CIA Still Lacking on Language Skills

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wings

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CIA Still Lacking on Language Skills

Nearly five years after the 9/11 Commission recommended that the CIA boost the number of its bilingual analysts and operatives, just 13 percent of CIA employees speak a foreign language, according to the agency's data. This is a 70 percent increase in the overall number of CIA personnel with foreign language skills. After his confirmation earlier this year, CIA Director Leon Panetta said "I'd like to ... get to a point where every analyst and operations officer is trained in a foreign language." To increase the number of bilingual operatives and analysts, the agency has placed ads on YouTube and Facebook. It has also focused its recruiting on immigrant communities in places such as Detroit, which has a large Arab-American population. Hiring bonuses of up to $35,000 are being offered to individuals who are fluent in "mission critical" languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Korean, Pashto, Persian, Russian, and Urdu. The highest concentration of bilingual employees in the CIA is found in the National Clandestine Service and Directorate of Intelligence. House Intelligence Committee member Pete Hoekstra (R-Michigan) says more can be done to make foreign-language development an integral part of the CIA's operation.

From "CIA Still Lacking on Language Skills"
USA Today (DC) (04/20/09) Eisler, Pete

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - April 2009
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


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CIA Wants to Improve Agency's Language Proficiency

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta has announced a program to double the number of analysts fluent in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, and other mission-critical languages. The CIA also wants to boost the number of analysts fluent in the dialect of the culture or region to which they are assigned by 50 percent. The effort will involve hiring more officers proficient in foreign languages and retraining thousands of current employees through the in-house CIA University. Panetta sent a message to employees stating that "to gather intelligence and understand a complex world, CIA must have more officers who read, speak, and understand foreign languages." He said the agency will offer night classes and online training, and new recruits will be allowed to study languages while waiting for a security clearance. The 9/11 Commission determined that a dearth of skilled translators contributed to the U.S. government's failure to prevent the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Professor Amy Zegart of the University of California at Los Angeles said the shortage of foreign language translators stems from a flawed security-clearance process. She pointed out that CIA job applicants skilled in key languages have frequently been rejected because they have relatives living in countries where terrorists are known to operate.
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From "CIA Announces Push to Improve Agency's Language Proficiency"
Washington Post (DC) (05/30/09) Warrick, Joby

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - June 2009
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)



 

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