Wednesday, February 14, 2007


[posted by Callimachus]

Michael Tanji (who blogs at Haft of the Spear) slams the U.S. intelligence services in a short but link-rich post.

Saying you’re adapting to the information age because you are using computers while still clinging to industrial-age processes is worse than sticking with typewriters and paper. Recycling cold-warriors and the people who got you into this mess in the first place is sending these institutions into a retrograde orbit.

I have waxed and waned about the need to purge current management because it can be dangerous to paint with too broad a brush. However, this latest round of stories about business as usual in our national security apparatus has forced me to cast off any misgivings I might have harbored for throwing out a very small baby in a great volume of tepid, fetid bathwater. We should thank those who have served honorably for their time, energy and sacrifice, but their time is over.

Failure to take rapid and dramatic measures on this front will have implications beyond the staffing and morale levels of given agencies. Absent fundamental changes in policy, procedure, and key personnel, national security institutions will decline in relevance and utility. The best and brightest will opt out of federal service so as to avoid becoming cube-dwelling, ticket-punching automatons. Traitors will be cultivated and exploited, criminals will go unpunished, valuable sources of intelligence will go unexploited, and when the next shooting war starts our ignorance of the threat we face will be so profound that victory in battle may very well be in doubt.

[Hat tip: Zenpundit]

I don't think my co-blogger and I see quite eye to eye on the relative weights and urgencies of all this, but if you've read here for a while you know I have little love for the CIA.

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