News / USA

Intelligence Chief: US Ability to Detect Threats Degraded

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Mar. 12, 2013, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Mar. 12, 2013, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Bowman
— The top U.S. intelligence official says automatic government spending cuts are reducing the nation’s ability to detect and respond to threats across the globe, from terrorist plots to the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. The comments were made in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper told senators Tuesday that budget sequestration is degrading America’s early warning apparatus for threats at home and abroad.

“Let me now be blunt for you and the American people," he said. "Sequestration forces the intelligence community to reduce all intelligence activities and functions, without regard to impact on our mission.”

Clapper said intelligence agencies will have to, in his words, “do less with less.”
“We will reduce human, technical and counter-intelligence operations, resulting in fewer collection opportunities, while increasing the risk of strategic surprise [being attacked],” he said.

The national intelligence director provided an example. “Our cyber efforts will be impacted," he said. "This is an area where, you all know, we need to keep ahead of rapid technology advances to maintain and increase access to adversaries, as well as provide warning of a cyber attack against the U.S.”

Clapper said the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks demonstrated the consequences of inadequate intelligence capabilities - a mistake he said the nation risks repeating.

“Unfortunately, I have seen this movie before. Now, if we are not careful, we risk another damaging downward spiral,” he said.

Clapper said the timing of across-the-board budget cuts could not be worse for intelligence agencies.

“In my almost 50 years in intelligence, I cannot recall a period in which we confront a more diverse array of threats, crises and challenges around the world. To me, this makes sequestration even more incongruous," he said.

The national intelligence director urged Congress to give the intelligence community flexibility in implementing budget cuts to minimize their impact on national security.

Senators of both parties on the Intelligence Committee voiced support for the request.

“We are committing to do everything within our power to ensure that the resources are there to allow you to continue to do what you are asked to do every single day,” said Republican Saxby Chambliss.

The committee’s chairwoman, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, said she will press the Senate to authorize greater budgeting flexibility for intelligence agencies. This week, the chamber is debating a bill to fund the U.S. government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
March 13, 2013 8:07 AM
US ability to detect threats can not be let to degrade...americans can be the best hackers and counterfeiters and thus be in the loophole and block the hackers and counterfeiters.


by: Ron Helton from: Moronville, (Tecumseh),OK
March 12, 2013 4:05 PM
The solution is to stop using money to topple the governments of other nations and instead apply those funds to intercepting plots to attack our country.

Having read books, such as "Inside The CIA"; I can't with a straight face agree with Mr. Clapper's assertion that they don't have enough money.


by: littlelizard from: usa
March 12, 2013 3:57 PM
This is what the GOP wanted. But the good thing is all those tax loopholes for the rich and mega corps are still intact, and we all know that is what is most important to the GOP.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid