CIA’s No. 2 Tapped To Be Deputy National Security Adviser

The musical chairs among the administration’s senior national security aides comes as President Obama positions himself for his last two years in office, faced with an overflow of world crises and a Republican-controlled Congress determined to check his policy-making power.

There does not appear to be an obvious successor at the CIA for Haines, who was the first woman to serve as deputy director of the agency. Leading candidates could include Glenn Gaffney, head of the agency’s science and technology directorate, and Michael Vickers, a former CIA officer serving as the top intelligence official at the Pentagon.

Other would-be candidates are likely to be passed over because of their association with controversial CIA operations, including the interrogation program whose abuses were detailed in a report released last week by the Senate Intelligence Committee

CIA’s No. 2 Tapped To Be Deputy National Security Adviser

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ world/national-security/cias- no-2-tapped-to-be-deputy- national-security-adviser/ 2014/12/18/77636c46-86ec-11e4- 9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html? wprss=rss_national-security

By Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller December 18 at 7:07 PM

Avril D. Haines will become deputy to national security adviser Susan E. Rice, returning to the White House just 18 months after she left to be CIA Director John Brennan’s second in command, administration officials said Thursday.

Haines will succeed Antony Blinken, confirmed by the Senate this week as deputy secretary of state.

The musical chairs among the administration’s senior national security aides comes as President Obama positions himself for his last two years in office, faced with an overflow of world crises and a Republican-controlled Congress determined to check his policy-making power.

Rice praised Haines as “wicked smart” and someone who can “hit the ground running, because she’s been working all the core issues that are high on the agenda from her perch” at the CIA, as well as the previous three years as deputy White House legal counsel and counsel to the National Security Council.

“The third thing is she’s super-collegial,” Rice said in an interview. “She’s in­cred­ibly well-liked inside the NSC, across the agencies and across the government, because she’s a good listener, she’s a consensus builder, she’s a team player.”

The latter are skills that some find lacking in Rice, whose long and close ties to Obama are matched by a reputation for brusqueness. At least three potential candidates reportedly let it be known that they would rather not be asked about the deputy job.

A series of other officials praised Haines as “everything you’d hope for,” in the words of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who had initially tapped her as his State Department counsel before she was lured by Brennan to the CIA. “She’s fair, driven, thoughtful, unflappable, organized and brilliant.”

The appointment of Haines, 45, puts women in the three top national security and foreign policy jobs at the White House, including Rice and chief counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

Rice and others described the deputy position as key to the smooth running of the policy machinery on matters large and small, in crises and long-term projects. The deputy chairs meetings of seconds-in-command to Cabinet secretaries and agency heads, held multiple times each week at the White House, at which policy options are formulated and debated before being sent to principals and the president.

“It is literally that critical, decision-making level that enables the rest of the interagency process to operate, both above and below,” Rice said.

At the CIA, Haines has been regarded as an insightful executive with strong ties to the White House and solid political instincts. But she had scant background in intelligence work and was less involved than many of her predecessors in the day-to-day management of the agency and its operations.

That was in part, U.S. officials said, because of Brennan’s reluctance to delegate authority and to be more directly involved in operations and daily decisions than former CIA directors, including Leon E. Panetta or Porter J. Goss.

There does not appear to be an obvious successor at the CIA for Haines, who was the first woman to serve as deputy director of the agency. Leading candidates could include Glenn Gaffney, head of the agency’s science and technology directorate, and Michael Vickers, a former CIA officer serving as the top intelligence official at the Pentagon.

Other would-be candidates are likely to be passed over because of their association with controversial CIA operations, including the interrogation program whose abuses were detailed in a report released last week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In the mid-1990s, between graduation from the University of Chicago and from Georgetown University Law Center, Haines was co-owner of an independent bookstore and cafe in Baltimore. She also served as counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when it was chaired by then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del).

Karen DeYoung is associate editor and senior national security correspondent for the Washington Post.

Greg Miller covers the intelligence beat for The Washington Post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: