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John Brennan, Former C.I.A. Spymaster, Steps Out of the Shadows - The New York Times
ency around drone strikes made it hard to understand, let alone defend, United States policy. “The biggest conflict I had with my leadership was drone strikes,” says one former diplomat who worked in South Asia during Obama’s first term. “Official U.S. government policy is that you can’t talk about them, because they don’t exist,” the diplomat continued. “I quickly realized that I couldn’t be a credible representative of the U.S. government without talking about what was on the front page of every single newspaper.” Under Obama, the justification for holding such unaccountable power was the good character of the president and his staff. “Do I want this system to last forever? No,” one senior Obama official told The Washington Post in 2012, referring to the drone program. “What is scary is the apparatus set up without John to run it.”

If McDonough could not talk about signature strikes, perhaps he could talk about drone strikes against “high-value targets,” named and known terrorists.

“Again, that sounds to me like a question that I’m not in a position to respond t
NYT  CIA  wot  obama  GeorgeWBush  DonaldTrump  drone  afghanistan  iraq 
8 weeks ago by Kirk510620
U.S. Out of Space - Reason.com
Obama's space policy was one of his administration's bright spots.
space  spacex  obama  reason  PrivateSpaceExplore  spending  iss  rocket  katherinemanguward 
february 2017 by Kirk510620
Barack Obama and the Powell Doctrine, Reconsidered | Foreign Policy
y, of course, that the United States act alone in such interventions. Nor is it required that the long-term commitment of troops to a country be wholly, primarily, or even partially a U.S. obligation. But an effective stabilizing force needs to be present — particularly in a situation where the intervention is meant to address threats that have emanated from local problems that have a long history or have otherwise been protracted in nature. Even overwhelming application of military force can’t undo history, culture, or structural problems with deep roots. Indeed, there are certain circumstances where stabilization is just not a possible outcome, and we must plan for those accordingly, limiting our objectives. As my colleague Tom Ricks has suggested, in Afghanistan this might have meant focusing on securing the area around greater Kabul and not seeking to venture further to try to secure what few Afghan governments ever could. Another conclusion, and a lesson that must be particularly bitter for the president, is that the long-term stabilizing role can only be undertaken by a truly capable force. The president has frequently argued that a centerpiece of his plans to extricate America from its involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan was turning such responsibilities over to local militaries. But in both cases, even after huge investments in training and equipping local forces, America has failed to adequately cultivate forces to which the baton
FP  obama  afghanistan  iraq  wot  ColinPowell  strategy 
october 2015 by Kirk510620
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