Lessons for Intelligence Support to Policymaking during Crises
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
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In the spring of 2007, President George W. Bush named Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute to serve as his assistant and deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan to bring greater attention and coherence to U.S. policy making in those areas. Lute, who would be popularly referred to as the war advisor, or the war czar, served through the end of the Bush administration, and like Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, he continued working in the Obama administration, although with some changes to his title and portfolio. I worked for General Lute from September 2007 through September 2009 as director for Afghanistan on the National Security Council staff. I was detailed from the Central Intelligence Agencys Directorate for Intelligence DI, where I served as a political analyst on the Afghanistan Branch from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that, in 2002, I served as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, deployed to the Combined Joint Task Force-180 Intelligence Support Element in Bagram, Afghanistan. During my two years in the NSC, I came to see both strengths and weaknesses in Intelligence Community IC support to policy making. In this article, after an overview of the NSC and my role in it, I will offer what I consider to be the lessons of my experience and suggest ways in which the IC might be able to improve its support to the NSC, especially in high-profile crisis situations.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Intelligence
- Unconventional Warfare