"Derek J. Harvey was the first Director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and a retired United States Army Colonel. He was selected by General David Petraeus in 2009 to lead the new organization. Harvey is a Senior Executive Service-member of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and was the previous senior analytical specialist for Iraq to Petraeus, then Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq."
wiki on Harvey
A very odd biographical wiki. It doesn't say much of anything about him. It is as though he was born anew when he came to Petraeus' attention as a briefer/analyst working in the big FOB at the Baghdad airport. Usually these things describe your life, parentage, education, marriage, etc. There is none of that. It is also rather out of date, being from the time when Mike Flynn brought him into DIA as a member of the Senior Executive Service.
I have known DH for a very long time.
- He evidently does not like to talk about his service in DIA as a captain in the late '80s. He was then a very green junior analyst in the Current Intelligence branch of DIA down in the basement of the Pentagon. Bob Woodward in "The War Within…" writes that in the late 80s Harvey wandered the back roads in Iraq traveling about 500 miles, chatting with villagers, headmen and tribal leaders to learn what the true state of affairs might be. This is untrue. If Harvey told Woodward that, he lied IMO. Saddam was then fully in power and an American who wandered in Iraq would shortly have been in prison or worse. No, Harvey was scribbling away in his basement cubicle in the Pentagon and hanging around my upstairs offices whenever my staff were silly enough to let him in through the alarmed door. I finally banned him from the office suite because he had no legitimate business there other than to try to obtain tutoring from me.
- I should be clear about his supposed adventures in Saddam's Iraq. Nobody in DIA would have sent or allowed this junior desk jockey to go do anything of the kind. He would have required orders in writing to make this trip. A number of people would have been needed as signatures on the permission, among them, me, and that never happened. If there had been official orders they would have required the allocation of funds in the orders. The idea that DIA would have funded this is laughable. If he had gone to Iraq on leave without permission the Iraqi police would have picked him up at the point of entry. In any event he would have needed the permission of the US ambassador and the US DATT to be in the country. That never happened either. In other words he seems to have built a "Harvey of Iraq" legend about himself out of whole cloth.
- He speaks no Arabic. None. That would have made his Laurentian or Munchausian adventures somewhat more difficult. In some web bios he is said to have an elementary knowledge of French and Farsi. Farsi? How would that have happened?
- He does not seem to have ever had any training as a field intelligence collector.
- He does not seem to have been board selected for senior Army schools like C&GSC and the War College. Perhaps he did these schools by correspondence or was given constructive credit for "experience?"
- So far as I know he never served in a Middle East or North African country before 9/11.
- His teaching job at South Florida University does not seem to have involved teaching about the Middle East. It was something about management that he taught.
Well, pilgrims, perhaps I have all this wrong, if so, then I will welcome your corrections. I am sure there will be some.
In the present instance of his dismissal from the NSC staff it is now clear to me that he thought he could wrestle control of the ME policy function away from McMaster and Mattis. He seems to have believed that he could do that with the slick persuasiveness that had worked so well for so long on so many and with the support of his neocon patrons.
Here is the statement he released yesterday on the occasion of his departure for greener pastures:
"Subject: Derek Harvey – Statement
I will be leaving the National Security Council today to take advantage of a new opportunity to continue serving our President and the United States of America in an important capacity.
Since January, I have had the special honor to serve as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Middle East Affairs in the National Security Council. This has been work of vital importance to our country, and my departure comes with mixed emotions. In addition to the criticality of the mission, the people I have worked with in the NSC and the White House make this a tough decision.
I have known LTG H.R. McMaster for many years, and H.R. and I have worked closely together to tackle some of our nation's most difficult challenges. I value our friendship and deeply respect his visionary leadership. I look forward to working with H.R. in my future capacity. I have also appreciated the chance to work with the superb, selfless professionals on our team at the NSC, an amazing group of American patriots who have been instrumental in supporting the President, integrating U.S. policies toward the Middle East, and developing a series of strategies to protect and advance American interests in the region.
I treasure having had the opportunity to support committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland, Mr. Jared Kushner, and Mr. Steve Bannon, and consummate professionals like Mr. Jason Greenblatt and Ms. Dina Powell. I am especially grateful for the Middle East Directorate and those on the NSC with whom we have worked so closely and with such great effect. I remain humbled by their dedication, commitment, and patriotism and wish them all the very best as they face the challenges ahead.
Most importantly, I am excited about the opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East under President Trump's leadership, and I look forward to shouldering greater responsibilities in support of the President.
Derek J. Harvey
Special Assistant to the President
Near East Region"