Intelligence chief: Budget cuts risk US security

AP News
Posted: Mar 12, 2013 10:53 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. intelligence chief says that budget cuts have jeopardized America's security and safety — and will only get worse over time.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday that the across-the-board funding cuts have shaved about $4 billion from intelligence budgets. He said that amounted to about 10 percent of national intelligence programs.

Most of the funding cuts have come in the Defense Department, but Clapper said thousands of FBI agents possibly could be furloughed from their jobs. He said operations for collecting intelligence — through personal contacts and technical spying — also will be reduced.

But he said the cuts will be felt across the entire 16-agency U.S. intelligence community.

The across-the-board automatic cuts of $85 billion began March 1.