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DNI Watch: Former DIA Analysts Rip Gen. Clapper

Two former top Defense Intelligence Agency officials say retired Air Force Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., a leading candidate to be the next Director of National Intelligence, nearly wrecked the agency’s analysis wing when he ran the organization in the mid-1990s.

Clapper, currently Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, ran the DIA for three years before retiring in 1995 after 32 years in the Air Force.

According to the two former top DIA officials, Clapper’s major initiative — to reorganize intelligence analysis by specialists in enemy weapons, rather than specialists in countries and regions — wreaked havoc at the agency and significantly downgraded its understanding of foreign events.

One of the analysts, Jeffrey White, who was chief of Middle East/Africa military assessments, among other top jobs during a 34-year career at the DIA, said Clapper eventually realized the mistake he made and reversed course.

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