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Opinion: I know Avril Haines. She will make America safer

November 24, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Samantha Vinograd writes that Avril Haines, President-elect Joe Biden's pick for Director of National Intelligence, will be a reliable leader who will help restore the national security apparatus to its most effective form.

He's appointed political acolytes to top national security jobs, pilloried expert analysis and polluted intelligence with his personal politics.

But with President-elect Joe Biden's nomination of Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, we will soon have a reliable expert leading our intelligence community.

As the National Security Council's top lawyer, Haines worked seemingly nonstop to advise the National Security Adviser and the President on legal considerations associated with national security decisions.

Current DNI John Ratcliffe has painted himself into a similar politicized box -- seemingly serving more as a political surrogate for the Trump administration than the leader of an integrated and apolitical intelligence community.

Haines will be primary part of that process -- and not only because of her longstanding relationships with key intelligence customers in the new administration, including Biden, Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser nominee Jake Sullivan and others.

The intelligence community is vast -- comprised of 17 organizations -- and the mission of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is to "lead and support IC integration; delivering insights, driving capabilities, and investing in the future. " That's why the DNI is, statutorily, supposed to have extensive national security experience -- something Ratcliffe sorely lacks.

With intelligence officials canceling election security briefings and seemingly censoring information that the Trump found politically inconvenient, Haines will have to repair the relationship with members of Congress, regardless of their political affiliation.

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