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tv   After Words Bill Gertz i War  CSPAN  October 10, 2017 9:30pm-10:30pm EDT

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next on "after words," "the washington times" columnist bill gertz on how modern warfare has evolved with new technologies and what they u.s. must do to be successful in this new age. his new book "!war" interviewed by elise stefanik a member of the intelligence community and the chair of the armed services subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities. >> bill gertz, i am excited to be with you today to discuss the book that came out this past january, "!war" war and peace in the information age. you are a senior editor at the washington free beginning and in the introduction you talk about how the book is a culmination of the many years of experience selling national security.
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it is a look at what i feel is the new form of warfare that is emerging in the 21st century. i've covered natural security affairs for over 30 years all over the world covering these issues and i think that it is a reflection of the information age that we are looking at this new form of warfare that i call information warfare, and i do find that both as the technical cyber that we have seen so much of in terms of cyber attacks on the russians and chinese as well as the content including type of thing. which really emerged in the last presidential election with the cyber enabled influence operation cities will b so these dominant form of warfare just as it is dominating our lives, so too in the realm of conflict we
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are going to see that and our adversaries are looking into this as a cheap way to achieve strategic goals without resorting to connecticut military conflict that is expensive and costly in terms of resources. >> host: so they think of it in connecticut terms, soldiers, armies, land. and this discusses non- kinetic forms of warfare in the digital realm. do you think the media and society have an awareness of the importance of information warfare and the use of the media campaigns or is part of the goal to raise awareness among the public? >> the simple answer is no this is the point i make in the buck we are under information asphalt that includes our government and the public at large.
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as you recall in a recent hearinthe recenthearing that yoe chair of, one of the witnesses testified about the russian propaganda outlet and an official told them that they would have no audience in the united states if they u.s. media were doing its job properly. so what has traditionally been the role of the american media is to provide both education and information has fallen off. right now we are seeing a politicization of the media into generally liberal and conservative camps. they are not really presenting the kind of news on international affairs. one of the things i've always tried to do in my journalism career is to highlight threats and the reason i do that is because if people don't have an
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understanding about the threat, then it's a difficult to get the tools and resources necessary to deal with the problems. so again, this is a script that deals with the main threats of information warfare and it tries to show that this is a serious strategic threat to the united states across a broad spectrum of areas from international affairs to domestic affairs. >> host: so you talk about the increase of information n. and information warfare in the united states. and one interesting part of this discussion needs to be covered is the use of social media. facebook users you include this statistic of the 4.75 billion pieces of content every day so there's a lot of information out there as we see in our facebook feeds, twitter, facebook, smith
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chart, you choose a social network and they also changed the conflict and in the book in fact, you talk about the islamic state of social media. it is the agility and ability to respond often outperforming state media in the middle east. this is the sophisticated use of the network of dedicated online supporters who amplified the state message. what should the u.s. do to combat the? >> on a plane to go in the book that there is kind of a conflicting approach to this problem. on the one hand, there's pressure from the government to shut down the terrorist use of social media and on the other hand the need to find out what they are doing so this is a challenge how do you balance
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these competing needs. monitoring the social media much of which is an open source to produce valuable intelligence especially people who were going to perpetrate attacks. i make the case that social media is being recognized and we need to figure out ways to be able to have the same kind of agility. they are known to be using this to recruit and then they will rapidly have their own private means of setting up new communication channels very quickly. so it's kind of a lacrimal where they have others they can use and they are communicating. now they get even more sophisticated and they are going to encrypt their communications.
