17 October 2011

New CIA Director Focusing on Front Lines

Looks like GEN(R) Petraeus is telling the CIA to listen to the troops out front.

David Petraeus, the former general who led the Afghanistan war and now heads the CIA, has ordered his intelligence analysts to give greater weight to the opinions of troops in the fight, U.S. officials said.
CIA analysts now will consult with battlefield commanders earlier in the process as they help create elements of a National Intelligence Estimate on the course of the war, to more fully include the military's take on the conflict, U.S. officials say.
Their input could improve the upcoming report card for the war.
The most recent U.S. intelligence assessment offered a dim view of progress in Afghanistan despite the counterinsurgency campaign Petraeus oversaw there and painted a stark contrast to the generally upbeat predictions of progress from Petraeus and other military leaders. Petraeus has made no secret of his frustration with recent negative assessments coming primarily from the CIA, and said during his confirmation hearing that he planned to change the way the civilian analysts grade wars.

Never mind the re-grading of wars. The services all have their own intel capabilities, and for good reason. The CIA is not an extension of military intelligence. It should be looking at things that the military does not prioritize (among other stuff, mind you). The CIA is the only agency that analyzes a lot of their subject matter, as well as bringing in non-military perspectives on military work.

While I appreciate GEN(R) Petraeus' focus on the war, I don't want vital assets sucked up supporting the war if there are military-owned assets that can/should be doing the work instead.

By: Brant

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