I’ve long held the opinion that this administration, when it wants to be competent in foreign affairs, actively attempts to imitate the last administration. Because – and this will come as a shock to the folks who have been drinking too deeply from the antiwar movement’s poisoned wells – the last administration actually was competent at foreign affairs*. Which would be great, except that this administration doesn’t actually know what the last administration is like – so it imitates the fever-dream version of the Bush administration, and then wonders why things keep turning to crud.
Case in point: “More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.” Although contra the Daily Beast, this situation is not particularly like what happened in 2003. What happened in 2003 was, essentially, that George W. Bush decided to take no chances in trusting the good intentions of an uncontrollable dictator. What’s happening now is that the military cadre that interacts with the Executive Branch is too ready to tell the Executive Branch what it wants to hear, and the Executive Branch is collectively too arrogant – or just too stupid – to realize that this is happening. (more…)