From Michael Tanji
of GroupIntel Blog
, rare good news in the guise of quiet change of practice
in the IC
:"But the Office of the Director of National Intelligence seems to be casting an unusually wide net as it seeks the best qualified staff it can find in academia and the public interest sector.
Historian Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, a China specialist at Georgetown University, became an Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Integrity in January 2006, and was appointed last month as the first ODNI “analytic ombudsman.” (She also previously served in the State Department...Trying to get IC leadership to hire people from outside the gene pool is something akin to cold fusion: we’d all like it to happen, but progress has been limited and tainted by hoaxes. A lot of potential hires don’t get accepted because while their real-world experience is stellar, the lack of clearance means tendering an offer is a crap-shoot; maybe they get cleared but it takes a year; maybe a year passes and they fail the poly. “Outsiders” tend to only be strangers from a given agency and inevitably golfing/poker/drinking/academy buddies of the guy running the show. There is a certain amount of tradition to the practice and sometimes it actually works, but there is nothing like creating new high-end gigs and then filling them with your pals to depress the workforce and make them wonder if directorship brings with it ownership papers. Even cross-pollination of disciplines is rare, even when such moves would make supreme sense. “Not invented here” syndrome has a little-known cousin, “Not hired here.”
Counterintelligence security is an important concept but as it was practiced during the Cold War may not be the best practice for the War on Terror in an increasingly open source, high complexity, deep uncertainty, world. No group, however bright and well-trained, can maintain its analytical edge through institutional insularity and isolation.
Opening up to outside "superstars" and mixing them with the cream of the insiders is a must to shake things up in a way that will not be reflected by little boxes and dotted lines on an org chart.