The unity of NATO, and the effectiveness of the world-wide new attitude towards BS on the intertoobz, owe a lot to something really radical pulled off by the foreign policy dream team Biden put together:
- Ambassador William Burns, now director of the CIA.
- Anthony Blinken Secretary of State
- Avril Haines Director of National Intelligence.
They weren’t able to stop the invasion. They surely regret that, as does most of humankind. But in trying they did something brilliant. They (metaphorically) open-sourced and GNU Public Licensed their intelligence work products (spying!) about the Kremlin shenanigans. They showed them to the world without asking anything in return. And they persuaded other nations to do the same. That’s a huge change in US policy about spying. From WikiLeaks until now it’s been played really really close to the vest, and nobody knew what truths the three-letter agencies really had on the Kremlin or anybody else. For that matter, since 2002-2003 very few people outside of government trusted the TLAs to be objective.
This hoarding of intelligence? It’s as old as spying itself. “You can’t tell them we know that, because you’ll burn our decryption effort.”
But the dream team turned all that on its head.
Putin, of course, came up through the KGB and its successor Russian spy agency. He has a long history of hoarding secrets and threatening to reveal them (kompromat). Secrecy is his greatest strength.
The dream team found a weakness right in the middle of his greatest strength: radical transparency undoes him like a wooden stake through the heart undoes Dracula.
Nice work, Ms. Haines, Mr. Blinken, and Ambassador Burns!
(Note: they published commercial satellite imagery, not imagery from their spysats. I guess their openness doesn’t extend to letting the world know details of the spysats.)