tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN February 9, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm EST
they use cyber to conduct theft and extortion and other criminal activities. turning to terrorism there are now more sunni violent extremist groups and members and safe havens than at any time in history. the rate of foreign fighters traveling to the conflict zones of syria and iraq in the past few years is without precedent. at least 38,200 foreign fighters including at least 6,900 from western countries have traveled to syria from at least 120 countries since the beginning of the conflict in 2012. as we saw in the november paris attacks returning for fighters with first hand battlefield experience pose a dangerous operational threat. isil has demonstrated sophisticated attack tactics and trade craft. isil including its eight established and several more emerging branches has become the preeminent global terrorist threat. they've attempted or conducted scores of attacks outside of syria and iraq in the past 15 months. isil's estimated strength
worldwide exceeds that of al qaeda. isil's leaders are determined to strike the u.s. homeland. beyond inspiring homegrown violent extremist attacks. although the u.s. is a much harder target than europe, isil external operations remain a critical factor in our threat assessments for 2016. al qaeda's affiliates also have proven resilient. despite counterterrorism pressure that's largely decimated the core leadership in afghanistan and pakistan, al qaeda affiliates are positioned to make gains in 2016. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and the al nusra al qaeda in syria are the two most capable al qaeda branches. the use of encrypted and mobile-based technologies enables terrorist acts are to, quote, go dark and undercuts law enforcement efforts. iran continues to be the
foremost state sponsor of terrorism and exerts its influence in the mideast through the qods force its terrorist partner lebanese hezbollah and proxy groups. iran and hezbollah remain a continuing -- a continuing terrorist threat to u.s. interests and partners worldwide. we saw first hand the threat posed in the united states by homegrown violent extremists in the july attack in chattanooga and the attack in san bernardino. in 2014 the fbi arrested nine isil supporters and in 2015 that number increased over fivefold. turning to weapons of mass destruction, north korea continues to conduct test activities of concern to the united states. on saturday evening pyongyang conducted a satellite launch and subsequently claimed that the satellite was successfully placed in orbit. additionally last month north korea carried out its fourth nuclear test claiming it was a hydrogen bomb but the yield was too low for it to be a
successful test of a staged thermonuclear device. pyongyang continues to produce fissile material and develop a submarine launched ballistic missile. it's also committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile capable of posing a direct threat to the united states although a system has not been flight tested. despite its economic challenges, russia continues its aggressive military modernization program. it continues to have the largest and most capable foreign nuclear armed ballistic missile force. it has developed a cruise missile that violates the intermediate range nuclear forces or inf treaty. china for its part continues to modernize its nuclear missile force and is striving for a secure second strike capability. although it continues to profess a no-first-use doctrine. the joint comprehensive plan action or jcpoa provides much greater transparency in to iran's fissile nuclear
production. it increases the time they would need to produce enough highly enriched of nuclear uranium from a few months to about a year. iran probably views the jcpoa as a means to remove sanctions while preserving nuclear capabilities. iran's perception of how the jcpoa helps it achieve its overall strategic goals will dictate its level of adherence to the agreement over time. chemical weapons continue to pose a threat in syria and iraq. damascus has used chemicals against the opposition to multiple occasions since syria joined the chemical weapons convention. isil has also used toxic chemicals in iraq and syria including the blister agent sulfur mustard the first time an extremist group has used a chemical warfare agent in an attack since sarin was used in japan in 1985. in space and counterspace, about 80 countries are now engaged in the space domain. russia and china understand how
our military fights and how heavily we rely on space. they're each pursuing destructive and disruptive anti-satellite systems. china continues to make progress on its anti-satellite missile program. moving to counterintel jennings, the threat from foreign intelligence entities both state and nonstate is persistent complex and evolving. targeting and collection of u.s. political, military, economic, and technical information by foreign intelligence services continues unabated. russia and china pose the greatest threat followed by iran and cuba on a lesser scale. as well the threat from insiders taking advantage of their access to collect and remove sensitive national security information will remain a persistent challenge for us. i do want to touch on one transnational crime issue, specifically drug trafficking. southwest border seizures of heroin in the united states have doubled since 2010. over 10,000 people died of
heroin overdoses in 2014. much of it laced with fentanyl which is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. in that same year more 28,000 died from opioid overdoses. and cocaine production in colombia from which most u.s. supplies originate has increased significantly. now, let me quickly move through a few regional issues. in east asia china's leaders are pursuing an active foreign policy while dealing with much slower economic growth. and they've embarked on the most ambitious military reforms in china's history. it pursues construction at its outposts in the south china sea. russia has demonstrated its military capabilities to project itself as a global power, maintain domestic support for the regime and advance russian interests globally. moscow's objectives in ukraine will probably remain unchanged including maintaining long-term
influence over kiev, and frustrating its attempts to integrate into western institutions. putin is the first leader since stalin to expand russia's territory. moscow's military venture into syria marks its first use since its foray into afghanistan of significant expeditionary combat power outside the post-soviet space. it demonstrates its military capabilities. moscow face ss the economic recession. russia's nearly 4% gdp contraction last year will probably extend into 2016. in the middle east and south asia there are more cross-border military operations under way in mideast than at any time since the 1973 arab-israeli war. anti-isil forces in iraq will probably make incremental gains through the spring, similar to
