Melvin Goodman

Melvin Goodman

Former CIA Analyst, Whistleblower

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, and an adjunct professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University.  His 42-year government career included tours at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense’s National War College, where he was a professor of international security.  His books on international security include “A Whistleblower at the CIA: The Path of Dissent;” “National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism;” “Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives are Putting the World at Risk;” “The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze;”  “The Phantom Defense: America’s Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion;” “The End of Superpower Conflict in the Third World,” and “Gorbachev’s Retreat: The Third World.”

He has written numerous articles and opeds that have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, Foreign Policy; Harper’s Magazine; the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; and the Foreign Service Journal.  His TV appearances include the PBS Newshour; the Amy Goodman Show; NBC; and CBS.  He has lectured at college campuses all over the country as well as to numerous chapters of the World Affairs Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and various veteran organizations.  In 1991, he testified before the Senate intelligence committee in order to block the confirmation of Robert M. Gates as director of the CIA.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

BOOK
May 28, 2019

Book: American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump

by Melvin Goodman

American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump provides the first assessment of the Trump administration’s damage to American governance. The book is not concerned with the investigations of Robert Mueller; the illegal payoffs to the president’s paramours; or the corruption of the Trump family. Instead, it identifies efforts to politicize the military and intelligence communities; the efforts to undermine and degrade essential departments and agencies; and the attacks on science and regulation. The final chapter suggests what is needed to be done to reverse the damage and correct the political process.

Book: American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump
BOOK
June 9, 2018

Book: Rocket Man: Nuclear Madness and the Mind of Donald Trump

by Melvin Goodman

Will President Trump destroy civilization or win the Nobel Peace Prize? Humankind’s survival feels like a jump ball that could go either way. We are perched on a precipice, and the reason we are looking into an abyss of nuclear annihilation is that the American president has unencumbered, unilateral control over the nuclear codes...

Book: Rocket Man: Nuclear Madness and the Mind of Donald Trump

LATEST NEWS

April 20, 2021

The Strategic Importance of Leaving Afghanistan

by Melvin Goodman

The exaggeration of threats to the United States has been the critical component over the years in the militarization of our national security policy. Such exaggerations of the Soviet threat fostered the huge strategic buildup during the Cold War; the unneeded peacetime buildup by the Reagan administration; and the massive increases in defense spending during the Bush II administration. The exaggeration of the threat of international terrorism has produced two decades of costly warfare.

February 23, 2021

Opinion: The ‘war scare’ and the CIA

by Melvin Goodman

The Feb. 18 news article “Newly released documents shed light on 1983 nuclear scare with Soviets” was an important reminder of the dangers of any military exercise that involves nuclear weapons, but it omitted a very important detail. KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky, who reported to British intelligence, was a source of the intelligence alert and the “war scare.” A group of CIA analysts convinced CIA Director William Casey that the “war scare” was real, and Casey ignored his deputy director for intelligence, Robert Gates, who argued that the Soviets were merely crying wolf. Because of our efforts, Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan that the “war scare” was real and our nuclear weapons command exercise was made less threatening. Then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used the “war scare” to persuade Reagan to pursue disarmament talks with the Soviet Union.

March 26, 2021

Biden administration’s approach to Russia and China unproductive

by Melvin Goodman

"Strategy blunders regarding U.S. relations with both Russia and China, have been driving Moscow and Beijing toward their closest bilateral relations since the 1950s. And if personnel is policy, then it is possible that the Biden administration is purposely pursuing a hard-line (and counterproductive) policy with both Russia and China. Mr. Biden has certainly peopled his national security team with individuals who are known for their hard-line views."

January 20, 2021

9/11 and January 6: the Enormous Cost of intelligence Failure

by Melvin Goodman

There are two major types of intelligence failure: classic failures involving incorrect or unexamined assumptions and a failure to incorporate new information, and the politicization of intelligence that finds political interference corrupting intelligence production. The 9/11 terror attacks and the insurrection on January 6th were classic failures, with flawed assumptions leading to the failure to incorporate new evidence into intelligence products.