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DCI on the Need to Strengthen the DO

Director of Central Intelligence Statements

on the Need to Strengthen the Directorate of Operations


On May 5, 1998, DCI George J. Tenet addressed employees in the CIA Headquarters Auditorium on the Agency's Strategic Direction. The following are excerpts from the DCI's address regarding the Directorate of Operations.


First, the threat environment is growing more diverse, complex, and dangerous -- biological agents, terrorism, information warfare. It's easier and easier for smaller and smaller groups to do serious damage, with less visibility and warning. The potential for surprise has increased enormously.

Everything we do will have as its primary goal the strengthening of our two most fundamental capabilities: clandestine collection and all-source analysis. These are the activities that determine whether or not we serve our customers day in and day out.

We are in the espionage business. We are going to stay in the espionage business. Agent operations have been our backbone for 50 years, and clandestine technical operations have consistently yielded invaluable intelligence. I will not let that change.

The challenges facing HUMINT are great. Some of our most important targets – terrorists, weapons proliferators, and narco-traffickers, to name a few -- are hard to get at. We confront technologies that present unprecedented challenges to our ability to operate under cover. And we must combat a wider array of counterintelligence concerns.

All of this means we will have to mount increasingly complex and expensive operations. At the same time, we have must also be prepared to meet the inescapable demands to surge. We have to have the agility and the flexibility to surge without hollowing out the hard target operations that must remain our principal focus.

To meet these challenges, we will rebuild our field strength. Over the next few years, we will increase the number of our operations officers. We will augment existing stations and increase the number of our stations and bases. And we will see to it that they have the communications infrastructure they need to support their operations.

At the core, our success depends on our people. We will establish a recruitment program that parallels the very best in private industry. We will bring the best and the brightest people into CIA day after day, month after month and prove we have a mission and system of rewards in place to give them the incentive to stay.


Historical Document
Posted: Apr 06, 2007 05:08 PM
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2013 11:05 AM