those made in ramadi in the past few months. isil is now somewhat on the defensive in its territory and manpower are shrinking but it remains a formidable threat. in syria pro-regime forces have the initiative having made some strategic gains in the north as well as in southern syria. manpower shortages will continue to undermine the syrian regime's ability to accomplish strategic battlefield objectives. the opposition has less equipment and firepower and its groups lack unity. they sometimes have competing battlefield interests and fight among themselves. in the meantime some 250,000 people have been killed as this war has dragged on. the humanitarian situation in syria continues to deteriorate. as of last month there were approximately 4 .4 million syrian refugees and another 6.5 internally displaced persons which together represent about half of syria's preconflict population. in libya despite the december
agreement to form a new government of national accord establishing authority and security across the country will be difficult to put it mildly with hundreds of militia groups operating throughout the country. isil has established its most developed branch outside of syria and iraq in libya and maintains a presence in cert, benghazi, tripoli and other areas of the country. the yemeni conflict will probably remain stalemated at least through mid-2016. aqap and isil's affiliates in yemen have exploited the conflict and collapse of government authority to recruit and expand territorial control. the country's economic and humanitarian situation also continues to worsen. iran deepened its involvement in the syrian, iraq and yemeni conflicts in 2015. it also increased military cooperation with russia, highlighted by its battlefield alliance in syria in support of the regime. iran's supreme leader continues to view the united states as a
major threat. we assess his views will not change desite the implementation of the jcpoa deal, the exchange of detainees and the release of the ten sailors. in south asia afghanistan is at serious risk of a political breakdown during 2016 occasioned by mounting political, economic and security challenges. waning political cohesion increasingly assertive local power brokers, financial shortfalls and sustained countrywide taliban attacks are eroding stability. needless to say there are many more interests to u.s. interests worldwide than we can address most of which are covered by our statement for the record but i will stop my litany of doom here and pass to general stewart. >> general stewart. >> chairman mccain, ranking members, ranking member reid, members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to provide the defense intelligence agency's assessment of global security environment and the threats facing the nation. mr. chairman, my statement for
the record details a range of multifaceted challenges, adversaries, threats, foreign military capabilities, and transnational terrorist networks. taken together these issues reflect the diversity, scope and complexity of today's challenges to our national security. in my opening remarks i would like to highlight a few of these threats. the islamic state and the lavant, they are helping the war fighter and our policymakers better understand both the ideology and the capabilities of isil. isis, isil as well as like-minded extremists are born out of the same extreme and violent sunni ideology. these jihadists are determined to restore the caliphate and as they have shown are willing to justify extreme violence in their efforts to impose their social order on others. as the paris attacks
demonstrated, isil has become the most significant terrorist threat the united states and our allies. in 2015 the group remained entrenched in iraq and syria and expanded globally. spectacular external attacks demonstrate isil's relevance and reach and our key part of their narrative. isil will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in europe and attempt to direct attacks on the u.s. homeland in 2016. isil's foreign fighter cadre is core to its external attack capability and a large number of western jihadists in iraq and syria will pose a challenge for western security services. on the ground in syria and iraq, isil continues to control large swaths of territory. in 2015 coalition air strikes impeded isil's ability to operate openly in iraq and syria, curtailed its use of conventional military equipment, and forced it to lower its
profile. in 2016, the growing number of anti-isil forces and emerging resource shortfalls will probably challenge isil's ability to govern in iraq and syria. however, the group will probably retain sunni arab urban centers. in afghanistan. in their first full year in the lead afghan security forces increasingly conducted independent operations. however, these forces struggled to adapt to a lack of coalition enablers and the high operational tempo which led to uneven execution of operations. as a result insurgents expanded their influence in rural areas, limiting the extension of government control. the deployment of afghan specialized units and their enablers will be necessary to continue securing key population centers. in russia, russian military activity has continued at historical high. moscow continues to pursue aggressive foreign and defense policies including conducting
operations in syria, sustained an involvement in the ukraine and expanding military capabilities in the arctic. last year the russian military continued its robust exercise schedule and aggressively and occasionally provocative outches area deployments. we anticipate similar high levels of military activity in 2016. china is pursuing a long-term comprehensive military modernization program to advance its core interests which include maintaining its sovereignty, protecting its territorial integrity and projecting its regional influence particularly in the south china sea. in addition to modernizing equipment and operations, the pla's undergone massive structural reforms including increasing the number of navy, air force and rocket force personnel, establishing a theater joint command system and reducing their current military regions down to five joint theater of operations. china has the world's largest and most comprehensive missile
force. and as prioritized the development in deployment of regional ballistic and cruise missiles to expand its conventional strike capabilities against u.s. forces in the region and they field an anti-ship ballistic missile which provides the capability to attack u.s. aircraft carriers in the western pacific ocean. china also displayed a new intermediate range ballistic missile capable of striking guam during its september 2015 military parade in beijing. north korea's nuclear weapons program and evolving ballistic missile programs are a continuing threat. in early january north korea issued a statement claiming that it had successfully carried out a nuclear test. in a couple days ago they conducted their sixth space launch. this launch was the second launch to place a slote into orbit. the dprk display of a new or modified rogue mobile icbm
during the recent parade and its 2015 test of a new submarine launched ballistic missile capability further highlight pyongyang's commitment to diversifying its missile force and nuclear delivery options. north korea's also continues its effort to expand its stockpile of weapons-grade fissile material. in space, china and russia increasingly recognize the strategic value of space and are focused on diminishing our advantage with the intent of denying the u.s. the use of space in the event of conflict. both countries are conducting anti-satellite research and developing anti-satellite weapons. making the space domain increasingly competitive, contested, and congested. in cyberspace, concerned about the growing capabilities of advanced state actors such as russia and china. they target dod personnel,
