A Cause of Concern – Understanding the Counterintelligence Threat Through A Case Study of Ana Belen Montez

by Hilary Minkler
Published with Permission

In January of 1961 the United States officially severed the political, economic and monetary relationship with Cuba, due to flourishing relationship with Russia and consistent dissatisfaction with Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. One of the effects of this relationship is the decided requirement from Cuba to increase covert operations in order to receive information and understanding of the social climate within the U.S. Government concerning U.S./Cuba and Cuba/Russia ties.[1] This concept led to the recruitment of Ana Belen Montes, one of the most successful spies of her time, in the league of Aldrich Ames and the Cambridge Five concerning effectiveness and longevity.

Ana Montes was born in 1957 at a U.S. Army installation in Germany, to Alberto and Emilia Montes. Her parents, of Puerto Rican decent were successful in their own right, Alberto worked as a U.S. Army doctor until starting his own practice in Baltimore after exiting the service; her mother worked as an activist and eventually a leader in the Puerto Rican community in Baltimore.[2] Ana had two siblings, Tito and Lucy, Lucy has continued to make public statements following Ana’s arrest, stating that she believes her parents divorce and the following had a lot to do with the mental state of Ana and the easy recruitment.

Ana attended college at the University of Virginia, with one year spent studying abroad in Spain, and then following on to attain a masters at John Hopkins University. She graduated University of Virginia with a degree in Foreign Affairs in 1979 and in 1988 obtained her masters in Advanced International Studies.[3] Colleagues and peers that have since come forward stating that during her time at John Hopkins her anti U.S. sentiment was apparent as well as her incredible distain for President Ronald Reagan.

She was recruited in 1984, a peer attending John Hopkins befriended her, she would soon find out he was actually a Cuban intelligence officer.[4] Apparently minimal convincing was needed for Montes to agree, Ana identified with the cause and believed the U.S. should stay out of foreign affairs.[5] When discussing the numerous reasons for someone to spy, monetary gain, to ideological gain is the main dividend or gain from their transgressions, in this case it was ideological. Depicted in recent quotes from Ana behind bars, “Prison is one of the last places I would have ever chosen to be in, but some things in life are worth going to prison for, or worth doing and then killing yourself before you have to spend too much time in prison.”[6]

Ana quickly attained a job within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and ascended a throne to being crowned the Queen of Cuba.[7] During this time, she was awarded over 10 prestigious appurtenances from the DIA and even taken on fact finding trips to Cuba. Her position not only allowed her placement and access but the ability to soften U.S. policy against Cuba or perception within the intelligence community through production, agreeing with her viewpoints. Additionally, her grade was that of a GS-16, she had access to hundreds of thousands of documents and would typically sit at her desk even through lunch in hopes to memorize the document in order to later transcribe it.[8] Her abilities gave her notoriety within the DIA and led to minimal thoughts of her allegiances, in retrospect, DIA analysts usually shift within their Area of Responsibility and take on different problems sets, Ana was a Cuban analyst for an excessive amount of time comparatively.

Obviously, her tradecraft was not flawless, because she eventually was caught, however Ana spied and relied information successfully for sixteen years.[9] Ana was taught directly from Cuban handlers how to use a code to communicate with them directly or in case of emergency, how to successfully do dead drops/hand offs, and even how to successfully evade a polygraph test. Most intriguing is the one pad system that was relayed over radio frequency. Cuban’s acknowledge that to run a source for so long they would need to repeatedly change their one pad system and would broadcast a new set of 150 numbers to Ana on AM frequency 7887 kHz, minding you that the code would remain in Spanish.[10] Significantly different from other high-level spies, Ana actually met her handlers every few weeks face to face and handed off information directly over a meal, typically Chinese food.

In 1996 Ana tipped off her superior by failing to follow typical protocol, and while this had no ramifications at the time, four years later it drew attention to her when the DIA believed they had a mole.[11] After tracing encryption disks back to her laptop the FBI began surveillance on Ana in hopes to catch her in the act. They started with simply following her, this is where they saw her using random payphones to message her handlers, then they found her shortwave radio used for messaging from her handlers. Finally, the FBI searched her purse and found her one pad system, confirming the transcription of messages.

The DIA and FBI’s message following her arrest depicts that they basically got lucky when catching Ana, she had provided the Cuban’s with an arsenal of information. She also tipped information about U.S. Special Forces in Latin America in hopes of the information being pushed to successfully target them. Her intelligence efforts strategically impacted and shaped Cuba’s perceptions of the United States while providing them insight into our additional foreign affairs concerning their nation. Within the intelligence community, Ana’s polygraph trick directly impacted polygraph protocol, now there is a gauge on the seating to check for sphincter tightening (the method she was taught) to deceive the machine. Her intelligence sharing have directly led to deaths and casualties that would have forced her to be charged with murder however she received twenty-five years in a brokered deal.

Ideology is one of the hardest things to impact in war and peace, Ana’s ideology could never be shaken, as most had no idea how rooted her life was in the Latin American cause. Ana’s ability two work for almost two decades as an analyst with the ability to retain new information and access high level documents with no one thinking twice about her additional activities. Ana will continue to provide debriefings until 2023, on tradecraft and Cuban affairs, regardless of U.S. and Cuban relations


[1] Office of the Historian. n.d. A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Cuba. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://history.state.gov/countries/cuba.

