CIA Director Pompeo on the Ethos and Profession of Intelligence

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CIA Director Pompeo on the Ethos
and Profession of Intelligence

The Director Speaks on the Practice
of Intelligence in the Age of Terrorism

The Daily Walk with Love, March 11, 2018, (originally published on December 7, 2018), by Paul Evans, a excerpt of a speech by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, entitled Pompeo Delivers Keynote at Conference on Ethos and Profession of Intelligence at G.W. University, CIA News & Information section of the Official CIA website, “Remarks as prepared for delivery by Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo at the Conference on the Ethos and Profession of Intelligence, at George Washington University,” October 4, 2017, (which was my mother’s birthday), by CIA Director (DCI) Mike Pompeo. This is just the introduction to a series of panel discussions which were part of an all-day conference at George Washington University, and may be viewed in their entirety below or at YouTube, 6:52:11 (six hours, not for the faint of heart!). My own father, Dr. Jack E. Evans, 1925-2012, R.I.P., was a WWII Marine officer, ASA, AFSIA, NSA, CIA, and a Yale Ph.D. in Russian language and literature. I miss you dad….

The Daily Bible verse at The Official King James Bible Online is Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Interested in a challenging and intense career that is rewarding in many ways? Check out the CIA’s Careers and Internships page. If you are young and in college, see their Student Opportunities section. You may also be interested in American Military University’s Online Degrees & Certificates For Intelligence Professionals (which I believe is a private institution).

Director Pompeo on the Ethos
and Practice of Intelligence

Good morning everyone and thank you for coming.

I know you’re all looking forward to the panel discussions that are about to get underway. But first I want to say a few words about the subject that brings us all together, and that’s the profession of intelligence.

I want to talk about what it means to practice that profession in today’s world, one marked by speed, adaptability, and constant change.

Let’s imagine that an Agency officer is traveling on foot right now through the streets of a gritty foreign capital, dodging surveillance while on a critical mission. The officer is tracking an adversary that moves with lightning speed. And for a moment an opportunity presents itself, an opportunity that could spell the difference between success and failure in collecting vital intelligence on a hostile target. If the officer hesitates, the window will slam shut and the chance will be gone.

Our officers find themselves in situations like this all the time, perhaps even as I speak, and I consider it one of my chief responsibilities as CIA Director to make sure they are empowered to seize the moment—to make sure they have the authority, the tools, and the support to act.

Speed and agility have long been at the heart of good intelligence work. But they’ve never been more important than they are now. And this is true across every facet of our mission, whether it’s operations, analysis, support, science and technology, or the digital realm.

Many of the adversaries we’re facing today are incredibly nimble. And they’re viciously fast when deciding how they’re going to attack America.

I was attending a meeting not long ago when someone asked how a certain adversary might react to an action we were planning. I joked that it was hard to predict, but there was one thing we knew for sure: They wouldn’t hold a meeting like this one.

Not everyone thought it was funny. But I was actually making a serious point: Most of our adversaries aren’t spending a whole lot of time on process. Instead of talking about what to do, they just go ahead and do it. And that gives them an enormous advantage.

But it’s not an insurmountable one. There are things our government can do to shorten the time that separates conceiving an idea from putting it into action. For CIA, one of the best ways to do this is to simply have faith in our workforce….

Read the whole article here.

Along similar lines, you may also want to watch Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, Center for Strategic and International Studies on YouTube, March 30, 2016, 56:13.

On a more “fun” level, see CIA Dog (K9) Recruits Level Up to their New Job, The Daily Walk with Love, November 26, 2017, by Paul Evans.

Panel Discussion on the Ethos
and Practice of Intelligence
(George Washington University)

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