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Luddites Can Still Be Good Managers

December 12, 2012 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has a confession to make: She doesn’t use email. In fact, she says she doesn’t have any personal online accounts. “Some would call me a Luddite, [but it’s] my own personal choice,” Napolitano explains. No doubt there are times when many of us also would ...

When Ignorance is Bliss

December 1, 2012 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has a confession to make: She doesn’t use email. In fact, she says she doesn’t have any personal online accounts. “Some would call me a Luddite, [but it’s] my own personal choice,” Napolitano explains. No doubt there are times when many of us also would ...

The Next Four Years

October 1, 2012 If Mitt Romney becomes the next president of the United States, how much are intelligence policies and programs likely to change? Not much. One of the most remarkable features of the past decade in the intelligence community has been the continuity from one administration to the next. Romney likely would ...

A Word About Leaks

August 8, 2012 Leaks of classified information are back in the news. Or more precisely, the hunt for leakers is making headlines again. After big news scoops on intelligence programs—involving counterterrorism operations in Yemen, drone strikes and a cyberwar campaign against Iran—lawmakers are accusing the White House of disclosing covert operations to make ...

A Word About Leaks

August 1, 2012 Leaks of classified information are back in the news. Or more precisely, the hunt for leakers is making headlines again. After big news scoops on intelligence programs—involving counterterrorism operations in Yemen, drone strikes and a cyberwar campaign against Iran—lawmakers are accusing the White House of disclosing covert operations to make ...

The Dream Team

June 1, 2012 Call me jaded, but the list of Mitt Romney’s intelligence advisers just seems, well, blah. Michael Chertoff, the former Homeland Security secretary, and ex-CIA director Michael Hayden are the two men the Republican presidential hopeful has named as co-chairmen of his “counterterrorism and intelligence” brain trust. Each man brings a ...

More Robots On the Fly

April 1, 2012 When you see an airplane zipping through the sky, or notice a traffic helicopter hovering over the freeway, you probably don’t ask yourself, “Is there a person flying that thing?” Give it a few years. Soon you’ll be wondering whether those aircraft are actually flown by human beings in a ...

Imperfect Harmony

February 1, 2012 You’d be hard-pressed to name an intelligence initiative that has received more attention—or has been the subject of more debate and anxiety—than information sharing. After the 9/11 attacks, policymakers and managers indoctrinated the intelligence workforce in a “need to share” culture, and an official policy of “responsibility to provide” information ...

INTELLIGENCE FILE Ditching The Dots

December 1, 2011 Is it time for us to retire an overused expression? Here's a phrase that some intelligence analysts would like to retire from the American vernacular: "connect the dots." I've gotten an earful about it during the past few months, mostly from counterterrorism professionals who say it oversimplifies what they do. ...

INTELLIGENCE FILE Dodging the Budget Ax

October 1, 2011 The intelligence community is bracing for spending cuts. When Congress and the White House reached a hard-fought agreement to raise the debt ceiling in August, intelligence officials had little reason to celebrate. The deal centers on future budget cuts, hundreds of billions of dollars of which could come from defense ...