[2] McCoy, Terrence. 2014. Cuba deal reveals new clues in case of Ana Montes, ‘the most important spy you’ve never heard of’. December 18. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/12/18/cuba-deal-reveals-new-clues-in-case-of-ana-montes-the-most-important-spy-youve-never-heard-of/?utm_term=.359e7ccfcb8b.

[3] Patterson, Thomas. 2016. The most dangerous U.S. spy you’ve never heard of. July 11. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/06/us/declassified-ana-montes-american-spy-profile/index.html.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Howlett, Charles. 2011. Spies, wiretaps, and secret operations: An Encyclopedia of American Espionage. Santa Barbra, CA: ABC-CLIO .

[6] Popkin, Jim. n.d. Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are, you haven’t heard of her. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/18/ana-montes-did-much-harm-spying-for-cuba-chances-are-you-havent-heard-of-her/?utm_term=.ccb3274cdffa.

[7] Intel Diary Today Staff. 2017. The Queen of Cuba: The two stories of Ana Montes. July 7. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/the-queen-of-cuba-the-two-stories-of-ana-montes/.

[8] Popkin, Jim. n.d. Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are, you haven’t heard of her. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/18/ana-montes-did-much-harm-spying-for-cuba-chances-are-you-havent-heard-of-her/?utm_term=.ccb3274cdffa.

[9] Latell, Brian. 2014. New revelations about Cuban spy Ana Montes. August 2. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/issues-ideas/article1978099.html.

[10] Groll, Elias. 2014. The Mysterious Cuban Spy at the Center of Obama’s Havana Rapprochement. December 18. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/12/17/the_mysterious_cuban_spy_at_the_center_of_obamas_havana_rapprochement/.

[11] Patterson, Thomas. 2016. The most dangerous U.S. spy you’ve never heard of. July 11. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/06/us/declassified-ana-montes-american-spy-profile/index.html.


Bibliography

Cereijo, Manuel. n.d. Ana Belen Montes: The chronicle of an American Spy for the Cuban Government. Newspaper Article, Latin American Studies. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/espionage/montes-chronicle.htm.

FBI Staff. n.d. FBI History: Ana Montes: Cuban Spy. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/ana-montes-cuba-spy.

Groll, Elias. 2014. The Mysterious Cuban Spy at the Center of Obama’s Havana Rapprochement. December 18. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/12/17/the_mysterious_cuban_spy_at_the_center_of_obamas_havana_rapprochement/.

Howlett, Charles. 2011. Spies, wiretaps, and secret operations: An Encyclopedia of American Espionage. Santa Barbra, CA: ABC-CLIO .

Intel Diary Today Staff. 2017. The Queen of Cuba: The two stories of Ana Montes. July 7. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/the-queen-of-cuba-the-two-stories-of-ana-montes/.

Latell, Brian. 2014. New revelations about Cuban spy Ana Montes. August 2. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/issues-ideas/article1978099.html.

McCoy, Terrence. 2014. Cuba deal reveals new clues in case of Ana Montes, ‘the most important spy you’ve never heard of’. December 18. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/12/18/cuba-deal-reveals-new-clues-in-case-of-ana-montes-the-most-important-spy-youve-never-heard-of/?utm_term=.359e7ccfcb8b.

Office of the Historian. n.d. A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Cuba. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://history.state.gov/countries/cuba.

Patterson, Thomas. 2016. The most dangerous U.S. spy you’ve never heard of. July 11. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/06/us/declassified-ana-montes-american-spy-profile/index.html.

Popkin, Jim. n.d. Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are, you haven’t heard of her. Accessed December 28, 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/18/ana-montes-did-much-harm-spying-for-cuba-chances-are-you-havent-heard-of-her/?utm_term=.ccb3274cdffa.

Whitney, W. T. 2017. Defending Ana Belen Montes and Other Prisoners of Empire. September 8. Accessed December 28, 2017. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/08/defending-ana-belen-montes-and-other-prisoners-of-empire/.

LC Winner’s Report on Asia Travel

The Lint Center is always pleased to hear from scholarship recipients who are already exploring the world and bringing back insights and knowledge from their travels.

Andrew Ertl, who  ‘Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint’ scholarship award in 2016, took a trip through Shanghai, Vietnam, and Seoul, South Korea. He took full advantage of the experience, visiting everything from a hockey game to an ice sculpture festival.

Andrew made a point of stopping at sites that were important both to his studies and to his past as a Marine. In Hue, outside the imperial citadel, I bumped into two former Marines who fought there (one of the Vietnam War’s toughest fights) 50 years ago. Andrew said, “Hearing about some of their experiences was something I will take with me forever. Next I stopped by Danang, the only reason for doing so was to see the site where Marines came ashore in March 1965 (Nam O Beach–which kicked off the United States’ rapid escalation).”

He also said, “Of all the places I visited in Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most impactful was visiting the American Consulate General (which used to be the US Embassy) and where the Viet Cong broke in on January 30, 1968 during which two Marine guards (a job I used to do) died in its defense. Aaron O’Connell wrote a book called “Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps” in which he likens the Marine Corps to a religion. He is correct and I was on a pilgrimage.”

Andrew is now back in Beijing. We will be looking forward to seeing what projects and cultural experiences Andrew takes on next.

