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.
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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid