Iran nuclear program stokes US concern
DNI James Clapper and CIA Director David Petraeus testify at the world threats Senate hearing.
January 31st, 2012
06:51 PM ET

Iran nuclear program stokes US concern

By Pam Benson, Jamie Crawford and Joe Sterling

Iran took center stage on Tuesday as top U.S. intelligence officials and senators discussed what could trigger a military response to the Islamic Republic's nuclear activities.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, speaking to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats, said Iran continues to develop its nuclear capabilities but has not yet decided to make weapons.

When asked by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, what would be the "red line" for Iran to cross to trigger a more forceful U.S. response, Clapper said, "enrichment of uranium to a 90 percent level would be a pretty good indicator of their seriousness." Clapper added there were "some other things" Iran would need to do, but did not elaborate.

CIA Director David Petraeus agreed further enrichment would be a "telltale indicator." FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Central Intelligence Agency • China • CIA • Clapper • Cybersecurity • Detainees • Gitmo • Intelligence • ODNI • Pakistan • Petraeus • Russia • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence • Syria • Terrorism
January 31st, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Pakistan still sharing intel with U.S.

By Jamie Crawford

The U.S. and Pakistan continue to share intelligence despite the "fraught" relationship, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency told a Senate committee on Tuesday.

CIA Director David Petraeus called the relationship “strained” and “fraught,” and will take more diplomacy and engagement to move forward during testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Petraues noted that the intelligence sharing between the two countries is still strong, and information between the two countries is still “going back and forth.”

The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, noted the relationship with Pakistan is a "challenging relationship but an important one," saying the interests of the two countries are "not always congruent."

Pakistan and the U.S. are at a stand still in relations. After a firefight at a border post killed two dozen Pakistani troops, cooperation has been frozen.  The U.S. only recently restarted drone strikes but key border crossings for moving NATO supplies into Afghanistan remain shut by the Pakistanis.

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Filed under: CIA • Clapper • ISI • Military • ODNI • Pakistan • Petraeus • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Intel report cites strides, threats
New Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri appearing in an Al-Qaeda video released in October 2011. The deaths of Osama bin Laden and top lieutenants under Zawahiri have weakened the terrorist network according to the annual U.S. intelligence community's threat assessment released Tuesday.
January 31st, 2012
10:19 AM ET

Intel report cites strides, threats

From CNN's Joe Sterling and Pam Benson

The al Qaeda terror network is weakening and the embattled Afghan government is making modest strides, but cyber security threats are on the rise and Iranian nuclear aspirations remain a major peril.

These are among the main themes in the annual U.S. intelligence community's threat assessment, a sweeping 31-page document released Tuesday that touches on a range of issues across the globe.

"The United States no longer faces - as in the Cold War - one dominant threat," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in prepared testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which will meet on Tuesday to discuss the report.

He said "counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, cyber security and counter-intelligence are at the immediate forefront of our security concerns" and that the "multiplicity and interconnectedness of potential threats - and the actors behind them ... constitute our biggest challenge."

Al Qaeda - the terror network that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 - "will continue to be a dangerous transnational force," but there have been strides, the report concludes.
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WikiLeaks forces change in intel community
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at CSIS conference
January 26th, 2012
03:58 PM ET

WikiLeaks forces change in intel community

By CNN's Pam Benson

The WikiLeaks disclosure of hundreds of thousands of American documents continues to cast a shadow over the U.S. intelligence community.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told an information-sharing conference Thursday that plugging leaks of classified materials is still a challenge for the community as it develops new systems to protect information while at the same time ensuring the right people have access to it.

WikiLeaks, the international online group that publishes secret government documents it receives from outside sources, set off a firestorm a year and a half ago when it made public on its website U.S. diplomatic cables and other sensitive documents, most of them pertaining to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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Filed under: Clapper • Intelligence • ODNI • WikiLeaks
U.S. increased spy spending in 2011, but upward trend could be ending
October 28th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

U.S. increased spy spending in 2011, but upward trend could be ending

By CNN's Adam Levine

The U.S. Congress appropriated $54.6 billion for intelligence programs in the 2011 fiscal year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence disclosed Friday.  The amount, which does not include what was spent on military intelligence, is a slight increase from the year before but could be the could be the end of the upward trend.

The Department of Defense requested $24 billion for military intelligence programs, the Pentagon announced. Altogether, the U.S. spy agencies and military requested nearly $80 billion for intelligence programs in 2011, according to the government.

No further details are given about the budget.

By law, the director of national intelligence must disclose the top-line budget figure within 30 days of the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30.

Last year was the first time it had been officially disclosed.

The intelligence community has seen a sharp rise in its budget in the 10 years since the September 11 attacks, more than doubling in that time, but that dramatic increase will be coming to a screeching halt with billions of dollars in cuts expected over the next decade, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a conference in San Antonio this month.

Clapper said the cuts will be double-digit billions over the next 10 years for the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the other groups in the 16-member intelligence community.

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Filed under: Budget • CIA • Clapper • ODNI
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