Fair. Balanced. American.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This sounds really dumb

On the surface:
The White House National Security Council recently directed U.S. spy agencies to lower the priority placed on intelligence collection for China, amid opposition to the policy change from senior intelligence leaders who feared it would hamper efforts to obtain secrets about Beijing's military and its cyber-attacks.
But note:
The National Security Council staff, in response, pressed ahead with the change and sought to assure Mr. Blair and other intelligence chiefs that the change would not affect the allocation of resources for spying on China or the urgency of focusing on Chinese spying targets, the officials told The Washington Times.

But administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new policy is part of the Obama administration's larger effort to develop a more cooperative relationship with Beijing.

A U.S. official who defended the policy change said "everybody involved understood the absolute importance of China as an intelligence priority."

"This is a case in which the assignment of a relative number — one or two — wouldn't mean, or change, a damn thing. And it didn't." The official said the U.S. government "has to keep its eyes on a host of threats, challenges and opportunities overseas. That's how it works."
Gaining a diplomatic advantage while keeping espionage allocations constant, or even increasing them? That's smart.

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