Washington, Jan.8 (ANI): US 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 future counter-terrorism efforts.
Quoting people close to the Obama transition team, the New York Times said that a plan is being discussed to eliminate the independent homeland security adviser's office and assign those duties to the National Security Council to streamline overlapping functions.
The paper also reveals that a deputy national security adviser would be charged with overseeing the effort to guard against terrorism and to respond to natural disasters.
Democrats close to the transition said Obama's choice for that job was John O. Brennan, a longtime C.I.A. veteran who was the front-runner to head the spy agency until withdrawing in November amid criticism of his views on interrogation and detention policies.
His appointment would not require Senate confirmation.
Though Obama has made no final decision about how to structure domestic security in his White House, his advisers plan to wait until his inauguration to conduct a formal review.
Several key advisers have publicly advocated folding it into the National Security Council, and those involved in discussions said the only real questions appeared to be how to do that and how to explain it without looking like domestic security was being downgraded as a priority.
Bush's aides, including the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, have privately urged Obama's advisers not to get rid of the separate homeland security office, warning that it would load too many responsibilities on the National Security Council and risk important matters' falling through the cracks.
In his new capacity, Brennan would report to Marine General (retired) James L. Jones, who is slated to serve as Obama's national security adviser.
The idea of merging the two councils has been recommended by a number of reports, most notably in November by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and by Third Way. Among those preparing their report were John D. Podesta, Obama's transition co-chairman, and members of his team. (ANI)