Diplomats are “overt intelligence collectors,” and the “end-product” of diplomatic reporting and clandestine intelligence-gathering “can be the same,” John Negroponte, former director of national intelligence and deputy secretary of state, says on this week’s episode of “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”
Are U.S. embassies fronts for the CIA? How do diplomacy and intelligence influence each other in the field? Why is there frequent tension between the two? Those are some of the questions Negroponte answers on the program.
He says that the George W. Bush administration rushed to war in Iraq “too quickly,” and as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, he didn’t have enough time to make diplomacy work. He also says that suspending U.S. military aid to Egypt because of the recent removal of the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, would be a “terrible mistake,” and that “Congress builds in too many restrictions with respect to dispensation of American assistance.”
Negroponte, who spent 37 years in the Foreign Service and seven years as a political appointee, has served as ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines and Iraq. In 2005, he became the first director of national intelligence — a post created by Bush to oversee the intelligence community because of the “WMD fiasco” in Iraq, in Negroponte’s words.
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