Morning Security Brief: A New DHS Secretary, Saudi Arabia Rejects Security Council Seat, and More

By Laura Spadanuta

► President Obama will name Jeh C. Johnson to be the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, according to the New York Times. The Senate must confirm the nominee. The position has been vacant since Janet Napolitano left in July to head up the University of California university system. Johnson was the Defense Department's general counsel during President Obama's first term in office. The TImes reports that he "has similar views to the president's about the future of the United States' counterterrorism operations." 

► The White House confirmed that the head of the National Security Agency, Keith Alexander, will step down next year. Alexander has been plagued with the Edward Snowden leaks on the agency's domestic surveillance program. White House spokesman Jay Carney indicated that Alexander's decision to retire was unrelated to the Snowden issues, according to Fox News.

► Saudi Arabia has declined to take its turn at the rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council. The New York Times reports that Saudi Arabia released a statement declining the offer that the double standards on the Security Council prevent it from doing its work to keep international peace. The Times speculated that the statement may reflect Saudi Arabia's unhappiness with the Syria situation, in which permanent members Russia and China blocked efforts supported by Saudi Arabia to pressure Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. There are 10 rotating members of the Security Council elected to two-year terms and five permanent members.

► Amtrak has a new "text a tip" program for reporting suspicious behavior on trains; a Raytheon survey finds that cybersecurity talent pipelines are not being fed by high schools; the Washington Times discusses potetial security issues in Obamacare exchanges.


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