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

The Congressional Report of Bias at CENTCOM

For my friends and colleagues still in the business, it might be worth the time to read the newly released report from the Congressional Joint Task Force that looked into allegations that CENTCOM senior officials and senior intelligence analysts slanted intelligence analysis and the intelligence process.   This is good reading, and key to understanding – and remembering – so many of the things that led to the debacle of the poor intelligence support to policy and decision makers in 2002.   This speaks to the role analysts play in supporting policy and decision makers; to analysts vs those

Intelligence

Explaining the Hillary Rodham Clinton emails

In his statement to the press today (here), FBI Director James Comey laid out what he described as the background of the FBI efforts associated with their investigation of the emails on and security for the email server maintained by and for Bill and Hillary Clinton, primarily while she served as Secretary of State. As background, it seems that Clinton wanted to be able to use a Blackberry as her primary means of communications – for voice and email – and both the Department of State and the National Security Agency were against this, specifically on the basis of

Intelligence / Iraq / Syria

American strategy and politicization

Geoff Arnold pointed me towards a great article in The American Conservative, The Pentagon Fights Back. I’m going to plan to use it in future iterations of one of the classes I teach, ISSA 3302, Fundamentals of Intelligence Analysis, specifically during the section about the perils of politicization. Giraldi makes a good point, comparing current American actions and apparent strategy to a thinking of that of 1938 in Munich. I don’t think it’s just Rwanda that hangs over the head of this Democratic administration (Bill Clinton regrets how he handled it), but other atrocities and acts of genocide, to

Intelligence / Iraq / Military

The DNI Speaks Out

I haven’t really talked much about the Long War recently. Been kind of busy with it. A few pieces have been in the press recently. I am not going to try and sum them up, but am going to recommend going and making the time to read them. Read this, then this, and then this. Below, there’s a letter from the Director of National Intelligence — so yes, this is kind of serious stuff going on. Don’t be the one, twenty years from now, who remembers that there was talk of interrogation and torture. Be the one who read