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Avril Haines, Director National Intelligence-Designate

Track record

Avril Haines is a staunch advocate for military and counter-terrorism restraint, and a determined proponent of a major role for international law and human rights in the conduct of national security policy.

She will assume a Cabinet level position, coordinating the work of the 17 US intelligence agencies, and producing daily intelligence briefings for the President.  The position was created following the September 11, 2001.

Avril Haines served as President Obama’s CIA Deputy Director, under John Brennan, who “selected her because of her breadth of experience and pragmatic approach to national security challenges.”

Haines – a former State Department assistant legal adviser for treaty affairs and Deputy Chief Counsel on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – replaced Antony Blinken as Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor.

Avril Haines was a non-resident principal at WestExec Advisors, which was co-founded by Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken and Michele Flournoy, who was a lead candidate for Secretary of Defense. Blinken and Flournoy played a key role in the formulation of Obama’s policy on Iran and Libya.

Haines was the Deputy Director of Columbia University World Projects, which is engaged in Third World projects, collaborating with the anti-Israel and pro-BDS “Physicians for Human Rights,” which seeks to try Israeli soldiers for, supposed, war crimes.

Avril Haines was a member of the Advisory Board of Foreign Policy for America, which features “J Street’s” head and founder, Jeremy Ben Ami, as a board member.  Other members of the Advisory Board include Joseph Cirincione (President, Ploughshares, a pro-Iran Washington, DC-based group), Antony Blinken, UN Ambassador-designate Linda Thomas Greenfield and Rob Malley (President and CEO of George Soros’ International Crisis Group).


A champion of multilateralism with Europe, the UN and other international organizations, Avril Haines is a resolute supporter of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA). She is a determined opponent of added-sanctions on Iran, and an articulate critic of the killing of Qasem Soleimani.  The latter was the chief architect and executor of Iranian subversion, terrorism and wars throughout the world and the lead-engine in the pursuit of the Ayatollahs’ fanatic, megalomaniacal strategic goal.

Like Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken and National Security-designate Jake Sullivan, Haines considers Iran’s Shiite Ayatollahs as potential partners for peaceful-coexistence and regional power-sharing with the current Sunni regimes of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

During a House Foreign Affairs January 14, 2020 Hearing, she stated: “….Walking away from the JCPOA and imposing new US sanctions on Iran drove a wedge between the US and our long-term allies in Europe…. No Iranian analyst will tell you that economic sanctions are likely to have a meaningful impact on the regime’s capacity to engage in destabilizing actions in the region…. The question is not whether Soleimani deserved his fate; the question is whether this was a wise action that served US national interests and ultimately made us safer…. Our allies view it as a violation of international law…. It is virtually impossible to understand why it was impractical for the President and his senior leadership to consult with Congress, our allies and Iraq before targeting Soleimani…. We need to engage with our allies and partners outside of the region, as well as partners in the region, in order to promote a more stable order that better promotes security, human rights and civic engagement….”

These observations were echoed by Haines during a January 2020 presentation at the American Society of International Law.

In a January 21, 2020 panel discussion at the Center for American Progress (CAP), Haines said that the targeted killing of Soleimani violated international law, was not a reaction to an imminent threat, and was carried out in a disproportionate manner.

Islamic Terrorism and refugees

According to Harold Koh, a former State Department legal adviser, Haines was “a voice of restraint on all counterterrorism issues [especially the use of drones]…. As Deputy National Security Advisor, she was principally responsible for increasing [Syrian] refugee admissions against massive nativist headwind…. Haines kept pressing to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo Bay….”

Haines framed embracing [Syrian] refugees as a counterterrorism measure, since “when we support and care for refugees, we contradict [extremists’] message.” Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s chief foreign policy aides, reflected: “Not a single human being besides Barack Obama did more than Avril to get more refugees into this country.”

John Brennan (“Jihad is a legitimate tenet of Islam”), who chose Haines as his deputy in 2013, indicated: “Avril and I bore the scars of a lot of the pushback that we received from counterterrorism proponents that wanted to have more latitude in carrying out strikes.”

Along with Blinken and 47 additional high-ranking former national security officials, Haines signed on a July 31, 2020 document, claiming that the Trump Administration’s travel ban against Muslim countries – which are involved, directly and indirectly, in terrorist activities – is a threat to US national security.


On May 4, 2020, Haines signed on a letter to the Democratic National Committee, along with 31 foreign affairs and national security personalities and systematic critics of Israel, among them Ben Rhodes, Tony Lake, Strobe Talbott, Rob Malley, Dan Kurtzer, Martin Indyk, Bruce Riedel and senior advisers to Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

The letter was inspired and promoted by the pro-Palestinian “J Street,” urging a change in the Democratic party platform: “Past party platforms have rightly stated a commitment to Israel’s security, and included condemnations of threats and actions against our ally…. Those platforms have, however, also been nearly silent on the rights of Palestinians, on Israeli actions [construction in Jewish communities] that undermine those rights and the prospects for a two-state solution, and on the need for security for both peoples.”

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The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

Support Appreciated






The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb