Trump: Redefining the Role of Intelligence in Foreign Policy
From The Last English Prince:
We do not know what is going on behind closed doors. The White House is a gated community. And this is the manner in which it functions best: A gate with the word “trust” emblazoned across it.
But our President is sending out a few public signals.
With a Twitter following which has climbed to greater than twenty million, surely more than a few journalists attempt to read the tea leaves. With short-burst messages which generally make an appearance in a series of 2-3 sequential early morning Tweets, Mr. Trump adeptly deploys a social media platform to give hints regarding administrative posture.
What seems glaringly apparent is the war of words regarding our intelligence peacock. Referring to our officers and operatives as “Nazi Germany” (with reference to the Christopher Steele dossier leak) provides the usual Trumpenesque speech. Shock-and-awe. And encased in the skull from which the vocal cords receive their instructions resides a decent cerebral cortex.
We need our intelligence sector. The due diligence is what keeps America safe. Intelligence is a product which moves from raw to refined. American taxpayers pay dearly for the refining process. This product is also shared with foreign member states with whom we maintain special relationships. We pay for it.
But President Trump is, perhaps, bringing a pivotal consideration – one which has been lacking in recent years. Our intelligence agencies are production centers. But they are not the sole owners of product utility. This utility belongs within the hands of the Commander-in-Chief.
Perhaps the burning issue which needs to be addressed is thus: An increased dependency upon intelligence data to formulate foreign policy has changed the way America does business in the world. And in some regards it has frayed our foreign policy.
At the end of the day, foreign policy should not succumb to the demands made by the intelligence sector.
Foreign policy should set sail on the wings of diplomacy with a keen eye which guides the ship of state through all storms. The Department of State should set the tone.
Our foreign policy posture should be one of goodwill toward the people with the necessary firm handshake extended to national leadership. The State Department leads. The agencies watch the State Department’s back.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.