Panetta's Focus on Chinese, Russian, and Arabic

The CIA Director wants to increase the number of staff members who can speak a second language.

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By Alex Kingsbury, Washington Whispers

CIA Director Leon Panetta has a neat trick to keep deskbound spies at Langley up on Urdu, prepped in Pushto, and fluent in Farsi. He's put a foreign language program on their computers so they can practice at work. It's all part of the new chief spy's five-year initiative to boost the number of spooks and analysts who can speak a second language. Spokesman George Little (English, French, Spanish) says less than a third of the agency's staff speaks two languages, and Panetta (English and Italian) hopes to increase that to half with a special focus on Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.

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