Jan 22, 2005

The Years of Living Dangerously

The other night when I was introduced to one of our country's Washington insiders, the topic of intelligence came up and how our nation has become totally reliant on other nations to provide us with intelligence services. We had a nice talk over a few drinks, and noticing the local bodyguards, I found it particularly interesting this gentleman's complete reliance on local security and so I asked him if he spoke any of the local language. He answered "No" and then proceeded to me explain how he felt it was not really necessary over here because everyone spoke English.

The assumption seems to foolishly and naively made that we have friends and foreign partners throughout the world who share our same interests. Simply put, We don't. Every country has, and has always had their own interests at stake and that includes our so-called friends. Our relationship with France and numerous other countries during the buildup to the war in Iraq is a perfect recent example of this.

This type of mindset by thinking that we have friends who share our interests is capable of producing long term damage. Reagan taught us to trust but verify. That is kind of difficult to do when you no longer know who to trust and you have come to rely on others to do your verification work for you.

After the Cold War and during the halcyon days of the 90's it seemed to many Americans including unfortunately our nation's leaders, that we no longer had any adversaries. We had nothing to worry about, everyone was on our side and wished us well. During this time I had the unique vantage point here overseas of watching our influence and intelligence in the region dwindle down to almost nothing while other nations worked feverishly to fill in the gaps.

It's not enough that people such as Clinton decimated our nation's intelligence abilities, but that he chose to usher in a era of diversity and political correctness which has proven to be much more insideous that could ever be imagined. For whatever reason or reasons, our nation somewhere along the line decided to place the bulk of our "on the ground" intelligence work overseas with foreign nationals.

Im not going to speculate as to why such a decision was made here, but you can be well rest assured that it has to do with political correctness. The sad truth is that we have no assets of our own on the ground, at least not here in Southeast Asia. That is unless you count our agents lounging around the swimming pools at Hiltons worldwide reading USA Today and waiting for their local translators to give them the "scoop" or the FBI and DEA guys up in Bangkok who spend their days trying to score a kilo or two of smack from the Hmong.

It might take a few more years before things are cleaned up, if they ever are. Lets hope that we have learned from our past mistakes this time.

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