Fiftieth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Sun, 07 Jul 2002 11:51:36 +0200)

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Intelligence news

USA

The following are excerpts from the manuscript from the White House about the proposed new intelligence agency "Department of Homeland Security". You can download the complete manuscript from this site: http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/06/book.pdf

President Bush proposes to create a new Department of Homeland Security, the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over a half-century by largely transforming and realigning the current confusing patchwork of government activities into a single department whose primary mission is to protect our homeland. The creation of a Department of Homeland Security is one more key step in the President's national strategy for homeland security.

Immediately after last fall's attack, the President took decisive steps to protect America - from hardening cockpits and stockpiling vaccines to tightening our borders. The President used his maximum legal authority to establish the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council to ensure that our federal response and protection efforts were coordinated and effective. The President also directed Homeland Security Advisor Tom Ridge to study the federal government as a whole to determine if the current structure allows us to meet the threats of today while anticipating the unknown threats of tomorrow. After careful study of the current structure - coupled with the experience gained since September 11 and new information we have learned about our enemies while fighting a war - the President concluded that our nation needs a more unified homeland security structure. In designing the new Department, the Administration considered a number of homeland security organizational proposals that have emerged from outside studies, commissions, and Members of congress.

The Department of Homeland Security would make Americans safer because our nation would have:

The Department of Homeland Security would have a clear and efficient organizational structure with four divisions:

The planning process for the new Department has already begun. During this period, the Office of Homeland Security will maintain vigilance and continue to coordinate the other federal agencies involved in homeland security. Until the Department of Homeland Security becomes fully operational, the proposed Department's designated components will continue to operate under existing chains of command.

The formal transition process would begin once Congress acts on the President's proposal and the President signs it into law. Under the President's plan, the new Department would be established by January 1, 2003, with integration of some components occurring over a longer period of time. To avoid gaps in leadership coverage, the President's proposal contemplates that appointees who have already been confirmed by the Senate would be able to transfer to new positions without a second confirmation process.

China / USA

U.S. intelligence has found that China's military provided training for Afghanistan's Taliban militia and elements of al Qaeda before the September 11 attacks on the United States, reports Bill Gertz in the Washington Times.

The training of the Taliban forces was carried out in cooperation with Pakistan's ISI intelligence service, defense officials told the Times. The report, and others like it, is unwelcome news for some of the pro-China analysts within the U.S. government who are pushing the Bush administration to adopt a more conciliatory posture toward the communist government in Beijing. In addition, evidence of Chinese military backing for the Taliban continues to surface. Late last month, U.S. Army Special Forces troops discovered 30 Chinese-made SA-7 surface-to-air missiles in southeastern Afghanistan. Still other intelligence reports have indicated the Chinese shipped missiles to the Taliban after September 11.

[source: China Reform Monitor No. 452, June 26, 2002.

American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, D.C.]


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