The CIA yesterday announced its five-year plan that will focus on completing outstanding work done since 9/11 by acting decisively on today’s national security challenges, including terrorism, the proliferation of dangerous technology, cyber threats, and the actions of rogue states.
“There’s something I’ve often said about government, but it applies to every organization,” CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said. “We govern either by leadership or by crisis. Leadership means making tough choices and planning ahead. That’s why we’re taking a hard look at future challenges, and what we want our agency to look like five years from now.”
Panetta outlined CIA’s three pillars, which consist of investing in people; technology; and maintaining the agency’s global presence and surging for emergencies. The CIA will recruit, train and retain a diverse workforce with the strengths to tackle any mission that arises. With an emphasis on foreign-language training, the plan doubles the number of clandestine officers—and triples the number of analysts—enrolled in language training.
The agency will enhance its use of more flexible and innovative deployments overseas, paving the way for improved intelligence collection. More co-location of analysts and operators at home and abroad will enrich the information provided to policymakers and lead to even more operational success in the field.
The second pillar involves technology to extend the CIA’s operational and analytic reach and become more efficient. Agency personnel must be able to operate effectively and securely in a rapidly changing global information environment. The plan ups the CIA’s potential for human-enabled technical collection and provides advanced software tools to help agency officers deal with the huge volume of data they encounter in their work.
The third pillar sets out to reach a new level of agility in maintaining the agency’s global presence and surging for emergencies. The agency will transform its support platforms around the world and consolidate certain business functions.
“During the course of my career, I’ve come to appreciate the people who truly focus on doing what’s right for the nation,” Panetta said. “I’m honored to lead this agency and to be part of its amazing mission. My goal is to build on the strengths of the CIA and keep it the very best intelligence agency in the 21st century.”