FIXING THE CIA
A veteran of clandestine operations, Garrett Jones
, has a spot-on set of recommendations in an essay
posted at FPRI.
" Management versus Leadership Never in senior officers’ entire careers within the DO will they be evaluated on their leadership ability. There is no leadership training. The Agency’s position is that it evaluates and trains its senior officers in management ability, but there is a substantial difference between the two concepts: leadership requires inspiring people, while management involves stewardship of resources. The U.S. military observes this distinction: their doctrine is that one leads people and manages non-human resources. Managing, instead of leading, people is to treat people as commodities.
Case officers are often called upon to do dangerous and difficult things in dangerous and unpleasant places. The senior officer who wrote a particularly effective memo on reducing the costs associated with the use of rental cars may be a wonderful person, but he may not be the person to call the shots when officers’ lives are endangered in some far-off place among hostile people.
Leadership can be taught. The military academies do it every year with 18-year-olds. Leadership can be objectively evaluated, the easiest way being to look back and see if anyone is following you. Intelligence work in the field demands extraordinary things in difficult circumstances. Those performing this work need to be led by senior officers who know the difference between leadership and management. The Agency’s senior officers should be evaluated on their leadership abilities before they are promoted."
The sections on " jointness", the DI, personnel policy and my favorite, the one entitled " Palsied by Lawyers"are equally apt.
Perhaps it would be cheaper, more effective and bureaucratically efficient to simply keep the CIA out there as the brightly lit convenient Congrssional/Media fall guy, target of foreign intelligence services, and training ground in basic intel work and create an entirely new deep black agency on a hyperlean network model to go do the clandestine work the CIA is too hamstrung or unwilling to do. It would save years of time and billions of dollars and by virtue of
of being small it could be disbanded quickly when it inevitably was " outed" in some future scandal.
And then reformed.