US National (In)Security: Why CIA is Becoming Part of Problem, Not Solution

© AP Photo / Carolyn KasterThe CIA seal is seen displayed before President Barack Obama speaks at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The CIA seal is seen displayed before President Barack Obama speaks at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - Sputnik International
The WikiLeaks' CIA dump has exposed a deep systemic crisis within the US intelligence community, according to Israeli commentator and political analyst Avigdor Eskin. Over the past years the image of the CIA has been severely tarnished and it now risks becoming part of the problem, not the solution, for the US national security.

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The recent leak of secret CIA documents illustrates a serious crisis within the US intelligence community, Israeli commentator and political analyst Avigdor Eskin believes.

In his latest op-ed for RIA Novosti, Eskin quoted Pete Hoekstra, an IPT Senior Shillman Fellow, who warned that the US intelligence community has found itself amid "a crisis of confidence with the American people."

Moreover, leaks of this magnitude have never happened in any of the largest intelligence services in the world, Eskin highlighted.

It appears that the leaked has unveiled a systemic crisis within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Can we say that the CIA may soon lose its leading position?

"This is inevitable. The CIA suffers from 'brain cancer'," Eskin responded.

"This agency has very effective counter-terrorist and espionage capacities. Langley [the CIA headquarters], a kind of brotherhood in the past, was the right place for brave and intelligent people. But in the recent decades the budget has grown up, while [the CIA'] analytical capabilities have gone very low," the Israeli commentator told Sputnik.

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"I will just mention the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, the dissolution of the Iraqi Army, which resulted in the birth of ISIL [Daesh], the welcoming of the Arab Spring for false reasons and the participation in the removal of the [Muammar] Gaddafi regime [in Libya]. I want to assure you that the [US] support of the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine will also be remembered as a gross mistake," Eskin said.

The political analyst noted that the CIA boasts advanced technical capabilities and that the intelligence agency had repeatedly prevented terrorist attacks against the US in the past.

"But what's it all worth if the analysis of the information received leads to decisions which are so detrimental to the US and to the world?" Eskin asked rhetorically.

"Moreover, the agency has failed to keep secret information safe," he added.

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The question then arises who needs this intelligence agency if it is apparently becoming part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution.

In his recent article Eskin drew a historical parallel between the late rotten Soviet system and the ongoing demoralization within the US intelligence community.

"We saw a similar crisis in the USSR in the 1980s and the result was catastrophic. The same can happen to the current US system. The CIA has an annual budget of more than 50 billion dollars. Langley is an empire today," the political analyst told Sputnik, commenting on the matter.

"The unbearable level of politicization of the CIA's upper management, the terrible image loss as a result of its 'enhanced interrogation' program plus the scandalous low level of analysts make this organization more of a burden rather than an asset," he said.

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What should be done to halt the degradation?

Eskin believes that, first and foremost, the US intelligence community has to acknowledge that there is a problem before it can actually go about finding a solution. It is also necessary to unite the nations' seventeen agencies gathering intelligence for the US government.

Is US President Donald Trump "the guy" to fix the problem?

The situation is not as easy as it seems, the publicist remarked.

In fact, "Trump has no experience with the intelligence community and has been caught unprepared," he said, "He discovered the power of this 'inner government', when the people around him began to fight each other and suspect each other."

"Whenever Trump shows signs of weakness, his adversaries increase the pressure. His only way to survive and to implement the paradigm of 'America First' is through massive street support, keeping all elections promises and adopting a realistic foreign policy," Eskin believes.

© AP PhotoCIA director John Brennan has plans for major shifts within the agency, including expansion of cyber-espionage capabilities.
CIA director John Brennan has plans for major shifts within the agency, including expansion of cyber-espionage capabilities.  - Sputnik International
CIA director John Brennan has plans for major shifts within the agency, including expansion of cyber-espionage capabilities.

It was reported earlier that former CIA director John Brennan and former director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper could have been behind the leaks targeting the Trump administration.

Speaking to Fox News in mid-February, Tony Shaffer, a retired lieutenant colonel and intelligence expert, said that the two were responsible for the ouster of Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"It is widely discussed in Washington that John Brennan was the key player in toppling Gen. Flynn and creating the current epidemic of [anti-Russian] paranoia. Funnily enough, Brennan and his folks spoke loudly against what they defined as Russia's 'meddling in the US political process.' However, no evidence about any Russian involvement has yet been presented by them," Eskin noted.

Still, the Israeli political analyst warned against blowing conspiracy theories up.

"We saw already major leak scandals with Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. People are getting increasingly frustrated within the CIA for both political and personal reasons," he stressed.

Meanwhile, some American intelligence top officials' attempts to sow discord between the US and Russia obviously contradict US national interests, the publicist believes.

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankThe Moscow Kremlin towers. (File)
The Moscow Kremlin towers. (File) - Sputnik International
The Moscow Kremlin towers. (File)

In this respect he echoes Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, who has repeatedly stated that "the road to American national security still runs through Moscow." Professor Cohen means that the two states have the potential to jointly solve the most burning global and domestic security issues.

"One does not have to agree with all the views of Professor Cohen in order to admit that he is right 100% and unconditionally," Eskin told Sputnik, "Since Russia is the strongest country after the USA, this must be the major strategic goal — to build bridges and find the ways for mutually beneficial friendship. Any sane person would wonder, what is preventing the two global powers from constructive cooperation especially in the light of the eminent threat posed by radical Islamism."

The publicist called attention to the interesting fact that US right-leaning patriots are seeking to mend fences with Russia.

"Listen to what Erik Prince (former chief of Black Water) says about the cooperation with Russia. He compares it to the cooperation between the US and USSR during the Second World War," he underscored.

"On the contrary, some CIA and military upper echelon, their lobbyists and certainly Bill and Hilary Clinton with Barak Obama see it all differently. Their interests are far from 'America First'. The artificial tension with Russia helps them to play with the huge US budget. They are weary of a new détente. This is what poses the major threat to US interests today," Eskin concluded.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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