How White House Spin Undercuts US National Security

Rather than calibrate U.S. policy to reality, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes tied policy to a false narrative. By doing so, he has placed the security of the United States and that of many allies at risk. He should be called to testify to explain his actions. Certainly, the knowing dissemination of falsehoods to Congress and the American people merit a broader investigation. Both national security and the credibility of Congress is at risk. That is not enough, however. In the past six decades if not more, the U.S. State Department has failed to conduct lessons-learned exercises as to why its high-profile diplomacy with rogue regimes has seldom if ever succeeded. This stands in sharp contrast to the U.S. military, where introspection in the form of noncommissioned officers pointing out mistakes, after-action reports, and study of past campaigns is part of the culture. Conducting a broader review is not to criminalize policy debate; that would be poisonous and counterproductive. If the State Department refuses to do its own due-diligence, however, it would be beneficial if Congress would use its oversight responsibilities to examine the Iran diplomacy leading up to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, if only to ensure that the same mistakes are not made a sixth or seventh time in future rounds of talks with Iran or other countries.

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