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jerryking : nsc   13

Susan Rice Recounts Making Policy at the Highest Levels
Oct. 10, 2019 | The New York Times | By Abby D. Phillip.

TOUGH LOVE
My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For
By Susan Rice
Illustrated. 531 pp. Simon & Schuster. $30.

Tough Love is Susan Rice's memoir. Susan Rice doesn't allow herself to be defined by the events of September 2012 in Benghazi, Libya, after which she was demonized by the right-wingers in the U.S. ....Rice’s personal story is rooted partly in slavery in America and partly in economic migration to the United States.....Rice benefitted from privilege that gave her access to well-heeled private schooling, elite advanced degrees (i.e. Stanford University, and later was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford) and membership in the even more elite Washington society. Rice’s unflagging work ethic and drive stems from her family's belief that, "The only constraints we faced were our own ambition, effort and skill.” ......Early in her career at the National Security Council, Rice navigated some of the most difficult foreign policy challenges the country has faced in recent history, and in a pattern that continued into the Obama years her fate seemed constantly intertwined with Africa. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda provided an object lesson in the moral failures of inaction. Later, she dealt with another major crisis that would reverberate later in her career. The 1998 Nairobi embassy and Dar es Salaam embassy bombings.
Rice is clinical in her retelling of the foreign policy decisions of the Clinton and Obama administrations. And there is no attempt to neatly sew together an overarching narrative about her approach to foreign policy challenges based on her years of experience in government. In fact, that may be the lesson of her tale of “tough love.” Public policy, Rice argues, is pragmatic, and sometimes a little dark: “We did fail, we will fail. Our aim must be to minimize the frequency and the price of failure.”.....Rice's “assertiveness and relentlessness” has cost her reputation within the State Department as a difficult boss. Rice has considered--and ruled out--pursuit of elected office, preferring the comfort of policy-focused, behind-the-scenes roles.
African-Americans  APNSA  assertiveness  Benghazi  books  book_reviews  cost_of_inaction  failure  memoirs  NSC  Obama  policymaking  public_policy  relentlessness  Rhodes  Stanford  Susan_Rice  tough_love  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S._State_Department  women  work_ethic 
23 days ago by jerryking
The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained - The New York Times
The White House uses a web of computer systems to store delicate information.CreditCreditAl Drago for The New York Times
By Charlie Savage, Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman
Oct. 1, 2019
classified_information  code_words  covert_operations  Donald_Trump  memorialization  NSC  secrets  security_&_intelligence  transcripts  Ukraine  White_House 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
C.I.A. Names the ‘Dark Prince’ to Run Iran Operations, Signaling a Tougher Stance
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | By MATTHEW ROSENBERG and ADAM GOLDMAN

Michael D’Andrea, has a new job. He is running the C.I.A.’s Iran operations, according to current and former intelligence officials, an appointment that is the first major sign that the Trump administration is invoking the hard line the president took against Iran during his campaign......Mr. D’Andrea took over the agency’s Counterterrorism Center in early 2006 and spent the next nine years directing the hunt for militants around the world........Iran has been one of the hardest targets for the C.I.A. The agency has extremely limited access to the country — no American embassy is open to provide diplomatic cover — and Iran’s intelligence services have spent nearly four decades trying to counter American espionage and covert operations.......Mr. Trump has appointed to the National Security Council hawks eager to contain Iran and push regime change, the groundwork for which would most likely be laid through C.I.A. covert action......Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, was an infantry commander during the early years of the war in Iraq, and he believes that Iranian agents who were aiding Iraqi insurgents were responsible for the deaths of a number of his soldiers. Derek Harvey, the senior director for the Middle East at the council, is also considered an Iran hawk.....
appointments  Iran  covert_operations  CIA  APNSA  security_&_intelligence  Al_Qaeda  NSC  H.R._McMaster  counterterrorism 
june 2017 by jerryking
Trump Looks to Ex-Intelligence Officer, Putin Critic for National Security Council - WSJ
By FELICIA SCHWARTZ and PAUL SONNE
March 2, 2017

Ms. Hill is known in Washington policy circles for her clear-eyed view of Mr. Putin, viewing his background in the Soviet security services as critical to the way he approaches power politics and foreign policy. Ms. Hill’s selection was first reported by Foreign Policy.

“In the KGB, Putin learned how to probe people’s vulnerabilities, uncover their secrets, and use compromising information against them,” Ms. Hill wrote in a piece that appeared on Vox.com last summer. “In his view, other world leaders are essentially targets.”

Ms. Hill, currently at the Brookings Institution, previously served as an officer for the National Intelligence Council focusing on Russia and Eurasia. She co-wrote a book about Mr. Putin and his world view, and formerly worked at the Eurasia Foundation.
White_House  appointments  Europe  Russia  NSC  security_&_intelligence  women  U.S.foreign_policy  Brookings  think_tanks  Vladimir_Putin 
march 2017 by jerryking
What Trump’s Changes Mean for the National Security Council - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK LANDLER JAN. 30, 2017

The council is no place for political creatures, many have argued. It is the place where the nation’s deepest intelligence secrets, its fluctuating hierarchy of national interests and its jockeying-for-power cabinet members combine as policy differences are hashed out. It is the forum where decisions about war, from Vietnam to Iraq; drone strikes in Pakistan; and conflicts in cyberspace have unfolded over endless hours of meetings.

