The Hoochiefication of Spycraft
While fictionalised representations of women working on the front lines of anti-terrorism may capture the popular imagination, their cooler-headed real-life equivalents appear to be showing their male colleagues how it should be done.
According to Peter Bergen, the author and global security expert, “the prominent role that women played in the hunt for bin Laden was reflective of the largest cultural shift at the CIA in the past two decades”. Tamir Pardo, the director of Israel’s formidable Mossad agency, has reported finding that women are better-suited than men to several aspects of intelligence work – particularly at “suppressing their ego in order to attain the goal”.
“Women have a distinct advantage in secret warfare because of their ability to multitask,” Mr Pardo said earlier this year. “Women are gifted at deciphering situations. Contrary to stereotypes, you see that women’s abilities are superior to men in terms of understanding the territory, reading situations, spatial awareness. When they’re good, they’re very good.”
While Britain boasts two former women directors of a major intelligence agency in Baroness Manningham-Buller and Dame Stella Rimington – both, in part, inspirations for Judi Dench’s “M” in the recent James Bond films – the US has always given the top jobs to men. Tara Maller, a former CIA analyst, says that 44 has a chance to correct this, following David Petraeus’s recent resignation as CIA director, by appointing a woman to the role.
Pic - "The old tricks are the best tricks"