Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You wonder why the US intelligence community and associated think thanks are wortheless?

Many thanks to Cem for drawing my attention to the Counter Terrorism blog's recent posts

You want to know that the War Party is thinking nowadays? A good place to figure this out is to look at one of their websites: the Counter-Terrorism blog. There you will see the following entries:

* Turkish Ambassador to U.S. Calls Iran "a threat to Turkey as well as to the U.S."

* Is Hezbollah the Premier Non-State Threat?

Nevermind the fact that Iran and Turkey have been collaborating against the Kurds, nevermind that Turkey and Iran have had regular high-level diplomatic relations, nevermind that the very idea of Iran threatening Turkey is laughable. Now Iran has been upgraded to a "threat to Turkey".

As for Hezbollah, nevermind that there is not a single shred of evidence that it ever conducted any terrorist activities and that is is both a political party and a national liberation movement. Hezbollah is now "the number one non-state threat".

Does that mean that the folks at Counter-Terrorism blog really believe this?

Not at all.

I know the world of US think tanks very well and I can vouch to the following: think tanks are first and foremost in the business of making money. They know *exactly* what to say and what to write to get more "research grants". For example, in the early nineties, a good friend of mine worked at a major Washington DC think tank where she was in charge of writing a report about "Star Wars" and (intercontinental) ballistic missile defense. She showed me a draft version of her report I was appalled to see that it was all full of certain praise for that wasteful and unfeasible concept. When I told her that this was "total garbage" she laughed and said "sure it is, but that is what they pay us to write".

What is even more shocking is that EXACTLY the same is happening inside the US intelligence community. How do you think will get promoted first - the guy who says Iran wants nukes, or the one who says it does not? The latter one will be lucky to keep his job! And what is true for one analyst is also true for an entire think tank or even an entire intelligence agency.

The fact is that all this so-called "analytical" community (whether contracted think thanks or the federal intelligence community) is staffed with spineless bureaucrats who are firs and foremost preoccupied with their careers and getting "research money".

The same stuff is happening all over the world. I have seen previously competent intelligence agencies bled dry from ALL their expert analysts who were gently (or not so gently) "pushed out" and replaced by bureaucrats with excellent political skills but no expertise whatsoever (good thing most intelligence reports are classified; otherwise the entire world would see what kind of crap these dorks write!)

Now that a war with Iran is a virtual certainty we can expect a deluge of "analytical" reports, conferences, seminars and symposiums all dedicated to analyzing the "Iranian threat". The Counter Terrorism blog is just the tip of the iceberg: you would see exactly the same at RAND, CSIS or Brookings (nevermind the Heritage Foundation or AEI).

It is rather ironic that the country which worships capitalism and greed has ended up having its "brains" (which is, presumably, what the intelligence community is supposed to be) literally corrupted and rendered useless by the greed and financial mechanism of "free market competition" in the sphere of analysis.