CIA Director John Brennan warned in an interview published Wednesday that the Islamic State is likely responsible for the suicide bombings Tuesday night at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport that killed 41 people and wounded hundreds more and is trying to carry out similar attacks in the United States.
According to Michael Hayden, the only man ever to hold both the posts of CIA and NSA director, 9/11 was a seismic event for the U.S. intelligence community, and its effects still reverberate today. Hayden begins this excellent and very personal narrative by describing in the run-up to the attacks how the NSA, like the CIA, had suffered major budget and personnel cuts through the 1990s triggered by belief in a “peace dividend” that had accrued from the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The emergence of the United States as a global superpower after World War II brought with it an unprecedented demand during the Cold War for accurate, well-informed and timely intelligence for the president and senior officials. That demand has only increased in an age of terrorism and renewed strategic challenges from Russia and China.
Competition for the president’s attention is keen. Washington is a city of think tanks and quality universities that produce volumes of material on virtually all aspects of U.S. foreign policy.