Brennan’s deserving CIA reorganization plan
two sides of the house are not — and should not be — viewed as one unit and fully merged. For one thing, the analyst need not know everything the operations side is doing — only to have full access to everything relevant, and to be afforded unfettered access to the people on the operations side who are engaged in the field. Thus, while the mission centers will benefit from robust sharing of information and analysis as a two-way street, each directorate (directorate of operations and directorate of analysis) will remain responsible for its own internal structure and operations.
In the final analysis, for the plan to work, many others in addition to Mr. Brennan must not only buy into it, but also back him up. It begins with President Obama. If Mr. Obama and his successor do not clearly, forcefully and repeatedly direct support for Mr. Brennan’s plan, especially from the Defense Department and its many components, the plan will flounder. For its part, Congress must back it with appropriations and oversight support.
Ultimately, the success of the plan will depend on the strength and courage of Mr. Brennan and his successor, who must be willing to withstand much bureaucratic heat from the Old Guard (which always is resistant to change) as the plan is fully implemented over the next few years. The stakes are high, but if the reorganization is, in fact, institutionalized, the United States will be in a far stronger position than in years past to meet the challenges we face in the Middle East and elsewhere.