I'm not keen on adding a new cabinet position to oversee all national intelligence. I can understand the incentives, but I just don't like the idea of having a single (more political) focal point for all our intelligence efforts.

The commission investigating the Sept. 11 (search) attacks will recommend a new Cabinet-level post to oversee the nation's 15 intelligence agencies and control their budgets, say two people familiar with the panel's final report. ...

The CIA director now has loose authority over those agencies. But the commission in a preliminary report found that the director did not hold enough power, because the Pentagon controls more than 80 percent of the nation's intelligence budget. As a result, CIA requests to other agencies are often ignored.

Of course, this makes the DoD totally resistant to the idea -- spending authority is the lifeblood of bureaucracy, and no bureaucrat wants to lose his budget to someone else.

1. More centralized control over assets and budget.
2. Less inter-agency bickering.
3. Elimination of redundant offices.

1. More centralized control over assets and budget.
2. Position becomes more politically-charged.
3. Gives intelligence higher public visibility.
4. Redundant offices may not actually be eliminated.
5. New layer of bureaucracy added.
6. Cost more money.

I doubt the change will help or hurt our intelligence capabilities, so I don't have a very strong opinion either way. Based on the points I've listed above I'm inclined not to support the idea.



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