Monday, October 02, 2006
Takeyh on Bush
"A president with an inadequate understanding of the complexities of regional politics and a propensity to view events in stark black-and-white terms spearheaded a foreign policy that was often self-defeating."
I think it is the President's advisors (in the broadest sense) that need to have domain specific knowledge.
It is them that need to be able to give the President an as accurate as possible set of options and consequences.
Presently, it seems to me that the President is an intellectual lightweight and his advisors are not dispassionate in their analysis and recommendations.
Under Mr. Clinton or Mr. Bush, my impression is, certainly it was the case until I resigned in 2004, that the director of central intelligence had become the briefer-in-chief for the president. And I think we’ve seen that what that led to was sort of a personal friendship between the director and the president. And I think it’s very unlikely that in that kind of relationship the director of central intelligence is going to go to the president and say: “Listen Mr. President, analytically we’re really without options in foreign policy as long as we’re dependent on the Saudis for oil. That’s something that’s not going to happen.
It used to be before Mr. Tenet, that the senior briefer for the president was an analyst who had long experience and deep expertise on particular subjects. He or she was kind of designated to go in and tell the president what he needed to know and be ready to absorb whatever discontent the president might respond with.
But that’s no longer the case. Now it’s much more, I think, telling the president what he wants to hear.