Of course, with stakes that large, it has always been about politics — from grand strategy to petty scorekeeping.....The formal instrument is the “principals committee,” made up of the president, the vice president and all those jockeying cabinet members. That is what Mr. Bannon joins, meaning he won the first week’s access-trust-influence sweepstakes. ...The NSC has a staff that numbers several hundred professionals — most borrowed from the State Department, the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and other government agencies for two years or so....Much of the day-to-day decision-making is done by the “deputies committee,” where sub-cabinet officers, and their designees, sit in seemingly endless meetings in the Situation Room to debate out differences, create policy and push the hardest issues to the president and his top advisers. Intelligence officials often open those meetings, providing assessments of what is happening around the world. (They are not supposed to delve into policy suggestions, but it has happened.)
NSC  White_House  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  Stephen_Bannon  Henry_Kissinger  Brent_Scowcroft  APNSA  David_Sanger 
january 2017 by jerryking
From War Room to Boardroom: Leadership Lessons From Two Generals - WSJ
Dec. 8, 2014 | WSJ |

Start to build relationships so that you have something to fall back on when you disagree on the issues.

What leadership lessons should we take from the American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan?

GEN. MCCHRYSTAL: The first thing is we didn’t do due diligence before we went in. We didn’t understand the problem to the depth that we needed to. We didn’t take the time to do it, and we didn’t nurture the experts.

If we gathered all the Pashtun and Arabic speakers in the U.S. military, we could probably fit them on this stage. And yet, after World War II began, after Pearl Harbor, we trained more than 5,000 military members to speak Japanese. We just haven’t made that level of effort.

The other thing is we go at this with different parts of our government. Every agency wants to help but they want to protect their equities, and you can’t do a complex endeavor like this unless you can build a truly integrated team in which everybody is focused.
leadership  lessons_learned  shared_consciousness  operational_tempo  Stanley_McChrystal  teams  NSC  security_&_intelligence  generalship  ISIS  al_Qaeda  Taliban  learning_organizations  adaptability  decision_making  speed  languages  Arabic  Pashtun  relationships 
december 2014 by jerryking
POWER INC - David Rothkopf - Penguin Books
Only about thirty countries possess the powers usually associated with sovereign nations. The rest can’t actually defend their borders, govern their finances independently, or meet the basic needs of their people. In this provocative and persuasive new book, David Rothkopf calls these others semistates and argues that they’re much less powerful than hundreds of corporate supercitizens.

A multitude of facts demonstrates the reach of the modern corporation. Walmart has revenues greater than the GDP of all but twenty-five nations. The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, controls $3.3 trillion, almost as much as the currency reserves held by China and Japan combined. Corporations in Third World countries routinely hire mercenary armies to enforce their will, and in some cases (such as Shell in Nigeria), they control the politicians as well.

Striking a balance between public and private power has become the defining challenge for all societies. In Power, Inc., Rothkopf argues that the decline of the state is irreversible. The way forward is to harness corporate resources in the service of individual nations to forge a radically new relationship between the individual and the institutions that govern our lives.

David Rothkopf

David Rothkopf is the author of Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. He is the president and chief executive officer of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm. He teaches international affairs at Columbia University.
books  NSC  Wal-Mart  BlackRock  asset_management  multinationals  David_Rothkopf  decline  statelessness 
july 2012 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Zbigniew Brzezinski
January 13, 2012 | FT.com | By Edward Luce.

Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.

“We [Americans] are too obsessed with today,” Brzezinski continues. “If we slide into a pattern of just thinking about today, we’ll end up reacting to yesterday instead of shaping something more constructive in the world.” By contrast, he says, the Chinese are thinking decades ahead. Alas, Brzezinski says, Obama has so far failed to move into a strategic habit of mind. To a far greater extent than the Chinese, he concedes, Obama has to respond to shifts in public mood. Brzezinski is not very complimentary about American public opinion.

“Americans don’t learn about the world, they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography,” Brzezinski says. “In that context of widespread ignorance, the ongoing and deliberately fanned fear about the outside world, which is connected with this grandiose war on jihadi terrorism, makes the American public extremely susceptible to extremist appeals.” But surely most Americans are tired of overseas adventures, I say. “There is more scepticism,” Brzezinski concedes. “But the susceptibility to demagoguery is still there.”....Brzezinski lists "Ignorance", as one of America’s six “key vulnerabilities” alongside “mounting debt’, a “flawed financial system”, “decaying national infrastructure”, “widening income inequality”, and “increasingly gridlocked politics”.
Zbigniew_Brzezinski  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  China_rising  China  diplomacy  princelings  America_in_Decline?  threats  vulnerabilities  infrastructure  income_inequality  debt  political_polarization  long-term  partisan_politics  fractured_internally  NSC  ignorance  public_opinion  books  Chinese  instant_gratification  demagoguery  APNSA  gridlocked_politics  Edward_Luce  incurious  financial_system  historical_amnesia 
january 2012 by jerryking
Zbigniew Brzezinski: As China Rises, A New U.S. Strategy - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 14, 2011 | WSJ |By ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI.

We should embrace Russia, Japan and South Korea as we seek to manage the rise of China.
strategy  strategic_thinking  diplomacy  geopolitics  China_rising  China  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S.-China_relations  NSC  APNSA 
december 2011 by jerryking
Why Jim Jones Will Make or Break Obama's Foreign Policy
December 4, 2008 | The American Prospect | by Tim Fernholz.
Blog post reviews the likely role of the incoming national security
advisor, Jim Jones. Ivo Daalder and I.M. Destler called In the Shadow of
the Oval Office. [Jane Dundas/355.03307 DAA}
APNSA  security_&_intelligence  book_reviews  USMC  NSC  U.S.foreign_policy  James_Jones 
march 2009 by jerryking

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