Donald Nixes P.D.B! Smart Move!
The NYTimes article entitled “What Is the President’s Daily Brief?” by Charlie Savage [Dec.12, 2016] correctly points out that POTUS Trump will not read/listen to his President’s Daily Brief [PDB].
Trump claims the following:
“You know, I’m like a smart person.” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years. It could be eight years—but eight years. I don’t need that. But I do say if something should change let us know.”
Once again, Trump has broken with an antiquated intelligence tradition where the WH occupants and their toadies receive a daily assessment of the status of world events as the intelligence community assesses it. Yet, Trump knows all too well that this PDB is nothing more than the CIA trying to suck up to every POTUS since Harry Truman.
CIA is being marginalized by Lt.Gen. Mike Flynn because he knows, like myself and many other intelligence practitioners, that the CIA is highly politicized and ineffective. The agency will provide a view point of the world that reaffirms its own sense of importance. The PDB is really not worth the money nor the time required to produce it on a daily basis.
The fifteen different military intelligence agencies which do not directly prepare the PDB are far more relevant to the WH situation room and combatants in the kinetic field of battle than anything that the CIA can ever produce. For the most part, the PDB is quite boring to read. Like most civilian intelligence, it suffers from being static, repetitive, and inconsistent.
As Andrew Liepman, a former CIA official, who prepared the PDB said:
“I think that over time, the intelligence community has overcorrected and become almost boring and robotic in language,” he said. “The community takes great pride in that predictability and consistency.”
What is missing in the narrative about Trump’s nixing of the PDB is the simple fact that Donald can rely on a variety of seasoned military generals who are far more conversant with counter-terrorism, China, and the Middle East than anybody in the CIA.
For the most part, the CIA has been its own instrument of self-destruction. It has engaged an obscene numbers of covert activities overseas that have led to the creation of the following problems: Al Qaeda, ISIS, Benghazi tragedy, Afghanistan war, Sunni vs Shi’ite wars, Iraq dissolution, Syria civil war, et.al.
With four US military generals in key positions of the USG, they should be the only ones to determine when and if American taxpayers will foot the bill for another unnecessary war. I have always assumed a basic truth about the military. No general wants to create a war which he/she cannot not win.
It’s time that we reorganize the 16 different branches of the bloated intelligence community and rid ourselves of redundancy, laggard analyses, and the artificial divide between a covert operative and analysts.Those are antiquated concepts that came out of a Cold War era that in which we prevailed despite a faltering CIA that could not/would not think out-of-the-box.
Trump is breath of fresh air. He will blow away the engorged bureaucracies streaming out of our over-inflated military-industrial complex. Example:
The F-35 fighter jet may be good for the IDF. Yet for Americans, those planes are totally useless when we have all the kill power required in our nuclear subs, cyber-command, and Electronic Warfare capabilities. We have wasted $400 billion on these useless fighter jets when the internet binary numbers cost us almost nothing and can devastate a society in fractions of a second.
Former POTUS Gerald Ford said the following:
“I’ve had a lot of experience with people smarter than I am.”