Intelligence Update

Intel Update - Intelligence Agencies

Intel Update 20180315 – importance of OSINT, Amazon’s ‘Secret Region’, new CIA director nominated, first sighting of AK-47 (CIA), DIA Director’s reading list, language training, UK’s spy poisoning drama, Virginia Hall – OSS agent, Navy sailor pardoned by Trump, Hayden endorses Haspel, and more.

DIA Director’s Reading List. The director’s professional reading list has three categories: leadership and professional development, history, and global analysis. See “DIA Director 2018 Professional Reading List”Defense Intelligence Agency, March 2018.

Russia Killing Spies in the UK. So the fall out continues over the recent episode (there have been past instances of course) of Russia killing folks on Britain’s soil. As of March 14th the UK has retaliated by expelling over 23 Russian diplomats. The UK Foreign Office said that the use of a nerve agent to kill a person in Salisbury follows a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression. This is the biggest expulsion since the Cold War (the first one). And President Trump’s reaction to Russia killing folks on the soil of a NATO ally?

Navy Sailor Pardoned by Trump. A Navy sailor who had taken photos of the interior of a U.S. Navy nuclear sub was convicted and sent to prison. President Trump recently pardoned him. Read “Trump Pardoned Sailor Who Left Nuclear Sub Secrets in a Dumpster”Code and Dagger, March 12, 2018.

Article about Virginia Hall. Hall was a Office of Strategic Services agent who infiltrated France while it was occupied by the Germans in World War II. Read her incredible story in USSOCOM’s Tip of the Spear, February 2017.

British Army Language Training. The British Army needs to revamp its language training program. Currently it is too little for the mission sets the Army has – COIN, peacekeeping operations, etc. “Using Language”Wavell Room, May 12, 2017.

First CIA Sighting of AK-47. The legendary assault rifle of the Soviet bloc first came to the attention of the CIA in 1953. Read “A CIA Agent’s Drawing of the First A-47 Sighting”Popular Mechanics, March 13, 2018.

New CIA Head. With CIA Director Mike Pompeo heading to lead the Department of State (after Rex Tillerson got the boot) the new CIA Director will likely be Gina Haspel. Read some comments on the new head spy by some national security observers in “Haspel Nominated to Lead CIA, Pompeo to Replace Tillerson”The Cipher Brief, March 13, 2018. Read an older news story on Haspel by Kimberly Dozier – “New CIA Deputy Beloved by Colleagues & Attacked by Interrogation Critics”The Daily Beast, February 2, 2017.

Pompeo’s Accomplishments. The White House is high on Pompeo – read a ‘fact sheet’ posted by the White House entitled “Mike Pompeo’s Distinguished Career as CIA Director”White House, March 14, 2018.

Hayden Endorses Haspel. General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and of the NA, speaks highly of Trump’s nominee to head up the Central Intelligence Agency. Read his article (The Hill, March 14,2018).

CIA’s ‘Black Site’ in Thailand. Some background on Gina Haspel’s involvement in a facility where GWOT detainees were subjected to “enhanced interrogation” in Thailand. “What Happened at the Thailand ‘Black Site’ Run by Trump’s CIA Pick”, March 14, 2018.

Some Older Intel Reports Of Interest

OSINT, The Importance Of. A former director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Open Source Center writes on the need to increase the CIA’s (and intelligence community at large) ability to mine open source media for intelligence nuggets. Read “Open Source Information: Info Ops’ Untapped Weapon”The Cipher Brief, November 17, 2017.

Amazon’s ‘Secret Region’. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a cloud service for the federal government’s intelligence community that can host software and data classified at the ‘secret’ level. Amazon is the leader in providing cloud services for the U.S. intelligence community. Read “AWS launches ‘Secret Region’ for intel customers”Washington Business Journal, November 20, 2017.

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