Earlier this year, CIA Deputy Director David Cohen, nine months after being in his position, told graduate students at Cornell University about what awaits the “Cucumber Factory” (as the American press sometimes calls the main US foreign intelligence agency) in the future. In his lecture, Cohen highlighted the main aspects of the CIA reorganization plan, the open part of which was published on 6 in March of this year.
PROGRAM OF THE DIRECTOR
In the preface to the mentioned document, anticipating the instructions to his subordinates, which journalists often call “guys from a virgin farm,” Brennan said that in September last year he had created an expert group from among the leading CIA experts who had the task of analyzing the staff of his department, his structure, as well as forms and methods for solving the tasks before him. Based on the results of the work, the special report should have formulated proposals for the reorganization of the CIA in such a way that it could function effectively in the near and distant future under the conditions of constantly complicating international situation and the continuous emergence of new and very often unpredictable threats.
During the preparation of the report, CIA experts interviewed thousands of colleagues and received relevant recommendations from them, interviewed dozens of former and current high-ranking CIA officials and consumers of intelligence information provided by its specialists.
They also studied the most effective ways of obtaining, using hidden methods, the necessary information by private and state structures.
The main provisions of this document, according to the director, formed the basis for the CIA’s leadership to formulate the fundamental goals and objectives of the reconstruction of the organizational structure, as well as the forms and methods of its functioning. The management of this special service has developed the “Strategic Directions” of the reorganization of its department in order to increase the effectiveness of its functioning now and in the future. The upcoming transformation of the CIA, says its director, will create effective mechanisms for performing the prescribed functions and will ensure the unity of the strategic views of its specialists responsible for making fundamental decisions. The improvements introduced will make it possible, by improving the quality of operational and analytical units, to provide relevant White House services with timely, objective and high-quality information, which will allow America to maintain its strategic and tactical superiority in the world.
Modernization initiatives were due to two factors changing the conditions in which the national security of the United States must be ensured and their interests protected. First of all, the need for restructuring the CIA is determined by a significant increase in the number, variety and complexity of the tasks that politicians, administrators and the military have to solve, as well as a significant reduction in the time during which effective measures must be taken to resolve one of the problems that arise. The second factor is the unprecedented pace of technology development and their significant impact on intelligence activities.
Improving the CIA, whose English abbreviation, CIA, American journalists sometimes spell out as "Certified Idiots of America" or "Cancer in America", is planned in four ways. The first of these is the further expansion of the capabilities of the relevant CIA units to recruit the most talented and educated American citizens, ensure their training and continually improve the level of professional training, as well as create opportunities for employees and conditions for career growth.
The second, third and fourth directions of development of the CIA is the introduction of all the latest information technologies, which will significantly improve the efficiency of intelligence activities, improve the organizational structure and procedures for preparing and making decisions, as well as consolidate the functionality of staff units.
In the "Strategic Directions" of the modernization of the CIA in the personnel sphere, the following ways are formulated to increase the effectiveness of its activities:
1) the creation of a new single "Training Center", which will include recruitment, intelligence management, training and personnel department;
2) the transfer of all intelligence training institutions to the University of the CIA and the creation on its basis of an educational base for training specialists in the widest range of areas of intelligence activity;
3) the creation of a systematic approach to the education of the most trained specialists of the CIA;
4) review of the procedure for promotion of officers - managers at all levels.
New information technologies open up broad opportunities for a qualitative increase in the effectiveness of intelligence activities in all areas of information mining and analysis. The document plans to establish a new division, which will be called the "Directorate of Digital Innovations." It will include already existing structures, including directorates of security, science and technology, operations and analysis.
The significant pace of change in the situation in the world and technological change require from the CIA leaders of the most diverse levels of acceptance on the basis of reliable information and in a very short time of fundamental decisions. As stated by Brennan, chiefs of all levels of government should be able to make strategically important decisions to create a more effective foreign intelligence tool and provide quality guidance to the activities of their subordinates, even when it is necessary to react instantly to changes in the external environment.
All of these factors have led to the need to implement the third direction of the modernization of the CIA, which includes:
1) empowerment of the executive director of the CIA, enhancing its role, as well as responsibility for the day-to-day administrative management of the departments of the department, including constant monitoring of the improvement of general management forms and methods;
2) reconstruction of the office of the CIA affairs manager in order to reduce the time it takes for its employees to carry out their main tasks, which should significantly increase the efficiency of the activities of this unit;
3) providing the necessary authority to make fundamental decisions aimed at simplifying, streamlining and speeding up the CIA's management procedures, and lower-level managers. In this case, their administrative practice will necessarily apply to all major divisions of management.
Operational successes of the CIA, as stated by Brennan, were achieved primarily through the close interaction of all elements of its structure. In order to fully meet all modern requirements, the director believes, it is necessary to take measures for the further integration of the CIA units and unite the areas of their functional responsibility. To this end, in the framework of the fourth line of modernization of the department, it is planned to create new functional centers, which will include operational officers, analysts, specialists in the field of cybernetics, technical and support personnel from all divisions of the department. The centers will be equipped with the most modern systems and tools that will effectively solve all the pressing tasks of ensuring security and protecting the national interests of America. It should be noted that in the structure of the CIA there are already anti-terrorism and counter-intelligence centers, in the image and likeness of which functional centers will most likely be created.
