Do Islamic jihadis really hate American democracy and freedoms? What are the goals of Islamic terrorists, and how do they justify the deaths of innocent people? In this presentation, David Aaron, director of RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy, shared what jihadis told him for his book, In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad. Aaron is a former Foreign Service officer and was deputy national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter. His presentation was introduced by Vice President Walter Mondale and moderated by J. Brian Atwood, dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
David Aaron is Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. He also coordinates counter-terrorism and homeland security research at RAND. He has served in both the government and the private sector. A graduate of Occidental College and Princeton University, he then entered the Foreign Service, where he held a variety of posts, which included the U.S. Delegation to NATO and to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union. After leaving the Foreign Service, he continued in government in several positions, including the National Security Council staff where he was responsible for arms control and strategic doctrine. Subsequently, he became a Task Force Director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and then Deputy National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. In the latter capacity, he chaired sub-Cabinet committees dealing with Arms Control and with Intelligence. He also served as a confidential presidential emissary to Europe, where he negotiated the deployment of Medium Range missiles, to the Middle East where he helped prepare for the Camp David negotiations, as well as to Africa, Latin America, and China.
Upon leaving government, Aaron became Vice President for Mergers and Acquisitions at Oppenheimer & Co. and Vice Chairman of the board of Oppenheimer International.
During the Clinton administration, he served as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where he negotiated the international anti-bribery convention. At the same time, he was appointed Special White House Envoy for Cryptography, to develop international guidelines for encryption technology in trade and communications. Subsequently, Amb. Aaron was appointed Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade where he negotiated the US/EU privacy accord.
After leaving government in 2000, he became Senior International Advisor to the law firm Dorsey LLP until his appointment as a Senior Fellow at RAND. He is the author of three novels published in ten languages and two PBS documentaries including Lessons of the 1991 Gulf War.
Jacobs, Lawrence R..
In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad.
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