Milt Bearden retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 1994, after thirty years in the CIA’s clandestine services, where Mr. Bearden rose through the ranks to become one of CIA’s most senior officers. His early career was split between German-speaking Europe and Hong Kong. During the early 1980s he moved to Africa to serve as CIA Chief in Nigeria and later in Khartoum, where he covered Sudan’s civil war and the ultimate overthrow of the regime of Jaafar Nimeiri.
In 1986 Mr. Bearden was put in charge of the CIA’s covert operations in support of the Afghan resistance, an effort that ultimately succeeded in forcing a Soviet withdrawal. From 1989-92, Mr. Bearden directed the CIA’s clandestine operations against the Soviet Union. Mr. Bearden ended his CIA career as the CIA Chief in Bonn, in the newly reunified Germany.
Mr. Bearden is a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and has contributed to Foreign Affairs , The National Interest, The National Journal Online, and to the book on September 11, 2001, How Did This Happen?, published by Public Affairs. He is the author of a novel about the Afghan resistance, Black Tulip, and co-author, with James Risen, of The Main Enemy, a non-fiction account of the end of the Cold War. He has consulted on several films, including The Good Shepherd and Charlie Wilson’s War.
Mr. Bearden Served in the United States Air Force with duty in the PACAF 1958-1962. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with a B.A. in Linguistics, and of the Yale University Institute of Far Eastern Languages (Mandarin Chinese). He lives in Virginia with his French-born wife, Marie-Catherine.