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article imageObama proposes intelligence officer training program in colleges

By Michael Krebs     Jun 20, 2009 in World
With the CIA and NSA facing hardships in recruiting qualified intelligence officers, the Obama administration is proposing that colleges offer spy training courses.
The Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence divisions are in need of a steady stream of intelligence officers who can work the streets of the Middle East and South Asia. This is not an easy need to fill, and as a result the Obama administration has proposed an ROTC-like program that would function as a recruitment ground in America's colleges and universities for the intelligence community.
"The idea is to create a stream 'of first- and second-generation Americans, who already have critical language and cultural knowledge, and prepare them for careers in the intelligence agencies,' according to a description sent to Congress by Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair," reported Walter Pincus of Washington Post.
The ethnic and cultural diversity among intelligence officer candidates is critical for America's long-term prospects in combating future threats.
Under the proposed program, colleges and universities would apply for grants to expand language studies, analysis, and specific scientific and technical specialties. Students who participate in the program would not be identified.
Applicants would have to pass through a security clearance and background check. Any students who would receive financial aid would be expected to serve time in a U.S. intelligence branch.
More about Obama, Intelligence, Spies, College, Universities
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