THE NATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF 1992 (House of Representatives - February 05, 1992)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] is recognized for 5 minutes.
- Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, in the more than four decades since the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947, responding to a single threat--that posed by the Soviet Union--has been the chief preoccupation of the United States. The potential possessed by the Soviets to destroy our Nation through a nuclear attack has shaped our foreign policy, military strategy, and political debate.
- With the demise of the Soviet Union, that threat has been substantially reduced. Just as our public discourse must adjust to this new reality, the governmental organizations which have been primarily focused on the Soviet Union must also be reevaluated. This process has begun for the Armed Forces, and it must be undertaken for our intelligence agencies as well.
- I have today introduced legislation, the National Security Act of 1992, which is intended to stimulate debate on the role the U.S. intelliegence community should play in the Nation's future, and the way it should be organized to operate effectively. Despite the
- Appearance of centralized authority given by the names of some of its components, the intelligence community has developed over the years in a largely uncoordinated way. This has made it difficult for anyone to be confident that intelligence resources were being deployed efficiently in support of national priorities. Frequently, the result has been unnecessary duplication of effort which has produced mountains of information, but little useful intelligence.
- My bill seeks to address this problem by establishing a Director of National Intelligence [DNI]. The DNI will be directly responsible to the President for the provision of intelligence advice and the conduct of the activities of those organizations involved in the collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of national, as opposed to tactical military, intelligence. This coordinating responsibility will be exercised through control of the National Foreign Intelligence Program [NFIP] budget. The ability to allocate both dollars and people among NFIP components will enable the DNI to ensure that national priorities are addressed effectively, and at the least possible cost.
- The legislation creates two Deputy Directors of National Intelligence to permit a division of the chief responsibilities of the intelligence community along functional lines. A Deputy DNI for the intelligence community will be responsible for the coordination of the community's human signals, and imagery intelligence activities, the crisis and warning function, as well as general administration of the community. The other Deputy DNI, for Estimates and Analysis, will be responsible for the community's analytical and estimative activities. It is my hope that the clear division which will be created between intelligence operations and intelligence analysis will make it possible for there to be a much more open exchange of information between scientists, academicians, business leaders and intelligence analysts than has been possible in the past.
- Under the bill, the Central Intelligence Agency will remain but its size will be significantly reduced and the scope of its mission restricted. With most of its analytical function, as well as several other activities, transferred to the Deputy DNI for Estimates and Analysis, the CIA will exist to provide the DNI with an operational element to undertake human intelligence activities, as well as those special duties assigned by the President or the National Security Council. The CIA will be physically separated from the National Intelligence Center which will house the DNI and his or her deputies, to underscore that, while the Agency still has a role to play, it will no longer be the driving force in the intelligence community.
- While intelligence will need to respond to a very different set of challenges in the future, its traditional role in support of military commanders will remain. My bill makes sure that the new structure for National Intelligence will not only be relevant to the needs of the military, but address those needs on a priority basis in a time of conflict or crisis.
- The need for change in the intelligence community is widely recognized. The new Director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates, has commissioned task forces to examine a number of structural issues. Legislation nearly identical to mine has been introduced by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Boren. I hope that we can all work together to identify areas of common concern and craft solutions. The bill I have introduced is intended to play a helpful role in that process. Our goal should not be to invent new missions in an effort to justify the maintenance of an immense intelligence apparatus. Rather our goal should be to ensure that our national intelligence agencies are properly focused and structured to respond to those real intelligence needs which can reasonably be expected in the future. This legislation suggests a focus and structure for that purpose and I look forward to discussing it with the witnesses who will testify at hearings the Intelligence Committee will soon begin on these issues.