The Russian Militarization of the Arctic: the Responsibility of NATO to Counter Russian Aggression

by Jonathan Deemer
Published with Permission

Problem Statement:

Since Vladimir Putin’s return to the Russian Presidency, the Russian Federation has pursued an aggressive policy of militarization of the Arctic. Not only is Russia revamping Soviet-era bases near the Finnish border and in northern Siberia, it is also constructing 1 new bases off the Russian mainland extending to Aleksandra Island (the northernmost island of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago) and Sredny Ostrov. It is no coincidence that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected an estimated 726 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits and 30 billion barrels of oil in the Amerasian and West Siberian Basins of the Arctic Circle, representing 13% of the globe’s oil and 30% of its natural gas reserves.2, 3 With a warming global climate making Arctic drilling and extraction activities ever more possible, the Russian militarization of the Arctic is an effort to legitimize a claim to the wealth of untapped resources north of the 66th parallel.

This presents a particular problem to U.S. interests abroad because of the nature of Russia’s international clout. In the words of U.S. Senator John McCain, Russia functions mainly as “a gas station masquerading as country.” Though Russia has displayed willingness to use hard power in campaigns in Georgia and eastern Ukraine, Russia’s true strength come from its natural resources, namely oil and gas. In fact, in 2016, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading producer of oil and gas.4 It weaponizes these resources and uses them as a dangerous tool of leverage. For example, Western Europe’s ever-present political tension with Russia is underscored by the fact that Russia supplied the EU with 40% of its 2016 natural gas imports.5 One could argue that such a trade dependency has played a role in Russia’s uncontested annexation of Crimea. Should Russia confiscate these Arctic resources, Russia will have an even greater capacity to foment insurrection and advance Russian interests worldwide, interests which are explicitly contradictory to U.S. and Western interests of freedom and democracy.

Policy Proposal:

At present, NATO and the United States lack a well-developed strategy to address and counter Russian aggression in the Arctic. Traditionally, and understandably, NATO forces have amassed in Eastern European Russian-border states pursuant to geopolitical necessity. The headquarters of both U.S. European and African Commands are located in southern Germany, with U.S. plans to construct new bases in northern Germany to expand its presence. Instead of housing more troops in Western European countries with larger militaries and stronger ties to the West, NATO and the United States should instead pursue a renewed strategy of containment, constructing military installations in two specific regions: northern Norway and northwestern Alaska.

Expanding on a January 2017 reshuffling of troops that led to 300 U.S. Marines being stationed at Vaernes Air Base, NATO should construct bases in the Norwegian states of Nordland, Troms, and Finnmark. At the same time, military installations in the Northwest Arctic, North Slope, and Kotzebue Sound would provide a NATO presence at the mouth of the Northern Sea Route. An already-established Canadian and Danish military presence on the opposite side of the Arctic and in Greenland would complete this strategy of containment. Russia would find itself with NATO forces to the west in Norway, the east in Alaska, and to the north across the Arctic. Any Russian territorial claims could be legitimately disputed and Russia would largely be limited to resources found on the Russian mainland, maintaining the global power equilibrium and advancing U.S. interests abroad.

Challenges of Implementation:

Our reality is world of scarce and finite resources. Therefore, any diversion of NATO troops to pursue such a strategy would inevitably leave NATO less formidable elsewhere, namely in Western Europe. It is, then, wise to be cautious. Still, a number of things must be considered when analyzing the viability of this policy. First, the suggested action is responsive—not preemptive. This means that, in order for NATO to redirect resources to the Arctic, Russia must have had to do so first. It is common knowledge that the mantra of NATO is “an attack on one is an attack on all”. Though brash at times, Russian foreign policy and military intervention is not random or naive. Russia knows it cannot match U.S. military hard power, let alone the full force of NATO. Should Russia decide to pursue a military response to this strategy, it would inexorably be met with overwhelming force. Even when it utilizes its military, Russian action must meet prerequisites: it must be justifiable (mistreatment of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine) and the target country must not identify strongly with the West (Georgia, Ukraine, etc). Leaving Western Europe more vulnerable to direct Russian attack, for lack of a better term, calls Russia’s bluff.

Finally, in the summer of 2017, the Russian budget for Arctic exploration and development underwent drastic changes. The budget was slashed from ₽209 billion to ₽12 billion, even as the scope of the program was extended until only 2025. One might be tempted6 to think that this is representative of a Russian retraction from the Arctic. However, this is not so. Over half the new budget will be spent on an ice-class drifting platform for Arctic research, and in addition to the 12 billion rubles provided by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Defense will also be contributing ₽34 billion, according to RBC.7 This action is nothing more than a response to the effect of sanctions and lowered oil prices on the Russian economy.


1 Reevell, Patrick. “Russia flaunts Arctic expansion with new military bases” ABC News . Apr. 29, 2017.

2 Houseknecht, D.W., Bird, K.J., and Garrity, C.P., “Assessment of undiscovered petroleum resources of the Amerasia Basin Petroleum Province:
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report” U.S. Geological Survey, 16 Nov. 2012.

3 Klett, T.R., “Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the West Siberian Basin Province” U.S. Geological Survey . 15 June 2011.

4 “Russia.” BP Global , 1 Jan. 2017.

