According to the Voice of America, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates endorses the recent report – Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan – authored by Major General Michael Flynn, Captain Matt Pottinger, and Paul D. Batchelor. However, according to VOA, the SecDef took issue with the report being published by CNAS.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell says Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who saw the report only after it was made public, "has real reservations" about the decision to have it published by a private group. But, Morell says Gates "found the analysis ‘brilliant’ and the findings ‘spot on.’"
"The report itself is exactly the type of candid, critical self-assessment that the secretary believes is a sign of a strong and healthy organization," he said.
The issues in the report are easily applied to the world of information engagement, which is inherently an intelligence operation. If not for the intelligence aspect then read it for its applicability to public diplomacy, strategic communication, global engagement, or whatever phrase you prefer to use.
The title of this post is “let me share some news with you” is to legally permit you to read the VOA story if you are inside the United States. By the intentional distortion of law, VOA materials are not to be available to the American public. As Senator Zorinsky said in 1985 while “closing the loophole” on dissemination, allowing such material to be accessed by Americans would put VOA on par with a Soviet propaganda agency. For a time, the VOA story you read – if you clicked on the link – would actually have been exempted from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
However, the original and primary intent of the 79th and the 80th Congresses that wrote and passed the Smith-Mundt Act that made permanent VOA and other elements we now call public diplomacy, was to have the media (which I now often qualify as), Congress, and academia (which I again qualify as) disseminate material intended for non-US audiences abroad in order to protect the US government from the Communists and socialists in the State Department, as well as to protect American commercial broadcast interests. So, in short, I’m glad to be of service and relay the information to you. Enjoy.
By the way, Gates has decided to remain until the end of 2010.