CHARLES DUELFER spent over 25 years in the national security agencies of the US government. He was involved in policy development, operations, and intelligence in the Middle East, Africa, Central America, and Asia. Duelfer was also involved in US nuclear weapons and space programs. Most recently, he was the top CIA officer directing the investigation of Saddam’s regime and its WMD programs.
Duelfer’s experience with the Iraq tragedy began in the 1980’s as Washington considered its role regarding the Iran-Iraq war. During the 1990’s, by virtue of his position at the United Nations, he was virtually the only senior American to have regular contact with the top members of Saddam’s regime in Baghdad. At the same time he worked with the senior Washington officials in both the intelligence and policy areas of Washington. He saw how US policy and intelligence went wrong and he saw how Iraqi intelligence and policies went wrong. His experience and perspective is unique.
As Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence for Iraq WMD, Duelfer led the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) that conducted the investigation of the scope of Iraq's WMD. The ISG was a unique intelligence organization of over 1700 military and civilian staff that investigated Iraq WMD programs. It used all available collection and analytic capabilities in a hostile environment. The Duelfer Report is the definitive work on the relationship of the Saddam Regime to WMD and was presented to the President and Congress in October 2004—shortly before the presidential election.
In the 1990’s Duelfer was at the United Nations serving as the Deputy Executive Chairman and subsequently, acting Chairman, of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) from 1993 until its termination in 2000. UNSCOM was the original group of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq that was at the friction point between Baghdad and Washington in regular crises until President Clinton ordered a limited bombing in response to Iraq non-cooperation in 1998.
Duelfer has recently headed a small entrepreneurial space launch company as well as consulting and lecturing. He is currently Chairman of Omnis, Inc.