Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research area is the Middle East, with a special focus on Iran, Turkey, Arab politics, Afghanistan and diplomacy. Rubin regularly instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. Encounter Books will publish his newest book, Dancing with the Devil, a history of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups in early 2014.
Intelligence politicization has a long history. For almost 50 years, politicians who were overly invested in diplomacy have twisted intelligence to protect their outreach and avoid recognizing that adversaries mean the United States harm.
While successive US administrations have effectivenly ignored Africa, the Islamic Republic of Iran is expanding its geopolitical influence there, forming alliances with African states voting in important international organizations, prioritizing outreach to African countries mining for uranium, and looking for African allies that could give Iran access to strategic naval bases.