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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -
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CIA director wants to expand operations overseas

Posted in the database on Friday, September 23rd, 2005 @ 12:24:59 MST (704 views)
from Forbes.com  

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CIA director Porter Goss said he intends to rebuild the intelligence agency as a global operation with more spies operating overseas under different kinds of cover in more countries.

Goss said the CIA would not rely solely on its relationships with other foreign intelligence services to gather intelligence.

'Unilateral operations will return to be part of the governing paradigm for the CIA,' he said in a speech to employees at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. A copy of the speech was made available to Agence France-Presse.

Goss, a former Florida congressman, outlined his vision for the agency's future a year-to-the day after being confirmed as director amid widespread criticism of US intelligence failures in Iraq and in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

His tenure has been a rocky one, marked by resignations of disaffected agency veterans from key positions and the loss of the CIA's preeminent position within the US intelligence community.

But he said the CIA is being assigned the role of 'national Humint manager,' giving it the authority to set standards across the US intelligence community for espionage.

He outlined other changes from building a more diverse and cosmopolitan cadre of intelligence officers and analysts to refurbishing a global 'infrastructure' that 'has been run to ruin.'

'We are getting more and more global. We opened new stations and bases and we've reopened some old ones. We are developing new and creative ways to get more and more of our officers out of Washington,' he said.

New case officers are being brought into the agency's 'inner core' include more recent arrivals to the US and people who have wide foreign experience, he said.

'This makes a lot of sense, but it is a huge divergence from the way we have always done things -- and, it is critical that we do it without neglecting counterintelligence, of course,' he said.

He criticized the CIA's practice of surging officers into an area during a crisis as a 'poor formula,' when what was needed was expertise and developed relations that come from having an established presence.

'When I say we need to be global, this is an admission that we are not in all of the places we should be. We don't have this luxury anymore,' he said.

He said the CIA was pushing to get more case officers out in the field under new kinds of cover.

'You cannot understand people overseas, much less influence them, from Langley,' he said. 'You cannot develop deep and trusting relationships with individuals and with governments overseas by flying in and flipping out a US passport.'

'We are definitely going to be using new cover arrangements overseas, because we have to,' he said. 'We are going to be in places people can't even imagine.'



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