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While former deputy secretary of state William Burns gets the nod from Biden to head up the CIA, the current secretary of state Mike Pompeo is still busy doing the Trump administration’s work, as Bethan McKernan, our Middle East correspondent, reports:
The Trump administration has made an 11th-hour decision to designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a foreign terrorist organisation in a move that is likely to severely worsen the war-torn country’s humanitarian crisis.
Terrorist designations of Ansarallah in Yemen confront its terrorist activity and seeks to deter further malign activity by the Iranian regime in the region.
David Ignatius at the Washington Post has some early reaction to that decision by president-elect Joe Biden to nominate former ambassador William J. Burns for CIA director. Ignatius writes:
The choice of Burns is the incoming administration’s last major personnel decision, and it highlights the qualities that characterize Biden’s foreign policy team. Burns is an inside player — brainy, reserved, collegial — and loyal to his superiors.
The choice of Burns will disappoint those who wanted a career intelligence officer to succeed Gina Haspel, the current director. Michael Morell, a career CIA analyst and former acting director, was popular among many CIA alumni, who argued that he knew the agency’s shortcomings well enough to oversee the overhaul that CIA needs for the 21st century.Continue reading...