CIA finalizes biggest shake-up in decades

CIA finalizes biggest shake-up in decades
© Getty Images

The CIA this week completed a restructuring unlike anything it has experienced since the height of the Cold War.

On Thursday, a new CIA directorate opened its doors for the first time in decades, with a mission to speed up digital and cyber powers across the agency.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the same time, the agency began operations at 10 new mission centers designed to cut across the spy agency’s various bureaucratic functions.

The restructuring is part of a major shake-up ordered by CIA Director John Brennan earlier this year to better reflect its modern-day work fighting terrorism worldwide. 

In a statement, Brennan marked the milestone on the agency’s “modernization journey.”

“Nevertheless, the modernization effort is about much more than changing the way CIA is organized; it is about how we work together every day to bring the best of the agency to the challenges we face,” he added. “This kind of change will take time.”

The new Directorate for Digital Innovation, which is the CIA’s fifth directorate, is its first since 1963.

In an interview with Defense One, the head of the new office said that it would focus on wielding the power of the digital revolution to get clearer insights about the state of the globe and better manage the CIA’s own data.

“A digital world challenges the way we work in a clandestine world,” Andrew Hallman told the news outlet. “We have to come up with new ways to operate in a much more-connected environment and still be clandestine.”

The four other directorates are the Directorate of Analysis, the Directorate of Operations, the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Support.

The 10 new mission centers address a range of geographic regions, such as Africa and East Asia, as well as functions such as counterintelligence and countererrrism.

They are intended to replicate the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, which became enmeshed in the U.S.’s global war on terrorist groups since Sept. 11, 2001.