How a Plugged-In DC Think Tank Published a General's Brutal Intel Critique - Nathan Hodge, Danger Room.
In military circles, the talk all week has been about how and why the top intelligence officer in Afghanistan wound up publishing a scathing critique through a small-but-influential think tank. Now, we've got the answers.
When Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn published his tough assessment of the military's spy agencies in Afghanistan, it caught Pentagon officials by surprise — not least because Flynn distributed it through Center for a New American Security. While Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said through his press secretary that he thought Flynn's findings were "spot on," he made it clear he was a bit uncomfortable with the conduit Flynn used to distribute the report. Reuters, quoting Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, said Gates had "real reservations about the general's choice of venue for publication."
So how, exactly, did the think tank get picked to publish the report? According to Nathaniel Fick, the chief executive officer of CNAS, the whole thing was a "bolt from the blue."
In a conversation yesterday with Danger Room, Fick and CNAS President John Nagl acknowledged that the move was unusual, but said the decision to go through CNAS was based on Flynn's desire to get the report out rapidly, reach the widest possible audience and provoke much-needed debate...
More at Danger Room.
The Flynn report (III): A Spy Generation Gap? - Tom Ricks, Best Defense.
There seems to be a generation gap in the intel community, judging by the sharply different reactions of younger and older spooks to the controversial new CNAS report on how to change intelligence in Afghanistan, written by Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn and a couple of members of his entourage. The young folks (battalion S-2s and below) seem to be saying they like the assessment and don't mind the venue. The old folks (especially back here in the DC area) dislike the assessment and are appalled at the fact that Maj. Gen. Flynn released the report through a think tank...
More at Best Defense.
The Flynn Report (IV): Cordesman's Take - Tom Ricks, Best Defense.
On the other hand, Anthony Cordesman of CSIS is one old school intel guy who likes the Flynn report...
More at Best Defense.