I am trying to beat the New Englander to the punch here. A sort of scoop.
Dana Priest of The Washington Post has an interesting article on Admiral Dennis Blair, who is rumored to be President Elect Obama's choice for Director of National Intelligence (the head guy in the labyrinth of intelligence agencies and bureaus in the Federal Government--even higher that the Director of the CIA). The web site for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is here. Incidentally, if you go to the site you will see a bluish rectangle with a stylized globe floating over a body of water. Click on it and you have the synopsis of the latest view of the world in 2025, including four possible futures. Clicking here takes you directly to the report.
Dana Priest is a reliable reporter on military affairs, so I assume this is the nominee.
Admiral Blair has held responsible positions on active duty and in retirement. His last job in uniform, as a four star admiral, was as the Commander of the US Pacific Command, with responsibility from our West Coast around into the Indian Ocean.
In retirement he went to a think tank--the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA). IDA is like the Rand Corporation or the Center for Naval Analysis--a place where the Department of Defense, and other government agencies, can obtain high powered analysis and sometimes "out of the box" thinking.
While on active duty, per the article, Admiral Blair served for a time as a liaison to the CIA, where he developed a dislike for "hidden agendas."
Intelligence is an interesting and frustrating area. With the many different intelligence organizations in the Federal Government, it is always easy to find one that was right about any given event. On the other hand, building a consensus makes for squeezing out the outliers, where truth may be hiding. I kid my oldest son, who has time as an Imagery Analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, that an Intelligence Analyst is someone with two points and a straight edge. That works until it doesn't. Knowing when the world changes is hard.
On top of knowing when the world changes, Admiral Blair will have to herd a lot of cats and those cats leak like a sieve when there is media around.
I wish the Admiral luck.
And, I note, I am, so far, fairly impressed with President Elect Obama's choices for important appointments in his Administration.
Regards -- Cliff