5 Mazneva, Elena. “Putin’s Russia Seen Domination European Gas for Two Decades.” Bloomberg Markets , 28 Feb. 2017.

6 Staalesen, Atle.”Russia makes new big cuts in Arctic spending” The Independent Barents Observer . July 5, 2017.

7 Podobedova, Lyudmila. “ Правительство задумалось о сокращении расходов на Арктику в 17 раз” RBC Information Systems . June 30, 2017

Sequester and Furloughs: It’s Discount Espionage Time

Published with Permission by:
Coleman, Timothy & Lint, James R., “Sequester and Furloughs: It’s Discount Espionage Time”, Homeland Security Today, 15 July 2013, Web, https://www.hstoday.us/columns/guest-commentaries/sequester-and-furloughs-it-s-discount-espionage-time/

On his deathbed in 1801, legend has it that the infamous American Continental Army Gen. Benedict Arnold, a hero of the battles of Ticonderoga and Saratoga who defected to the British Army, uttered his regret: “Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.”

But while scholars have debated the prevailing historical wisdom that Arnold’s treasonous conversion was motivated by his frustration at having been passed over for promotion and outraged that others took credit for his achievements and military victories, a congressional investigation indicted his motivation was purely financial — he was nearly penniless, having spent much of his own money on the American war effort. But when he joined the British Army as a brigadier general, the Red Coats gave him what was then a very generous pension and a £6,000 signing bonus.

It’s a familiar story, though: money, or ideology; sometimes both.

For American traitor Navy communications officer John Walker, Jr., his motivation for nearly two-decades of spying for the Soviets (which included providing “enough code-data information to alter significantly the balance of power between Russia and the United States”), was purely financial, prosecutors said.

Heavily in debt and bitter that his brilliance had gone unrecognized, veteran CIA Soviet counterintelligence officer Aldrich Ames — among other things — sold to the KGB the identities of the CIA’s agents secreted throughout the Soviet spy agency.

FBI Soviet counterintelligence agent Robert Hanssen spied for Soviet, and then Russian, intelligence services for 22 years also partly due to the same frustrations that tormented Ames, but also partly, it seemed according to prosecutors, because of the tastes of an expensive mistress. The Justice Department’s Commission for the Review of FBI Security Programs said Hanssen “possibly [was] the worst intelligence disaster in US history.”

While these turncoats spied against their country during an espionage boom when the Soviet’s were quite willing to cut CEO-equivalent paychecks for such big fish, they were the exceptions rather than the rule. In today’s austere espionage market economy, brought on by sequester and furloughs, foreign intelligence services are far more likely to ensnare a broke and bitter GG-13 with access to secrets for a bargain basement price.

Foreign Intelligence Security Services (FISS) still keep a keen eye out for the Walkers, Ames, and Hanssens, but they’re also spending a great deal more time assessing the vulnerabilities of the many lower level military and Intelligence Community (IC) employees who have access to valuable secrets.

For decades, the US military, IC and contractors have been required to not only continuously evaluate their workforces for eligibility to access classified information, but also to be on the lookout for signs and indicators of potentially treasonous espionage from within their ranks. This includes the criminal leaking under the nation’s espionage laws of the nation’s most closely guarded foreign intelligence collection operations — — espionage operations former National Security Agency (NSA) and CIA director, AF Gen. (Ret.) Michael Hayden, recently pointed out that all nations’ intelligence services engage in.

Consequently, the failure of the early warning system to alert what NSA contractor Edward Snowden was up to has provoked an intensive investigation into whether there were, in fact, signs and indicators that someone had observed that weren’t properly reported. Former NSA official John R. Schindler recently remarked that Snowden’s security clearance background investigation was “clearly flawed.”

The threat of penetration by FISS is ever-present, and the Army trains its soldiers as well as civilian employees to always be vigilant. Training and awareness efforts are clearly articulated under US Army Regulation 382-12, Threat Awareness and Reporting Program (TARP), revised by the US Army on Oct. 4, 2010.

Formerly known as Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the US Army (SAEDA), TARP outlines the policy and responsibilities for threat awareness and reporting within the US Army. Specifically, it requires Department of the Army (DA) personnel to report any information to counterintelligence offices regarding known or suspected espionage, international terrorism, sabotage, subversion, theft or illegal diversion of military technology, information systems intrusions and unauthorized disclosure of classified information, among other required security and espionage concerns.

As the revised directive states: “The primary focus of this regulation is to ensure that DA personnel understand and report potential threats by foreign intelligence and international terrorists to the Army. Threat awareness and education training is designed to ensure that DA personnel recognize and report incidents and indicators of attempted or actual espionage, subversion, sabotage, terrorism or extremist activities directed against the Army and its personnel, facilities, resources and activities; indicators of potential terrorist associated insider threats; illegal diversion of military technology; unauthorized intrusions into automated information systems; unauthorized disclosure of classified information; and indicators of other incidents that may indicate foreign intelligence or international terrorism targeting of the Army.

Following the digital data dump of roughly a quarter-million State Department cables — six percent of which were classified “Secret” and the rest were either “Confidential” or unclassified  — accessed via classified Internet networks and downloaded onto thumb drives by low-level, but sufficiently cleared 23-year-old Army intelligence analyst, Private First Class Bradley Manning, President Obama on October 07, 2011, issued Executive Order 13587 that required government-wide “structural reforms to improve the security of classified networks and the responsible sharing and safeguarding of classified information.”

The order applies to “all agencies that operate or access classified computer networks, all users of classified computer networks (including contractors and others who operate or access classified computer networks controlled by the federal government), and all classified information on those networks …”

All of these security efforts are not without justifiable reasons. Cleared personnel can become the target for recruitment by foreign spies and hostile intelligence services by no fault of their own. It is simply the reality and consequence of having access to classified information and sensitive US government secrets.

