NSA, Cyber Command leadership split mulled
By The Washington Post
Published: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Key senior Obama administration officials have advocated splitting the leadership of the nation's largest spy agency from that of the military's cyberwarfare command as a final White House decision nears, according to individuals briefed on the discussions.
At a White House meeting of senior national security officials last week, James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, said he was in favor of ending the policy of having one official in charge of both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, said the individuals, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Officials appear inclined to install a civilian as director of the NSA for the first time in the agency's 61-year history. Among those said to be potential successors to the director, Gen. Keith Alexander, is his deputy, John “Chris” Inglis.
While officials have not made a final decision on either issue, national security adviser Susan Rice is expected to make a formal recommendation to President Obama soon, said the individuals, who were not authorized to speak for attribution.
“Ultimately, the president will make this decision,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. “At levels below the president, the interagency is still discussing the way forward. Given that we are still looking at the question of whether the ⅛leadership⅜ would be split, we are not yet considering preferred candidates.”
The question of whether one director should lead the NSA and Cyber Command — an arrangement some say invests too much power in one individual — has existed since Cyber Command started in 2010. But it has intensified since June, when a series of disclosures based on documents from a former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, sparked controversy over the agency's surveillance programs.
Hayden said Alexander's planned departure next spring made this “a natural point” to look at the question. A decision may be announced within the next few weeks, along with recommendations from separate White House internal and external reviews of surveillance policies.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snowden captivates tech crowd
- Fannie, Freddie profits surprise
- D.C. mayor denies he knew of illegal ‘shadow campaign’
- Depth, distance reduce impact of quake off California’s northern coast
- Deaths from heroin, pain pills called ‘urgent,’ growing’ crisis
- White House advises teaching students about money
- General’s court-martial is thrown into jeopardy
- Elephants attuned to human voices
- Senate OKs bill scrapping ‘good soldier defense’
- Lanza’s father says he wishes son was never born
- Changes to Medicare drug coverage scrapped