The new structures of the CIA, the total number of which, according to some data, will be 10 units, will be organized according to the principle of compliance with the tasks to be solved, as well as by regional or target use. The heads of the centers will be responsible for organizing coordinated actions of management officers of all categories in solving a specific set of operational and analytical tasks, actions in a given region or in the performance of a particular mission.
In a recent speech to reporters, talking about the new CIA centers, Brennan said that he was well aware of all the "inconsistencies" in the activities of the special services under his command. “The essence of what we are trying to do now, creating these functional centers, is to create a regional and functional overlap of the entire space of the planet. Therefore, everything that happens in the world will surely fall into one of our baskets, ”the director announced.
In the open part of his message to his subordinates, the director of the CIA did not say a word about the timing of the implementation of the planned plans for the reconstruction of the administration and about how much money is expected to be spent on carrying out relevant activities. He only announced that everything would be done as soon as possible, and his staff would receive relevant information on the progress of the modernization.
COMMENTS OF ZAMA
In his lecture to students, the First Deputy Director of the CIA dwelt on three aspects of the planned reorganization of this special service, including agent intelligence, which, as he emphasized, "has always been at the heart of the CIA's activity", the creation of a specialized cyber intelligence unit, and also on measures to radically resolve all personnel issues in the direction of improving the system of staffing the department with specialists and increasing their skills.
Cohen described the current situation in the world as extremely unstable, fraught with an increase in the aggressiveness of various terrorist groups, primarily in North Africa and the Middle East. He noted the increase in the number of unpredictable threats to the security of all states and various segments of the population of the Earth. All of this in general determines the unprecedented expansion of the tasks of the CIA and its relevance by federal structures, more than ever in the past.
As stated by the deputy director, the situation in the world never stands still, and therefore there is always the need to “understand the plans and intentions” of opponents. And to solve this problem, there is no more effective tool than agents.
In the most general terms, Cohen told students, some of whom may be recruited by the CIA, how his staff conduct intelligence intelligence and why it will remain the main management structure in the future.
After the events of September 11 in American society, Cohen said, the CIA often began to sound accusations that the administration had basically begun to solve problems of a military nature. However, he called such statements disinformation. This agency has always been and will remain a purely intelligence agency engaged in the collection of information by employees operating outside the United States. Information is obtained by recruiting representatives of foreign countries, including the ruling elites and ordinary citizens who have access to military and technological secrets. CIA operatives collect information relating to the activities of foreign governments, foreign organizations, citizens of various states and terrorists.
Today, as Cohen emphasized, the time has passed when agents received the necessary information at the receptions and banquets. Al-Qaida and IG fighters do not appear at ceremonial tables and bars of US embassies and missions. Intelligence agents have to make enormous efforts to identify carriers of the necessary information and to involve them in cooperation on a financial, ideological or other motivational basis. This work is fraught with many difficulties and dangers. As Cohen noted, there is a plaque at the headquarters of the CIA in Langley, on which are the names of the 113 officers, beginning in the 1947 year. They all died in the line of duty.
Cohen also stressed that technical intelligence, which is quite widely used in the activities of the CIA, is extremely important. However, it cannot be as effective as an agent, because devices "cannot foresee the intentions of a person."
“If you look to the future, there is little doubt that the intelligence agency will continue to play a major role in uncovering the plans, motives for action, intentions and opportunities of the growing multitude of our state and non-state opponents. In fact, the importance of undercover intelligence in the process of collecting intelligence data using various methods will only grow, ”the lecturer stated.
He repeated the words of his boss and said that at present the 10 functional centers are being created at the CIA, six of which will be regionally linked, and four will solve the main thematic tasks of foreign intelligence. The centers will be staffed with operational officers, analysts, scientists, technologists, and personnel who support the operations of management units both in the United States and abroad. Such an interfunctional structure, according to the CIA leadership, will significantly improve the effectiveness of agent intelligence.
In the remaining areas of modernization of the intelligence directorate, Cohen did not actually tell the students anything new, but only repeated the main directions of the development of American foreign intelligence, formulated by its director, accompanying them with various insignificant comments.
9 March this year A group of former intelligence officers who belong to the Intelligence Veterans for Common Sense group sent a letter to Barack Obama in which they condemned the plans for the reorganization of the CIA. Former intelligence specialists noted that the CIA leaders would now have the opportunity to provide the White House and senior US political leaders with the information they need to justify foreign policy actions. The retirees warned the president that the CIA in the new organization would be practically under the control of the US Congress. They also stressed that in the new structure this special service will cease to be a source of objective information.
“Is it necessary for us to have a CIA in which everyone mints a drill step, where large units are transformed into a private army that is at your disposal and completely out of control of the congress?” We think differently, ”veterans told Obama in the final part of his message.