War is the biggest budget item


Apparently, the cascade of uprising in the Middle East was completely unexpected by our intelligence apparatus.

I wonder where all the resources went? Oh …right:

Mr. BAER: Well, let me put it this way, Egyptian Arabic is peculiar, a peculiar accent, and it’s difficult to learn especially, you know, the familiar Arabic. And it would take an officer two years of studying Arabic, three years on the ground mastering Arabic, and about 10 years to get a grasp of a society like Egypt. That’s ideally what happens. You know, it’s very difficult for someone to devote a career of 20 years on a single country like Egypt, especially when you’ve got two wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has just sucked resources and people and – mainly in support of the military and these two countries. So the CIA is truly – the bench strength is very, very thin. And you can see what’s happened that this expertise – it’s just been drawn away by these two wars and, you know, how you get it back, it’ll take years.

via A Covert Affair: When CIA Agents Fall In Love : NPR.