President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to scrap the way President Bush oversaw domestic security in the White House and name a former Central Intelligence Agency official to coordinate counterterrorism, people close to the transition said Wednesday.
The plan being discussed would eliminate the independent homeland security adviser’s office and assign those duties to the National Security Council to streamline sometimes overlapping functions. A deputy national security adviser would be charged with overseeing the effort to guard against terrorism and to respond to natural disasters.
Stewart Verdery, a Security Debrief contributor and former assistant secretary for policy at DHS, endorses the move, asserting: “It was very hard to get D.H.S. on the N.S.C. radar. You want your issues considered. You don’t want to be off in some second bucket.”
Others, including the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Susan Collins, express concern that “insufficient attention would be devoted to homeland security issues.”
could put too much burden on the National Security team and distract from critical homeland securty issues.