Experience and Intelligence Go Hand in Hand
In the wake of John Brennan’s withdrawal from consideration to be President-elect Obama’s CIA director, Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post explore what it’ll take to run the intelligence community post-Bush:
“An outsider will get eaten alive,” said Amy Zegart, an associate professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and a former security adviser to both the Clinton administration and President Bush’s 2000 transition team. “The next CIA director has to walk a fine line between taming the building and transforming it. He’s got to be part cheerleader and part skull-cracker. There is just no room for on-the-job learning.”
This is the conventional wisdom, and a large part of the rationale for why Obama warmed to Brennan. I’ll have more on this in a forthcoming piece.
*Update: *You, unlike me, shouldn’t miss Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane’s piece about Obama’s intelligence chief in today’s New York Times.