Top Five Fixes for the CIA

Former senior CIA officers tell ABC News: Five of the most important fixes essential to get their agency back on track.

1. The CIA has very few Chinese speakers. The agency has been talking about fixing this deficiency since the 1990s. Fix it now: develop a strong cadre of China-Asia Pacific experts to fight the next war or get caught short again.

2. Find a way to motivate and retain your officers. In the past 18 months, "We've hemorrhaged an entire generation of leaders." Stop the bleeding. And remember: it is not just the top of the agency that has been bled, junior intelligence analysts -- there are 1,200 of these -- have been leaving at about five times the normal rate of attrition. (This still includes some post-Sept. 11 burnout.)

3. Continue resisting congressional oversight -- giving sensitive information to politicians is like giving switchblades to children. But also find a way to stop the White House from shaping your intelligence product. "That is the bottom line, right there. Bush One was great about it. Clinton didn't care. It's just since the 2000 election."

4. The CIA needs more officers and agents on the ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, not to mention Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. All these posts require an officer to leave a family behind for 12 months. Volunteers are not lining up. Find a way to motivate your officers to go.

5. When it comes to success -- stop being so secretive: it is why you get hammered whenever you have a failure. When the CIA spent four years hunting down and catching a terrorist who killed an officer at the gates of Langley, you allowed the FBI to take credit on the cover of Time magazine. That did not do wonders for morale.

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