WASHINGTON—The Pentagon's top intelligence officials say looming automatic budget cuts and the downturn in defense spending put the development of essential intelligence-gathering tools in jeopardy.

Michael Vickers, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, told a House subcommittee Wednesday that the Pentagon is investing in systems to counter cyberthreats and nuclear proliferation and also establishing the Defense Clandestine Service, a military spy agency that works with the CIA to gather intelligence.

He says the budget impasse and the prospect of further deep cuts put those investments at risk.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the automatic cuts could hit the agency hard because it depends so heavily on military and civilian personnel to accomplish its mission. Many civilian employees face furloughs under the cuts.


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