NEW YORK, March 18, 2011 - Stephen Blank of the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute offered an unsparing assessment of current US intelligence-gathering capabilities here yesterday at an Asia Society panel discussion on the present and future of Central Asia.
Blank, who emphasized that he was not speaking in an official capacity, argued that at present there is something "greatly deficient" and "fundamentally wrong" with the quality of American intelligence. Citing President Barack Obama's recent public complaint about how ill-prepared the US was for uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Blank argued, "We need an intelligence service that is not a clipping agency." He then went on to outline some of the larger cultural shifts that he sees as underlining America's recurrent inability to gather essential information about the world's trouble spots.
Watch Stephen Blank:
Democracy and Strategic Rivalry in Central Asia