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Mike McConnell Next Director of National Intelligence

Retired Admiral Mike McConnell will succeed John Negroponte as national intelligence director, as speculated in this morning’s press coverage, presuming no unexpected problems pop up in the Senate.

Certainly, he’s well qualified. Here’s McConnell’s bio from Booz Allen Hamilton, where he’s a VP (via IM from Jeff Quinton):

As Vice President, Mike McConnell leads the firm’s assignments in Military Intelligence and Information Operations for the Department of Defense, the Unified Combatant Commanders, Military Services, and Defense Agencies.

Mike McConnell Next Director of National Intelligence Photo Prior to joining Booz Allen, from 1992-1996, Mr. McConnell served as Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). He led NSA at the end of the Cold War in addressing the agency’s transformation to adapt to the multi-polar threats posed by the changing international environment. Under Mr. McConnell’s leadership, the NSA routinely provided global Intelligence and Information Security Services to the President and his cabinet in addition to military and civil departments and intelligence customers.

While serving as NSA’s Director, Mr. McConnell was one of the first senior officials to identify information assurance (IA) and information defense as major strategic issues in our increasingly networked society. Mr. McConnell’s discussions in Defense, the White House, Congress, and in industry in 1994 laid the foundation for significant changes initiated in 1998. In addition, he served as the Intelligence Officer (J-2) for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS-J2) during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Operation DESERT STORM.

The AP story also picks up a thread from this morning’s discussions: “The administration sought to dispel any suggestion that Negroponte’s shift was a demotion. Bush personally reached out to Negroponte, an experienced diplomat, to take over the long-vacant job as deputy secretary of state, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because Bush has not announced the nomination.”

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. expert and Georgetown University professor. “There were no domestic jihadis in Iraq before we came there. Now there are. . . . But the threat they pose beyond Iraq is not so certain. There will be plenty of fighting to keep them there for years.” Director of National Intelligence Admiral Mike McConnell (ret.) indicated that, despite bin-Laden’s rhetoric, it isn’t necessarily true that al-Qaeda sees its future in Iraq. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say al-Qaeda would necessarily believe that,”McConnell said.

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  2. Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Also see: Nominee Played Big Role in Outsourcing Intelligence Mike McConnell Next Director of National Intelligence

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  3. As Vice President, Mike McConnell leads the firm’s assignments in Military Intelligence and Information Operations for the Department of Defense, the Unified Combatant Commanders, Military Services, and Defense Agencies. [IMG Mike McConnell Next Director of National Intelligence Photo] Prior to joining Booz Allen, from 1992-1996, Mr. McConnell served as Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). He led NSA at the end of the Cold War in addressing the agency’s transformation to adapt to the multi-polar threats posed by the

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  4. legion says:

    “The administration sought to dispel any suggestion that Negroponte’s shift was a demotion. Bush personally reached out to Negroponte, an experienced diplomat, to take over the long-vacant job as deputy secretary of state, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because Bush has not announced the nomination.”

    Riiiiight. IIRC, DNI was established as a cabinet-level position – the predecessor seat, Director of Central Intelligence, sometimes had that level of treatment, but not every President did so. And Negroponte was personally asked by Bush to move to the #2 slot in a different secretariat, but not as a demotion.

    I guess he was running short on Presidential Freedom medals…

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  5. James Joyner says:

    Presumably, if he felt it was a demotion, Negroponte could have simply told Bush to stick it in his ear and resigned “to spend time with his family” and quintupled his salary on the open market.

    As I noted this morning, DNI is a pretty thankless task.

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  6. legion says:

    Thankless? Indeed, I would call it impossible until some sort of working consensus can be reached on the running of military intelligence (DIA & service assets)… I’m no insider, but my impression was that this was one of they key hurdles to both the DNI and the earlier DCI. Perhaps now that Rumsfeld is gone & a former DCI is in his place, a more functional relationship can be built…

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  7. OutcingIntel says:

    Outsourcing Intelligence and the new DNI USIC

    Larry C. Johnson http://noquarter.typepad.com/about.html is a member of of the American Society for Industrial Security. He runs Berg and associates(yes, like Ice berg)He has done alot of work recently in Africa and Iraq. While he was in London, returning from Africa, the terrorist plane bombing threat happened and a guard was arrested among others.

    If a consultant was working with a foreign security company, which resulted in murders of Canadian guards in Afghanistan, a world leader in Africa, and threatening of a foreign national in a foreign country based on the security consultant’s association with the security company, would all this be checked and before USIC, the President, and Congress?

    The real answer is no. The consultant might follow up in Africa and provide some basic intelligence feedback using the persons who committed illegal acts. The consultant would still have value and everybody is happy. It is unfair to ask foreign nationals or foreign countries to serve a private consultant because there is no answer from the US government.

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