January 25, 2010
In the shadow of the intelligence failure that culminated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab lighting an explosive aboard a Detroit-bound flight, the titular head of the U.S. intelligence community was busy fighting another war. For months, in fact, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence (DNI), had been waging an epic bureaucratic offensive. His job had been created in the wake of September 11 to foster cooperation and accountability among the 16 agencies sifting through the mounds of inbound data about threats to U.S. interests.
The Reinvention of Robert Gates
November 09, 2009
One afternoon in October, a blue and white jumbo jet flew high above the Pacific Ocean, approaching the international dateline. On board was the secretary of defense, Robert Gates, who was on an around-the-world trip that would end with a summit of NATO defense ministers, where the topic of the day would be Afghanistan. Gates was flying on what is often called “the Doomsday Plane,” a specially outfitted 747 that looks like a bulkier Air Force One and was built to wage retaliatory nuclear war from the skies.
Who Is Scott Gration?
March 20, 2009
On Wednesday, Barack Obama appointed retired Air Force Major General J. Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan. In 2001, when the envoy position was first created, the job entailed brokering a peace deal between Khartoum and rebel groups in the south. It subsequently mutated to include halting Darfur's genocide and reversing President Bashir's expulsion of humanitarian aid workers. So, what does Gration's appointment mean for Darfur policy now? The Sudan experts I spoke to were cautiously optimistic.
Danzig, Odd Man Out, Joins Cnas
February 17, 2009
Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, a top Obama campaign advisor many people imagined as defense secretary--until Robert Gates was tapped to stay--will become chairman of the board at the Center for a New American Security, says the hardheaded Democratic national security think tank whose ranks have recently been depleted by Obama appointments.
Obama Heavy: Mccain Known For "losing It"
August 26, 2008
Former Navy Secretary, Obama advisor, and potential future Defense Secretary Richard Danzig is at a Truman Project-sponsored panel here, where he's doing some gloating about recent Bush Administration foreign policy shifts: "The Obama national security policy seems to be driving the Pentagon these days," Danzig says. A good moment came when Democratic Congressman Adam Smith of Washington, sitting in the audience, rose to ask Danzig for advice on how Democrats can deliver a tough foreign-policy message that will be credible to voters.