Not access alone

It is not only access to classified information that makes one an inviting target, however, there are other activities that increase the desirability. In fact, any Army team member/employee and or soldier can be targeted because of where they are stationed, where they travel or even because of an ethnic or cultural background of particular interest.

It should be noted and emphasized that being a target for recruitment does not necessarily reflect poorly on an individual. The opposite also applies, especially if the reason a specific person is targeted is because of his or her susceptibility to recruitment or exposure to compromise. Even so, just being a target does carry with it embedded risk factors, as it clearly increases the potentiality that a weakness or pressure point can be discovered and exploited by foreign intelligence collectors.

Targets of convenient opportunity

The historical record clearly demonstrates that US personnel with security clearances are regularly targeted. ‘By hook or by crook,’ foreign counterintelligence agents have repeatedly been able to entice Americans to commit treason. The question then quickly becomes, what is it that makes America and would-be patriots such inviting targets of opportunity?

Prominent and well-publicized instances of Americans turned traitors shows that monetary reward and financial gain are very often a major driving factor in the equation. In turn, it should come as no surprise that foreign intelligence agents seeking new, well-placed assets often examine the financial circumstances and standing of identified potential targets.

Financial difficulties provides an initial and eventually lucrative ingress of potential exploitable temptation to facilitate the evolution of an individual’s compromise – and eventual treason. But it is generally not the only factor that’s in play in the targeting and recruitment effort.

Win, place or show: An espionage trifecta

Another and sometimes more nefarious element to recruitment can include exploiting personal feelings of disillusionment, anger, frustration and disappointment. These emotions can exist for a multitude of reasons, and can run the gamut from being passed over for a promotion, feeling underappreciated at work, disgruntled with the Army … or even America itself. These beliefs– indications of which can openly manifest as attitudes of anger and resentment — are recognized by foreign intelligence services’ case officers as openings to manipulate a potential target into justifying his or her espionage.

This can all add up to a desired trifecta of opportunity for a foreign counterintelligence case officer – a potent, readily exploitable human Petri dish seething with psychological, financial and other stressors that make the person a target ripe for recruitment.

An individual who possesses a security clearance, has financial problems and is disgruntled poses a dangerous triad … and a compounding problem for counterintelligence interdiction efforts. In the end, a counterintelligence target that embodies the aforementioned trifecta is one that has two more levers to pull, and two more pressure points than is required for an FISS to target.

This trifecta, in essence, can define the elements required for the low-hanging fruit of an American traitor that’s ripe for the picking.

Catch more flies with honey

With the current budgetary environment, furloughs the talk of the town, and sequestration the topic of water cooler chatter, low-hanging fruit that bear the elements of trifecta targets are sure to abound. Just a superficial reading of “Letters to the Editor” in various magazines and publications widely read by federal employees and members of the military makes the case for a target-rich environment for foreign agents. The problem is compounded by a growing segment of government personnel — many of whom likely hold security clearances — venting their frustration and anger in Internet blog comments, making them identifiable potential targets for recruitment.

Disgruntled individuals that publicly voice their justifiable concerns make easy work for foreign intelligence operatives who seek potential turncoats of opportunity. In many respects, it would appear as though potential opportunities for penetration are being served up on a silver platter at an all you can eat buffet where the chow line stretches around the proverbial corner!

We could even say that we are ensuring job advancement prospects for foreign intelligence agents and providing the very fodder for enemy promotions with such a perfect storm for motivating espionage from within our own ranks.

Consequences of context

Currently, sequester and  current furloughs are expected to impact soldiers with great effect. Stress and greater work scrutiny, coupled to an increase in regulations, and some early outs will cause worry among all ranks of the Army. Inevitably, this will extend into the civilian workforce, particularly with an estimated 20 percent pay cut caused by the recent start of 11 weeks of furlough.

While 99.9 percent of the individuals who are likely to be the hardest hit are loyal and dedicated American patriots, there nevertheless will be a small percentage whose financial hardships and other life stresses become so overwhelming that the resulting discontent and dissatisfaction will make them vulnerable to persuasion by foreign intelligence operatives, whose efforts to entrap these susceptible and exposed targets will require little effort at all.

The certainty of maybe not today

As accurate and apropos as the adage, “if you play with fire you will get burned,” is, it is vital to understand that if you commit espionage, you will be caught.

The Army’s military intelligence and counterintelligence organizations are designed to protect soldiers and employees from espionage threats and FISS espionage overtures. These entities and their work remains key to protecting the technological advances that give American soldiers the edge on the battlefield. Army counterintelligence have partnered with the FBI and have taken down important foreign recruitment operations. While trifecta targets may, in turn, be a target rich environment for FISS recruitment, one should assume that Newton’s thirdlaw of motion applies to counterintelligence: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

To be specific, Army counterintelligence units have, and continue, to partner with the FBI on very important espionage investigations. Disgraced former US Army National Security Agency SIGINT analyst David Sheldon Boone’s 24 year and four month sentence for espionage on behalf of the former Soviet Union is proof positive that treason will be dealt with. Boone was arrested following a successful sting operation by the FBI in 1999 that was supported in large part by Army counterintelligence. According to press reports at the time, Boone decided to become a Soviet spy in order to alleviate “severe financial and personal difficulties” — a familiar refrain sung by many other American traitors in financial trouble.