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we solved this in a cas the casf the terrorists in london who ran over a number of pedestrians on the bridge and he was using a telegram that is a key tool and russian software that is allowing us to communicate in much more difficult ways for intelligence agencies in the west to detect them. >> host: does u.s. law enforcement and policy makers, do we have an adequate strategy to effectively use the social media to combat misinformation with the truth and make sure potential recruits actually see them calling into question that this is not to be an interpretation of islam for example? >> guest: i've looked at that carefully, and basically what i found is the main tool for this is the state department center strategic counterterrorism
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communications. researching the book, all of them agreed that they have a real challenge and they are not allowed to address the topic of islam. they adopted under the obama administration and of course the trump administration is now changing and talking openly of radical islamic terrorism and in the past it was violent extremism and i argued that this has made it very difficult for us to do counter ideological operations. operations. so, the state department under the center did a study based on some experts it's a classified study they wouldn't release it but they have been reported on in the press. because the u.s. government has no credibility they shouldn't attempt to do counter propaganda efforts against these terrorist
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groups and that is the geeky kid approach. you will never succeed if you do not even try. there are some efforts just in december the efforts of congressional defense bill contained a new provision that's calling for counter disinformation propaganda that is targeted against russia but it needs to be much broader and targeted against all b's been adversaries and of course the adversaries love their acronyms that stands for china russia iran korea and trigger some --'s terrorism. i'm hoping that they will get more effort and resource people and leadership to tackle these tough problems. >> host: one of the most impressive part is what the
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different case studies and you've just named china russia and north korea, iran and the islamic state. i wanted to delve into some of these areas that we have seen 80s specific countries. the first one that i would like to go to is north korea. the general public is aware of the sony hack because it got so much media coverage and its in response to the movie the interview. why was this such a significant event because we spent a lot of time talking about this in the book. >> guest: i do a deep dive into the sony attack that took place in 2014, and it was based on the north korean government recognition that they were opposed this movie the to this e interview, which was what i call a ribald comedy. it wasn't that good of a movie that it was important in
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exposing the kind of problems north korea poses. it needs to be understood coming and i don't think a lot of people understand this is a crimes against humanity regime you did the human rights commissions have exposed that and they've identified it and get here we are still dealing with this regime that those horrible unspeakable things to its people. the sony hack was the first time a government had attacked a private industry for political gain. so sony pictures took information that was extremely damaging to the company. the software that was used to describe the entire networks of these people. it's kind of a harbinger of things to come.
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for the research of the book i interviewed a north korean defector and he actually trained hackers in north korea and issued a dire warning saying the u.s. should take this as serious. what they are going for is the u.s. infrastructure ability to turn out the lights com, to dame the infrastructure and prevent us from operating as a society. and of course everyone recognizes the u.s. is probably the most wired country in the world and if you attack that infrastructure, you could cause strategic damage to the united states and that is a danger. the north koreans are building on that capability and they are still considered a second-tier threat to the russians and chinese. >> host: you are critical of the u.s. lack of response to the
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hack. can you go into that more to understand what the u.s. did after the attack and if there were missed opportunities? >> guest: i've been covering this issue for a long time and it goes back as far as 2011. i learned from intelligence sources in the government of senior officials of all the major agencies, the intelligence community, the pentagon, law enforcement presented a series of options to the obama white house and basically they were saying we are under attack from these various places, cyber attacks and others and unless we do something in a very real way, these are going to continue so they presented a range of options ranging from imposing sanctions on these entities whether that was government officials or hackers all the way to conduct in offenses for the
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chinese unit that was linked to the office of personnel management. the white house rejected all of those options. so basically, there hasn't been anything done. in the case of sony, they made some symbolic sanctions from the north korean officials that would have no impact. things like blocking them from their dream in the united states for access to the financial system. while those are okay measures, they want to have an impact and as a result, we have seen an escalating scale of the cyber influence operations. it's getting worse and it's not getting better. the reason that there needs to be a greater response of the current national security agency has been one of the strongest advocates for the tufty turns response. in other words, he's been
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advocating that the cost of entry into this realm of information, cyber influence is so low that it's irresistible for the enemies to engage in it. sthat. so if there is a greater cost the couple have a deterring effect if you have the united states he will be attacked back and that will change the equation. >> host: i think it highlights an important question for policymakers that we are grappling with because it is a nongovernmental agency, what role should prefer the defense play when we are discussing admiral rogers, what should they play in combating and making sure we are sharing information with nongovernmental organizations of cyber threats? >> guest: they allow the government to be able to do things very blurred.
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most of the infrastructure is in private companies in charge of their own security. the government has a great resource of securities and they are kind of restrained from using it. there's a lot of reasons for that. some are political. they are turned against the national security agency which is other intelligence and law enforcement have good capabilities but they are constrained by law and regulation about what they can do. that's why they need a new entity i call it information america where we would set up something that would be similar to the u.s. information agency of the cold war era and it would
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transcend various agencies because information warfare would be to the connecticut military. it would be a support function and if it's in the intelligence community it would be imposed by heavy secrecy and if it is in the state department, it would be diplomacy and cared. at the state department is oriented with getting involved in foreign nations, so if we have an agency that can do this kind of thing i think it would help clarify those lines of authority and it would be both a content and promotion as well as technical and cyber to cross over these two things and interact better in the private sector. >> host: so that is an interesting proposal i will get to and i also wanted to highlight of the other countries that have utilized. we talk about north korea being in tier two.
