comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Intelligence and foreign policy issues continue to dominate the debate
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Intelligence and foreign policy issues continue to dominate the debate

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

Yesterday I posted on Democratic leadership on security and defense issues on the Hill, but good leadership isn’t limited to elected officials. Earlier this week, a group of leading Democratic foreign policy officials announced the launch of a new organization, the National Security Network, which is the first Democratic group I'm aware of bringing together policy, messaging, and local outreach on issues of national security. There have always been highly capable Democrats in the policy realm -- they're all at various think tanks and consulting firms, biding their time until they can get back into the NSC and State Department. There are also capable Democratic candidates, campaign staff, and activists. There is, however, an unfortunate disconnect between policy and politics on security and foreign policy issues, a disconnect that the NSN aims to resolve.

Former UN Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former State and Defense Department official Les Gelb, and Congresswoman Jane Harman (ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee) all made brief remarks, speaking to the importance of bringing together policy and politics for effective campaigns and effective governance. Each was highly critical of the Bush administration and hopeful for a Democratic majority and, soon, president, and its clear that the foreign policy establishment is highly invested in this election.

I was particularly impressed with Rep. Harman, who continues to demonstrate acumen and passion in her statements on Iraq and intelligence issues. She called for the declassification of Aprils National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s effect upon the terrorist threat, and she hit hard on continued foreign policy failures by the Bush administration and the rubber-stamp Republican Congress. She also said she believes there's a National Intelligence Estimate specifically on Iraq that's being kept in draft form so Congressional Intelligence Committees can't see it before the elections. Unreal.

The counter-terrorism NIE clearly repudiates the entire Bush administration on Iraq and counterterrorism, and it's good to see Democrats recognize an issue that is so important for both policy and politics and then actually run with it. I hope the American people get a chance to see a similarly unclassified summary of Iraq's status as well, though I'm not holding my breath.

blog comments powered by Disqus