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Trying to Get Cu-ber Right

Ever since President Fidel Castro was sidelined for what was said to be abdominal surgery last July, Cuban officials have maintained that the country’s leader will return to his post. … But U.S. officials tell TIME that many in the U.S. government are now convinced that Castro, 80, has terminal cancer and will never return to power.

I was not a big Cuba tracker, but from what I am led to believe we’ve never got Cuba right. Doesn’t help that you have folks like this operating in the system.

Cuba is illustrative of something I pointed out a couple weeks ago at AEI. All our serious targets are hard targets and we don’t do hard targets very well (ergo we’re really good at easy stuff). Cuba is just a few miles away, we’ve got Cuban ex-pats coming out our ears and the country is still almost as elusive as North Korea or China. If we can’t get Cuba right the probability that we’ll get even harder targets right is pretty low. That means more risk-taking, more original thinking, or when it comes down to hard-decision-making-time: more ambiguity.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.