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you write no other nation today poses a greater danger than china. a state engaged in an unprecedented campaign of information warfare using massive cyber attacks and influence operations aimed at diminishing what is regarded as the most strategic importance enemy, the u.s.. i was one of those that was part of the hacking. why was that such a significant event and second, talk about the broad capabilities and how they differ from the actors.
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>> guest: the chinese recognized they do not have the capabilities to challenge the united states and right now, china is challenging the united states as the main enemy. it is a communist dictatorship often lost in the debate and i've been covering that for over 30 years. what they are also doing is trying to manage the decline of the united states. they have the decline. in the united states and see the united states as a diminishing power and that they are a rising power and working to help
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diminish the united states, so that is the underpinning of the information operations and united states. i highlight a number of areas where they do that. 22 million federal records were attacked but that is one element of this that had been going on for a decade. it was primarily a cyber espionage intelligence operation, and they stole the records that included some of the most sensitive information you could possibly have in the u.s. government, things of security clearances. it's about somebody getting a clearance and this is extremely valuable for the future cyber
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attacks. what the chinese can do with that information is using the data mining tools to be able to identify a systems administrator inside of thin spite of the defe contractor and with other intelligence, they could target officials and learn the password credentials to gain access to further information operation. a lot of times, these attacks have been kind of diminished as an intelligence gathering. but that is i think a misnomer. the reason you can't say that it's just a simple intelligence gathering is because there are two things that happen when the chinese get inside a network like the office of personnel management. they steal massive amounts of data and this is a little known fact day planned something callecalled a sleeper agent sofe that is software that communicates with beijing but
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it's almost impossible to detect. it's maybe communicates back once a year and is mixed in with one knee and zero. in the crisis they could accuse that software to shut down networks or do other sabotage efforts. so that's why we are having trouble with the terminology whether it is cyber sabotage or a combination of both. >> one statistic that is astounding in terms of the amount of data, the nsa estimates the amount stolen by chinese spies amounts to an extraordinary 50 terabytes of data, the equivalent of five times all the information contained in the nearly 161 million books and other materials in the library of
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congress. that is astounding. that demonstrates how much of a threat this is and how far behind the united states is and how we have a strategy to combat this type of cyber warfare. >> the use of the data is what is critical. i interviewed a person from the data mining company in the u.s., his name is tom reilly. he basically said in china there are some 6,000 companies emerging so it's not just that they are stealing data, but they have the ability to manipulate or the useful intelligence and also to conduct future cyber operations. >> another actor is russia, which you spend a fair amount of time on in the book. can you give the viewers a sense of the size and scope of the use
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of information warfare because it is significant. >> guest: just last week i went to a conference where the deputy director of the agency was giving a speech in afterwards, i went up to him and said he heard a member of years ago the director of national intelligence said russia had eclipsed as the nature threads in the cyber realm. who's the bigger threat, russia or china and he said russia but he wouldn't tell me why. the reason is they are building their capabilities on the soviet past as a major nuclear power, they had a tremendous technology base. they've now emerged as the key players in the round.
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they are going in and using these cyber capabilities began as what they see as the main threat under vladimir putin. it's the cyber operations in more of those are as recent as two weeks ago with an indictment against the russian hackers and intelligence officers involved in the yahoo! attack. >> host: i know we've talking debate talked about the cyber warfare but they allow us to implement information operations and information warfare.
