Tags: Al-Qaida | Homeland Security | ISIS/Islamic State | Russia | Syria | War on Terrorism | John Brennan

CIA Director Mulls Sweeping Reorganization

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:40 PM

A sweeping reorganization of the CIA under consideration by Director John Brennan would replace long-established divisions for spying and analysis with "centers" focused on global regions and national security threats, The Washington Post reports.

The plan would essentially replicate the agency's Counterterrorism Center – a reflection of the importance of the CIA's anti-terror focus since 9/11, The Post reports.

If approved, the reorganization would be among the most ambitious in the CIA's history.

"It's a major deal," a former senior CIA official told The Post.

Brennan appointed an internal panel in September to look at the revamp as part of a bigger review of the CIA's structure. In a message to the agency's workforce, he cited the "rising number and complexity of security issues" such as the continued threat of al-Qaida, the civil war in Syria, and Russia's incursions into Ukraine.

"I have become increasingly convinced that the time has come to take a fresh look at how we are organized as an agency and at whether our current structure, and ways of doing business, need adjustment," he wrote, according to The Post, which said it had obtained portions of the message.

Brennan also noted that "the need for integration has never been greater," and said he was concerned more that the agency's missions "cut across our organizational boundaries," The Post reports.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd told The Post the in-house review is expected to present "recommendations on whether any changes should be made and, if so, what needs to be done." But he said no findings had been presented yet.

"This definitely started with a vision [Brennan] had," a former senior U.S. intelligence official told The Post.

The CIA structure now comprises four major directorates, The Post notes. The two best known are the National Clandestine Service, which sends case officers overseas on spying missions and carries out covert operations, and the Directorate of Intelligence, whose analysts provide information on global developments to the president and policymakers.

Others include a directorate focused on science and technology, and a fourth that handles logistics for operations abroad, The Post notes.

The restructure would retool the agency into "centers" that combine analysts, operators, scientists and support staff, The Post reports. The Counterterrorism Center is an example of how such a center would work, the newspaper adds.

"It is a formula that has worked to create focus and extraordinary energy" against al-Qaida and other important targets, former CIA director Michael Hayden told The Post. "The challenge is organizing the entire agency along those lines."

The reorganization has already kicked up opposition from current and former officials who are worried the changes would be too disruptive and jeopardize critical capabilities and expertise, The Post reports.

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A sweeping reorganization of the CIA under consideration by Director John Brennan would replace long-established divisions for spying and analysis with "centers" focused on global regions and national security threats, The Washington Post reports.
John Brennan, CIA, sweeping, reorganization
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2014-40-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:40 PM
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