networks, supply chain, research and development, and critical infrastructure information in cyber domain. iran and north korea also remain a significant threat to conduct disruptive cyber space attacks. nonstate actors' use of cyberspace to recruit, pr propagandaize maintain a significant challenge. we are providing unique defense intelligence around the world and around the clock to war fighters, defense planners, the defense acquisition community and policymakers to provide warning and defeat these and other threats. i look forward to the committee's questions. >> thank you very much, general. director clapper, in all these many decades you have served this country, have you ever seen more diverse or serious challenges to this country's security? >> no, sir, i have not. i have said that -- something like that virtually every year
i've been up here. this is my fifth or sixth time. and i decided to leave it out this year because it's kind of a cliche but it's actually true in my 50-plus years in the intelligence business i cannot recall a more diverse array of challenges and crises that we confront as we do today. >> and your job has been made considerably more difficult because of sequestration. >> yes, sir, it has. and i think the biggest problem with it frankly over time is the uncertainty that it injects in the context of planning particularly -- and it plays havoc with system acquisition. so, it's the uncertainty factor that we now have that has also become a normal fact of planning and programming. >> thank you. just in the last few days the issue of torture has arisen
again. general david petraeus made a statement that i'd like to quote to you. he says, our nation has paid a high price in recent decades for the information gained by the use of techniques beyond those in the field manuel and in my view the price far outweighed the value of the information gained through the use of techniques, ie, waterboarding beyond those in the manual obviously prohibits waterboarding and other forms of torture. do you agree with general petraeus' assessment? >> i do. the army field manual is the standard and that's what we should abide by. it serves the purposes of both providing a framework for the illistatii value intelligence gathering and comports with american values. >> that's the point, i think. isn't it the fact that american
values are such that just no matter what the enemy does that we maintain a higher standard of behavior? and when we violate that, as we did with abu ghraib, that the consequences are severe. >> yes, sir. >> an erosion of our moral authority. >> i would agree with that. >> isn't it already proven that mr. baghdadi is sending people with this flow of refugees that are terrorists that in order to inflict further attacks on europe and the united states? >> that's correct. that's one technique they've used is taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow. as well they also have available to them a pretty skilled at phony passports so they can
travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers as well. >> and they're pretty good at establishing secure sites for them to continue to communicate. >> that's true. i alluded to that in my opening statement about the impacts of encryption and the growth of encrypted applications, which is having a negative impact on intelligence gathering. i recently traveled to texas and this is affecting not only us and the national security realm, but the state and local officials as well. >> as you know, in addition to the atlas rocket which uses a russian rd-180 rocket engine, the united launch alliance maintains an american rocket with an american engine. as we continue to have the important debate how to break our dependency on russia for the
space launch, do we think we need to look seriously at the american rocket the delta to get off the rd-180 and encourage competition from other organizations capable of providing us with this ability? >> i'm a customer, chairman mccain, of the launch industry and the united states. my interest is in seeing to it that our overhead reconnaissance constellation is replenished and replenished on time. and there is a capability with the delta that as you allude which is we think, from our standpoint, since we pay the freight when we use these systems, which is both effective and cost efficient. and i certainly do agree on, you know, fundamental american tenet
of competition. it's why i'm quite encouraged by the aggressive approach that spacex has taken. and our plan is to certify spacex for carrying national security payloads into space. >> it's not in our interests in any way to continue our dependency on russian rocket engines. >> well, from -- just speaking as a citizen, i'd rather we didn't. we're more dependent on the rd-180s. we have been and they've worked for us. and, again, my interest, though, is getting those payloads up on time. >> thank you very much. senator reid? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. general clapper, today what's your assessment of the compliance by the iranians with the jcpoa, the community? >> right now, and i think the key milestone here was implementation day on the 16th
of january. and the iranians did comply with the requirements that were -- that they were required to live up to. i think we in the intelligence community are very much in the distrust and verify mode. there are half a dozen or so ambiguities, maybe others, but certainly half a dozen or so ambiguities in the agreement we've identified and we're going to be very vigilant about iranian compliance. >> well, that's exactly what you should be doing, and i commend you for that. just going forward, are you confident that you could detect a serious deviation from the agreements in sufficient time to give the executive options? >> yes, sir, i am confident. i will -- my fingerprints are on the infamous weapons of mass destruction national intelligence estimate of october, 2002.
i was serving in another capacity then. so, i think we approach this with confidence but also with institutional humility. >> thank you, sir. there are many challenges that are being posed by the russians, but the russians are facing a challenge of unexpectedly low oil prices that seem to be continuing. has the intelligence community made an assessment of the impact, medium to long term, on this, on the ability of the russians to maintain their military posture and the provocative actions? >> well, the price of oil has had -- the falling price of oil has had huge impact on the russian economy. the price of crude is running around $28 a barrel. the russians planning factor for their planning and programming for their budget is around $50 a barrel. so, this is causing all kinds of
strain. if you look at all the classical measurements of economic measures, inflation, the value of the ruble, which has sunk to an all-time low, unemployment, stresses on their welfare system, et cetera, et cetera. that said, the russians appear to be sustaining their commitment to their aggressive modernization program particularly in the -- with their strategic missiles. >> looking ahead, though, is there any indication -- or this is an area that you're picking up information through many sources that are reflecting great concern by the russians and their ability to keep this up or -- looking -- >> well, that determination will be made by one man. i think for lots of reasons he will sustain the expeditionary activity in syria.
