This story is pregnant with what our next decade is likely to look like - or the parts we find out about anyway. President Obama just put the head of the CIA in charge of the military, and the head of the military in charge of the CIA. It’s a Dynamic Duo of Defense.
Petraeus has proved himself a stalwart Centurian and will follow his orders. Panetta is cut from the same cloth and has fought the Obama administration over investigating the torture practices of the Bush-Cheney era. So, I guess you want the hawks guarding the hen house if you follow the way things have been done under the Bush administration.
The Dynamic Duo’s reign may simply be for the remainder of the President’s administration, but they survived the transition into a Democratic administration, it’s less likely they’ll get completely sacked if a Republican took over in 2012. Either way, it seems like the time when the US could fund long drawn out ground campaigns is passing. It’s time to hire some Minute Men.
Republican voters won’t give Obama credit for keeping these Bush cronies in positions of power. Democratic voters will lose more faith because of this tendency to perpetuate so many policies of the Bush administration.
Perhaps it is a wise choice to cross the wires like this. But I don’t trust soldiers not to be soldiers, or spooks to give a fuck, so the vices of these archetypes lead me to speculate a dangerous, and perhaps unscrupulous, power structure has been created. I’m sure it is also argued that they are checks and balances for each other. I see it also pitched as maximizing the impact by cross training. Mixing the intelligence and cunning of a Doberman with the brute strength and ferocity of a Pitt Bull.
Americans will know less about black ops than we do now. We’ll fight quieter, dirtier battles. In close, deep under wraps, with mercenaries and contractors doing the real dirty work with no fear of reprisal.
Thus begins the Decade of Spy Wars and the continued Resurrection of the Soldier of Fortune.
Washington (CNN) — It’s Washington’s version of the reality television show “Wife Swap.”
President Barack Obama has tapped one of the country’s top military men to head the Central Intelligence Agency, while the current CIA chief is being nominated to take charge of the military.
The decision to send Gen. David Petraeus to the CIA and shift CIA Director Leon Panetta to the Pentagon is as much a reflection of the political skills of two talented bureaucratic infighters as it is a sign of the administration’s shifting agenda in a variety of hot spots around the world.
Faced with a looming reelection campaign and tighter budget constraints, Obama wants to move ahead with plans to complete the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and begin the process of winding down the unpopular war in Afghanistan, according to numerous analysts. New fiscal and political realities are contributing to a growing emphasis on smaller, more flexible, less costly, and potentially more dangerous military and paramilitary engagements in the years ahead.
Translation? A smaller Defense Department that is more reliant on solid intelligence gathering, and an increasingly militarized CIA more heavily involved in armed conflicts. Panetta and Petraeus are, by all accounts, uniquely qualified to manage the change. Source
See? Cross training.