Policy and Intelligence | Charles Duelfer

Policy and Intelligence

There has always been a debate about the relationship between the Intelligence Community and the Policy leadership.  The idea was that those charged with intelligence should stick to intelligence collection and assessments.  For the past few weeks, one of the most vocal spokespersons for the Administration’s foreign policy has been John Brennan.  He as given presentations at the Harvard Belfer Center and a long interview with Charlie Rose at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York.  He discussed all sorts of matters related to international security policy and the status of the Administrations efforts around the globe.  Probably one of the best spokespersons for the Administrations efforts.

But is that the job of the director of CIA?  At not time did he say, sorry, your question relates to policy matters and I can only address the subject from the standpoint of the intelligence community.   Nor, did anyone ask him if he wasn’t straying outside his lane.  His presentations are well done, but in another administration, criticism was piled upon intelligence officials who were seen to be supporting a policy view rather than sticking strictly to the business of making assessments of intelligence.

It will be interesting to see if it is Brennan or DNI Director Clapper who makes the case about whether Iran’s nuclear program can be monitored and whether we will have sufficient confident warning that they are breaking out.


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