although i think perhaps even the russians are seeing that this is headed for a stalemate in the absence of a substantial ground force insertion which i don't believe the russians are disposed to do. >> thank you. quickly changing topics in the remaining minute and a half. in afghanistan, multiple challenges. president gawni is thni is tryi pursue a reconciliation. any insights about the possibility of reconciliation or the motivation of any of the parties to this action? >> well, i think, you know, the taliban position has consistently been not to do that, not to negotiate. the first precondition they all ascribe is the removal of foreign forces and i don't see them changing that position. >> thank you very much.
general stewart, thank you for your distinguished service. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's a very accurate litany of doom y doom. you covered a lot of stuff in a short period of time. we'll have to go back and re-read that. when you look at what -- right now we're kind of in a situation where russia is pursuing new concepts and capabilities and expanding the role of nuclear weapons security strategy that's a quote out of the u.s. national intelligence council. you covered that also briefly in your opening remarks. when we talk to people on the outside and they say, you know, you have russia saying, stating they're going to make these advances. they're going to modernize and yet we have a policy where we're not doing it. what's a justification? what kind of answer can we give
people who ask that question including me? >> well, sir, that's a policy issue. i worry about the adversaries. i've used this metaphor before this committee. but general stewart and i and the rest of the intelligence community are just down in the engine room shoveling intelligence coal and people on the bridge get to decide where the ship goes and how fast and arrange the furniture on the deck. so, that's a policy issue. that others decide. >> well, i personally don't think it's a good policy, but we all have opinions on that. i was fortunate enough to be over in the ukraine back when they were successful in the parliamentary elections, the first time in 96 years there's not one communist in the parliament. that's really kind of exciting, although i was upset with our
lack of -- when putin came in and started killing people, with our lack of support at that time as a policy for ukraine. as we're looking at it now and there's been statements made from russia saying that as the nato becomes more aggressive and we become more aggressive, they're going to become more aggressive. does it look to you like that's going on right now? and what will be the end game of that? >> i think -- to answer your last question on what the end game is, i don't know. but i will say that the russians -- i might ask general stewart to comment on this, but i think the russians are fundamentally paranoid about nato. they're greatly concerned about being contained and, of course, very, very concerned about missile defense, which would
serve to neuter what is the essence of their claim to great power status which is their nuclear arsenal. so, a lot of these aggressive things that the russians are doing for a number of reasons, great power status, to create the image of being co-equal with the united states, et cetera, i think could possibly go on and we could be another cold war-like spiral here. >> cold war. i was thinking of that at the time. isn't that what we went through for such a long period of time where you had russia or ussr making the statements and preparing themselves and wanting to outdo us, i mean, just for the image? i see this as something kind of similar to that. director clapper, in your prepared statement you said, and this is a quote, u.s. air campaigns have made significant gains against isil and we have
reports that the u.s. strikes are benefiting isil. what is the relationship between al qaeda and isil? >> well, i've seen that. i don't know that i could say that air strikes against isil are somehow benefiting al qaeda because we're still keeping the pressure on al qaeda. >> you're familiar with those reports, though? >> i've read them. i'm not sure i would subscribe to them. there have been, you know, i think we have -- there has been progress made against isil and its iraq-syria incarnation, because that assumes some of the accoutrements are characteristics of a nation-state and that in turn prevents vulnerabilities that we can exploit. i think the important thing is to keep the pressure on on multiple fronts and keep attacking those things which are
near and dear to isil which is the oil infrastructure that it owns and its access to money. >> yeah. one last question. my time's expired but the rd-180 issue is one we're looking at and there's a recognition that we need to keep using for a period of time as we make any transition in the future. we have in the defense authorization bill of '16 i guess it was we talked about nine additional ones. i think the air force has requested at one point in some form 18 additional ones. what is your thinking about that? the transition. >> well, i tell you, senator, i -- my position here is i'm a user or customer. i have to have certain payloads delivered on time to sustain the health and viability of our overhead reconnaissance system which is extremely important to the nation's security. and i don't get into too much
other than i have to pay the bills because i pay the air force whenever we avail ourselves of their launch services. how they design their systems, that's kind of up to them. i'm interested in delivery. the delta has worked great for us. it appears to me to be cost efficient and it is effective in terms of when we've used it, it delivers. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i want to join my colleagues in thanking both of you for your extraordinary service to our nation. director clapper, you made the point in response to senator reed and also in your testimony that the international community is, in your words, well postured to detect any violation by iran of the nuclear agreement. has there been any indication so
far that it is moving toward a violation? >> no. not yet. we have no evidence thus far that they have -- they're in a -- moving towards violation. >> and i'm sure you would agree that this nation and the international community need to be vigilant and vigorous in enforcing this agreement. >> absolutely, sir. as i said earlier, i think we in the u.s. intelligence community are in the distrust and verify mode. >> and the distrust and verify mode includes not only the iaea but also other investigative tools that you have at your disposal. >> absolutely. going to the ballistic missile issue, which i believe is profoundly important, and general stewart makes this point in his testimony as well, i urge the president to impose sanctions and enforce them as a result of iran's continued development of ballistic
missiles which are a threat not only to the region but also to our allies in europe. and fortunately he has heeded those calls from myself in letters that were joined by my colleagues. how important do you think it is that we continue to enforce sanctions in response to iran's development of ballistic missiles? >> i think it's quite important that sanctions be enforced not only for missiles but for terrorism or any other things that are covered under the sanctions. the iranians have a very formidable missile capability which they continue to work on. they fired some 140 or so missiles since the original u.n. rescution of 1929 of 2010 and about half of those firings were going on during the negotiations which, of course, as you know were separate from the actual