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i wanted the russian federation in 2013 he said coming into this is in your book the war with nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown and in many cases exceeded the power to forc of fh weapons in the effectiveness. i think as we are looking at russia's increasing influence particularly when it comes to undermining the nato allies, we see a very unique way that they are using information warfare and operation. can you talk about that in terms of the operations in ukraine and in crania specifically and how it's been used in russia? >> guest: the russian strategic threat is extremely dangerous. i've been covering national security a long time and i don't scare easily do the thing but tt
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happened over the last several years have really frightened me about the concerns happening. it's the nuclear development and in addition to developing the new nuclear weapons and modernizing across the range of systems on the missiles, bombers, submarines as well as developing even school nuclear weapons conflict i recently mentioned in the book the pentagon did a study of what they call the low yield nuclear weapons and change their tactics to the point they had a policy called escalates to de- escalate and they will rapidly use the nuclear weapons in the regional conflict because the conventional forces have become so weak and outmoded that they need nuclear weapons. so when you combine this kind of hair trigger with the use of
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information warfare to the strategic ends you have a very dangerous situation as it relates that was like a case study in has been known as hybrid warfare. basically they took over this industrial region of ukraine without firing a shot into the use the special force troops without insignia and what became known as little green men but behind the scenes they were also using these operations to put forth the narratives in this part of ukraine that belonged to russia and had a large russian population and had organized demonstrations to make it appear like the people in crania wanted them to take over this industrial heartland of ukraine. so, this was a wake-up call to the west. as far as the russian ideology goes, i've looked at what is motivating vladimir putin to do
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these. he's kind of adopted a nationalist neofascist approach. he is called the collapse of the soviet union the biggest catastrophe for russia and he's bent on kind of reestablishing a russian supremacist state that he is at full stretc says will e pacific to the atlantic and will control all of the areas around russia including the arctic by the grace of thiteresa this is s situation as we are seeing the russians emerge under a regime that has designs taking over the nation's. the propaganda outlets for russia have dismissed this by saying what is a little section of the country like crimea. it is that the aggression is allowed to proceed unchecked and leads to very bad things come
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and that's where we are right now unless this aggression is reversed, we are going to see more problems with russia down the road. .. how can we do that as i am certainly concerned about this spirit i want to ensure what i'm reading in the news is fox base do not shape by our adversaries. >> host: it's a real challenge dealing with the press today and in my own business i have seen the news media is in turmoil. you find that newspapers had a
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huge profit margin when they were print advertising and are now struggling to survive setting up paywalls but as i mentioned there's also been a certain politicization of the media and as we say the liberal media is dominated by three issues which is gender identity, racism and global warming. on the conservative side you have a oak is on security issues, say immigration as a domestic issue and a little bit or concerns about government overreach and these two issues have created a division within our society so people, if you watch to the network news every night is ideal i found it incredibly biased. the divide is so obvious and people aren't getting a real sense but a lot of it is mostly domestically focused. there has been a lot of coverage overseas. lest lessers a major at them like a terrorist attack we
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aren't covering overseas. we are covering these threats and again it's identifying these threats. the other thing is in the liberal media today there is this kind of the postmodern philosophy. the only real threats out there or from the terrorists who are kind of on the french. as far as nation-states there is very little difference and our enemies don't agree that you are all and that's what we need to focus on, understanding these threats. >> host: and other horrible fact in the book is the fact that the russians have conducted the first cyber attack against the foreign nations electrical power grid. you write the military -- demonstrate the russians are leading the way with cyber attack's including the first non-cyber attack against the electrical power grid which turned out the lights for tens of thousands of ukrainians. from my perspective that's deeply concerning the fact that
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the cyber attack scan happened to critical infrastructure around the world or in the u.s.. with potential threat could that pose for us in the u.s. and what can we do to ensure that we have the defense measures in place to combat back? >> guest: that is the big enchilada in terms of cyber threats and the bad news is u.s. intelligence and law enforcement has already detected both russian and chinese cyber intruders getting into the networks that map the electrical grid and controls the electrical grid. what does that mean? that means that they are doing recognizance so in a future conflict or crisis even they could shut down the power. in fact i present kind of a fictional scenario in the china chapter which shows as a result of a crisis in the south china sea where a u.s. plane sinks a
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chinese warship that rather than conducting a kinetic counterattack the chinese dispatch covert commandos to pennsylvania at a specific node in the grid and they actually make it look like it was a natural disaster, a tree falling on a powerline and then they use cyber attack's to create a cascading power failure over the three grades of the u.s. electrical grid. rate that's exactly the kind of thing that people are worried about and i think some steps are being taken to try and strengthen and harden the grid against those attacks but it's not going to be easy. for example transformers. it's been shown through cyber you can cause a transformer to explode and blow up.
