Friday, February 18, 2005

Endorsement for Negroponte

The Counterterrorism Blog has a very positive post on the naming of John Negroponte as the first National Intelligence Director. Link.
John Negroponte is not your typical foreign service officer. In contrast to the stereotype of a pinstiped, cookie pushing weenie, Negroponte has had a long career as a shrewd field operative who has had to manage a variety of politically and operationally sensitive issues. While Ambassador to Honduras during the Contra War in the 1980s, Negroponte had to manage CIA and DOD intelligence operatives. He was not an ignorant bystander but an active player in the process. He has also handled law enforcement issues, such as drug trafficking and money laundering investigations. While he is not known as a warm, fuzzy soft hearted guy, he is a tough, no nonsense manager.

On the one hand, I am not convinced that we needed another level of bureaucracy in our intelligence gathering. On the other hand, now that it is created, John Negroponte seems to be a superior choice to do the job. CIA Director Goss will now spend his time administering that agency, which is in great need of overhaul, and the new intelligence czar will oversee intelligence coordination and brief the President daily. Maybe that is too much work for just one human being.


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