Congress / Intelligence / Politics / etc.

The President under investigation

I have continued to watch the news with regard to the Russian intelligence operations against the US elections in 2016, part of which included cyber operations but also clearly included good ol’ human intelligence operations. I’ve continued to watch, in part for the sadness over how this is continuing to impact our country, our House and Senate, and our new administration, but also out of professional curiosity – I am these days teaching counterintelligence to undergraduates and graduate students. One thing that continues to amaze me is the Trump’s obsession with being told that he isn’t under investigation, even

Intelligence / Military / Politics

Looking Back: 8 Years of an Obama Administration

I have been recently reflecting on what these last eight years have meant, and in part on how I think they will written in the history books. Reflection is, after all, an important tool for me – I’ve written about that before. But with my 25 years in the intelligence field, and my current work teaching intelligence, security studies, and a lot of topics related to policy to undergraduate and graduate students, I have and continue to spend time thinking about decision and policy makers. History is going to judge them. History is going to make judgement about these

Intelligence / Politics

Dear Mr. President-Elect: “Reforming” the CIA as a Priority

Donald, I continue to read reports, dating back to the time of the election, that you want to initiate significant reforms to the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). With this, you may look to significantly change and even eliminate the position of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Intelligence reform is a topic I teach at the undergraduate and graduate level. This includes the reforms made after the Bush / Cheney / Wolfowitz / GOP abuses of the Intelligence Community in 2002, but also the abuses committed by American intelligence agencies

Congress / Ethics / Politics / etc.

Donald, Congress and Ethics

I see no reason why Congress would not go ahead and gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, as it did today, moving the office from being independent to being under the control of the very people the office is charged to oversee. I mean, why not. This is a new era, the Donald era. This is an era in which the new White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks can just say, “The transition is not concerned about the appearance of a conflict,” and declare that, with regards to his $525-per-plate New Year’s Eve dinner actually selling access to the

Military / Politics

The US and Ukraine – BFF in 2017, We Swear

“I send the message from the American people – we are with you, your fight is our fight and we will win together,” Senator John McCain said today, as he visited Ukraine’s front lines in its ongoing conflict with Russia. “In 2017 we will defeat the invaders and send them back where they came from. To Vladimir Putin – you will never defeat the Ukrainian people and deprive them of their independence and freedom,” he said. But when Russia influenced the elections in Crimea in March, and annexed it, where was the United States? In light of the revelations

Politics

A businessman running for President

It’s an unusual event, having a non-politician as the presidential candidate for one of American’s two main political parties in the election this year. Donald Trump has never held office. He’s from a wealthy family, he started his business career with a loan from his father, and he has had his financial ups and downs over the years, to include 4 instances of filing for bankruptcy. But in his first run for office, he’s swinging for the fence – with some backing from the Republican party, he’s running for President of the United States. In reading today his posted