The Central Intelligence Agency announced a significant overhaul in the agency’s overall structure Friday in order to better deal with current threats, according to a memo to agency staff from its director, John Brennan.
In the unclassified version of the memo, Brennan said the changes were “driven by two fundamental shifts” in the current national security landscape - an increasing array of complex issues facing policy makers in Washington, as well as the “unprecedented pace and impact of technological advancements,” the memo said.
On that second point, the CIA will create a new leadership position to oversee the integration of the agency’s digital and cyberoperations on a more accelerated pace.
As part of the changes, agency officers will be assigned to ten new mission centers focused on areas such as terrorism and weapons proliferation, and would partially move away from a model that kept clandestine officers and analysts separated, the New York Times reported Friday.
“I’ve never seen a time when we have been confronted with such an array of very challenging, complex and serious threats to our national security, and issues that we have to grapple with,” the Times quoted Brennan as saying about the need for the changes.
An administration official tells CNN the new mission centers are somewhat modeled on the military’s combatant command structure where a four-star general oversees U.S. military operations in a particular geographic region of the world, and allowing for efficient chain of accountability.
The changes flow from a list of recommendations by various agency officials tasked by Brennan last September to find ways to overhaul the CIA structure to better confront both its current and future missions.