"· Fix the half-baked reform of the intelligence agencies. The 2004 law that created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was meant to deal with the intelligence failures that led to Sept. 11, but it instead has created more bureaucracy. Gates understands very well what’s wrong; he turned down the DNI job because he knew the structure was unwieldy. Gates has cobbled together an interim solution by working with old friends — DNI Mike McConnell, CIA Director Mike Hayden and Pentagon intelligence chief James Clapper. But the current arrangement is too dependent on personalities. A sign of continuing backroom friction is the rivalry over who will brief the presidential candidates.
The nation needs a lean, aggressive intelligence community. Nobody is better suited to finishing this job than Gates, who has seen the intelligence morass from all sides." Ignatius
At the suggestion of one of you, I have been reading "The Black Swan" lately. I think the author would agree that the subtext here concerning the intelligence community is more important than the issue of whom shall be Secretary of Defense.
Ignatius, like all MSM commentators lives by access to sources who can give him "the inside scoop." This puts him at the mercy of those who have "the inside scoop" or can influence others to give it to him.
Gates, Gates, Gates, Gates. Who do you suppose is the real source of this column? I do not think it is Gates. No. It is probably the misty eyed sexagenerians who yearn for the "restoration" of CIA power over the intelligence community. Would they like to see Dod power reduced? You bet. In the good old days before the Soviets collapsed the CIA tended to believe that they were the defense of the West, pretty much all by themselves. These old geezers and geezerettes are tired of watching espionage movies on cable. Their outrage at the disruption of the universe of intelligence work still burns bright, and the folks they mentored at Langley are yearning right along with them. Give it up. You had a good run no matter what the left thinks.
Yes, Gates has been a good Secretary of Defense. After Rumsfeld, it would have been difficult to look bad, but, he has done a good job. Should he be kept on as SecDef? Probably not. It is generally not a good idea to keep key subordinates on from previous regimes. This is true in any field, at any level. They always have a different agenda than the one you bring with you. Get new people! Hagel, Clark, Webb are all good possibilities for SecDef if the man who can’t use a computer is not elected. I would prefer Hagel, but…. Any of them would be a good bet.
Gates is too smart to welcome this log rolling on his behalf. pl