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Intelligence Chief: Culture Needed

June 19, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The military’s top intelligence official is calling for better ``cultural intelligence″ that would aid both possible offensive operations and long-term understanding of the roots of terrorism.

Vice Adm. Thomas R. Wilson, chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a conference of intelligence officials and experts at DIA headquarters on Wednesday that better intelligence on a given region’s language and culture can lead to U.S. psychological operations better tailored for their targets.

Psychological operations _ called ``psyops″ _ include radio messages intended to influence a region’s populace.

Wilson said more cultural information will also allow military commanders to better understand their adversaries in the far-flung corners of the world.

U.S. intelligence budgets, increasing after Sept. 11, contain new funding promoting language training and analysis in the intelligence community. Congressional intelligence leaders have said they hope to expand to U.S. translation capability, allowing foreign language documents and intercepts to be turned into useful intelligence more quickly.

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