Many, many years ago I worked at the headquarters of the US Seventh Army in Germany and the experience left with me a sense of not desiring to have my life depend on the intelligence of any Army Intelligence section. A recent report by the Center for New American Security confirms my feelings. In a nutshell, it claims, “the vast intelligence apparatus is unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which US and allies fordces operate and the people they seek to persuade.” The report comes after last week’s incident in Afghanistan when an Afghan posed as a friend of America and when invited to the base blew himself up along with several CIA agents. As the report notes, “the US intelligence is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy.”
The problem is we have devoted enormous resources to fighting the Taliban and much less intelligence and resources to assisting the people of Afghanistan to come to believe their government represents individual citizens rather than powerful warlords and drug lords. No American soldier should have been sent by President Obama unless President Karzai had appointed a Cabinet of men and women from the business, technocratic and academic world of Afghanistan.