Bren­nan’s de­serv­ing CIA re­or­ga­ni­za­tion plan

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

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.

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