[IWAR] CIA hiring push

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Sat Jun 27 1998 - 16:40:50 PDT

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    The tradecraft is out of date, the approach to intelligence is comical against
    the modern and future threats, the pay scale insulting, the security
    restrictions oppresive, the operational limitations being accepted in the name
    of 'political correctness' asinine, the emphasis on current reporting
    exacerbates the information overload (aka, why open source is bad),
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    just to name a few points...  but I don't want to get off on a rant...  MW
    CIA hiring more spies
     New York Times 
     WASHINGTON -- The CIA is beginning the largest recruitment
     drive for new spies in its history, in an ambitious effort to rebuild its
     espionage service, which has been severely damaged by spy
     scandals, budget cutbacks and high turnover since the end of the Cold
     War, officials say.
     With Congress already providing increased financing, the Directorate
     of Operations, the CIA's clandestine espionage arm, will hire record
     numbers of case officers -- spies -- beginning this year as part of a
     new strategic plan to repair the decaying espionage capabilities of the
     United States by 2005, officials said.
     In addition to expanded hiring, the CIA also plans to reopen several
     overseas stations that were closed in the early 1990s after the demise
     of the Soviet Union led Congress and the White House to reduce the
     CIA's budget sharply.
     The recruitment plan is a sign that the CIA recognizes that it has
     become far too dependent on so-called technical intelligence, or
     eavesdropping devices and spy satellites. Now, the agency wants to
     get back to espionage basics, by increasing its ability to place a spy
     behind enemy lines or inside the offices of a rival government.
     The spread of new technologies like encryption and computer
     networks has eroded the value of spy satellites and listening devices
     and has led the CIA to see the need for an expanded cadre of spies.
     Without having an agent in place, the CIA has found it much harder to
     gain access to secrets from rival governments, terrorists and
     international organized crime groups.
     As a result, in 1998, the CIA plans to hire more than five times as
     many case officers than it did in fiscal year 1995, when the agency hit
     its post-cold-war recruitment low, U.S. officials said. The agency
     plans to hire even larger numbers in 1999.
     The actual numbers of new spies and new stations are classified, and
     officials declined to comment on the precise figures. But other officials
     have said recently that there are well under 1,000 case officers
     working in the directorate.
     The expansion at the directorate has strong support in the House of
     Representatives, where Speaker Newt Gingrich pushed through
     supplemental financing for the CIA for fiscal 1998 to enable the
     agency to begin recruitment efforts. For 1999, the House leadership is
     again pushing for a sharp financing increase, while the Senate is
     proposing a smaller increase, congressional sources said. The exact
     amount of money involved is classified.
     Many intelligence officials have been complaining privately that the
     Directorate of Operations has lost much of its effectiveness, and that it
     has failed to conduct critical espionage missions around the world.
     In fact, the directorate has suffered a drain of talented senior and
     mid-career officers since the end of the Cold War, and many of those
     officers have left complaining about sagging morale and a
     heavy-handed bureaucracy that made it hard for American spies to
     take risks.
     A punishing series of scandals, including the spy cases of turncoats
     Aldrich Ames and Harold Nicholson, both Directorate of Operations
     officers who spied for Moscow, also sapped the spirit inside the
     ``I think it is fair to say that the DO has lost a lot of its capabilities,
     and has been dangerously close to becoming paralyzed,'' said one
     American intelligence official.
     Officials emphasize that the number of officers resigning has declined
     in the past year, but acknowledge that the losses have been serious.
     ``We have lost disproportionately large numbers of case officers
     compared to people from other parts of the staff, and that has hurt
     our capabilities,'' one official said. ``The loss of the capabilities in the
     DO have been fairly serious since the beginning of the decade.''
     Recently, when the CIA has tried to spy, its officers have often been
     caught. Since 1995, CIA officers have been embroiled in public
     accusations of spying by France, Germany and other nations, and
     agency officials now believe that part of the problem is that agents
     have failed to emphasize the basics of the espionage craft.
     The CIA's recent failure to accurately predict that India would
     conduct nuclear tests has underlined that something had to be done,
     both at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., and on Capitol
     Hill. Support among members of Congress to finance the directorate's
     expansion has increased since the India failure, congressional officials
     In May, the CIA was forced to admit that it did not have any agents
     who could have tipped the United States to India's plans, and that
     confession showed Congress just how badly the CIA's espionage
     network had eroded in recent years. Yet in the Senate, concerns over
     India have also been working against proposals for a large budget
     Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Select
     Committee on Intelligence, is wary of agreeing to the large budget
     increase proposed by the House, an aide to Shelby said. In part,
     Shelby's caution stems from a concern that the India controversy
     signaled management problems that cannot be fixed by simply
     throwing money at the agency, the aide said.
     While Shelby supports a budget increase, he is ``more concerned
     about quality, not quantity, at the CIA,'' the aide said.
     The CIA is recruiting case officers, and people to support them, with
     technical skills that spies have rarely been asked to learn in the past.
     ``As we tried to figure out our requirements for the future, we realized
     we needed to have greater technical support for agent operations,''
     said one U.S. official.
     At the top of the list of requirements is computer expertise. The
     proliferation of global computer data networks, for example, has
     made it more difficult for the agency to slip into a country using false
     identifications. Only computer experts can defeat those local
     computer systems, and even developing countries routinely make
     sophisticated computer checks on passports and visas.
     The agency is recruiting on campuses, in the private sector and from
     among military officers. Agents are on the same pay scale as other
     federal employees and military officers.
     The CIA's decision to reopen some of its closed overseas stations is
     also driven by the new complexities of post-Cold War espionage.
     Many of the stations in the developing world were closed because the
     Cold War's end made unnecessary their chief mission to recruit and
     spy on Soviet diplomats and KGB. officers serving in the same
     But now, officials say they realize that those remote stations will be
     important in the CIA's efforts to spy on terrorists and other
      international criminals who have sought haven in those countries. 

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