Here is William Burns, the new director of the CIA, spotted up close (from Italy)

A bipartisan foreign policy specialist with an interest in Europe: This is William Burns, the next head of the CIA. conveys the views of former Minister Frattini and ambassadors Castellanita, Terzi and Valence.

William Burns, One David Ignatius On the Washington Post He has been dubbed “the best diplomat of his generation” and the president-elect of the United States Joe Biden He chose the position of the next head of the CIA, and he has a good relationship with Italy. It is not just the truth, That the president Sergio Mattarella We awarded him the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic at the beginning of 2017 (that is, at the end of the administration Barack Obama, Who was Biden Vice President) – among other things, he’s not the only member of the next administration who will be able to show off that honor: either: Victoria KnowlandWho will be the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, received the award in 2007 when she was ambassador to NATO.

Contrary to what happened during a while Donald TrumpThe head of the CIA will not be a member Closet. To say prof The special link between our country and the next head of the agency is four people who knew and worked with him: the former foreign minister Franco Frattini; His successor in Farnesina, Julio Terzi from Sant Agata, Former Italian ambassador to the United States; The predecessor of the latter headed the most important diplomatic mission of the ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta; And the ambassador Michelle Valensis, The former Secretary General of the Farnesina. The unanimous opinion: “Excellent choice,” “excellent news.”

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Burns, who today heads the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, can boast of a 33-year career in the State Department: he was ambassador to Jordan (1998-2001), assistant secretary of state for the Near East (2001-2005), and ambassador to Russia (2005- 2008) before joining the first management of Barack Obama First as Undersecretary for Political Affairs, then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Valensis remembers his “beautiful book” with the title The Back Channel: America’s Diplomatic Notes and The Case for Its Renewal: From this volume emerges the image of “a tough and reliable diplomat whose competence is recognized by all, as evidenced by the curricula that make him occupy high positions in both Republican and Democratic administrations.” In short, Ambassador Valensis explains, Burns is “an excellent foreign policy professional”.

How important is it to choose a longtime diplomat to lead the CIA? Ambassador Terzi – who met Burns when he was political director at Farnesina, then ambassador to New York and Washington, then minister – confirms how choosing a diplomat “is not an anomaly in the history of Five Eyes Intelligence: Just think to MI6,” he explains. In fact, the diplomatic day is at the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence services Richard MooreFormer ambassador to Turkey.

Before him, from 2014 to last September, there were 007 Alex Younger. But before that, since 2009, Her Majesty’s spy leaders fell into the hands of the diplomat John SawersFormer Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Director of Political Affairs at the State Department (a position that corresponds to Burns’ position in the United States). For Ambassador Valensis, “It is clear that there is a special sensitivity on the part of those who appointed him to aspects of the diplomatic strategic balance, not just those related to security in the strict sense of the word. Today, in fact, global security is not just a security issue, but it also touches on important aspects such as options. Political, diplomatic, international alliances and economic relations.

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Nevertheless, Frattini confirms how Burns devoted himself to analysis after a great past as a diplomat. “He surprised me a lot One of his articles Last fall, he explained the importance of explaining the new foreign policy and reconnecting with the middle class. Burns – whom Frattini remembers above all for the role he played between 2010 and 2011 on the occasion of the Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya – is “someone capable of analyzing and obtaining this balance that will be absolutely essential for President Biden to clean out so many poisoned wells. Donald Trump He leaves. Iran, the Abrahamic Agreements, Turkey: The CIA needs someone with the ability to analyze and see, ”adds the former minister. Likewise, Ambassador Terazi said, as he said,“ Russia (Where Burns was ambassador) It will be high on the CIA’s agenda, after the destabilization attempts that we saw very clearly during the Trump administration. “

For Ambassador Castellaneta, the reason for the choice can be summed up in one word: realism. Burns, Secretary of State Anthony Blink And National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan They form a nice triangle of professionals with a great sense of diplomacy, and of people guided by a less ideological approach than the arrival of the Trump administration. ”Thanks to similar options, the ambassador continues, Biden“ will be able to devote himself to domestic issues knowing that he has left foreign policy in the hands of people. ” Don’t surprise him. ”Castellaneta points out that Burns,“ like Blinken, is one of those figures in the diplomatic world of Washington in constant contact with embassies, and he’s always very open to internationals. ”For this reason, he adds,“ he knows Italy well and cares about it. ” .

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The opinion is also unanimous on the Atlantic career of the next director of the CIA. “At this point, the CIA needs to see and analyze why,” Frattini explains, saying, precisely in light of this, choosing “Military Man was a mistake: The front-row fighter was no longer needed, especially in times of cybersecurity.” He adds.

The American priority today, more than the confrontation with China, is the need to analyze what remains of the American role that the world is accustomed to: “We need America to make America, even in the Mediterranean,” Frattini concludes, recalling the link between Burns and Italy.

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