- The Washington Times - Monday, February 3, 2003

The CIA has started a new advertising campaign to recruit Chinese-Americans as spies and analysts, as part of an effort to improve its operations against China.
Beginning this week, some Asian-oriented publications and newspapers in cities with large Chinese-American communities will run CIA advertisements, which call on Americans of Asian descent to help the agency to stay "true to our global focus."
Timed to coincide with the Chinese New Year, which began Saturday, the ad features a painting of a ram and the Mandarin characters for "Happy New Year."
It says: "Just as the Year of the Ram is centered on a strong and clear motivation for peace, harmony, and tranquility during challenging times, we are equally intent on our mission to safeguard America and its people. You, too, can play a key role in this important responsibility."
The agency also tells Chinese-Americans they can "serve the nation" instead of working for a private company. Applicants for the job must be U.S. citizens and must be willing to take a lie-detector examination, the ad says.
Agency spokesman Mark Mansfield said the CIA hopes the advertisements will attract candidates for analyst jobs as well as for case officers for the clandestine service, as the espionage branch is called.
"It's an opportunity to reach some Chinese-Americans who otherwise might not consider a career in CIA," Mr. Mansfield said.
"We're certainly looking for more people with area expertise, cultural knowledge and language skills," he said. "CIA has long focused on China and Asia as a whole. Attracting and hiring people in this area continues to be a very high priority."
After criticism that its China-intelligence capabilities are weak, the CIA last year received a major funding boost for its China activities. Officials said the boost included tens of millions of dollars to hire more agency analysts and operatives.
Differences about how to deal with China remain, however, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Last year, intelligence analysts within the government came under fire from critics who said they were minimizing the national security problems posed by China's growing military and economic power.
A draft national intelligence estimate on China's strategic missile forces sought to minimize China's strategic missile buildup, which includes three new types of long-range missiles, including two deployed on hard-to-find road-mobile launchers.
In 2001, a panel of outside experts that reviewed the CIA's intelligence on China produced a harshly critical report that found the agency suffered from an "institutional predisposition" to play down Chinese military developments.
Larry Wortzel, a member of the congressional U.S.-China Security Review Commission, said the commission has been urging the CIA "to develop a greater capacity to work on China."
"As someone who has worked inside the belly of the beast as an intelligence officer, it's really useful to have ethnic Chinese who can blend in," said Mr. Wortzel, who has been posted in Beijing.
Mr. Wortzel said building the CIA's analytical capabilities will probably take six months to a year. Building a more effective clandestine service to operate against China will take years, he said.
The advertisement is a good sign that the CIA recognizes the need to improve its China intelligence-gathering efforts, Mr. Wortzel said. "It's a long-term commitment to what is clearly a major intelligence problem for the United States," he said.
The Organization of Chinese Americans estimates that there are nearly 2 million Chinese-Americans and 10 million Americans of Asian ancestry.
New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are three of the cities where the ad will appear. They all have large Asian-American populations.

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