31 Mar 2009
For the first time ever, the C.I.A. has launched a national radio advertising campaign aimed at recruiting more spies for clandestine service. In particular, the agency is looking for more minorities and those with advanced foreign language skills. According to Time Magazine, the C.I.A. is not hurting for applications. It received more that 100,000 resumes last year and the number is growing fast. Did you see our recent post about federal jobs (in particular C.I.A. jobs) being the hot ticket for young people?
While this recruitment effort spells opportunity for many, it actually masks some deeper personnel issues at the agency. Last month, Panetta noted that less than 13% of his staff have foreign-language skills, and 22% are from minority communities. Really?? We find this hard to believe. It would seem that clandestine agents would come from various international backgrounds, and have the language skills, to integrate within what ever trouble spot they are stationed. Right?
So, what do you all think of this? Does this advertising campaign expose some staffing weaknesses in the C.I.A. that are better left hidden? Or, is Panetta doing the right thing by bringing this issue out on the open and dealing with it by implementing a national advertising campaign? Please share all thoughts and comments!