Kent Michael Harrington
Analyst, Journalist, Author and National Security Affairs Expert
The Spies Who Predicted COVID-19
Despite US President Donald Trump's claims, a pandemic has long been among the top threats listed by America's intelligence community. But even the country's best analysts could not foresee that it would happen under a leader willing to sacrifice so many lives on the altar of his ego.
Trump’s Counter-Intelligence Strategy
President Trump has broken new ground in more ways than one, not least in his distance from his own intelligence community and his outright antagonism toward its work and findings. Intelligence leaders recently claimed the opposite, but the facts suggest Trump’s attacks on their agencies—and their burden—will only get worse. Below are some thoughts on why.
Will China Weaponize Social Media?
Russia's success in leveraging news and social media to roil the 2016 presidential election will be followed by meddling in this year's congressional midterm elections. But a focus solely on Moscow misses an even more potent threat: Chinese capabilities to the same ends.
Read more on Project Syndicate here.
The Populist War Against Intelligence
President Trump's revocation of the security clearance of a former CIA director represents the latest step in his attack on US intelligence. The path ahead is troubling. Now in power, Austria's right wing offensive against the country's intelligence service shows why.
Trump Is in Denial About North Korea
US President Donald Trump's insistence that negotiations with North Korea are "going well" is directly contradicted by US intelligence findings about the country's nuclear program. Trump needs to put substance ahead of spectacle – and US allies ahead of his own fragile ego – before it is too late.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving – to China
The Trump administration is handing China the opportunity of a lifetime--in this case, the life time tenure of Xi Jinping. With Chinese trade and investment reshaping relations in Asia, Washington is conceding a leadership role that many in Asia worry it will not be able to recoup.
Read more on Project Syndicate here.
The Decline and Fall of William Barr
There can no longer be any hope that US Attorney General William Barr will approach his job as the country's top law-enforcement official, rather than as US President Donald Trump's personal defense lawyer. Barr has now made clear that he will do whatever it takes to legitimize Trump's hare-brained "deep state" theory.
When America’s President Can’t be Trusted
US President Donald Trump's efforts to bury a whistleblower complaint that has been referred to Congress by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community offers an early indication of what to expect in the 2020 presidential campaign. If US intelligence agencies do not toe Trump's line, they will become Public Enemy #1 for his base.
How Kim Has Played Trump
Claims by the Trump administration of success in stopping North Korea's nuclear program aren't borne out by the facts. Kim Chong Un is coming out the winner in a contest that makes clear this is one game that isn't going to the master of the deal.
Trump’s Great Purge
US President Donald Trump has unleashed another round of personnel changes in the intelligence community, replacing career national-security officials with unqualified toadies. With the White House's war on intelligence agencies taking its toll, those who remain are likely to be intimidated into submission.
Trump’s North Korean Road to Nowhere
Less than a year after his unprecedented face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, US President Donald Trump is planning to hold another summit to discuss denuclearization. Judging by the outcome of the first meeting, US allies in the region have good reason to be deeply concerned.
Chairman Kim Goes Back on Script
US President Donald Trump's made-for-TV "bromance" with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has played out more or less as most experts expected. The North Koreans have milked the Trump administration for all its worth, and are now returning to the same old strategy of bluster, threats, and nuclear brinkmanship.
The Damage to US Intelligence Is Already Done
Like his earlier attempt to install two stooges on the US Federal Reserve Board, President Donald Trump's selection of a spectacularly unqualified toady to serve as the next director of national intelligence represents a clear threat to America's interests. It is almost irrelevant that the nomination has been withdrawn.
Kim Jong-un’s Moneyball Strategy
While in Japan this week, US President Donald Trump once again exposed the rifts within America's alliances, as well as within his own administration, when it comes to the North Korean nuclear issue. By contrast, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is quietly building a new united front with China and Russia, much to the detriment of US interests in the region.