December 6, 2009


Time for a new OSS: We need an agency that can take on al Qaeda (CHARLES S. FADDIS, December 6, 2009, NY Post)

The task of defeating al Qaeda, an international organization composed of clandestine terrorist cells, is not one that can be accomplished by Marine infantry battalions, carrier battle groups or armored divisions. The task of hunting down and destroying a shadowy, creative enemy like this is one that must be done by an organization designed for the purpose, one which is equally at home in the world of intrigue and deception in which terrorist operatives hide.

For this work we need an outfit composed of select numbers of highly-skilled individuals who have spent years of their lives abroad learning the smell, feel and taste of the street in South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. We need an organization that is fast, agile and audacious. We need an entity whose leaders have the courage to take chances and the creativity to find solutions to problems no one else can solve.

Unfortunately, we have no such organization.

Within the US government the work we are discussing is properly the province of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA, unfortunately, remains a stiff, overly bureaucratic entity staffed at its senior levels overwhelmingly by individuals more focused on personal advancement and risk avoidance than they are on hunting down dangerous, clever adversaries. [...]

What we need is a new Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the legendary World War II-era spy organization known for its singular focus on mission accomplishment. Such an organization would be small, probably on the lines of the original OSS, which numbered roughly 13,000 individuals. It would be elite, composed of uniquely-qualified individuals drawn from every walk of life and from the full cross-section of American society. It would have a simple, flat bureaucratic structure to ensure that it was capable of rapid decision making and equally rapid action. And, finally, and perhaps most importantly, such an organization would report directly to the President to insulate it from the paralyzing influence of Washington bureaucracy.

The CIA has always been useless and should have been disbanded long ago. But a new bureaucracy will just evolve into the CIA, as the OSS did. Open Source the intelligence gathering and farm out the enforcement to the military, FBI, and foreign governments.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 6, 2009 4:26 PM
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