Monday, February 27, 2017

Safety & Security

Does the United States have too much security? Are we spending too much money on all the security agencies in this country? Or is it better that we have many eyes in all directions keeping America safe? Trump hired Stephen Feinberg a personal friend and private equity CEO to review America’s spy agencies.  Trump tweeted, “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!” Our President doesn’t trust our own security. The Intelligence Community is often referred to as a single agency but it is not. It has become a sprawling bureaucracy of nearly a dozen different organizations. As with everything else done wrong in government, nothing is ever fixed, they just add new and more costly things to help the situation.
With increasing terrorism and the ugly wake- up call of the 911 disaster, America has organized many protective agencies to make us all feel better and safer. The Department of Justice has the FBI. The State Department has INR which is the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. The Pentagon has the DIA which is the Defense Intelligence Agency and each branch of the military has an agency of its own. The MI is The Military Intelligence Corp for the Army. The AFISRA is The Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency. The Marine Corps has  MCIA which is the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity . The  NGA was founded in 1996 under the Department of Defense to  be a combat support agency to monitor space travel over the planet. It is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  The NRO is the National Reconnaissance Office serving the Air Force. The NSA is the National Security Agency started by the Federal Government to monitor global foreign intelligence. Then there is the ONI which is the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Granted that with all the information from these agencies at Trump’s fingertips, he chooses to find a story on cable news that Sweden is under attack. TOTALLY FALSE. He could have even called the President of Sweden to verify his false information. Sigh! I’m not done. Your tax dollars pay for even more safety agencies that Trump chooses to ignore.   
The DHS, which is The Department of Homeland Security   was founded in 2002 and has 2 more agencies under its command. In 2016 it had an annual budget of $41 billion dollars with about 240,000 employees. The  I&A is the Office of Intelligence & Analysis that identifies and analyses threats based on intelligence from various agencies. So, it is threats by the numbers. The NCSD is The National Cyber Security Division.
We shouldn’t forget the good old CIA our Central Intelligence Agency. We also have the Department of Energy that is our watchdog over the DICI which is watching the safety and handling of nuclear materials. The Treasury Department has the TFI founded in just 2013 which is the Terrorism and Financial Intelligence agency. Yes, now we also need to find and keep tract of the money funding terrorism.  Granted all these agencies are very important and make us all feel safer however at what cost and what does it matter if our own President doesn’t want to consult with them? He values Putin’s opinions more it seems.

Do we need about 16 separate organizations? At least they sometimes work together for a common cause. For example, when we killed Osama bin Laden, the CIA led the human intelligence effort while the  NSA listened to phone calls while the NGA provided satellite imagery. It was a successful joint effort. Trump had done one effort so far the first week after he became President that has killed a navy seal and destroyed a $75 million dollar  helicopter. In the past 2 years Obama used only missiles and drones for attacks. The failed raid revealed no intelligence of value. 6 other service men were wounded in the attack and 25 civilians were killed  including 9 children under the age of 13. Tonight Trump said he wants to increase military spending by an additional $54 billion dollars.  God help us with this dysfunctional leader at the helm!

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