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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems

The Forum on Geopolitics warmly invites you to a discussion by Nick Rasmussen on the Military Operation to Capture or Kill Osama bin Laden: A Case Study in Presidential Decisionmaking

The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Special Operations Forces marked a significant milestone and point of inflection in the fight against al-Qa’ida. Rasmussen will outline the chronology of events leading up to the operation on May 1, 2011, to include the intelligence picture that emerged over time, the complex set of policy considerations involved with the decision to proceed with the raid, and the extraordinary conditions of secrecy that surrounded the entire process.  Finally, he will provide a view from inside the White House Situation Room, as seen by a senior staff officer serving on the National Security Council staff for President Obama.

Nick Rasmussen is currently Senior Director for National Security and Counterterrorism Programs at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, D.C.  He is a senior national security professional with over twenty-seven years in U.S. government service, including in senior counterterrorism posts at the White House and in the U.S. Intelligence Community from 2001 to 2017. He capped his federal government career as Director of NCTC (National Counter Terrorism Center) from 2014-2017, the primary organisation in the US government for analysis and integration of all terrorism intelligence.  Rasmussen held senior posts across three White House administrations, serving on the National Security Council (NSC) staff under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama before being appointed Director of NCTC by President Obama and continuing his tenure at the request of President Donald Trump’s Administration in 2017.  Rasmussen was one of only a handful of presidentially appointed officials held over from the Obama Administration to serve in the Trump Administration.  As Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Counterterrorism Rasmussen was charged with leading the development of U.S. counterterrorism policy and strategy, including supporting policy deliberations leading up to the U.S. military raid against Osama bin Laden.

Friday, 11 October, 2019 - 17:30 to 19:00
Event location: 
Lubbock Room, Peterhouse, Trumpington Street, Cambridge