Remaining true to the core values

It is not by accident that loyalty is the first word cited in the Seven Core Army Values. It is also isn’t accidental that the US Army is composed of both solders and civilians who know the importance of the mission at hand, and therefore go well above and beyond what is expected of them in their service to their country.

Nevertheless, because of current operating environments, tempos and the resulting pressures, there should be no doubt that there’s a well-trained cadre of highly proficient foreign intelligence professionals out there who are operating in overdrive. Like barbarians breaching the gate, or a pack of hungry wolves surrounding a campfire, we have no alternative other than to remain more vigilant than we’ve ever been, especially given that our enemies today have far better knowledge and understanding of the stresses that are on America’s Army workforce. This is why supporting your battle buddies, knowing your left and right flanks and having your six covered will get us through this time of seemingly unprecedented tribulations with our core security values intact.

It’s easy to imagine especially hostile foreign governments and their intelligence services plotting and rejoicing as they undoubtedly regard our furloughs and sequestration as a euphemism for discount espionage.

And a “discount espionage” opportunity almost assuredly is apparent in the minds of our avowed adversaries, as they understand that it’s now far cheaper to buy not just one, but perhaps many, Benedict Arnolds today than it was during, say, the Cold War era of President Ronald Reagan. The return on a foreign intelligence service’s investment has been made inherently worth the risk because of the cut-rate prices they can get away with paying today to comprise disgruntled, financially overextended and security cleared individuals. Like it or not, these individuals are perceived as virtually undemanding targets for espionage recruitment operations.

It is for this reason we must aggressively boost our awareness, redouble our vigilance and steadfastly support our fellow co-workers. The Army has a series of vitally important programs in place to take care of our people, yet they’re often underutilized. And they’re not new programs — many were launched more than half-a-century ago. But over time, they’ve become overlooked, underappreciated and underutilized. For those in uniform who may be experiencing a financial crisis, the Army Community Services, Employee Assistance Programs and organizational Chaplains are there to counsel and provide spiritual guidance. Financial counseling and assistance is also available.

Your Army, as well as those who lead it — are ready, willing and able to do their part. But it’s also the duty and responsibility for  all government employees, uniformed or civilian, to be vigilant and help your fellow soldier and office worker. It is one Army, and one team — and we are dependent on that more today than ever before.

Remember, inaction begets targeting. Targeting invites compromise, and compromise precipitates contrition. But forgiveness for treason remains unattainable.

James R. Lint served in the United States military for over 20 years, in both the US Marine Corps (7 years) and US Army (14 years). He spent three years in Marine Infantry, four years as a Marine Counterintelligence specialist, and nearly 15 years as an Army Counterintelligence Special Agent. Lint has expertise in counterintelligence, cyber intelligence, security, information assurance, terrorism studies, counterterrorism, human intelligence collection and low-intensity asymmetric warfare.

Previously, Lint served as Deputy Director for Safeguards & Security, Office of Science, at the Department of Energy. And prior to that, he served at the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis, where he was initially the lead cyber intelligence analyst and later the Chief of the Collection Analysis Team.

His military assignments include Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at American Military University.

Timothy W. Coleman is a writer and security analyst who has co-founded two technology startup firms. He has a Masters of Public and International Affairs in Security and Intelligence Studies, and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance.

The views expressed in this article are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect official policy or the position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or any other department or agency within the US Government.

Value and Handling of Prisoners in World War I

Published with Permission by:
Lori S. Tagg, Command Historian,
US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, AZ.

“Prisoners or deserters constitute one of the most fruitful sources from which information of the enemy is obtained.”
Intelligence Regulations, American Expeditionary Forces, October 21, 1918

By the time of the Armistice ending World War I on November 11, 1918, the US held nearly 48,000 prisoners of war. The majority had been captured within the final months as the war moved out of the trenches.  The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) G-2, Maj. (later Maj. Gen.) Dennis Nolan put much emphasis on the information obtained from enemy prisoners. After the war, he remarked, “[A prisoner] can, as a rule, tell you much more than a spy…who is trying to get around and find out about the enemy.  [A prisoner] knows and the other man is frequently guessing at it.”

In mid-October 1918, Capt. Ernst Howald (standing right), the lead interrogator for the 28th Division, Second US Army, used prisoner statements to construct a detailed template showing the enemy facing the division. After the war, his estimates were proven to be highly accurate.

As Nolan shaped his formal intelligence organization in the early months of American involvement, he recognized prisoners could be captured any time on any battlefield, and commanders at every echelon wanted to examine the prisoners they captured.  He also realized that, due to a lack of personnel and the high operating tempo, in-depth interrogations at lower echelons were not practicable or effectual.  Nolan developed a hierarchical system for the examination of prisoners at all echelons and outlined clear guidelines for handling prisoners in the 1918 Intelligence Regulations and Instructions for Regimental Intelligence Service. Those same guidelines were published in the Army’s first (provisional) Combat Intelligence Manual, also printed in 1918.

Nolan’s system started at the regiment.  The Regimental Intelligence Officer, typically a first lieutenant, determined the name, rank, and organization of any prisoners, as well as the time and place captured.  Prisoners were searched and then quickly transferred to division assembly points.  The division G-2 sections, led by a lieutenant colonel or major, conducted limited questioning, with the help of commissioned linguists from the Corps of Interpreters.  This questioning focused on necessary tactical information about the division sector to a depth of two miles behind the enemy front lines.