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replacing large transformers is going to be very costly and it would take a long time because the u.s. doesn't make transformers. they are made in germany or south korea so this is the kind of thing i think we need a more comprehensive approach and obviously the infrastructure, you know they talk about critical infrastructure but all the critical infrastructure everything runs on electricity and that should be the top priority. >> host: there is one additional country that you cover in this book and its eye round. what type of threats does iran face when it comes to information warfare? >> guest: iran is definitely an emerging power in the information warfare sphere and what i highlight in the iran chapter of "iwar" is iran has gone from kind of low-level defacement of web sites to cyber espionage to denial-of-service attacks escalating to the
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destructive cyber attack, that is the ability to create damage and sabotage through cyber means and i also elkis on the case of the hacking of the sands casino in las vegas which was a very sophisticated cyber attack against the casino owner sheldon adelson who had made comments about iran and the iranians attacked his site, basically shut down and destroyed or damaged the computers at his casino but more recently we have seen the iranians venturing into infrastructure. this is about a dam in upstate new york where they were able to get inside the comptroller of this dam and if they wanted to have this control been active but fortunately it wasn't, they could have created a natural disaster which would have flooded a local community in upstate new york.
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that to me is where the iranians are heading and it's a very serious threat. i think the government has done a little bit. they indicted a number of iranian hackers recently which revealed some of the information that much more information has to be put out. we have got to identify these threats. if we don't we aren't going to know how to counteract those threats. >> host: absolutely ends inside represents new york's 25th district deeply concerning to me but more partly many of these examples highlight that these are nongovernmental organizations, institutions and the u.s. needs to do a much better job in information sharing so we can ensure whether you are a private company, a financial institution, critical infrastructure you have the tools to be able to invest in cyber security so these situations don't happen. now i want to look our practice some of the conclusions in the book, and i want to read this
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quote at the big question is where do we go from here? we have an opportunity with the new administration and the new congress to put forth a strategy when it comes to information warfare. i've done that quite compelling. in the book you talk about a the 2012 study produced by the joint chiefs of staff and it found that the u.s. lacks a strategic understanding of warfare on the war on terror. for decades quote the u.s. was slow to recognize the importance of information in the battle for the narrative to achieve the objective at all levels. it was often ineffective in applying and aligning the narrative to the goals and the desires of the state. talked about the need for a new information agency. how is that part of where we go from here? at love to hear some of the conclusions you draw in the book with policymakers. >> guest: it's always been a
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feature of my books and again i highlight a lot of the threats and the paints a pretty dark picture. i not only try to present proposals for how to fix the problem but in this case i present the outlines of a number of issues. i mention the information u.s. aid for the 21st century. how it could be structured is up for debate. it could be a government entity like it was in the past. it could hear private sector say a nongovernmental organization funded by philanthropist or realistically a combination of the two where would be supported by intelligence agencies and diplomatic service as well but really focused on setting up programs. i present an outline on how we do this. obviously there is room for debate. we need to identify these problems and come up with some solutions. i think i've got a pretty good idea that if we don't try to do
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this we are going to be in bigger trouble down the road. the problem is getting worse. we didn't talk extensively about the russian influence operation but clearly that was a new stab and that let the government saying well we never thought about our elections as part of the critical infrastructure and during the cold war one of their jobs was to counteract then soviet influence. they kind of got out of that mission and it's very difficult to do in the polarized political environment but i think we need to have a public debate on these issues and come up with real solutions. i'm optimistic the trump administration will take a look at this. i know like yourself and others in congress they are also looking at solutions for this as well. >> host: in the solution chapter and i love books that look very critically at the challenges they face within present ideas and recommendations. you talk about as part of information america a number of
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projects from some of the peaks my interest and i think will pique your interest. i could go through these and get a quick summary of what they are are. the big data project. what does they'll that look like? >> guest: well already the government is very much interested in using big data. it's all of this open-source material whether the social media or news sources from other sources and putting it altogether all together and identifying patterns. we are able to use that in a constructive way to counteract some of these false narratives. that's kind of what they are doing. i mentioned the company that is doing that. they do some government work but it's a very complicated area. it involves the ability to gather that data and most importantly to be able to make sense of it to find out what's going on. again you have to have this in russian and in chinese so you have to develop new language
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skills and technology that can assist in chinese characters so i think that's really a growth area for focus to be able to use the data. >> host: another project he recommended that the u.s. government needs to embark on is the hollywood project. can you talk about what that is? i thought that was interesting. >> guest: this is idea of not just countering information by promoting america, promoting the idea of freedom liberty democracy, free markets. americans film industry was one reason that people around the world loves america but unfortunately in hollywood today you have a narrative that portrays the united states in the worst light possible. it's cliché in every movie that it anticorporate and anti-government. the bad guys who in the past
