WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- Congressional leaders want the U.S. government to switch significant intelligence resources from satellites to human spies.
Arguing that satellites are consuming too much of the intelligence budget, the House Intelligence Committee is proposing a major shift of financing away from costly space-based spying to bolster the ranks of agents and analysts, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
While details and dollar amounts of the cuts to satellite programs are classified, the committee said in a report that the spending recommendations it is sending to the House floor would "significantly reposition funding from technical programs to human intelligence and analysis," the Times said.
The report, attached to the intelligence reauthorization bill, said the administration's budget request was "weighted far too heavily toward expensive technical systems." The committee called for eliminating "redundant or unjustified technical collection systems" while increasing investment in human intelligence.
The committee said it was proposing more spending on training and infrastructure to support spies, as well as increasing efforts to recruit and train linguists skilled in Arabic, Chinese, Pashto, Urdu and other languages.
"We're out of balance," Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., and Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told the paper.