From the division, prisoners were transferred to the corps collecting centers, where more in-depth questioning began.  The number of prisoners, especially during offensive operations, often stressed the corps G-2 sections.  At those times, Army headquarters dispatched teams of four sergeants and one officer to augment the corps’ interrogation efforts.  During the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives in the fall of 1918, French interrogators also supplemented the US interrogators.

The corps intelligence sections found that simple and direct questioning, combined with kindness and courtesy, was the most effective method for eliciting information.  Many of the AEF’s interrogators had been lawyers in their civilian lives and could coax information out of the most recalcitrant prisoner.  Corps interrogators used a variety of other tactics to elicit information, as well.  One interrogator found that he could get prisoners to talk openly if he showed them aerial photographs with landmarks they recognized. The II Corps G-2, Col. “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, recruited a drafted German soldier, who had previously lived in the United States and yearned to return there, to “work the prisoner cages” and glean information from his fellow prisoners.  Additionally, US interpreters donned German uniforms and wandered the collection points to eavesdrop on prisoners bragging about intentionally misleading their interrogators.  This use of “stool pigeons” was common practice throughout the war.

The quality and veracity of the information varied with the rank of the prisoner.  Lt. Col. Walter Sweeney, who served in the AEF G-2 during the war, claimed that “noncommissioned officers were by far the best sources for gaining information” and “few of them resisted insistent interrogation.”  About 60 percent of officers “invoked military honor” and refused to cooperate.  A typical German soldier had little knowledge about the larger battlefield, but he provided details on his own unit, weapons, troop losses, and general morale.  Enemy soldiers from Poland, Denmark, the Alsace-Lorraine region and southern Germany were particularly cooperative.  Unquestionably, the most important information obtained from prisoners was enemy order of battle, but they also gave up their routes of movement; the position and condition of trenches, dugouts and wire entanglements; their capacity to attack; and how susceptible they were to being attacked.

Based on the preceding outline, it is clear that World War I was no different than any other war in US Army history: prisoners of war have always been proven and valued sources of intelligence.  However, formalizing and standardizing the process for handling and examining prisoners in the 1918 Intelligence Regulations and provisional manuals was one more step in modernizing US Army Intelligence.  While field manuals published in 1940 provided more details on accepted interrogation techniques, the system for prisoner-of-war handling Nolan developed for World War I continued, with minor changes, throughout the 20th century.

Scholarship Winner Naheed Vadsaria Publishes Book

Tajik Hope: Reflections on Engaging Women in Kapisa Province.
by Naheed Vadsaria

Naheed Vadsaria is currently an MBA Candidate at at Johns Hopkins University. She won the Lint Center’s ‘Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness’ Scholarship and wrote about how communication can be a difficult aspect of National Security for her essay submission. She was the Recipient of Non-Article 5 NATO Medal, Superior Civilian Service Award, and French Brigade Ministry of Defense and Veterans Commander Commendation Award. She also Co Authored an article on Brazil’s Silent Resolution: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/brazils-silent-revolution

She published an ebook titled: Tajik Hope: reflections on engaging women in Kapisa province. A short summary can be found below:

The ebook discusses her work and interactions with Tajik Women in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, while she worked as a Social Scientist with the Department of Army’s Human Terrain System in Afghanistan. As a Social Scientist, she was embedded with French Brigade Task Force Lafayette (TFLF). It was here where she conducted operationally relevant research and analysis on major socio-cultural issues affecting TFLF’s area of operations. She also worked with Provincial Reconstruction Team Kapisa’s ad hoc Female Engagement Teams and Kentucky Agricultural Development Team to identify and collaborate with local Women’s Shura (councils) and key female leaders residing in Nijrab District, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

The ebook Tajik Hope includes a series of case studies that can be used to broaden the lens of Coalition Forces’ (CF) perception and widen Western Audiences’ understanding of how women in Afghanistan might be understood and engaged. Although most interviews conducted throughout the case studies were conducted with ethnic Tajik women, this ebook is intended to serve as a sociocultural awareness tool to assist CF in understanding how they can respectfully interact with Afghan women, including key female leaders and Women Shura. The document provides key conclusions drawn from each case study. Throughout these case studies are Holy Qur’anic Surahs and Hadiths, which support Afghan women’s rights in accordance to Islam.

Here is a link to the ebook: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/2016/03/08/tajik-hope-reflections-on-engaging-women-in-kapisa-province-2/

New Operations Manager

It is with great pleasure that we can say that Amber Antony will become the new Operations Manager here at the Lint Center. Congratulations Amber!

Amber began at the Lint Center a little over two years ago as a volunteer/internship application screener and then moved on to screening scholarship applicants and eventually managing all of the scholarship screenings. She was then promoted to the Volunteer Coordinator position and then to HR Manager in 2016. While at the Lint Center she created the Lint Center Scholarship Screening Standard Operating Procedures, oversaw and assisted with the screening of over 100 volunteer applicants which assisted in increasing the size of the Lint Center’s volunteer base. In addition to this, During a contest to name a new scholarship given by a donor, her write up of great grandfather, Ira Dale Smith, Chief Petty Officer, US Navy (Ret.) was selected to have a scholarship named after him.

Thank you Amber for your service to the Lint Center and we appreciate all that you have done. We look forward to seeing you in this new position!

