Tales from the Trail

Dueling analyses over Libya’s future?

clapperThe  Director of National Intelligence dropped a bomb – metaphorically — in the  Senate on Thursday when he testified that Libyan rebels are not likely to oust Muammar Gaddafi and predicted that eventually “the regime will prevail.”

James Clapper’s  jaw-dropping prediction, as Washington, NATO and the United Nations search for a way forward and Libya lurches toward civil war,  prompted Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to call for his dismissal.

And it prompted some flame-throwing from the White House.

Tom Donilon, Obama’s National Security Advisor, said Obama is happy with Clapper’s performance, but he had tough words for Clapper’s analysis.

donilon2“If you did a static and one-dimensional assessment of just looking at order of battle and mercenaries, you can come to various conclusions about the various advantages that the Gaddafi regime and the opposition have,” Donilon told reporters on a conference call.

“But our view is, my view is — as the person who looks at this quite closely every day and advises the president — is that things in the Middle East right now and things in Libya in particular right now need to be looked at not through a static, but a dynamic, and not through a unidimensional, but a multidimensional, lens.”

Obama moves to bolster national security staff

USAOn the same day he unveiled a review of his Afghanistan war strategy, President Barack Obama moved to bolster the White House national security team, which has been short-staffed after a series of changes.

Obama tapped Brooke Anderson, currently part of the U.S. mission to the United Nations, as chief of staff and counselor for the National Security Council.

An expert on nuclear nonproliferation, Anderson is ambassador and alternate representative for special political affairs at the UN.