negotiations. so, for our part, this is a challenge that we must attend to by being as vigilant as possible on gleaning intelligence about these capababilities and reportg it to our policymakers. >> speaking for myself, and i believe my view is joined by other colleagues, i will continue to insist on vigorous enforcement of those sanctions because of the threat that you have very powerfully outlined. general stewart, in your testimony, you make the point that the economic relief that iran will see as a result of the jcpoa is unlikely in the short term to increase its military capability, is that correct? >> i think it is -- it is unlikely immediately because i believe that the focus will be
on internal economic gains. however, after 35 years of sanctions iran has developed, as we just discussed, the most capable missile force in the region. it's extended its lethality, its accuracy. it's got all the ranges covered. it can reach all of its regional targets. in the long term i fully expect that they'll invest some of the money into improving the rest of their military capabilities. >> what is the long term? in other words, how many years is long term? are we talking five years, ten years? and secondly, what should be our response -- and i believe it has to be a robust and strong response -- to that increase in longer-term military capabilities that threatens our allies and the friends in the region most particularly israel
with terrorism and other conventional military capabilities as well as the kinds of counterincentives we can provide? >> so, the long termite not even be as far as five years. we've already seen an agreement between iran and russians between the s-300 air defense system. we're seeing russia demonstrate tremendous capabilities as they've done their out-of-area deployment into syria. so, there's lots of weapons technology being displayed and i expect in the next two to five years we can expect iran to invest in some of those weapons technology that's being displayed on the syrian battlefield by the russians today. >> and what should be our response? >> i think i'm going to punt that to the policymakers on the response to how iran arms and how they might use this weapons capability. >> you would agree that we should respond robustly and strongly? >> i should agree that we should have a policy to be prepared to respond appropriately.
>> thank you. thank you, general. thank you, general clapper. >> thank you, senator reed. we thank you both for your service. director clapper, thank you for your decades of service to the country, and that's something we all respect and value. general stewart, i appreciate seeing you again. you've been in the battlefield and you've seen it from both sides and know the importance of intelligence. director clapper, it seems to me that we are about to see a tremendous expansion of proliferation and the numbers actually of weapons and the countries that poe tess nuclear weapons something the world has united behind trying to stop, the u.n. and the whole world, nato, has fought to maintain a limited number of nations with nuclear weapons and we've been
particularly concerned about nuclear weapons in the middle east. where do we stand on that from a strategic position, your best judgment, the risk we're now facing? >> well, of course, we worry about north korea in this respect. and i think in the mideast i think the agreement, the jcpoa, which does prevent if it's complied with a nuclear capability of iran at least in the foreseeable future. that should serve as a tempering factor for the likes -- for other countries that may feel threatened if, in fact, iran proceeded on with its nuclear weapons program. >> we've got india and pakistan.
secretary kissinger testified here a year ago i suppose in which he said that we could see multiple nations in the middle east move toward nuclear weapons. and we do know that north korea will sell weapon technology. do we not? and have done so in the past? >> that's true that particularly north korea is a proliferator. that's one of the principal ways they attempt to generate revenue is through proliferation. i worry frankly about more mundane things like manpads which the north korean produce and proliferate throughout the world which poses a great threat to aviation. so, i think our role in the
intelligence community is to be as vigilant as we can about this and report when pro-liferants spread and that's a concern particularly in the mideast. >> thank you, it's a serious subject. general stewart, tell us where we stand in iraq. you served there and you were involved with the sunnis in anbar province. you saw them flip and become -- turned against al qaeda. can we replicate that now? and what are the prospects for the sunnis once again turning against the terrorists? >> i think the sunnis believe that they have a real prospect either for an involvement with the iraqi government or some other confederation construct
where their views and interests are represented. i think they'll likely turn against isil. i don't think that that message has been effectively communicated yet. i think abadi would like a more inclusive government, but i'm not sure he has all the members of his ruling body behind such inclusivity. until that happens, the tribes will be on the fence or to choose the least option and not antagonize or maybe even support isil in the western part of iraq. >> but that would be the decisive action that needs to occur, that once again the decisive action would be if the sunnis would turn against isil as they turned against al qaeda. >> i think that would absolutely
be decisive. but i think they'll be very cautious to ensure that we will not leave them hanging out there after they've turned against isil. this is pure pragmatism. if we're not successful, if we're not supportive of the sunni tribes, they will die. al qaeda and isil will be brutal and ruthless, if we're going to support them and convince them to fight against isil we have to have the true commitment of the government of iraq and all of the parties to encourage them to fight against isil because this is purely about survival for those tribes. >> and in our effort to push back against isil would be an extremely important action, development. >> yes, sir, i believe it would be. >> what about mosul? the city of a million that would not have the heritage of isil and that kind of extremism, what
are the prospects for turning the situation around in mosul and freeing mosul from isil? >> i'm less optimistic in the near term about mosul. i think there's a lot of work to be done yet out in the western part. i don't believe that ramadi is completely secure. they have to secure ramadi, they have to secure the hadithah corridor to bring all the forces against mosul. mosul will be a complex operation. i'm not as optimistic -- as you say, it's a large city and i'm not as optimistic that we can turn it in the near term, certainly not this year. we may be able to begin the campaign and do isolation operations around mosul but securing or taking mosul is an extensive operation and not something i see in the next year or so. >> thank you very much, general stewart. >> thank you, mr. chair.
