Disrupting the Intelligence Community America’s Spy Agencies Need an Upgrade (Foreign Affairs)

John Brennan CIA

“Some 40 years have passed since the Church Committee’s sweeping investigation of U.S. intelligence practices, fresh on the heels of the Watergate scandal. And ten years have gone by since the last major reorganization of the country’s spy agencies, enacted in the wake of 9/11. Both efforts led to a host of reforms—among them, the creation of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the adoption of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which I helped shepherd through Congress.”

See the full article by Jane Harman.

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Susan Rice on “The United States National Security Strategy” (Brookings)

“On February 6, the Project on International Order and Strategy hosted U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice for the launch of President Obama’s National Security Strategy, which outlines the president’s foreign policy vision and priorities for the American people and Congress—and communicates America’s priorities to its allies around the world.”

Original Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbQS8zp56NA

Lawmakers Push White House to Lend Drones to Jordan (WSJ)

CBP drone take off from Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Ariz. (Matt York/AP)

“Members of Congress are pushing the Obama administration to embrace a plan to lend older-model, surplus drones to Jordan for the fight against the Islamic State extremist group.

In a Republican-led letter to the White House, 23 House members said Monday that Jordan should be allowed to borrow U.S. Air Force-owned MQ-1 Predator drones.”

See the full WSJ article here.

ISIL in America: Domestic Terror and Radicalization (FBI)

  • Michael Steinbach
  • Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Statement Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations
  • Washington, D.C.
  • February 26, 2015

“Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the dynamic threat posed by foreign fighters traveling in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the continued threat to the United States posed by homegrown violent extremists. These threats remain one of the biggest priorities for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Intelligence Community (IC), and our foreign, state, and local partners. I am pleased to be here today with strong state and local partners—Charlotte, North Carolina Police Chief Rodney Monroe and Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Minnesota Sheriff Richard Stanek.”

See the full Congressional Testimony here.

“A new cyber intelligence unit makes sense but is not enough” (WaPo)

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“What’s urgently needed is a response that will bring the U.S. government’s sophisticated tools to bear on protecting private-sector networks — before they are attacked. Only Congress can do this, with information-sharing legislation that will bridge legal gaps and overcome suspicions. We hope this Congress will rise to the challenge.”

Read the full article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-new-cyber-intelligence-unit-makes-sense-but-is-not-enough/2015/02/15/10bc0130-b21e-11e4-886b-c22184f27c35_story.html

American Foreign Fighters in Syria and Threat of Domestic Lone Wolf Extremism (FBI Testimony before Congress)

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Michael Steinbach, the Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, testified to the House Committee on Homeland Security today that the approximately 150 Americans have joined extremists groups in Syria, and that domestic lone wolf attacks, like the Charlie Hebdo attack or the Lindt Chocolate attack, may occur in the U.S.

Read the testimony.

Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do (Brookings)

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This policy guide advocates:

  • “The White House and Congress should commit serious funds to upgrade Ukraine’s defense capabilities, specifically providing $1 billion in military assistance this year, followed by an additional $1 billion each in the next two fiscal years;
  • The U.S. government should alter its policy and begin providing lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military and;
  • The U.S. government should approach other NATO countries about also providing military assistance to Ukraine.”

Read the full article at: http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2015/02/ukraine-independence-russian-aggression?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=15842643&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–_8Z1inxXyV-johaZFwsbJTUFcCGp5gmek9a3tSuOzZrgYIapXApGY60P9ju2Gy5516bEs55xq4AHR5Px_-w6Qtc2K5g&_hsmi=15842643