Kevin Whitelaw reports:
New Intelligence Czar Unveils 100-Day Plan
Wed Apr 11, 2007 17:28
 
 

New Intelligence Czar Unveils 100-Day Plan
April 11, 2007 | 5:26 PM ET | Permanent Link

Senior Editor Kevin Whitelaw reports:


Mike McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, met the press for the first time today, presenting his 100-day strategic plan for the nation's 16 intelligence agencies. Asked about the terrorist threat, he described how the al Qaeda network is changing.

"Al Qaeda started and now there are many others who are al Qaeda lookalikes," he said. "There is some level of coordination, but there are also many cells that are self-initiated. That's a global issue."

He said that the biggest threat remains extremists trying to infiltrate the United States from abroad.

"In the Cold War days, those of us in this community were very, very good at capabilities," he said, adding that U.S. intelligence had good estimates about the numbers of nuclear warheads or missiles. "The hard part was intentions." Today, the problem is almost reversed.

"With the terrorists, and the leaders of various terrorists organizations, they're telling us their intentions," he noted. "They want to bring terrorism to this country in a form that is greater than 9/11. That is what we're trying to prevent."

McConnell also presented his top five priorities for the next 100 days, including creating a culture of collaboration across the 16 disparate and independent agencies by instituting new rules that new appointees to senior positions must have previously served outside their home agency. He also called for greater information sharing and shifting from a culture of "need to know" to a "responsibility to share" intelligence. His other priorities include improving the community's handling of major acquisition projects, modernizing agencies' business practices, and clarifying the authority of the DNI

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