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Back to School

When FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III went before a House subcommittee Tuesday to explain the Bureau’s budget request, one of the success stories he gave involved Mercyhurst College.

Two FBI employees are enrolled in their first year of Mercyhurst’s two-year graduate program in applied intelligence. The Bureau may send another three in September, according to Robert Heibel, executive director of the Mercyhurst Institute of Intelligence Studies.


“This is a credit to the Mercyhurst Intelligence Studies Program and to the college,” said Mercyhurst College President Dr. Thomas J. Gamble. “It shows that this program has gained respect in the highest circles of the intelligence analysis world. It also reflects on the quality of the graduate programs at the college.”

I don’t know that I would call FBI intel as being in the “highest circles” but we get the point.

Frankly, we need more programs like this and more gov-edu cooperation. It beats the hell out of the current system, which is basically akin to throwing toddlers into a pool and hoping they make it to the side.

This is money well spent and the IC could stand a lot more of it. 2-3 slots per year per civilian and military institution across 15 agencies is a pittance. The idea is to build an elite cadre, but it ends up making the vast majority mediocre. Analysis is a cerebral affair, and in other domains where you’re expected to use your mind they have this thing called a “sabbatical.” A lot of folks would think twice about bailing out if they knew they’d get a year off every five to reboot and retool.

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.