Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Class of 2007 Alumnus Dr. Jeffrey G. Karam was recently awarded the “Christopher Andrew-Michael Handel Prize” for “Best Article” published during 2017 in the premier journal of intelligence studies Intelligence and National Security. The article titled, “Missing Revolution: The American Intelligence Failure in Iraq, 1958,” appeared in the journal’s October 2017 issue.
Dr. Karam, who holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Diplomacy with highest distinction from NDU and is a recipient of the NDU “Said Akl Award for Excellence in Political Science,” is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Dr. Karam also teaches courses on International Relations and Security Studies at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.
In the article, Dr. Karam discusses the way American intelligence officials, diplomats, and consular officers explained political and socio-economic developments in Iraq before the military coup and revolution that ended the reign of the monarchy on July 14, 1958.
Commenting on the article, Professor Loch Johnson, the current editor of Intelligence and National Security and a Regents Professor at the University of Georgia, said: “This is truly an outstanding work of research and insight.”
Dr. Karam’s piece argues that the U.S. intelligence failure is the product of two factors: the collection of information from too few and too similar human sources of intelligence in Iraq's ruling regime, and the unreceptivity of U.S. officials to assessing new information and their unwillingness to update assessments of local Iraqi developments. “As my article demonstrates, some declassified records clearly suggest the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Iraq received reports of protests, demonstrations, and riots in different cities and detailed information about cells in the military and police that are planning to execute a coup,” writes Dr. Karam. He also emphasizes, “Learning and studying the past is extremely important for understanding and making better sense of contemporary developments, and that baseless and biased assumptions are natural, but need to be refined and updated in light of new and alternative information.”
The prestigious award will be presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the International Studies Association, to be held in April 2018 in San Francisco, CA, USA.