Washington, Apr.2 : U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to overhaul the intelligence architecture built up by his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld.
According to a New York Times report, Gates is close to clearing a proposal to shut down a controversial intelligence office that has been drawing flak from both lawmakers and civil liberties groups.
The intelligence unit, called the Counterintelligence Field Activity office, was created by Rumsfeld after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks across the United States as part of an effort to counter the operations of foreign intelligence services and terror groups inside the United States and abroad.
Gates has received a recommendation to close the office from senior intelligence official, James R. Clapper, who said some of its operations could be placed under the authority of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Pentagon officials said Gates had yet to approve the recommendation.
Mr. Gates, a former director of central intelligence, has promised to improve coordination of the Pentagon's intelligence collection with other spy agencies and help rebuild some of the relationships bruised under Rumsfeld's tenure.
Shortly after taking over the Pentagon last year, Gates ordered a broad review of its intelligence operations and of the Defense Department's relationships with other spy agencies.
It is unclear whether Clapper is also recommending tighter restrictions on Pentagon counterterrorism and counterespionage operations in the United States.