View Single Post
Old 01-07-2009   #51
Council Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457

Things are a bit more clear now. The President-elect said today, speaking about his intelligence nominations:

I think what you'll also see is a team that is committed to breaking with the past practices and concerns that have tarnished the image of the agencies, both intelligence agencies as well as US foreign policy

I agree with most your comment, especially the last line that Rex highlighted, but I don't think CIA's role has ever been focused on tactical intelligence and DIA only marginally so. On Kuwait, I think it's fair to point out that the CIA and DIA warning community accurately forecast the Iraqi invasion in and were largely ignored by the policy and most of the rest of the intelligence community. The sad reality of the intelligence business is that no one has a perfect track record.


You're quite right that everyone does "all source" analysis, but the collection agencies like NSA and NGA have their institutional biases. For example, one would rarely (if ever - I can't recall every reading one) see NSA do any analysis that did not have a SIGINT component and most bread-and-butter products were heavily SIGINT based. Same with NGA (the agency with the every-changing name) and imagery.

Agree about ORCON. I hated that. I spent a lot of time in one job trying to get ORCON products to the people that needed them. It was a complete PITA.

The Panetta nomination reminded of another outsider CIA director - John McCone under President Kennedy - who played a key role in the Cuban missile crisis.
Entropy is offline