Friday, October 31, 2008

CIA Shifting To Foreign Ops

Stephanie O'Sullivan, head of the CIA's Directorate for Science and Technology, says staffing has increased. (By Evan Eile, USA TODAY)

Post-9/11 CIA Has Shifted Its Emphasis For
Foreign Ops -- USA Today

LANGLEY, Va. — The CIA has more than doubled the number of science and technology officers sent overseas to support foreign spy operations since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Hundreds" of the specially trained officers have moved abroad to provide eavesdropping and communications devices, disguises and other high-tech support for field agents as the CIA has re-emphasized intelligence collection from human sources, according to agency information provided in response to a USA TODAY inquiry.

The CIA said the increase represents a 150% hike in overseas staffing for its Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T), which fills the role made famous by "Q" in James Bond films. The agency won't disclose the exact number of officers involved because its budget and staffing are classified, but the figures represent a rare public acknowledgement of the heightened pace of its foreign operations. The shift also reflects an increased emphasis on "close access" programs, in which information is collected directly from sources on the ground, as opposed to remotely via satellite or aircraft.

The intelligence community's needs for high-tech equipment have "changed fundamentally" since the start of the war on terrorism and "demand … has increased dramatically," says Stephanie O'Sullivan, the deputy CIA director who heads the Directorate of Science and Technology. For example, she adds, "there was a big explosion after 9/11 in the need for tracking and locating technology" to hunt leaders of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Read more ....

My Comment: Terrorism is a world wide phenomenon .... the CIA has no choice but to "go out there" to confront our enemies.

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