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What should it be to work intelligently during Donald Trump? You dive as deep as anyone into the area of your specialty, analyze data from countless sources (satellite images, communication intercepts, spies, open reports), weave your results with them from 16 other agencies to carefully crafted reports. Then the president condemns, the only customer for your products, you on Twitter as "extremely passive", "naive" and "wrong!" (The exclamation point is his.)
That's what Trump did on Wednesday morning, the day after his top intelligence witnesses to the congress on a report disputing his views on Iran, North Korea, Syria, and more.
Let's be clear: American intelligence agencies are far from infallible, they have been wrong many times before, and one of the distortions that the trumpet age has created among the opposition is a romanticized worship of wisdom and goodness of America's spies.
But Trump's latest Twitter jabs goes beyond the pale. It would be one thing if he based his criticism on conversations with external experts, perusals of scientific analysis or events from his own experience. But of course he speaks without such oracles, reads nothing worth, and has not accumulated any life lessons of relevance here.
Nor can it be possible that the intelligence analysts' results are rejected as false news from "deep state" or "swamp". The Witnesses in Tuesday's Senate Hearing – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel – were appointed to their Trumps job themselves.
Trump clearly draws on very different intelligence sources. Between his outbreak against Coats and Haspel on Wednesday morning, this tweet :
"Three separate caravans march to our limit. The numbers are huge." @Foxandfriends
"Our economy is right now Gold Standard worldwide." @IngrahamAngle So true and not even close!
It is astonishing and alarming that the US president – who could consult the world's leading experts, inside or outside the government, on any subject, imaginable – chooses instead to rely on the random ravings of cable newscreens without special requirements wisdom or knowledge of something.
Trump went after his intelligence directors with such severe defenses – unusually, even his standards – because their congregation's testimony opposed his well-known attitudes to blatantly ignore him.
For example. Witnessed Coats on the results of a 42-page "Worldwide Threat Assessment", a report released by his agency to the public every year – that Iran has complied with the nuclear agreement it signed with the United States and six other nations in 2015 and that is not involved in activities that would be "necessary to produce a nuclear unit".
Trump, who pulled the US out of the deal last year, called it one of the worst deals ever made, fired back with to tweets :
The intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They're wrong! When I became president, Iran did problems throughout the Middle East and beyond. Since the end of the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are very different … … a source of potential danger and conflict. They test Rockets (last week) and more, and come very close to the edge. That economy is now booming, which is the only thing that holds them back. Be careful with Iran. Maybe intelligence should go back to school!
In fact, Iran's behavior, good and bad, has not changed at least since Trump abrogated the agreement, except one thing: As Haspel testified, the Iranian leaders are now "debating among themselves" to resume their nuclear program because " they have failed to realize the economic benefits they hoped for from the agreement. "In other words, the CIA director believes that the Iranians are thinking of breaking the agreement because Trump has reinstated the economic sanctions that had been lifted as part of the agreement – i.e. They are thinking of breaking the deal because Trump broke it .
In North Korea, Coats testified that although Kim Jong-un has suspended missile and nuclear unit testing, he is "unlikely" to give up his nuclear weapons, primarily because he and his other leaders "ultimately see nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival. "Haspel added that Kim is still" committed to developing a wide range of nuclear missiles that would pose a direct threat to the United States. "
Trump-who has said that he and Kim "fell in love" at their Singapore summit in June and who proclaimed immediately after the meeting that North Korea no longer constituted a threat: kl. 40.00 (yes at 3:40):
Time will tell what will happen to North Korea, but at the end of the previous administration the relationship was terrible and very bad things were happening. Now a completely different story. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress made – great difference!
Time will tell. However, according to officials familiar with the negotiations between US and North Korean diplomats, no progress is being made because Kim reasonably believes he can directly grace more concessions from desperate-for-a-deal Trump directly. Therefore, North Korean savor fears – and many of America's Asian allies fear the upcoming summit.
At ISIS, Coat's Senate Intelligence Committee said that even though the jihadi group, also known as the Islamic state, has lost almost the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, it still has thousands of warriors continuing with to "stoke violence" in these countries, as well as a dozen or so businesses worldwide. This was contrary to Trump's claim – which he tweeted in December to justify his decision to withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria – that ISIS was defeated.
In response to Coats & # 39; s statement, Trump brought this tweet at. 3:25. :
When I became president, ISIS was out of control in Syria and ran violently. Since then, great progress has been made, especially in the last 5 weeks. Caliphate will soon be destroyed, unthinkable two years ago.
Three things are wrong here. First, Trump's military campaign against ISIS was in fact a somewhat accelerated version of the campaign launched by President Obama. Secondly, although he has made progress, no one has been there five weeks ago, which is when Trump announced the recall. In fact, perhaps because of this announcement, ISIS has strengthened its offensive operations in an attack on January 17, killing four Americans – as many as they had killed in Syria over the last four years.
These observations are a result of Trump's policy weakening America's global position and strengthening its main rivals.
Finally, the intelligence directors said that Russian cyber operations continue to threaten US infrastructure and still pose a threat to US elections – a fact that Trump has never accepted (although he ignored it in his early morning tweet storm).
In his written report, Coat equalized an even more serious criticism of the president: "Some US allies and partners seek greater independence from Washington in response to their perception of changing US security and trade policies." The report also warns that Russia and China pursue common goals in a race for technological and military superiority – and that the two countries are more aligned than ever since the mid-1950s. Overall, these observations are a result of Trump's policies weakening America's global position and strengthening its main rivals. Trump has not yet responded to this criticism.
It's good to know that reports like these keep Trump up in the bad hours. However, it is doubtful that he will do anything about them except rave on.