Tonight on PoliticKING: Aaron Coen and Dina Smeltz

What's next for America's involvement in the Syria Crisis & the war against the Islamic State? Larry takes a look with security & terrorism expert Aaron Cohen. Then, the widening partisan divide over U.S Foreign Policy. Can anyone bridge the gap?

Aaron Cohen is an Israeli-American writer, director, actor, author and former Duvdevan Special Forces operator specializing in counter-terrorism and best known for his international bestselling memoir Brotherhood of Warriors.


Dina Smeltz joined The Chicago Council in February 2012 as a senior fellow for public opinion and foreign policy. She has over 20 years of experience in designing and fielding international social, political and foreign policy surveys.

As the director of research in the Middle East and South Asia division (2001-2007) and analyst/director of the European division (1992-2004) in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US. State Department’s Office of Research, Smeltz conducted over a hundred surveys in these regions and regularly briefed senior government officials on key research findings. Her experience includes mass public and elite surveys, as well as qualitative research. She has written numerous policy-relevant reports on Arab, Muslim, and South Asian regional attitudes toward political, economic, social, and foreign policy issues. Her writing also includes policy briefs and reports on the post-1989 political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and European attitudes toward a wide range foreign policy issues including globalization, European integration, immigration, NATO, and European security.

With a special emphasis research in post-conflict situations (informally referred to as a “combat pollster”), Smeltz has worked with research teams in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Israel-Palestinian Territories, and in Iraq (2003-2005), where she was one of the few people on the ground who could accurately report average Iraqis impressions of the post-war situation.In the past three years, Smeltz has consulted for several NGOs and research organizations on projects spanning women’s development in Afghanistan, civil society in Egypt, and evaluating voter education efforts in Iraq.

Smeltz has an MA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Pennsylvania State University.

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