On June 7, the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East co-hosted a roundtable conversation with former Director of National Intelligence, Admiral (Ret.) Dennis Blair on the role of the armed forces in fostering democratic development around the world.

Admiral Blair is in the final stages of editing a handbook for the Council for a Community of Democracies entitled Military Engagement: Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transition. The handbook will be a guide for governments to make democratic development a policy objective of military relations as well as a set of practical suggestions for embassies of democratic countries involved in the supervision and conduct of military-military relations. During this session, Admiral Blair engaged leading experts in a discussion on the book’s findings and how they apply to current democratic transitions taking place in the world today.

Admiral Dennis Blair served as the director of national intelligence for President Obama from 2009-2010. Prior to leading the intelligence community, he served with distinction for over thirty-four years in the United States Navy in a series of senior staff and command positions, retiring from the Navy as commander, United States Pacific Command.