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Information-gathering technologies that use facial recognition and artificial intelligence are valuable, but highly actionable and useful intelligence still comes from human spies and agents.

  • Douglas London, associate professor at Georgetown University and former senior operations officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, said with Great Power Competition and technology’s increasing influence on the battle space, the need for human intelligence sources is more critical than ever.
  • London said technology informed the United States that Russia was sending troops and aircraft towards Ukraine but did not interpret the information further.
  • He said he recommends U.S. intelligence agencies “transition back to those dark secrets, if you would, of meeting people on the streets.”

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