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April 17, 2013

HUMINT Operations on the Brink of Extinction Due to Sequester

In a nation where approximately 8.5 million contractors work for the federal government, in comparison to 1.5 million civil servants, it is obvious the first persons to be either furloughed or actually “pink slipped” during sequester will be contractors. For the anti-contractor base, that could be a good thing. But for those who understand the national security discipline of intelligence, it’s devastating.

Few Americans have felt the effects of sequester. However, today, some 8.5 million Americans have become startled with what just happened in one of the most unique government institutions known as the Defense Intelligence Agency.


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About the Author

is an internationally recognized security, terrorism, and intelligence professional. He has taught domestic and international organizations in counter-terrorism, intelligence, and physical security related issues. He has briefed some of the highest government officials ranging from ambassadors to members of Congress and Pentagon staff. He is author of the book Contracted: America's Secret Warriors and Contracted II: America's Terror Trackers, and Going Rogue: The Compilation.

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  • linwood

    dbeavers2"...Pres Carter & his CIA director, and former Annapolis classmate, Stansfield Turner decided HUMINT operatives were no longer needed since technology & satellites were a better approach to intel gathering. HUMINT staffing was cut by 50%!"   Check out:  Theodore Shackley: The Third Option: An American View of Counter-insurgency Operations McGraw-Hill, (1981) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0070563829  Read it just a short while after it came out.  I've heard stories about Shackley, but his reasoning in the book is solid.  He mentions Turner...and doesn't spare the vitriol. It's an old habit among American institutions.  Crisis over...well, just make our institutions blind, lame and toothless, so's we will have to build 'em all up from scratch when the next crisis arises...and, of course, it always does.  Case in point:  I read once that, when America committed to a two ocean war in 1941, the American army was smaller than that of Portugal at the time.  Priceless....

  • linwood

    dbeavers2"...Pres Carter & his CIA director, and former Annapolis classmate, Stansfield Turner decided HUMINT operatives were no longer needed since technology & satellites were a better approach to intel gathering. HUMINT staffing was cut by 50%!"   Check out:  Theodore Shackley: The Third Option: An American View of Counter-insurgency Operations McGraw-Hill, (1981) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0070563829  Read it just a short while after it came out.  I've heard stories about Shackley, but his reasoning in the book is solid.  He mentions Turner...and doesn't spare the vitriol. It's an old habit among American institutions.  Crisis over...well, just make our institutions blind, lame and toothless, so's we will have to build 'em all up from scratch when the next crisis arises...and, of course, it always does.  Case in point:  I read once that, when America committed to a two ocean war in 1941, the American army was smaller than that of Portugal at the time.  Priceless....

  • dbeavers2

    If this has in fact happeded we will pay for it with lives later. I was just finishing the Army Area Studies program in the summer of 1972 (I graduated just after the MUnich massacre and was sent to Europe to focus on anti-terrorism) (They actually let 2 Marines in my class. Go figure!  ;-)  ) This was just as Pres Carter & his CIA director, and former Annapolis classmate, Stansfield Turner decided HUMINT operatives were no longer needed since technology & satellites were a better approach to intel gathering. HUMINT staffing was cut by 50%! THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS 9/11 PREP WAS MISSED PER THE 9/11 COMMISSION! That is why I say we will pay for it later in lives. It takes years for a HUMINT operative to be trained and gain effective experience. One of the primary complaints of our Intel partners has been we don't leave people in place long enough to become highly effective and gain the trust of our partners. I managed to stay in the field for 5 years in Europe and the MIddle East and was finally pulled kicking and screaming because the personnel wonks said I needed to transfer for professional development. I told them them leave me in place, you never have to promote me, but don't destroy the relationships and effectiveness I built.

  • PaulCM

    I'm seriously questioning the credibility of this post.   "According to multiple undisclosed sources, the Defense http://sofrep.com/10470/fusion-analyst-all-source-intelligence-and-analysis/?lc=int_mb_1001 Agency just terminated their contractual workers."   What sources?  That's a bold statement to make without any reliable proof.  If the DIA just "terminated" their contractors, there would be a whole lot of companies (some VERY powerful ones) raising holy hell to everyone with a microphone, blog, computer, etc. right now.  You better believe this would be splashed all over the DC and national security media outlets.   You can't just eliminate thousands of contractors without any notice and without it leaking.

  • linwood

    Walt_Freese The sequester was an abdication of leadership.  The actions since -- the lack of prioritization, the politicization of the cuts and programs targetted, the speed with which every new mishap is blamed on this fiscal abortion -- all compound what was originally an unforgivable lack of leadership.  The probability of the electorate sleep-walking through future elections -- so long as their own personal ox isn't gored -- is rather high.  Besides, what is the ONE area which folks've been conditioned to think is guilty of gross inefficiency and over-spending?  Clue:  $200 hammers and $600 toilet seats are often mentioned when discussing their budget.  The fact that the Department of Defense and its subsidiary directorates, agencies and commands, unlike let us say Congress, actually do what they were designed to do -- close with and kill or capture the enemy -- isn't taken into account.  The number of jobs feeding information, equipment and maintenance into the dear old DoD doesn't seem to show up on the radar.  ...but, you shut down tours of the White House or tighten up EBT card eligibility, and listen to the voters howl!