Calling All Spies

Culture clash, generation gap force intelligence agencies to play catch-up
By Sarah Levy,  Newser User
Posted May 2, 2007 5:12 PM CDT
CIA Director Michael Hayden is pictured before the start of the ceremonial swearing-in ceremony of Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington Tuesday, Feb....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The CIA, NSA, and other intelligence agencies face a crisis of human capital as they struggle to close the chasm between recently recruited agents and supervisors quickly approaching retirement, Government Executive magazine reports. The spy world is scrambling to keep up with the 21st century's touchy-feely corporate culture, creating more opportunities for collaboration and mentoring.

The intelligence establishment shrank dramatically after the Cold War, and the post-9/11 applicant deluge exposed management weaknesses. Some young agents follow the so-called five-year plan, taking the money—and the training and the coveted security clearance—and running for the private sector. For those who stick it out, the rules are changing.