September 12, 2011 — Frederick P. Hitz, a former inspector general with the Central Intelligence Agency, will discuss both his career in public service and the changing nature of intelligence operations on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the Nau Hall auditorium at the University of Virginia.
Hitz, a senior fellow at U.Va.'s Center for National Security Law, will deliver the Harper Lecture, "A Life of Public Service and the Rise of the Spy/Commando." Lee Harper, a 1985 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences, and her husband, Bob, established the Jack E. Harper Endowment to fund public service-related courses in the College.
Hitz addresses the changing nature of intelligence work in his forthcoming Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article, "The Creation of the Spy Commando."
"I'm trying to make the point that the issues we are concerned about in the Middle East don't lend themselves to traditional espionage," said Hitz, also an adjunct faculty member in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. "You're not going to meet the people you've got to meet by operating out of an official American installation somewhere."
As a result, the intelligence community is returning to techniques similar to those used in the early days of the Office of Strategic Services, the CIA's World War II-era predecessor, Hitz said.
"We're putting in people behind the lines, so to speak, to gain information," Hitz said. "And the way we're doing that, in many instances, is by using ex-military personnel who've had some experience in the field."
The intelligence agents who went into Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to help push out the Taliban, were an example of this technique's effectiveness, Hitz said.
"This kind of capability, along with the predator drone, is a pretty good package for the U.S. to use in some of these tough areas," he said.
The first 200 people to arrive at the talk will get a free copy of Hitz's book, "Why Spy?: Espionage in an Age of Uncertainty," and a book-signing and reception will follow the talk.