The Director of National Intelligence has issued policy guidance (pdf) that encourages and directs temporary assignments for intelligence officials in more than one element of the intelligence bureaucracy as a prerequisite for promotion to senior leadership positions.
The idea is that such rotations would increase cohesion within the intelligence community, improve cooperation, and enhance a sense of shared purpose.
“Joint Duty assignments further the interests of each IC element and the Community as a whole, promote the effectiveness of the U.S. Government, and provide future IC leaders with a broader perspective on the issues facing the Community,” according to the new Instructions.
See “Intelligence Community Civilian Joint Duty Program Implementing Instructions,” Intelligence Community Policy Guidance (ICPG) 601.01, June 25, 2007.
Skeptics question the feasibility of this approach.
“Contrary to the intention of such a program, there are really only three types of people who pursue rotations: those who are in a job they hate; those who work for a boss they hate, and those who are encouraged by their boss to find another job,” wrote former intelligence officer Michael Tanji.
“Those who might actually want to expand their knowledge of the community and prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility are usually thwarted by their management: Anyone worth a darn is kept close to the vest.”
See “Old Wine in New Bottles,” The SPOT Report, Washington Examiner, June 27.