Thanks,
The Lint Center

A Memorial Day Message from The Lint Center

This Memorial Day, the Lint Center honors those American’s who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. Originally recognized at “Decoration Day,” this commemoration dates back to 1868 where people across the nation recognized the fallen from the Civil War. It’s original date of May 30th was chosen because it was not on the anniversary of any Civil War battle and was later moved to the last Monday of May to provide a three-day weekend for federal employees. Although many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy this long holiday weekend, let us not lose focus on what this day is about. Today is about taking the time to reflect and honor those heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our great nation. We must never forget them or their families.

United Airlines Incident Provides Management Case Studies for Business Schools

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “United Airlines Incident Provides Management Case Studies for Business Schools”, Online Career Tips, 14 Apr. 2017, Web, http://onlinecareertips.com/2017/04/united-airlines-management-case-studies/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Last Sunday, security officials dragged paying passenger Dr. David Dao off United Express Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. As a result of his rough treatment, Dr. Dao was hospitalized. The incident, which passengers filmed on their smartphones, escalated into a public relations scandal for United Airlines.

By Tuesday, United’s stock fell 1.1%. This plunge wiped out $255 million of the airline’s market capitalization.

The market decline amounted to a major pay cut for United’s Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Munoz, based on his stock options and other future payments.

[Related: It’s Time to Improve Passenger Protection Laws for Overbooked Airlines]

United’s Handling of Situation Likely Caused Its Stock Decline

United’s handling of this incident is partially to blame for the stock decline. Munoz failed to promptly acknowledge the injuries Dao suffered and the stress to Dao and his wife caused by this incident.

Munoz also did not offer a sincere apology as a result of this incident at first. Instead, Munoz insisted that the security officers had followed proper United procedures. A few days later, Munoz finally issued a public apology.

In the meantime, Dr. Dao has hired two lawyers to proceed with lawsuits against United.

Solutions to the Practice of ‘Bumping’ on Aircraft

One solution for a company like United would be to offer better incentives. Perhaps the airline could increase the incentive to get off the plane from $1,000 to $2,000. MarketWatch reports “United’s revenues come to about $36 billion a year, or roughly $100 million a day.” Surely, United can afford to sweeten the pot when asking a passenger to take the next flight.

Another suggestion would be not to use law enforcement to remove passengers like Dr. Dao. What charges could officers have pressed? Trespassing would seem like one possibility. But airlines spend a lot of marketing money to fill seats. Telling a passenger that he is going to be removed because he is trespassing seems counterproductive to the goal of filling seats.

Management Lessons to Be Learned from United Airlines’ PR Disaster

While companies never publicly admit to mistakes for fear of lawsuits, Munoz’s initial statement violated a key element of leadership: Leaders take responsibility and fix the problem. Munoz’s numerous contradictory press statements is a case study of what management should not do in a crisis situation or how to make a complete mess of a public relations program. Public relations studies of United’s handling of the affair will go on for years.

Dao’s Treatment Could Also Impact United’s Future Markets in Asia

Dao’s claim that he was targeted for removal because he is Asian could adversely affect United’s business in Asia especially. Many future passengers have probably seen the video of this incident on social media, which could harm any plans United might have for expansion in Asia.

All in all, this was not a proud moment for the United States or for United Airlines.

United Airlines Has Provided an Excellent Management Case Study

As an instructor in the School of Business, I find this incident to be an excellent teaching event for students to discuss and learn from United’s mistakes. As sad as this case is, there are a plethora of lessons to be learned from Dr. Dao’s case, such as how good managers should act and how to properly manage a public relations crisis. These learning experiences are applicable for college freshmen as well as corporate chief executive officers.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017, Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Employees with Poor Grammar Affect Your Company Image

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “Employees with Poor Grammar Affect Your Company Image”, Online Career Tips, 31 Mar. 2017, Web, http://onlinecareertips.com/2017/03/employees-grammar-company-image/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

I teach a Management 100 class at American Military University called Human Relations. In this class, we talk about some hiring actions and first impressions. In today’s computer-based world, that first impression of a person or company is often online.

Proper grammar shapes that first impression. We would never go to a job interview with our shoes untied. So why would people think poor grammar is not a faux pas, too?

Good Grammar Reveals Company Credibility and Employees’ Learning Capabilities

In my class, I share Kyle Wiens’ Harvard Business Review article, “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”

Wiens is the CEO of iFixit, the world’s largest online repair manual publisher. He is also the founder of Dozuki, which helps companies write their own technical documentation such as paperless work instructions and step-by-step user manuals.

Wiens is a self-described grammar stickler who hires many writers and software code writers. Anyone applying for a job at one of his companies is required to take a grammar test.

“Good grammar is credibility, especially on the Internet. In blog posts, on Facebook, in emails, and on company websites, your words are all you have,” Wiens says. We represent our employers both on and off duty, he explains. When our social media is a grammatical disaster, it also reflects on the company owner who hired you.

Wiens makes an interesting point: If a 20-year-old person applies for a job and does not know how to use proper grammar, that person’s learning curve and capability make him or her a poor candidate for hiring.

Wiens believes everyone should have learned English grammar in 20 years. He will not hire even great programmers who cannot pass the grammar test. From experience, he has found that they will fail on other tasks, even simple tasks like stocking shelves and labeling parts.

A focus on grammar shows a focus on all tasks, he says.

Writing Well Also Makes A Difference in Hiring Success

I published a book this past January on getting a job in the federal government. Like Wiens, I too focused on the need to make a good first impression in an applicant’s resume. Writing well shows your capabilities and your dependability.

Writing is like learning a foreign language. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”