ZenPundit
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
 
NID AND DCI - NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET ?

The ubiquitous praktike wonders if Porter Goss has been rolled:

"It's the latest evidence that Negroponte is consolidating his power as the nation's intelligence czar. The May 2 memo, obtained by TIME and also reported late last week by GovWatch.com, states that "effective immediately," Negroponte will participate in meetings of the NSC and its domestic counterpart, the Homeland Security Council (HSC). Meanwhile, CIA Director Porter Goss "will attend NSC and HSC meetings at the direction of the President."

That's the polite Beltway equivalent of saying, "Don't call us. We'll call you."


And here I was thinking that Negroponte would have very little clout given the constraits of his position. But I suppose political power is something you create for yourself rather than simply a function of your job description. I wonder what kind of relationship Negroponte will have with Rumsfeld, who gets the bulk of the US intelligence budget. Will the CIA's diminished clout allow the OSD to grab some more DO turf?"

Historically, the DCI position held by Porter Goss was designed to have two hats - the administrative chief of the CIA itself and the Head of the entire Intelligence Community. The first role is strictly operational and the second is policy.

Very few DCIs have managed to wear the second hat authoritatively outside of Allen Dulles and William Casey, both of whom had special circumstances in their favor. Dulles benefitted from his de facto partnership with his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a legendary reputation as a spymaster and Eisenhower's deep personal interest in intelligence. William Casey remained an adviser on domestic political and personnel matters to Ronald Reagan as well as formally being a policy principal co-equal with Weinberger and Shultz. Casey's working relationship with Reagan was simply too tight to be challenged lightly, even by other heavyweights in the administration.

Lacking this kind of clout, most DCI's either retreat to their own bailwick and remain outsiders to top-level policy formation or attempt to become courtiers in the mold of George Tenet, who was pretty darn good at wheedling his way into a place at the table in two very different administrations. Hence Tenet and Goss " briefing" the president every morning. This really is just trying to accumulate precious face time with the POTUS. Goss is better qualified than Tenet was to do the daily brief by virtue of his prior experience as a case officer but in either case the president is better served hearing from the senior analysts who prepared the brief. Same thing for John Negroponte - he's the NID because he's a discreet but very, very, tough troubleshooter, not because he's a professional intelligence analyst. He's highly competent, very smooth and Bush trusts him.

The NID represents an attempt to legislate that critical second hat of the DCI that only works when the president has a great deal of trust in a someone's judgment, enough to delegate broad authority so that when the NID speaks to DoD or State, the bureaucrats hear the president's voice. Without that kind of juice, the next NID after Negroponte will be just another Drug Czar.

The problem is, in any given administration, the people who can fill that kind of role can usually be counted on one hand.

 
Comments:
Hi,

I was just looking around the net for web sites related to relationship compatibility and came across your blog. I was going to add a blog to my site, for relationship compatibility and of course other related material, but I'm not sure if it would work.
I'm a bit worried about getting un-wanted 'rude' posts rather than ones related to relationship compatibility on my site...... perhaps I just try it out - then you can come and post on it :)

Take care
Stewart
 
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