The US Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives is proposing a major shift of financing away from costly space-based spying to bolster the ranksof agents and analysts, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The committee, arguing that satellites are consuming too much of the intelligence budget, is sending spending recommendations tothe House floor that would "significantly reposition funding from technical programs to human intelligence and analysis," the newspaper quoted a committee report as saying.
Details and dollar amounts of the proposed cuts to satellite programs are classified, the newspaper said.
The committee report, attached to the intelligence reauthorization bill, said the administration's budget request is "weighted far too heavily toward expensive technical systems," andcalled for eliminating "redundant or unjustified technical collection systems" while increasing investment in human intelligence.
The committee said it was proposing more spending on training and infrastructure to support spies, as well as increasing effortsto recruit and train linguists skilled in Arabic, Chinese, Pashto,Urdu, and other languages.
The Intelligence Committee's proposal appears to reflect the thinking of the presidential commission on intelligence regarding unconventional weapons, which said in its March 31 report that "cost overruns in satellite systems tend to suck resources from therest of the intelligence budget," the Times reported.
"Increasingly, there are air-breathing alternatives to satellite surveillance," the presidential commission said.
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ILS Atlas Adds NRO Mission To West Coast Launch Manifest
Mclean VA (SPX) May 04, 2005
International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin joint venture, has signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to launch a national security payload on an Atlas 5 vehicle in 2007 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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