The Buzz

Putting the I Back in CIA

David Ignatius has a smart piece over at the Post today calling for the CIA to return to its roots after Petraeus. He claims that the agency's central failings are unrelated to the general's recent indiscretions but instead due to a step back from classic intelligence gathering in recent years. A stand-out quote:

The retired general, with his matchless experience in running wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was seen as well-suited to run an agency that combined the trench coat and the flak jacket. But the Petraeus-era CIA had a hidden defect, quite apart from any errant emails, which was that the paramilitary covert-action function was swallowing alive the old-fashioned intelligence-gathering side of the house.

A case in point seems to be the recent Benghazi attacks, where CIA officers served as an (insufficient) de facto security detail for State while seemingly neglecting their crucial intel-gathering capacity. Ignatius makes a compelling case for the agency to do a little self-reflection beyond the surface in the wake of the mushrooming scandal at hand.