American Samizdat

Monday, March 17, 2008. *
WASHINGTON (AFP) — That young American exchange student who stayed with you last summer to do a language immersion course could be part of a new program to educate the next generation of US intelligence agents.

But don't worry: even if she does end up working for the CIA, the likelihood of her becoming an undercover operative is slim.

"Intelligence doesn't just mean spying, skulking around in a trench coat," said Jim Robbins, director of the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) at Trinity University in Washington, one of nine programs aimed at revamping the US intelligence community.
Trinity opened the doors to the pilot course for the Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence three years ago.

The program is funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the umbrella agency which oversees the 16 intelligence agencies in the United States, some of which -- such as the Treasury or Department of the Environment -- would not be linked automatically to intelligence activities.

Since 2005, the center has swelled, with eight more universities across the United States signing on to the program that wants to revamp the way young Americans perceive intelligence -- it isn't just spying -- and are trained to work in the very diverse field.

The program aims to "bring in groups to the intelligence community -- women, minorities, what have you -- who were previously under-represented," said Robbins.

The ODNI grant is used to send students abroad to study a language and learn about another culture.
"Every university that has a grant has to identify students to become IC CAE scholars," Gant explained.

"Those students are required to go abroad and study a language or study culture and they get a stipend to go abroad," she said.

Florida International University (FIU) sent 16 students abroad last year as part of its IC CAE program.

"People want to go to China, to Brazil to study Portuguese, to Spain. They want to study Arabic, which is a critical language need. So far we have had people go to Morocco, Jordan and Egypt," David Twigg, associate director of the Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies at FIU, told AFP.

"They're not going there as spies; they're going there as people who are trying to understand what's going on."

spying? us? of course not - we're just gathering intelligence...
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:38 PM
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