A former American counterterrorism adviser who served on the National Security Council (NSC) under every president since Ronald Reagan, Rand Beers is president of National Security Network, a network of experts seeking to foster discussion of progressive national security ideas around the country.
In March 2003, Beers resigned in protest from the NSC, five days before commencement of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He feels that the U.S. entry into Iraq-with a small coalition, without UN approval, and without Arab support-has made Iraq a recruiting poster for Al Qaeda.
Beers, an adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, was a Marine officer and rifle company commander in Vietnam. He entered the Foreign Service in 1971 and transferred to the Civil Service in 1983. Beers served as deputy assistant secretary of state for regional affairs in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, focusing on the Middle East and Persian Gulf (1992-93) and assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs (1998-2002).
At the NSC, Beers was director for counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics (1988-92), director for peacekeeping (1993-95), senior director for intelligence programs (1995-1998), and special assistant to the President and senior director for combating terrorism (2002-03). Following his resignation from the NSC, Beers served as the national security adviser to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.