Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 12:26 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 12:26 | SYDNEY

Economists, the CIA wants YOU!


Rory Medcalf


12 March 2009 09:11

'Because national security depends on economic intelligence', runs the full-page job advertisement inside the front cover of the latest issue of Foreign Policy. The CIA is recruiting economic analysts. Perfectly sensible in these unstable times. But read on:

Think ahead for your nation while making the most of your expertise and abilities. In this demanding position, you could assess foreign economic policies and foreign financial issues that affect US national security interests.

The key word here is 'foreign'. Now of course it is only proper and traditional that externally-oriented intelligence collection and assessment agencies should focus on the foreign. Indeed, the externally-focused intelligence agencies of self-respecting Western democracies are fairly much forbidden by law from intentionally gathering or utilising intelligence on their own nationals.

But an awkward disconnect emerges when big dangers to national and international security arise from the actions of one's own country, or more specifically its financial institutions and economic policymakers.
Still, I wish Langley well with its recruitment. The shiny new boffins will have their work cut out for them. For starters, they should devote their time to figuring out how and where the economic crisis will increase political instability and the chances of armed conflict.

Photo by Flickr user Bill McIntyre, used under a Creative Commons license.