Thursday, August 19, 2004

What American Intelligence has done.

Just compiling some information for my own purposes, and I decided to make a list of everything American Intelligence has done and say whether the world is safer or not.

1. The CIA correctly identified North Korea's nuclear program, and the state department called them out. The situation is a lot clearer and in the open, and other countries have began to be very interested in dismantling their program.
No less safe, but if knowing about the threat makes you safer then the world is safer.

2. Libya’s WMD program was correctly identified, and brought to and end through intense negations. Admittedly, we did not think they were as far along as they were, but you can't be right all the time right.
Safer

3. We brought Iran to the attention of the IAEA, and send France, Germany, and Britain to take a look. Their interest has been gained. Iran is either in the middle of cleaning up or getting dirtier depending on how you look at it.
No less safe, but if knowing about the threat makes you safer then the world is safer.

4. As of know it appears that Iraq's WMD's was non-existent, though programs existed. Even other Arab countries where fooled.
Safer, though the claims the CIA made have not been verified.

5. American Intelligence has not caught Bin Laden, but they are working on that.
Less Safe, just by the fact that we don't know where he is.

6. The FBI had capability of getting the names of 5 of the Sept. 11 hijackers. If the CAPPS project would have been done 4 years ago, but it was not.
Less Safe, this project and others like it could save lives in the future but is not being done because of civil liberty concerns.


I would like to point out that it appears that the main country working to make the world a better place is America and her allies; everyone else just seems to take their lead from us. The only exception recently has been the Sudan issue. Where America really has not taken the lead, though I do not know if we should.

Overall, not a perfect record, but a very nice one.

Cube

4 comments:

Andrew said...

Just for the hell of it (and not because I don't believe you), do you have documentation that American Intelligence services 'outed' the programs in NK and Iran? Maybe we did; I haven't been keeping track of it well enough, but I don't usually see reports specifying what intelligence service is responsible when.

I'm particularly suspect about NK. NK has always been very open about their programs, and their tests. Commanding a 'Most Hated Nation' with few tradable resources, Kim Jung Il uses military posturing as a means for political leverage. Its far more worthwhile for him to brag about and exaggerate his programs than it is to be secretive about them--and in my understanding, that's what he does.

I also disagree with you when you say "No less safe, but if knowing about the threat makes you safer then the world is safer." In both cases, I think it's far more complicated. Confronting nations escalates the situation, and can make attacks more emminent. You need to strike a balance between keeping them from running off on their own and lashing out like a trapped animal. So to say that confronting NK and Iran over their weapons program makes us 'no less safe' is maybe a little over-simplified.

And the statement that the Iraq War has made us 'Safer' is a matter of opinion. I would agree that it has made the American mainland more safe, because it created a focal point for those who want to 'hit us'. But I wouldn't rush to the assertion that an unstable Iraq is a lesser threat to America than Saddam's regeime was. It's debatable whether Saddam was already contained (as a threat) and for how long that would have lasted. Likewise, it's debatable how much of a direct threat we see in an uncontrolled country with an active insurgency. Maybe we're safer, maybe we're not.

Overall, I think your analysis is too broad to get away with being so one-sided. It relies on a lot of questionable assumptions, most of which are unevenly biased in your conclusions favor. A more detailed analysis would probably not resolve to much of an answer yet, though; we need more time to observe how well our actions and intelligence discoveries actually play out.

Cubicle said...

you are going to hate me but....

i tricked you i said, "world".

So the matter on Iraq, is not a matter of opinion. Because how can the world not be safer?
As far as america being safer, i would have to agree with you.

"Just for the hell of it (and not because I don't believe you), do you have documentation that American Intelligence services 'outed' the programs in NK and Iran? "

In North Korea, the state department confronted NK about their secret enrichment of nuclear material and stopped shipping them oil and food (i did assume the state department got the info from american intelligance, but who else would they have got it from).

On Iran, we are the ones who kept bringing it up, and people like Powell would always say things like , "Iran has nukes" or more or less. (Again ,did assume the state department got the info from american intelligance, but who else would they have got it from)

I can provide links to the above statments but no links saying that American intelligance directly gave the different members of the government info (i am assuming that), and will do so if you request again.

"Confronting nations escalates the situation, and can make attacks more emminent."

Does it make the attacks more emminent or just more apparent to the everyday person (which feels more emminent). I would argue the latter.

"You need to strike a balance between keeping them from running off on their own and lashing out like a trapped animal."

agreed on that one, but the potenial for them acting like a trapped animal was always there. It was just hidden under the surface.

And i like my threats just like i like my strippers, in broad daylight.

Karlo said...

I would include that the CIA put Saddam into power (This is well documented by a number of historians), that they supported Iraq's first invasion of a sovereign country (Iran), and that the CIA's actions have usually led to an increase in the drug trade (as in Panama after Noriega and in Afganistan now). More recently, the CIA supported Chalabi, a person who had been convicted of major bank fraud in Jordon, as a possible leader in Iraq and finally settled on someone who formerly worked for the CIA and has been connected with a number of summary executions. My conclusion would be that CIA has not made the world or the U.S. safer.

jeff said...

I have to say that I believe confronting a nation that has nuclear capabilities is like a police officer telling a guy walking into a bank that he knows he has a gun in his jacket pocket. Maybe it will deter him from robbing the bank at gunpoint, maybe it'll just get him shot first.
Also I am going to quote you, then reply.
"4. As of know it appears that Iraq's WMD's was non-existent, though programs existed. Even other Arab countries where fooled.
Safer, though the claims the CIA made have not been verified."
I fail to see how exposing non-existant weapons of mass destruction programs makes anyone any safer. I will however admit that removing Sadam Hussein from power may prove to have a positive outcome, because he is in fact known to be a dangerous leader. Perhaps you are confusing a safety with a feeling of reassurance?

"5. American Intelligence has not caught Bin Laden, but they are working on that.
Less Safe, just by the fact that we don't know where he is."
We are less safe than when? What state of affairs were we in that has changed to make us less safe?