Brennan Speaks

CSIS could be a lot more helpful here, but Marc Ambinder reports that White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan is going to make his first big speech there on Thursday. Hopefully it won’t conflict with Andrew Exum‘s talk about Afghanistan — I don’t know because I’m still waiting to hear back from CSIS — but if it does, my apologies, homie. This I have to hear.

So I also don’t know what Brennan specifically is going to address. A little bit of cybersecurity, I imagine, within the broader sweep of Obama administration counterterrorism goals. I’ll be comparing and contrasting the speech with three recent addresses from Brennan’s colleagues: Dennis Blair’s July 22 speech to the Chamber of Commerce’s National Security Task Force, Janet Napolitano’s June 29 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, and Stanley McChrystal’s June 2 Senate confirmation hearings. I want to hear:

1. How the Afghanistan-Pakistan wars support U.S. counterterrorism goals or expand them

2. How large a role cybersecurity plays in U.S. counterterrorism strategy

3. Whether cybersecurity shifts the intelligence community’s emphasis from human intelligence to cyber; and how it fits into the Department of Homeland Security/Department of Defense division of cybersecurity labor

4. If Brennan says anything about rendition as a counterterrorism tool, which is the one aspect of the administration task force on interrogation and "transfer" that I don’t have visibility into

5. Whether there’s any effort at defining an end-state to the war on terrorism whatever we’re calling it today

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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