30 January 2019   Leave a comment

On Tuesday the US Intelligence agencies released their annual Worldwide Threat Assessment which outlines the best estimates of the collective agencies on the most serious threats facing the US in the upcoming year. It is an interesting read although it is clear that the assessment is generally based on worst-case scenarios. The heads of those agencies testified in Congress yesterday and, as I pointed out in yesterday’s blog posts, their assessments differed quite substantially from those offered by President Trump. Today, President Trump offered his assessment of his intelligence community in a tweet:

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but….

“….a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

“…Time will tell what will happen with North Korea, but at the end of the previous administration, relationship was horrendous and very bad things were about to happen. Now a whole different story. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made-big difference!

It need hardly be said that these public comments are unprecedented, as well as nasty, and it begs the question: “why doesn’t the President fire people he regards as incompetent?”

But it is also clear that the intelligence chiefs knew exactly what they were doing–they are incredibly smart people. Not only did they downplay the threats from Iran and play up the threats from ISIS and North Korea, they also included climate change as a threat to national security and did not mention the US-Mexican border as a security threat. The implication is that these chiefs felt obliged to repudiate the President. One cannot help but come to the conclusion that we all would be well served by ignoring the President and instead pay close attention to some of his appointed officials on the issues concerning foreign policy.

Posted January 30, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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