Largely aimed at Iran, which easily exposed them, causing transfers back to HQ. Methinks we have to do much better, and stop blowing off billions in unwise efforts. One more solid indication we are doing this GWOT wrong. The recent reflection of US cold war poicies and how they play against us and our moral authority (such as it is) makes me think we are making the same mistakes again, just with a different more nebulous enemy. We are making enemies that should be friends. It’s time to pull back a bit, review and relent. Re aim our efforts away from massive hard to manage programs that leave us vulnerable via wasted resources and global condemnation.
Most CIA officers abroad pose as U.S. diplomats. But those given what’s called non-official cover are known as NOCs, pronounced “knocks,” and they typically pose as business executives. At the forum, the NOCs spoke of their cover jobs, their false identities and measures taken to protect them. Few said much about gathering intelligence.
“It was a colossal flop,” a former senior CIA official said in sentiments echoed by a dozen former colleagues, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a classified program.The CIA spent at least $3 billion on the program, and the number of specially trained spies grew from dozens to hundreds. The entire clandestine service is believed to total about 5,000 people.