One of the most consequential appointments that a new president must make is director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Unfortunately, this appointment is usually made late in the transition process, getting insufficient attention and typically ending up with a mediocre selection.
The four-year circus will soon leave town, and the clean-up effort will take at least a decade. The three rings of Trump’s circus—his White House, his do-nothing Senate, and his politicized judiciary—have contaminated governance, and given the Biden administration the worst political inheritance in U.S. history both at home and abroad.
As with any book by Gates, there needs to be the standard warning of “caveat emptor.” This is particularly true for “Exercise in Power” in view of Rachel Maddow’s obsequious interview of Gates last month in which she described the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency as a “public intellectual.”
Gates’ “Exercise in Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World” requires a two-part review. The first part will be a review of Gates’ record in the government, particularly his politicization of intelligence on the Soviet Union.
The Washington Post is particularly supportive of a more militarized national security policy, including a possible confrontation with China. A group of their oped writers, particularly Michael Gerson, David Ignatius, and George Will, argue that the United States needs to increase defense spending to “protect the country from a full range of global disasters.”