Saturday, March 12, 2005

I was disturbed to read an article on Congressman Peter Hoekstra, the new head of the House Select Intelligence Committee now that Porter Goss has gone over to the CIA and been surprised by its workload.

Key Lawmaker Says US Needs Strategic Plan for Intelligence

The Washington Diplomat
March 2005

Reading that headline, I started rolling my eyes at such another example of incredible Republican stupidity but upon reading further, this was overtaken by the following:

One expert told Hoekstra's panel that although the country is tightly focused on the Iraq war, terrorism, Iran and North Korea, China is making a number of shrewd and largely undetected moves to expand its position across Asia.

'This concerns me,' Hoekstra said. What is China doing while the United States has its eyes on terrorism, Iraq, Iran and North Korea? What is China's position going to be in five or seven years when we finally turn our attention back to Asia?'

First of all, it doesn't evoke confidence when the head of the House Select Committee on Intelligence doesn't even realize that each of the places he mentioned are in Asia!! What paltry attention span he has is already dealing with Asia! Truly sub-par intelligence.

Not only that, but the PRC is North Korea's most important ally, economic supporter and protector. It has been hosting six-party talks on North Korea that the US considers 'the best way to end North Korea's nuclear programs and the only way for Pyongyang to achieve better relations with other countries.' There have been lots of Chinese citizens kidnapped in Iraq and China has been a huge influence on Iranian development of their missile systems and other military technology.

The Washington Diplomat is a surprisingly good little monthly newspaper--I recommend you read more of it than just that article. They did a relatively good job playing a very weak hand.