On April 15, John R. Sano, former Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service of the CIA and professor at The Institute of World Politics, gave a lecture on the topic of “A New Era of HUMINT: How the Intelligence Workforce Continues to Evolve.”
Mr. Sano discussed how technology and the changing culture of how people share information must be taken into account by intelligence operatives in order to do their jobs successfully. As a result of improved technology, along with an ever increasing reliance on technology, Mr. Sano described the need for intelligence officers to be trained to use technology carefully and in the most effective manner.
He noted that those who are training new intelligence officers are often less comfortable in adapting to new technologies, given the inherent security vulnerabilities which could create unseen difficulties when trying to gain intelligence in the modern world today. Both types of intelligence officers must learn from each other to improve the operation of intelligence cases.
Another aspect of how the culture of the intelligence workforce has changed includes shorter career lengths of individual careers within the CIA. In this post-9/11 world, the role of intelligence continues to increase and the use of technology in this field will continue to develop as more “digital natives” enter management positions in the intelligence workforce.
While it may take time for the intelligence workforce to adapt as technology and culture change, these changes will be necessary for the benefit of future human intelligence.
This lecture was the Fifth Annual Reagan Intelligence Lecture at IWP.