Douglas London is a retired Senior CIA Operations Officer and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies.

To say he knows something about national security and threat detection is an understatement.

London retired at the end of 2018, his last position as CIA's Chief of Counterterrorism for South and Southwest Asia. During that time he also learned about President Donald Trump.

He shared his insight in an article for Just Security. In it, London echoes an observation many others have made.

For Trump, fame and popularity are more important than anything.

London described the factors he saw Trump consider when it came to targeted killings:

"When it comes to intelligence, like with so much else, President Donald Trump likes big names. It's this focus on celebrity, headlines, and immediate gratification—versus substance, impact, and consequences—that so often motivates him."
"Partly because of this, as a senior CIA counterterrorist manager, my team and I often struggled in persuading the President to recognize the most important threats. Now, with the killing of Qassem Soleimani, I worry that while Trump got a big name and lots of headlines, the long-term impact on U.S. strategic interests was not fully considered."
"At CIA, I saw this play out more than once. Trump's obsession in focusing resources against Osama bin Laden's son Hamza is one example of the President's preference for a 'celebrity' targeted killing versus prioritizing options that could prove better for U.S. security."

London used the strike that killed Soleimani as an example:

"In the President's mind, killing Soleimani could have seemed like an opportunity to make himself the commander-in-chief willing to do what no one else would risk. Again, it appears to have been more about Trump, and the potential for headlines, rather than the intelligence."

London concluded his article with a warning:

"Pundits will debate where to go from here. Don't expect the White House to produce any evidence to support its contention that Americans are any safer."
"Indeed, the greatest risk is the proclivity of both Iran and the U.S. to act from the wrong strategic calculus."
"To avoid this, the U.S. must first decide what's most important, the price it's willing to pay and anticipate the consequences. I have great trust in the Intelligence Community, but with the stakes never higher, it's time for the President to start listening to it and to begin to put U.S. strategic interests first."

As millions of Americans commemorated the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway railed against the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, set to begin in the Senate on Tuesday.

The President, who leaves for the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday night, has no public plans to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, prompting reporters to ask Kellyanne how he intended to celebrate.

Keep reading...

The long-awaited tenth season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered this week, and the show's creator Larry David wasted no time in skewering current events.

One of the premiere episode's standout moments came when Larry tried on a red Make America Great Again cap—the signature accessory for supporters of President Donald Trump

Keep reading...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Stephen F. Somerstein/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's reaction to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the Charlottesville riots hasn't been forgotten, even two years later.

The President infamously asserted that there were "very fine people on both sides" at the Unite the Right rally, where white supremacists protested the removal of a confederate statue. The ensuing violence resulted in the murder of counter-protestor Heather Heyer.

Keep reading...
ABC News

The Senate is gearing up for a historic impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, who withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine on the condition that its leaders announce investigations against his political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Days after taking an oath of impartiality, some Republican senators are making the rounds to defend Trump's actions.

Keep reading...
Erik Voake/Getty Images for Hulu via Getty Images // Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Amendment 4—a Florida referendum restoring voting rights to former felons—passed in 2018 with 65% of the vote, paving the way for an additional 1.4 million voters in the swing state.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis immediately took steps to undermine the public will by signing into law a bill that would only restore voting rights to felons who fully pay all fees and fines imposed after leaving prison.

Under Florida law, court debts left unpaid after three months are referred to private debt collectors, who can then tack on a surcharge of up to 40%.

Keep reading...
John Sommers II/Getty Images

A day after Senators took an oath of impartiality in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, the President eagerly announced the team of lawyers who will be defending him.

Two names on the list stood out.

Keep reading...