Secret document warns of skewed US intelligence priorities: report

Washington:  White House advisors have warned that US spy agencies are too focused on anti-terror operations and pay inadequate attention to China, the Middle East and other flashpoints, a news report said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported that a panel of White House advisors warned President Barack Obama last year that the work of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and other US spy services had been distorted by more than a decade of counterterror efforts following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The panel, whose members included new US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and former senator David Boren, urged greater attention to America's other intelligence priorities and called for a significant shift in resources to correct the perceived imbalance.

The document issued last year by the President's Intelligence Advisory Board was distributed to senior national security officials at the White House, the newspaper wrote.

US intelligence officials cautioned that any course corrections are likely to be incremental rather than comprehensive, because of continued concern over the threat by Al-Qaeda, and because of influence amassed by US counterterror institutions over the past decade, the Post reported.

The daily wrote that the intelligence board, which meets in secret, is made up of 14 experts, many of whom once held top government posts and that they have extensive access to intelligence officials and records.

The Post reported that it contacted several panel members who declined to discuss the contents of the report, but expressed misgivings about the increasingly paramilitary missions of US intelligence efforts, including at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Story First Published: March 21, 2013 18:42 IST

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