Blair Never Had A Chance?

Posted: May 25, 2010 in CIA, Dennis Blair, Denny Blair, DNI, Intelligence, The Daily Beast

Director of National Intelligence and former PACOM commander Denny Blair never had a chance says Edward N. Luttwak writing at the Daily Beast.  The culmination was Blair’s recent resignation as DNI.

How is it possible Blair never have a chance?  Because of his world view: the DNI came from a military tradition of responsibility and authority and of removing the inept (generally).

Meanwhile, the ‘winner’ of this bureaucratic bloodbath was CIA Director Leon Panetta, who ruled the day by…doing nothing to improve America’s intelligence capabilities.  Of course the outcomes have extra-bureaucratic implications for the country and our allies.

Every time I read of an intel failure I always think ‘where is the outrage?’ (think of the flip-flopping NIEs regarding Iran’s nuclear program, WMDs in Iraq, 9/11, Pakistan going nuclear, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, etc.) but the IC seems to just grow and grow at least in terms of funding and people if not in terms of effectiveness or capability.

Luttwak points out ongoing IC problems: little field experience; dysfunctional careerism; little to no language skills.  When we faced the Soviet Union we had Soviet studies programs which cranked out guys like Robert Gates and…Denny Blair, in addition to more robust Russian languages programs.

Now, almost ten years into the global war on terror, where do we stand regarding those areas of study regarding our ‘new’ adversaries?


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