Caution and Years of Budget Cuts Are Seen to Limit C.I.A.
Even now, 32 months after the Sept. 11 attacks, America’s clandestine intelligence service has fewer than 1,100 case officers posted overseas, fewer than the number of F.B.I. agents assigned to the New York City field office alone, government officials say. Since George J. Tenet took charge of the Central Intelligence Agency seven years ago, rebuilding that service has been his top priority. This year, more new case officers will graduate from a year-long course at Camp Peary in Virginia than in any year since the Vietnam War. They are the products of aggressive new recruiting aimed in particular at speakers of Arabic and others capable of operating in the Middle East and South Asia. But it will be an additional five years, Mr. Tenet and others have warned, before the rebuilding is complete and the United States has the network it needs to adequately confront a global threat posed by terrorist groups and hostile foreign governments. Full Story