Not to belabor the earlier NRO item, but U.S. News fleshes out U.S. vulnerability/over-reliance on overhead constellations. That China or any Rising/Non-Status Quo power (including now Russia) sees U.S. over-dependence here as a weakness for exploiting in an asymmetrical, cost-effective way is a no brainer.
It’s somewhat disappointing that senior people in OSD understood this years ago. They wanted to counter the vulnerability by moving the U.S. away from a few big, super expensive satellites to smaller, cheaper micro or even pico satellites. They can be spared and replaced by cheap and expendable launch vehicles. Long story short, that didn’t happen as envisioned. One direct report to Rummy told the Stiftung (who was not an AgitProp agent/Neocon/Cheney stooge) the simple ugly truth — the U.S. industrial base largely has forgotten how to build the requisite rockets well and economically. Moreover, the industry itself has little incentive to innovate and create smaller, cheaper satellites — the big birds make alot of money for them when they go up.
We’re not sure what we can contribute to the NIE summary meme bubble at this point. The NIE summary is no longer actually a real res (thing), nor is the NIE process and history of the least consequence. The posturing and talking points are the only thing real now. We just repeat again our profound unease that McConnell and Kerr have opted to insert themselves directly into the political process. Precedents matter.
Anyone who has read this blog/its predecessor at STSOZ 1.0 know our passionate alarm and disdain for the EOVP (Executive Office of the Vice President) and Necons’ assault on the Agency. (For decades we have argued that the Agency was nonetheless in need of non-ideological reform). The fact that Cheney et al. waged a ruthless and ideological war against the Community for policy reasons does not in the Stiftung’s view excuse the Community to encroach on policy making turf themselves. Intelligence is NOT policy. And should NOT be so regardless of which regime is in charge.
Congress has dropped that ball re playing their Constitutional role and enabled and abetted the Warlord and Cheney. Nor is it clear that Rockefeller in particular in the Senate Intel Committee (SSCI) has the proper Will and sense of equality to be effective. The solution to the Warlord and Cheney is not to mimic them but to restore the proper function of government that they suborned.
A long way of saying that unless something significant — which is certainly not impossible — emerges, we do not anticipate offering much here again on the NIE brouhaha. We just can’t summon the energy to care what Cliff May or any of them spout.
(We’re still mulling the comments here earlier about the undeniable American mass embrace of super heroes, sorcery/magic and the hyper mythic. It’s certainly an interesting divergence from the post-Vietnam gritty realism of the then new generation of directors).