President-elect Biden has chosen William Burns, a career State Department official who leads the US delegation in secret talks with Iran to run the CIA.
When choosing Mr. Burns, Mr. Biden turned to experienced diplomats with whom he had a long-term relationship. The two worked together on various foreign policy issues not only during the Obama administration, but also during Mr. Biden’s leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Burns has also worked with Jake Sullivan, who was selected by Mr. Biden as the national security adviser for a long time, and has played an important role in helping to promote the careers of young people.
In a statement earlier on Monday, the president-elect said that Mr. Burns “shared my deep belief that intelligence must be non-political and dedicated intelligence personnel who serve the country deserve our gratitude and respect.”
Mr. Burns’ experience is as a consumer of intelligence, not as a producer. The director of the CIA is expected to abandon his policy recommendations and focus on information and forecasts. However, former agency officials asserted that the most important quality of directors is not intelligence expertise, but Burns’s relationship with the president.
During his presidency, President Trump destroyed and disbanded intelligence officials, and called them “passive” and “naive” when analyzing the national security threat posed by Iran.
Currently, Mr. Burns is the chairman of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace. He has always believed that American diplomacy has been damaged in the Trump administration.
Burns was described by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “firm hands” and “very effective firefighter”. He worked in the U.S. State Department for 32 years when he was the U.S. ambassador to Moscow and Jordan. And in high-level Washington leadership positions.
Mr. Burns has always been a trusted diplomat in the Republican and Democratic governments. In the past two decades, he played a role in the institution’s most prominent and painful moments.
In 2012, after the American compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked, he accompanied Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the bodies of three other Americans on a C-17 plane from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany to Washington. In 2002, Mr. Burns wrote a memo entitled “Perfect Storm”, which emphasized the danger of US intervention in Iraq.
Mr. Burns retired from the State Department in 2014.
There was a time when Michael J. Morell, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was considered the main candidate for the highest office. But some Democratic senators expressed public and private reservations. Senate liberals, including Ron Wyden in Oregon, opposed the selection of Mr. Morrel, accusing him of defending torture. Mr. Morrel’s representative stated that Mr. Wyden’s records and comments on the CIA’s interrogation plan were inaccurate.
Previously, Thomas E. Donilon, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, no longer considered the position. David Cohen, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has also been considered.
The key question will be how Mr. Burns and Avril D. Haines (Avril D. Haines) work together, this is Mr. Biden’s choice to lead the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Biden transition team said that Ms. Haynes will be a senior government intelligence official and has no intention of making the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency a full member of the cabinet. In past governments, tensions often existed between the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr Burns He is considered a candidate for the incoming Biden administration to manage the State Department. After Mr. Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018, he can prove vital to helping Mr. Biden resume discussions with Tehran.