Amy Zegart

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Open Secrets

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a watershed moment for the world of intelligence. For weeks before the shelling began, Washington publicly released a relentless stream of remarkably detailed findings about everything from Russian troop movements to false-flag attacks the Kremlin would use to justify the invasion.

This disclosure strategy was new: spy agencies are accustomed to concealing intelligence, not revealing it. But it was very effective. By getting the truth out before Russian lies took hold, the United States was able to rally allies and quickly coordinate hard-hitting sanctions. Intelligence disclosures set Russian President Vladimir Putin on his back foot, wondering who and what in his government had been penetrated so deeply by U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Talk of strategically defeating Al Qaeda is all the rage in the White House these days. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta used the "D-word" in July. President Obama declared in his new counter-terrorism strategy, "We can say with growing confidence… that we have put Al Qaeda on the path to defeat." Compared to the woeful state of the economy, terrorism has become the administration's feel-good story of the year.

"Defeat" is a big word. It is also dangerously misleading. Yes, the United States has made great strides in the last decade to harden targets, improve intelligence and degrade the capabilities of violent Islamist extremists.…  Seguir leyendo »