welcome general clapper and general stew warstewart. director clapper, i've always believed the ground war against isis must be won by our arab partners and rather than american ground forces so, therefore, it was encouraging to hear saudi arabia and the uae over the weekend voice some openness to putting ground forces in syria. what's the intelligence community's assessment of the capability of the saudi and uae ground forces and how realistic do you think this proposal is, in other words, do you assess they actually have the political will to potentially do that. >> well, let me start with uae, which is very, very capable military, although small. the performance of their counterterrorist forces in yemen have been quite impressive. i think certainly appreciate and
value the saudi willingness to engage on the ground. i think that will be a challenge. would be a challenge for them if they were to try to take that on. >> if i could add -- >> absolutely. >> i fully concur with the uae forces. whether they have the capacity to do both yemen and something in iraq/syria is questionable for me. i think they're having a tough -- they're doing extremely well in yemen but the capacity to do more is pretty limited. >> thank you both. director clapper, one of the things we've been struggling with obviously is trying to crack down on isis' financing. they have multiple sources of revenue that include illicit oil sales, taxation, extortion of local population, looting of banks, personal property,
smuggling of antiquities and kidnapping for ransom and foreign donations. i'm certainly pleased to see some progress has been made with the u.s. coalition forces have escalated tactics by targeting wellheads, targets road tankers, even cash storage sites. these efforts have certainly helped force isis to cut its fighters' pay and some reports by up to 50%. what additionally do you believe that we can be doing to further restrict their financial resources? >> i think the -- sir, you've outlined pretty much the sources of revenue for isis. and they have a very elaborate bureaucracy for managing their money. and i think the important thing is to sustain that pressure on multiple -- multiple dimensions. to include going after the oil infrastructure. now, isil has displayed great
ingenuity by setting up thousands of these mom-and-pop refineries. and we have to stay at it. and as well the recent bombing of the some success with the iraqi government in reducing payments to iraqi citizens who live in isil controlled areas. there's a downside to that. when they do that, that alienates, potentially alienates them further with the central government in baghdad. but to me, the important aspect here, the important theme, would be sustain the pressure. >> you know, one of the sources that has been i guess surprisingly consequential is black market antiquity sales from the looting that's occurred.
it's my understanding the u.s. has sanctions that it can impose on anyone who imports antiquities stolen by isis but it doesn't have abilities to sanction individuals who actually purchase looted syrian antiquities. would it be helpful to authorize sanctions not just against the buy, the seller of those, but against the middlemen who are also involved? >> i would want to take that under advisement and consult with my colleagues in the department of treasury. i will tell you in the relative scheme of things, the sale of antiquities is not a big revenue generator and it's really kind of tapered off some. but i'd be for exploring whatever -- whatever ways we can pressure isil financially, we should. >> all right. thank you both. >> i want to thank you both for your service. i want to thank you, director clapper, for your many decades of service to your country. we appreciate it. i wanted to follow up on your
written statement where in it, and i think you reiterated today, iran probably views it as a means to remove sanctions while preserving some of its nuclear capabilities. in the second part, you said, as well as the option to eventually expand its nuclear infrastructure. can you expand on that? >> well, the period of the agreement plays out, i think it's -- we should expect that the iraqis will want to push the margins on r & d to -- they've already done work on research and development on centrifuge design. now, they've sustained the position they've taken and, you know, one man that makes the decision here, is the supreme leader, that they're not going to pursue nuclear weapons. but there are many other things they could do in a nuclear contest that serves to enhance their technology and expertise.
>> let me ask you. we saw iran actually have ballistic missile tests on october 10th and november 21st, post-jcpoa. and even pre-receiving the sanctions cash relief they recently received of billions of dollars. we also know recently north korea had a space launch developing, continuing to develop their icbm program, and i wanted to ask you, first of all, do you -- we know in their statement, we've mentioned historically there has been cooperation between north korea and iran on their ballistic missile program. can you tell us what that cooperation has been and can we expect that north korea will sell or share technology with tehran that can expedite iran's development of icbm missiles?
