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Post Holiday Catch-Up

Such an effort is almost a waste of time (almost) since you’re starting long after the gun has gone off, but it is a nice way to reboot the mental OS out of hibernation and get back into the swing of things. So, where to begin?This gem from Reuters is a nice starting point:

A former CIA counterterrorism officer who tracked Osama bin Laden through the mountains of Afghanistan says the U.S. spy agency could need a decade to build up its clandestine service for the U.S. war on terrorism.

Gary Berntsen, a decorated espionage officer who led a paramilitary unit code-named “Jawbreaker” in the war that toppled the Taliban after the September 11, 2001, attacks, said CIA Director Porter Goss faces an uphill battle to fill the agency’s senior ranks with aggressive, seasoned operatives.

“He’s probably more aggressive than most of the senior officers in the clandestine service. So I think he’s having to pull them along a bit,” Berntsen said.

It is nice to get confirmation of my suspicions from someone else who is in a better position to know specifics. I have long suspected that the angst-driven resignations from high-level CIA/DO officers are more about Goss breaking up rice bowls and actually trying to bring about meaningful change than they were about claims of his political “hacks” gumming up a well oiled machine. Reports that C/O training post 9/11 is not significantly different from training pre-9/11 is icing on the “DO is hurting” cake.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.