Shadow Government

A front-row seat to the Republicans' debate over foreign policy, including their critique of the Biden administration.

The one-year review: Expect the unexpected

By Tom Mahnken Surprises? I’m surprised that the Obama administration hasn’t tackled the reform of U.S. national security institutions. Before assuming office, many of the administration’s top officials — to include Jim Jones and Dennis Blair — argued persuasively for the need to update the organization of the national security community to meet the challenges ...

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577668_091103_tomb2.jpg

By Tom Mahnken

Surprises?

By Tom Mahnken

Surprises?

I’m surprised that the Obama administration hasn’t tackled the reform of U.S. national security institutions. Before assuming office, many of the administration’s top officials — to include Jim Jones and Dennis Blair — argued persuasively for the need to update the organization of the national security community to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Since assuming office, the administration has been largely silent on the issue. There’s still time to act, but the momentum for change appears to be slipping away.

Praiseworthy?

Easy. The decision to keep Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and a handful of his advisors onboard was a wise one.

Predictions?

I predict that a year from now we’re likely to be involved in a crisis that the administration either hadn’t foreseen or for which it hadn’t adequately prepared. I can’t tell what that crisis will, be of course; merely that the unexpected is to be expected.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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