>> of late, i have to be mindful of the setting here. there has not been a great deal of interchange between iraq and iran or between north korea and iran on the subject of nuclear missile capabilities. but there has been in the past. we have been reasonably successful in detecting this. so hopefully we'll -- >> let me ask -- >> with appropriate vigilance, we'll sustain that. >> let me ask -- >> -- north koreans interested in cash -- >> we know iran has more cash? >> they do know. a lot of the cash, at least initial cash is encumbered. iranians have a lot of obligations to fulfill economically -- >> let me follow up. what do you make of the fact the
iranians did, in fact, post-jcpoa, in violation of existing u.n. resolutions, make two launches of ballistic missiles? sanctions put in place, those sanctions weren't very tough. do you think those are going to deter iran from developing its icbm program? >> the iranians have conducted some 140 launches since the original u.n. security council resolution in 1929 that was imposed in 2010. and so 70 of those -- about half of them were done during the negotiations. given the fact that the missiles were a part of the negotiation. as far as these two launches are concerned, i think this was a deliberate message of defiance and that the iranians are going to continue with an aggressive program to develop their missile
force. >> as you and i have talked about in the past, just to be clear, we judge that tehran would choose ballistic missiles as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons if it builds them. that is obviously why you would build a nuclear missile in you choose to build a nuclear weapon. >> they have hundreds of them. >> right. >> that threaten the mideast. and of course the two under development could potentially, given the technology. although the immediate one that's i guess the most proximate that would be launched. civilians and ostensibly for space launch -- >> i only have five seconds left. on the heroin question. i believe you said heroin and fentanyl, which is of course 30 to 50 times more powerful,
coming over our southern border, and that has doubled by the mexican drug cartels going back to 2010. do you believe that that's something we -- general kelly has raised this when he was commander of south com. that delivery system and those cartels could actually deliver almost anything with the sophisticated networks they've established. do you believe we should be focused also on more intro addiction, specifically on the heroin product? >> i do. the experience, at least what i've observed and i think general kelly has said this consistently when he testified is that it wasn't for lack of intelligence, it was lack of operational capacity to actually react and interdict. so we, you know -- i'm a big fan of the coast guard. the coast guard's done some great things. these new national security cutters, fantastic capability against drug -- for drug interdiction purposes. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman,
thanks to the witnesses. i have many questions to ask but i think what i'll do is focus on one. i'm struggling with this and i would love to hear your thoughts about lower oil prices. and how they affect our security posture. this is not in a litany of gloom, this is a good thing, but it's got some elements to it i think are challenging. i was in israel once in april of 2010 and meeting with president shimon peres and i asked him what would be the most important thing the u.s. could do to enhance security in the region and he said wean yourself off dependence on oil from the middle east. and as i talked to him, his basic logic was to the extent that we develop noncarbon alternatives, our own native energy sources, our demand for middle eastern oil will drop. we're a market leader. that would have an effect of reducing prices. a lot of the nations in the middle east, iran, russia, venezuela, they've used high oil prices to finance bellicose
adventurism. if they get more strapped on the cash side, they have a harder time doing it. so we've seen a dramatic development in american native energy. we've seen development of noncarbon energy. and we've seen oil prices go to dramatic lows and they're not going to stay there forever. many are predicting they're going to stay significantly lower than historic lows. it's good for american consumers. it's good for american businesses. it poses challenges for some of our principal adversaries. russia for example. it puts a cap to some degree what iran would get from being back in a global economy and selling their oil. but it also poses some risks as well. i've heard european counterparts say that they're really worried about an aggressive russia but they're even more worried about an economic basket case russia. so from the intel side, if you look at intel anm a little bit about the prospect
of low oil prices and any negatives associated with that please. >> well, i think you've painted the picture pretty well, senator cane. it's working i guess you could say, one could say to our advantage. spoke about that earlier in the price, current price of euro crude for example is $28 a barrel. when russia's planning factor for their national budget is $50 a barrel. this has affected -- for example, they have been unable to invest in the arctic. so it's had profound impact and will i think for some time. just structurally in russia. venezuela's another case. a country that was -- it's been completely dependent almost for its revenues for a long time on oil revenue. with the precipitous drop in
oil, it's had a huge impact on their economy. which is status managed anyway. and is laced with all kinds of subsidies for its people. now they're having -- they're facing insolvency. so that -- it has that effect. to the extent we become independent and not dependent on anyone's oil, that's a good thing. countries caught in the middle, i think, it's going to be a mixed bag as to how well they manage themselves. where they're dependent on others for oil. the price stays low, that's great. if it's hiked either by virtue of the national forces or artificially, that could have a very deleterious impact on the economy, say, in europe. so it's a very mixed picture. >> just a follow-up about russia in particular. it seems that sometimes they're
more likely to engage in some adventurism outside their country when their internal politics and economy is in trouble. putin seems like a guy who when things are going bad at home, he wants to divert attention. when it's the olympics or the >> that's true and of course all decision making in russia is essentially made by -- is done by one person. the russians have a great capacity for enduring pain and suffering.
the polls that are in russia still indicate very high levelsen popularity of of 80% range for putin. it is interesting, though, as in his speeches of late and domestically have taken a different turn or a different tone. in that that they are much more exhorting patriotic spirit in the great history of russia. as i think probably a way of diverting attention from the poor economic performance of the russian economy. and by any measure, you look at unemployment, inflation, the worth of the ruble. at an all-time low. and investment, et cetera. whatever measurement you want to use, it's all not good from a russian perspective. the issue would be, how does that effect the street? is that at what point does do
people start turning out and demonstrating, which that's what makes them very nervous. if people get organized and restive, on a large scale throughout russia. and russians are very concerned about that. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director clapper, in your statement you assess that foreign support will allow damascus to make gains to areas this year. and general stewart, you state that ra jad regime is to be near collapse in the near term in its poise to enter 2016 in a stronger military position against the opposition because of their increased support that they're receiving from iran and hezbollah and russia. given the apparently improving fortunes that we are seeing. do you assess that he will
transgress in any position from power? >> he is in a position different from six months ago. air forces supported by iranian and pez bowla forces are having some effect but not decisive effect across the battlefield. they are sieging aleppo. he is in a stronger position and i'm more inclined to believe that he is a player on the stage longer term than he was six months to aier ago. in a much bet are position. >> and general, how would you define longer term? >> yeah, that's -- i think this one is interesting. buzz i think the russians are very comfortable with the idea that if they have a rejoem that supports their interest, in
syria, bashar al-assad may not be as important to them as he is to the iranians to maintain their relationship with syria and status around lebanon. so i think getting all the parties to agree on whether he should go the time line with which he should go, who might be a better alternative, because that's important to all of the parties, this is such a dynamic space. then you saw the turks in with their interest in assad should go also. so i think long-term, i'm not seeing any change in the status here for the next year or so. and beyond that we'll see how the fight on the battlefield unfolds. >> before i turn to you, director clapper, general, when you, when you, mention about iran and moscow being able to work together on this. what i heard is maybe they're diverging in their support for
assad, in keeping him in power or giving him more leverage in a transition. do you believe that is going to come to a head? again in the short-term, long-term, and what are the consequences of that? i mean i can remember it wasn't that long ago when we would all sit up here and say it's not a question on if assad is leaving, it's when he's leaving. that obviously has changed. >> the russian reinforcement has changed the calculus completely. the tactical relationship that iran and russia has today i suspect, at some point, it's pretty hard to predict at some point will diverge because they won't share the stage. iran wants to be the regional hedgemond. if it has to compete with russia in the longer term -- and again,
i can't put months or years -- i suspect that their interests will diverge because of competition as a regional power. in the near-term, though, their interests is simply to pop up the regime and the regime in my mind is not necessarily assad. it's the regime first of all that allows russia to maintain its interests, and allows iran to control syria and greater syria and parts of lebanon. when those two things become tension points where russia jetisons assad. where russia pushes for its removal. i suspect that they will have a tactical breakdown. however it's still in iran's interest to maintain a relationship with russia, because of what we talked about earlier, the ability to procure weapons from russia without preconceived notions.
