Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gen. John Allen Joins #1 Think Tank Brookings

Retired General John Allen, former Commander of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan, has joined the Brookings Institution as a Distinguished Fellow.

In early 2013, Allen was nominated to be NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, but he turned down the job after being dragged into the probe surrounding former CIA Director David Petraeus' affair with biographer Paula Broadwell.  Allen has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Gen. Allen will affiliate with the Brookings new Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence (21CSI), which Think Tank Watch previously described as a "Mini-CIA."  The establishment of 21CSI was announced on March 12, 2013.

Gen. Allen recently published a report on future Afghanistan policy, along with Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O'Hanlon and former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, the co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).  Gen. Allen spoke about Afghanistan at a 21CSI event on March 25, 2013.  A video from that event can be watched here.

Gen. Allen is no stranger to think tank land.  He served as a Marine Corps Fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and was the first Marine Corps officer inducted as a Team Member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Moreover, he was advised by various think tankers while stationed in Afghanistan, including American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) Fred Kagan and his wife Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War.

So, what exactly does a "Distinguished Fellow" do?  Who are the other Distinguished Fellows at Brookings?  Here is how Brookings describes it:
Brookings’s distinguished fellows are individuals of particularly noteworthy distinction whose work across several fields of public policy puts them at the pinnacle of worldwide research and policy impact. Distinguished fellows are actively engaged in the life of the Institution, often with more than one of Brookings’s five research programs. In assuming the title, General Allen joins David Dreier, longtime chairman of the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives; Jean-David Levitte, former French ambassador to the United States; Sadako Ogata, former president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United Nations high commissioner for refugees; Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to China and Singapore and governor of Utah; Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former U.S. secretary of health and human services; Itamar Rabinovich, an Israeli diplomat, scholar, and university president; Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania; Thomas Pickering, a career U.S. ambassador and former under secretary of state for political affairs; and Javier Solana, former secretary general of NATO and the European Union’s high representative for foreign and security policy.

The Brookings Institution was recently ranked as the best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.