[lg policy] CIA to to expand language training (fwd)

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Tue Jun 2 21:35:08 UTC 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 09:49:15 -0400
From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Reply-To: Language Policy List <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Subject: [lg policy] CIA to to expand language training

Panetta to expand CIA language training: Seeking funds for 5-year plan
By Sara A. Carter (Contact) | Saturday, May 30, 2009

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta will ask Congress in the coming weeks to
fund an "aggressive" five-year plan to enhance the spy agency's
language capabilities. In a letter to agency employees Friday, Mr.
Panetta said the goal of doubling the number of analysts and
collectors proficient in foreign languages is imperative for dealing
with developing threats around the world. "Language skills are the
keys to accessing foreign societies, understanding their governments
and decoding their secrets," Mr. Panetta said. "This important
initiative will require significant new funding. In the coming weeks
and months, I will reach out across the intelligence community, to the
Office of Management and Budget, and most importantly, to our partners
in Congress to find the necessary resources."

The clandestine agency hopes to dramatically transform the way the CIA
trains officers in foreign languages. Languages of particular interest
are Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Pashto (spoken in Afghanistan), Urdu
(used in Pakistan), and Persian. "Stronger language skills will give
our officers enhanced access to the information our policymakers need
to protect our nation," he said. Mr. Panetta said the CIA University,
where many of the officers receive education and training, will take
the lead in identifying the best approaches. In a change from existing
policy, "qualified prospective employees" will be allowed to take
language training while awaiting their security clearances. In
addition, the agency will offer night school, more external and online
training and more full-time training overseas in specialized areas,
Mr. Panetta said.

"To gather intelligence and understand a complex world, the CIA must
have more officers who read, speak, and understand foreign languages,"
Mr. Panetta said. "Our national security demands nothing less."


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