SOFREP recently reported on a few of the problems that the CIA encountered while spending upwards of 3 billion dollars on a program designed to get our CIA officers to serve in successful non-official and deep cover roles abroad. These problems are evident not only in the CIA but across the entire intelligence community, especially when considering today’s demanding fiscal climate and disproportionate emphasis on technical collection capabilities and not traditional human intelligence tradecraft.
Listing a few reasons for the CIA’s failure as “inexperience, bureaucratic hurdles, lack of language skills, and other problems,” the most disconcerting issue was that “only a few of the [deep cover] officers managed to recruit useful intelligence sources.” This revelation, while not a major issue when compared to the impressive technical collection capabilities the US intelligence community wields today, is still indicative of a weak intelligence discipline that requires much more emphasis by the US. While this was recognized by the CIA several years ago and followed by a multi-billion, multi-year effort, its failure warrants further investigation and a quick re-attack.
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