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11 December 2012

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William R. Cumming

Given the need to justify their existence publically the CIA no doubt finds attractive the world of Special Ops and drones and of course President's find attractive avoidance of the military chain of command that operates on accountability of its decisions.

rick

Anyone else unable to downlaod? Might be my phone but I get garbage text.

Clifford Kiracofe

Thoughtful and helpful post. Thank you.

With the release of the new DNI's new Global Trends 2030 report, our country and its leadership must to reflect on what capabilities we need for the decades ahead and how best to organize, manage, and support the IC.

http://media.npr.org/documents/2012/dec/dnireport.pdf

confusedponderer

It's your phone.

Normally, rtf format shouldn't pose any problems on any platform (that's the charm of using it). Also, I had no trouble downloading and opening it whatsoever.

Fred

I believe the formatting is a newer version of word, which might be a problem for a phone.

optimax

Harry Truman said much the same thing about the agency he set up in this op ed piece in the Washington Post one month after President Kennedy's assassination. The concluding lines:

"I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field—and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere."

http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry%20Truman%27s%20CIA%20article.html

The Twisted Genius

I am in full agreement with Mr. Smith. The CIA is no place for armed drones. I would go much further. The CIA is no place for paramilitary operations of any kind. The CIA, and the DIA, should be fully dedicated to collecting, analyzing and disseminating intelligence. Armed drones and pure reconnaissance drones belong in DoD. They belong in standard aviation units and probably in a special mission unit, as well. Most of CIA's paramilitary capability is dependent on former Special Forces and SMU personnel. Those personnel would be better used in Special Forces and special operations forces (SMUs).

rick

Just my phone.

trooper

With apologies, this seems like a silly argument to me, with no right answer. Does anyone really think that if Japan set up fully separate intelligence and military branches while S. Korea had a more blended force that that would tell us much *at all* about which force was better? I understand why too much firepower in the CIA is not a good idea; at the same time there are undeniable bureaucratic issues that mean *in some situations* it is good if CIA can pill the trigger. One example would be where the Pentagon is too close to foreign goverments due to mil-mil ties to see the potential benefits of a hit outweighing the costs . . .

oth

I guess everyone agrees with Rummy, and letting DoD do it. Seems to me we've still confused what CT is and who/how it should be done. What do we have now, a 100K in SF now? Not that I have any faith in TLA's, but Id DoD has all these drones, they're going to find targets.

Lars

I see pluses and minuses on both sides of this issue, so I will defer to those who know a lot more about this.

If it wasn't for the Patriot Act, I would suggest having legislation specifically enacted dealing with terrorism but I doubt the dysfunctional governing entities would come up with anything useful.

DH

"One example would be where the Pentagon is too close to foreign goverments due to mil-mil ties to see the potential benefits of a hit outweighing the costs . . ."

To protect the Executive's prerogative.

rick

"An excellent example of this is Pakistan today where..., the organization that allegedly flies the hated drones hamstrings itself when it is the same one that is responsible for securing the covert cooperation of important people who are our best hope for learning what’s really going on in that important, nuclear country."

I have seldom, if ever, heard a more perfect "punchline". In an interesting piece, I find that a highly persuasive point and nicely put.

I wish I could say that all that gave me confidence of a "good outcome" in accordance with the author's recommendation.

The Twisted Genius

At one time, having the CIA carry out paramilitary operations gave our government the flexibility to conduct covert operations. However, our special operation forces are now fully capable of performing covert and/or clandestine operations. That was the only advantage CIA had over the military... at least that's what they would say. Legally speaking, covert operations are the sole responsibility of the CIA unless the Executive informs Congress otherwise. Now such operations are, rightly or wrongly, defined as "normal military operations" rather than covert. Besides, there isn't a damned thing covert or clandestine about armed drones. In my opinion, paramilitary operations at the CIA are a flashy distraction that diverts scarce resources away from their intelligence mission.

Jane

Intelligence is collected in part to assess the outcome of actions. Having any one agency assess the outcome of its own covert programs is a bad idea.

mike

So, while CIA is militarizing meanwhile DoD is sending hundreds more spies overseas:

washingtonpost_defense-clandestine-service-cia-spy-agency

William R. Cumming

How many of the STARS on the wall at the Langley building entrance are really contractors not CIA employees?

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