President Obama announced today that he will be combining the White House staffs dealing with international and homeland security, claiming that the move would “make Americans safer.” The president will establish a “global engagement directorate” and a “National Security staff” that will deal with all policymaking related to “international, transnational, and homeland security matters.” National Security Adviser James Jones will head the staff.
Jones, a former Marine commandant, praised the move, saying that “terror around the world doesn’t recognize borders.” President Obama said the move “will end the artificial divide between White House staff who have been dealing with national security and homeland security issues.”
The statement was issued as a press release, though it largely took a back seat to the revelation of the president’s choice for the Supreme Court. It claimed to be a required move to “deal with new and emerging 21st Century challenges,” with cybersecurity at the top of the list – even ahead of WMD terrorism.
To that end, the president is expected to appoint an Internet Czar later this week, a position which will have broad oversight both government-run and private networks. The position will said to report to both Jones and top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers.