The Washington Post newspaper says the Obama administration is
proposing a new program to train students in U.S. colleges and
universities to become intelligence officers.
The Post report
says Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has already sent a
description of the program to Congress. The Post quotes Blair as
saying the idea is to prepare first-and second-generation Americans,
who already have critical language skills and cultural knowledge, for
careers in intelligence agencies.
The program aims to cultivate
qualified recruits who can work the streets of the Middle East and
South Asia to penetrate terrorist groups and criminal enterprises.
the proposal, the Post says schools would apply for grants to create or
expand courses that would provide the background needed for
intelligence work. These would include classes in foreign languages,
analysis and scientific and technical fields.
apply to the national intelligence director to get into the program and
would also go through a selection process for financial assistance.
idea is similar to a curriculum already in place for the military
services, known as the Reserve Officers' Training Corps or ROTC.
Post credits an unnamed official as saying the students' participation
in the intelligence program would likely be kept secret to prevent
foreign intelligence services from identifying them.