Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dennis Blair

A week or so ago I wrote about Dennis Blair, who is the new Director of National Intelligence. I mentioned that he was formerly head of Pacific Command, which is the senior military authority for the entire Pacific theater. I said that I felt his background provided him with a particularly good understanding of the situation in Taiwan with regard to the People's Republic of China.

I just read a great piece about Director Blair from the January 18, 2009 edition of the Washington Times. The article, titled "Admiral takes new tack with intel position," includes this exchange between Admiral Blair and a PROC admiral:

When Adm. Dennis C. Blair was in China as commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, a Chinese admiral confronted him rather aggressively on the issue of Taiwan, warning the United States not to interfere in China's campaign to gain control of the self-governing island.

Admiral Blair listened for a minute, then said: "Admiral, let me tell you a couple of things. First, I own the water out there," gesturing toward the Pacific Ocean. "And second, I own the sky over the water out there. Now, don't you think we should talk about something more constructive?"

The anecdote, confirmed by Adm. Blair, illustrates the sort of plain speaking that characterizes the man President-elect Barack Obama has nominated to be the nation's top intelligence officer. As Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the retired admiral would be responsible for setting objectives and standards for 16 disparate intelligence agencies including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, and for coordinating their sometimes conflicting operations.
I know that this has nothing to do directly with the focus of this blog, USTDC, but I think that most of us Taiwan veterans are still concerned about the safety and self-determination of the good people of Taiwan. I am pleased to see that at least one member of the President's administration feels the same way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen!