our ability to work with Pakistan to achieve other important security objectives like eliminating Taliban sanctuaries, encouraging Indian-Pakistani dialogue, and making Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal more secure… If we are ever to reduce Al Qaeda from a threat to a nuisance, it will be by working with Pakistan, not by continuing unilateral drone attacks.”

“Drones Alone Are Not the Answer,”, Aug. 14, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US Director of National Intelligence, 2009-2010
  • Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership, Dickinson College, 2003-2008
  • Deputy Executive Director, Project on National Security Reform, US Congress, 2003-2008
  • John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies, National Bureau of Asian Research, 2003-2007
  • President and CEO, Institute for Defense Analyses, 2003-2007
  • Commander in Chief, US Pacific Command, US Navy, 1999-2002
  • Admiral, US Navy, 1968-2002
  • White House Fellow, 1975-1976
  • Former Director of the Joint Staff, Office of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Former Associate Director for Military Support, US Director of Central Intelligence
  • Member, Aspen Institute Homeland Security Council
  • Education:
  • MA (Rhodes Scholarship), Russian Studies, Oxford University, 1970
  • Graduate, US Naval Academy, 1968
  • Other:
  • Born on Feb. 4, 1947 in Kittery, Maine.
  • Sixth generation naval officer and great-great-great-grandson of Confederate Chief Engineer William Price Williamson of North Carolina, credited with first suggesting that the hull of the USS Merrimack be used to build the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia.
  • Recipient of four Defense Distinguished Service medals, two National Intelligence Distinguished Service medals, Defense Superior Service medal, Legion of Merit medal, Meritorious Service medal, Navy Commendation medal, and Navy Achievement medal.
  • Member, Energy Security Leadership Council of Securing America’s Future Energy
  • Board Member, Freedom House
  • Board Member, National Bureau of Asian Research
  • Board Member, National Committee on US-China Relations