Monday, January 05, 2009

Obama Fills Out the Intel Team

With Leon Panetta, one time House Budget guru and Clinton Chief of Staff to the CIA, and Admiral Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence.

Since to the outsider, the CIA appears as one vast dysfunctional bureaucracy, perhaps Panetta's the guy to tame it. Intelligence background really isn't a requirement here – given the CIA's track record dating back to the Soviet era, one could only hope that things get better.

Blair's record indicates that he's a smart guy; with practical experience as a Navy battle group commander. However, I'd prefer someone with a tad more “boots on the ground” experience like a senior officer with SEAL or Ranger shooting experience in one of the top intel jobs. Not in all intel jobs – America needs more than commando and light infantry fire experience, but those should have a prominent voice.

Congratulations to Mr. Panetta & Admiral Blair on their appointments; hope that they turn out better than the last crew.

Of course, that's a pretty low bar, considering George Tennant, et. al.