JAN 11, 2017
In recent days, two intelligence dossiers have been published making sensational charges involving President-elect Donald J. Trump and the 2016 election. Although they will be lumped together in the public mind, in truth they are as different as chalk and cheese.
His reaction suggests a guilty conscience and the possibility that something sinister is going on.
JAN 8, 2017
In the normal course of business, it’s hard to get America’s fractious intelligence agencies to agree that 2 + 2 = 4. So the unclassified version of the intelligence community assessment about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is all the more remarkable. In it, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA wrote with a “high degree” of confidence (itself rare in the intelligence world) that “Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” in order “to help President-elect Trump’s election chances.”
JAN 5, 2017
Donald Trump’s disparagement of the CIA and apparent plans to shake up the intelligence community are a serious threat to American security.
America’s spies spend their days monitoring foreign enemies. If they want to see the biggest threat to their own well-being, they may need to look closer to home. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the incoming Donald Trump administration is working on plans to “restructure and pare back” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA, “cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out into field posts around the world.” (Trump spokesman Sean Spicer denied this report, but his record for veracity is not exactly unimpeachable.)
DEC 27, 2016
President Obama’s signature rebalance to the Pacific never really got off the ground. Could Trump succeed where he failed?
President Barack Obama will have to wait until after he leaves office to see if some of his most touted foreign-policy achievements — such as the opening to Cuba and the Iranian nuclear deal — survive his presidency. But even before he exits, it is already obvious that his signature policy in East Asia, the “pivot” or “rebalance,” is deader than a dodo. And, no, it’s not just resting; it’s nailed to the perch.
DEC 15, 2016
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is by all accounts a shrewd, pragmatic and successful dealmaker. In another administration, he might have made an excellent secretary of State.
DEC 13, 2016
President Obama has been shamefully derelict in making Putin pay a price for his aggression. It’s time to give Vladimir a taste of his own medicine.
Vladimir Putin’s tenure as Russia’s dictator has been dedicated to twin interlocking goals: to enhance his own power and wealth and that of the country he controls. The more powerful Russia becomes, after all, the more powerful its president becomes, too. In pursuit of more influence, Putin has tried to rebuild the Russian armed forces from a force of low-quality conscripts equipped with weapons that don’t work to a high-quality professional force with cutting-edge weapons. That transformation, only partially complete, has been shown off in Syria, which Putin has used as a showcase for systems including sleek Kalibr cruise missiles and the smoke-belching aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. But as befits an old KGB man, Putin’s heart appears to lie more with “deniable” covert operations rather than with overt muscle-flexing.