Renowned military strategy expert Edward Luttwak did not hold back in a recent interview with Tablet Magazine in which he discussed the state of the Biden administration and the position of the United States internationally. Luttwak doesn’t think much of Joe Biden’s leadership abilities in general, but one particular suggestion sticks out: after two enormous failures in less than a year, Luttwak says it is time for the CIA to be purged and dismantled.
Luttwak reports Obama staffers laughed at Biden
That is a suggestion that many critics of American foreign policy on both the right and the left would be thrilled to carry out, but Luttwak’s concerns are not ideological.
The famed strategist is a prolific author, and he is particularly interested in grand strategy, having written well-received books on the grand strategy of the Soviet Union and the Roman Empire.
His assessment of the United States in that regard is not optimistic, as the United States has no apparent grand strategy and no leadership strong enough to craft one.
Biden, according to Luttwak, was a laughingstock in the Obama White House who was largely ignored or mocked when he made any foreign policy suggestions.
Now those high-ranking individuals who laughed at Biden under Obama are working for him. That arrangement is a recipe for disaster, and Biden’s foreign policy has been truly disastrous.
Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban once again, Russia is invading a European nation, and China is openly threatening Taiwan and America’s allies in the Pacific.
CIA gets it wrong twice
The problem, according to Luttwak, goes beyond Biden and the White House. In both Afghanistan and Ukraine, the CIA turned out to be catastrophically wrong in the predictions they provided.
Luttwak believes that this is because the CIA, like the White House and the State Department, doesn’t bother to understand the countries and cultures it is meant to assess.
The agency claimed that Afghanistan, which had the benefit of two decades of American resources and training, would hold out for months against a renewed Taliban onslaught. Instead, the capital fell to the insurgents in a matter of weeks, humiliating the Biden administration and the United States.
Ukraine, according to the CIA, would capitulate in a matter of days if Russia invaded. Instead, the Ukrainian military continues to fight ferociously. Few people in the West expected that, but if anyone could have predicted it then the CIA should have.
Luttwak thinks that these two disasters (for which no one has been fired) mean that the CIA deserves to be completely emptied out and its buildings handed over to people who understand the countries they are analyzing.
Luttwak, who regularly dined with Vladimir Putin when he was an impoverished government employee in the 1990s, is as qualified as one can be to be making these pessimistic assessments about the state of U.S. foreign policy.