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used to be the good guys. i'm not saying we should let them do that but i know there's a big market for grow american patriotic movies that have a different narrative. let's set up a pro american film industry or studio. i know glenn beck is talked about doing this and in something that is urgent. i think it would be a commercial market because we do portray america well. it could the propaganda but we need to get over that and say look we have some great things to offer the world. we need to promote democracy against the chinese socialist model and against the russian fascist model and that would be one right to do it. >> host: that brings me to my next point. you mentioned this idea of the hamilton project. obviously that's in response to the hamilton musical and the success we have seen beyond all previous broadway plays. i saw hamilton and earlier in the book separate from his
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hamilton projects you talk about how our founding fathers understood the importance of information warfare and influence operations. what would the hamilton project look like? i have said i think every number congress should see hamilton because it does highlight the strength of our u.s. republican democratic government and the challenges that our founders faced. what does the hamilton project look like? >> guest: it's oriented towards using the broadway arts and plays and musicals for this purpose. i think the hamilton project really does show that you can use artistic venues to promote the best of america. i don't think we should apologize for that. again the liberal left narrative is that america is evil country and should -- all of its faults should be highlighted. my view is the opposite, there
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is hope for the world and we need to promote that. >> host: now we are going to turn the tables. what is your recommendation for members of congress? i said on the house armed services committee and the over the defense department and the intelligence community. what is your recommendation for elected officials and the big questions we need to be asking in the process we need to go through to be in a better place to do for years from now when it comes to information warfare? >> guest: i would say the biggest thing congress could do would be to help the american people understand the threats that we are facing. that is really the key. people don't think there's a threat or they think the foreign threat is just a reflection of the same thing that the u.s. government does. there's a misunderstanding there. congress can be a valuable resource in helping the defense
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department to promote things like understanding the chinese information warfare threat or the russian information warfare threat. the intelligence community as well. they have information but their whole culture is we can't let anybody know this and the cyber realm again the information explosion around the world, things travel at light speed and yet we can't get information out with something comes to light. if we could establish better procedures and policies to better inform and educate the american public i think congress could play a key role there. all of the best things that i've seen in my career and 30 years in washington have come as a result of congressional action. here's an example. congress mandated that the pentagon produce an annual report on the chinese military. the chinese complain about it every time we do this annual report but it's one of the most important baselines for understanding what's going on.
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similar things with information warfare and cyber threats. we have to get information out there so people know and so are companies know and we can take steps to fix the problem. >> host: one of the policy questions that we are grappling with on the house armed services committee is the importance of u.s. cyber command. as you know admiral rogers's dual-headed as the commander of u.s. cybercommand. what can we do to mature the cyber command and should we look at that dual hats? >> guest: this has been one of the key questions. it's the chicken or egg problem. the problem is an essay which is co-located with cyber command is this repository of the best cyber capability. those capabilities are focused on intelligence gathering. cyber command's job is to both
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of the threats and to be ready when needed to be able to take action come either defense of action or in a warfare since to wage cyber warfare in the future. the lines of authority remain blurred. in fact the pacific command commander testified recently that the problem is that the lawyers are controlling things and he said either we change the system or we get better lawyers because they are not allowed to use cyber capabilities because they are restricted by legal constraints. there clearly needs to be at some point cyber command will be separated from nsa and it would probably be elevated to its own combatant command but until they can figure out the legal differences and figure out a way that the nsa can directly supports cyber command is probably going to stay that way
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i would guess for another year or so. >> host: i'm a big lever and public-private partnerships and i think there's an opportunity to work with silicon valley whether it's the big data projects are the social media projects that you talk about at the end of the book. how can we more effectively work with the there and specifically our technology companies that are in testing in research and development and big data analytics? >> guest: silicon valley is the industrial heart of america right now and i point out in "iwar" a lot of people in silicon valley have been co-opted by the left. there was a great article by name -- a guy named michael anton who talked about san francisco values and the political left in a lot of ways has co-opted many of the people in silicon valley. these things could be much more developed in a pro america pro security directive. instead silicon valley is
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leading in the libertarian political direction where they kind of don't want to interact with the government. the government has too many problems and is too bureaucratic bureaucratic. i think there needs to be some outreach. i know the cia has a technology unit in silicon valley. the pentagon has an innovation center there too. i think the challenge is really to try to get them to contribute to this battle against the foreign information warfare threat. i think if the leaders of silicon valley and the social media companies and the titans out there were educated to some of the things that i'm writing about in "iwar" a think it would change their view on how to deal with these problems. >> host: do you think there's an opportunity for this administration to invite members of companies that are leading the way in silicon valley?
