So, You Want to Work for the CIA?

It sounds cliche, but the reality is many defense industry and intelligence community employees serve their country not for the prestige or money (those early in the career know in particular that the money is a poor incentive – but for the sense of patriotism and duty. Getting an inside look into what life is really like in clandestine service can be difficult – when you spend a career keeping secrets it can be difficult to work up the muster to write about your life – even the details that can be revealed. That’s why The Art of War: Lessons from a Life Inside the CIA’s Clandestine Service is such a treat – anyone else taken the time to read it?

Interested in a career full of espionage, intrigue and patriotism? The career that just might suit is one in intelligence – if you’re willing to take Henry “Hank” Crumpton’s word for it.

Crumpton spoke before an audience at the International Spy Museum last week, and while the premise was to promote his new book The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life Inside the CIA’s Clandestine Service, he may as well have been recruiting the next generation of spymasters.

I admit, I’m a bit biased in Mr. Crumpton’s favor – I’m not yet halfway through his book and I’m ready to add it to our Intelligence Community reading list. At his Spy Museum talk he touched on some of the realities of today’s intelligence professionals – they’re often viewed as patriots or fools, James Bond or the instigators of the war in Iraq. The reality – like the art of intelligence itself – is much more nuanced.

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