Clapper Details Contracting Cuts, Cyber Role

Photo:, U.S. Air Force/Cecilio Ricardo

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr. said he would “smartly” cut back intelligence service contracts over the next two to three years, according to a report in Federal Times.

“What I’d look to do is profit from what happened to us in the 1990s,” he said at the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Symposium in New Orleans, “and lay out a strategy for this and absorb the pain smartly.”

Federal Times says that is a reference to the period of time after the breakup of the Soviet Union when the United States dramatically pulled back on intelligence spending. However, just a decade later and in the aftermath of 9/11, intelligence spending — often on and with the aid of contractors – skyrocketed.

But Clapper, who announced reorganizations within his own staff under the banner of “charity begins at home,” said it was now time to cut back on contract spending.

Meanwhile, Defense Systems reports on another facet of Clapper’s management reorganization efforts, involving national intelligence managers who will focus on a particular region of the world or topic.

One of the highest-profile new manager positions will be that of cyber manager.

“I do not believe the Intelligence Community is responsible for the cybersecurity of the country,” Clapper said, “but I do believe it’s responsible for contributing to the common operating picture.”

The DNI also spoke about his ongoing goal: to increase integration throughout the Intelligence Community.

But Clapper said a balance has to be struck – or as he put it: “We need to find the sweet spot” – between more information-sharing and security.

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