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there are so many companies that need to understand the importance of cyber security and information war there has been increasing problem against the u.s. produces an opportunity for this administration? >> guest: absolutely. it should form a blue ribbon panel of experts. a lot of times commissions can be oriented by the people you pick so it has to be done in a way that will create some real policy proposal. that would be the first step. let's get some of the silicon valley people. let's get some of our warmer government people involved in information operations. let's get them working together to figure out how to address this problem. i feel it's an urgent necessity because this problem is going to get a lot worse. we saw the last election with the russian influence operation,
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it's not going to stop. james comey the fbi director said it's going to be here in 2020, it's going to be here in 2018 so this is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed right away. >> host: now i want to turn to some fun questions, how your experience was writing this book. can you tell me how long this book took you to right? to know it's a culmination of your career but from start to finish in terms of brainstorming to publication, how long did it take? >> guest: that's a good question. i began work on the book in april of 2016 and my deadline to turn in the manuscript was august 1. >> host: that's pretty quick. >> guest: very quick. i've relied on a lot of reporting that i've done and i basically took the stories ended further research and further interviews of people and i tried to identify again without having known the government had
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identified these major players i was able to do chapters on each and every one of these. i have a lot of inside information. that's one of the advantages to writing. this is the first book that i've written since 2008 and back then there wasn't the same level of access to information as there is now. we have so much information at their fingertips. it's just an information explosion out there so there's just incredible resources that are out there. for example i found the report that was done for nato on russian information warfare. it was done by a polish woman and it was a fascinating look at how the russians orchestrated the takeover of crimea. a lot of that information i was able to get that and put it all together. the publisher was very good. we had a bit of a back and forth. we change some of the chapters around and move the north korea
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chapter to the front. i think he cannot very well. >> host: the feedback has been quite positive. there are number of -- the north korea chapter is a great example of that. can you talk about what the response has been to the feedback when. >> guest: this is amazing that one of the solutions to the north korea problem i said was there's a way to change the regime in north korea and i think we should also realize we need to change that regime. again the crime against humanity regime. shouldn't be allowed to torture his own people for so long in the past. my solution was to get nongovernmental organizations and have them send cell phones and computers into north korea. let's get this hermetically sealed totalitarian state wired. we know from china that they can control the technology but i
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know from the korean people they are innovative enough that they will eventually find ways around all of these government controls and breakthrough the information walls and get the information. once information starts flowing into that country will change. it will change very rapidly. i also mentioned one of the tools would be to set up a government in exile. i said let's use the estranged brother kim jong-un and the north korean leader as a tool to really put the pressure on him to change the regime. as we saw within weeks of publication of the book the north koreans to their ministry of state security conducted a clandestine assassination of kim jong and as he walked through the airport using a nerve agent. two women went up to him and rubbed his eyes and within minutes the nerve agent killed him. this took away the potential leader and the north korean
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regime is a family dynasty, three generations. the solution is to target as they say in military terms the center of gravity of the north korean regime which is the kim family. >> host: i had the opportunity to travel to south korea as part of the intelligence committee for new members in japan and south korea and the cover of the newspaper was two days after that assassination of kim jong-un's half-brother. it is a significant national security challenge and it is going to be incredibly important for policymakers and important to pay attention what's happening in syria and iraq that the north korean challenge is significant and a strategy to shed light and ensure the north korean population have access to the truth and the information because i think that will undermine the regime and have the potential for a better
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future for north korea. it certainly was eye-opening visiting there. we have reached the end of our book talk. again this is bill gertz to talk about his new book "iwar" war and peace in the information age age. this is a timely book. has incredible right conditions from policymakers and i just want to thank you for your time and your thoughtful answers and for your willingness to put bacon soup work into writing a book like this. >> guest: thank you very much for they know you are very busy and i really appreciate you taking the time. >> host: thank you.
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