November 11, 2012

Article: Intelligence Official Calls Language ‘Central’ to New Strategy


Intel Official Calls Language ‘Central’ to New Strategy
By Natela Cutter
November 6, 2012

Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers was pleasantly surprised Nov. 3 when he encountered his former Spanish instructor at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center here while observing a Spanish language class.

As a young Special Forces soldier and then as an officer, Vickers graduated from the DLIFLC Czech course in 1977 and from the Spanish course in 1979 with top scores.

“As we come out of a decade of wars, the world is getting more complicated, and there is more volatility, for example, across the Middle East,” he explained. “Having people with these [language] skills is tremendously valuable. If you are not going to have a lot there, you ought to have your best there.

“I think [language] is really central,” he continued. “Our new defense strategy focuses on Asia, North Africa and the Middle East region, and these skills will be paramount to that strategy.”

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