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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid