Mar 8Liked by Shift the Country

Hoo boy. Where to begin? I’ll start with something you wrote: “You have to be able to see the threat and to talk about it to deal with it.” Amen. This report makes it glaringly clear that we are so far from identifying the threat, saying it out loud, that there is no way the government can actually address it. You point out that it is an assessment of “worldwide threats”—and then ask, “…how is a domestic threat not included in ‘worldwide’?” Amen again!

I want to point out from the Foreword of the document itself: “At the same time, as the nations of the world strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they are beset by an array of shared, global issues… Efforts by Russia, China, and other countries to *promote authoritarianism and spread disinformation* is helping fuel a larger competition between democratic and authoritarian forms of government.” (my emphasis)

The single paragraph (excerpted above) points out why it is so important for us to acknowledge the threats from within! Who has their eyes on the efforts occurring right here in these United States to promote authoritarianism and spread disinformation—and what role are these domestic actors playing on the international stage?

If the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not the appropriate forum for addressing our internal threats, then what agency is? And what coordination is occurring between that agency and those focused on our role internationally? Despite the right words coming out of Biden’s mouth about the threats to our democracy, this report leaves me feeling that our intelligence community is not taking the threat seriously, and that’s pretty scary.

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Evelyn, you are so right on. You so often say the things that I'm thinking but don't quite get to words. It's good to hear I'm not the only one alarmed by this report.

The Office for the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was specifically created after 9/11 to help better coordinate intel between all of the intel agencies. It's their entire job. Your question or point about that underscores the entire problem here. If they're not doing it, who is?

I know from prior national security and intelligence strategies from when they were created that they have in the past had their eye on domestic issues. For example, ODNI was working pretty deeply on supply chain issues for a while toward the end of the Obama administration. That was in response or reaction in part to Superstorm Sandy and I think to the 2008 recession. While that's worldwide, it's also domestic. They also had some strategies for dealing with domestic disasters even though the primary lead for that is DHS and especially FEMA. It's not out of their bailiwick (ODNI's) to do domestic stuff. I'm not sure why it's so specifically excluded here. The fact that it is is *very* unsettling.

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Mar 9Liked by Shift the Country

How can they not see the threat and not talk about it??

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