CIA takes a closer look at recruiting field operators
CIA Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Sheetal T. Patel reportedly sent a “World Stations and Bases” (WWSB) cable to all CIA personnel overseas on the very sensitive subject of secret CIA assets. CIA captured or killed, according to the New York Times. , citing people familiar with the matter.
The WWSB cable reportedly reported that the CIA Counterintelligence Center had “reviewed dozens of cases over the past few years” that had been compromised and, in some cases, arrested and killed. The remarkable aspect of Patel’s missive was the level of specificity in highlighting the exact number of compromised cases.
The cable touched on the head-raising topic of a generational bias within the CIA, which the NYT described as “the struggle … to recruit spies around the world in harsh operating environments.” The cable, reportedly went on to describe how “bad craftsmanship; having too much confidence in the source; underestimating foreign intelligence agencies and moving too quickly to recruit … without paying attention to the potential risks of counterintelligence “or the return to the” mission on security “culture. The NYT continues how the cable was primarily aimed at “front-line agency officers, the people most directly involved in recruiting and verifying sources” in order to inspire them to do their jobs better.
Patel is not the first CIA counterintelligence chief to call on base operations officers, stressing the need to improve their game in the craft department, to include “finishing work. “From asset validation and counterintelligence examination with a jaundiced eye. Indeed, many historical works, now accessible to the public, detail the urgency of adapting craftsmanship to the environment and the importance of controlling assets in a dynamic and continuous manner.
CIA Tradecraft – recruitment and validation
In 2010, Paul Redmond, former deputy deputy director of operations for counterintelligence at the CIA, wrote in the “Oxford Handbook of National Security” on the use of counterintelligence as an operational craft. His essay reflected advice many officers had heard firsthand during his time with the CIA. He doesn’t mince words as he urges the CIA to hold the principal collector, the case officer, to the highest possible standards of operational security and commerce.
“Unless the discipline of good operational security is forcibly imposed on the average US officer, failure will be a shoddy or non-existent job. Putative sources will be found in the dining room of a posh hotel, literally next to the United States Embassy. The operational failures will be explained by the statement of the officer in charge of the case that he was using a “semi-clandestine” profession, and agents operating under a pseudonym abroad will call home on cell phones. At the start of the 21st century, the use of sloppy craftsmanship presents the US intelligence community with a daunting and critical challenge. An entire generation of new American case officers are gaining their initial, formative experience “(on the street” in the Iraq war zone, meeting sources with armed and sometimes armored military or paramilitary escorts or in military enclosures. fortress. “Commercial craft” is nothing like the clandestine operational activities required to recruit and manage human sources elsewhere “~ Paul J. Redmond
In 2004, then DCI Porter Goss designed the Galileo Awards, where submissions were requested to modernize, make changes, and take the CIA to a new level of achievement and success. One entry, one more winning entry, “Dynamic Adaptation: A 21st Century Intelligence Paradigm” urged a new paradigm to evolve when it comes to counterintelligence. The author (redacted) encouraged the regrouping of all of IC’s counter-intelligence authorities under the National Counter-Intelligence Executive and also to address the meeting point between CI and “FI” ( foreign intelligence collected). The “new IC must take responsibility for significantly improved protection of intelligence sources and methods.”
In 2005, President Bush took into account the recommendations of the ADM Commission and said, “The CIA’s asset validation procedures will serve as a model for the HUMINT collections community. The CIA and the Defense HUMINT Service (DIA / DHS) of the Defense Intelligence Agency will take the lead in developing an implementation strategy regarding clandestine and overt sources, respectively. “
And in 2002, the Seventh Counterintelligence Chief of Staff, James Olson, published an article in Studies of Intelligence in which he articulated “Endless Necessity: The 10 Commandments of Counterintelligence.”
- Be offensive
- Honor your professionals
- Own the street
- Know its history
- Don’t ignore the scan
- Do not be parochial
- Trian your people
- Do not let yourself be sidelined
- Don’t stay too long
- Never give up
If there has been a backtracking, Patel is about to align all management with his missive. There is no margin for error when it comes to exercising a quality and secure operational profession. For those who want an introduction to asset validation, they only need to consult the CI Center (a business entity) which offers a ready-to-use 3-5 day course “512: Asset Validation Course counter-espionage “