russia seems to be an option for doing that the relationship might be tense, it might break down at some point because of regional desires for control. they'll still have the enduring relationship from a weapons procurement standpoint. >> and director clapper, i'm out of time. but if you had just a couple comments that you would like to add there, i apologize for giving you less time. >> that's fine. the thing that i find interesting is, that both the russians and the iranians are growing increasingly interested in using proxies rather than their own forces. to fight in syria. the russians are incuring casualties. the iranians are. and so to the extent that they can bring in others, of course in iran's case, hezbollah. i think russians are not wedded to assad personally. but they have the same challenge as everyone else. if not assad, who? and i don't know that they've come up with an alternative to
him, either. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentlemen, thank you for being with us this morning. i was discussing yesterday, with one of our five eyes partners, overall long-term intelligence and worldwide threats. i'm afraid and you touched on this director clapper in your report. i'm afraid that the syrian refugee crisis is a precursor of a larger refugee crisis that we could be facing over the next 10-20 years, based upon predictions of climate change. the band of the world that is going to be subject to drought, famine, crop loss. flooding in some areas. over incredible heat. in the band around north africa, central africa, into southeast asia. we could see mass migrations that could really strain the western countries. would you concur in that? >> well i think you're quite right and i alluded to that at
least briefly in my oral statement about the fact that we have some 60 million people around the globe displaced. in one way or another. and i think -- >> if that increases, it's going to create, because all of those people are going do want to go where things are better. >> exactly. >> the northern hemisphere. >> so that will place ever-greater stresses on the remainder of the countries whether here in the americas, europe, africa, asia, wherever. and the effects of climate change, of whether abberations, however you want to describe them, just exacerbate this. you know, what we have in the world by way of resources to feed and support the growing world population is somewhat of a finite resource. there's only so much water, only
so much land. the conditions you mentioned i believe are going to foment more pressure for migrants. that on top of the instability of governance that i spoke briefly about in my oral statement are going to make for a challenging situation in the future. >> thank you. >> turning to something that you touched on, the lack of capacity to deal with drug imports is something that is a real strategic and tactical challenge. we're suffering terribly in my home state of maine, with, with heroin new hampshire has one death overdose a may. in maine it's 200 a year. one death every weekday, if you will and we're trying to deal with the demand side and with the treatment and prevention. but keeping this stuff out to begin with and heroin is cheaper than it's ever been. which tells me that the supply is up.
>> what, where should we be putting our efforts on the interdiction side? >> well to the extent, think the working with the mexican government, particularly since that's where great deal of this comes from. is mexico and i think the partnership that we can engender with them is crucial to this. >> are they a serious partner? do they want to stop this? or do they see this as a cash crop? >> well it depends on who they is, in mexico. i think the national leadership would obviously like to stop the flow. but there are very, as you know, very powerful economic forces in mexico that auger against that. >> and we've got a lot of money. and so they also have a corruption problem, frankly. to deal with. so i think we need to be as
aggressive as we can be, in interdicting what we can. i mentioned earlier, for example, the tremendous impact of coast guard capabilities, when they're brought to bear. and as we discussed earlier, general kelly, the former commander of centcom, i've spoken to this many times, about not so much a lack of intelligence, but rather the lack of an operational capability to respond to the intelligence. to interdict. we have the, we have the intelligence capability, and the intelligence capacity. but it needs to be matched by a resource commitment. >> we need a greater commitment in terms of interdiction capacity? >> exactly. >> with just a few seconds left and perhaps you could take this for the record we always at these hearings talk about the
cyberthreat. we've done some actions here. we finally got through a cyber bill last year about information-sharing. i'm still concerned about critical infrastructure and perhaps for the record you could give us some thoughts about what further we should be doing here in congress or in the country in terms of critical infrastructure. because that's i think our one of our areas of greatest vulnerability. >> i share your concern and we'll provide some for the record. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentlemen, thank you both for your many years of service to our country. i would like to state that it's reassuring to hear so many members of the committee who voted to give the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism millions of dollars express their grave concerns about what iran might do with that money. i wish we had heard more of those concerns during the debate and before the vote on it director clapper, you testified last year in your 45 years of public service, this was the worst global threat environment you had ever seen, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> yes, sir, i have occasion to say it again. >> that was your point with
senator mccain earlier. it's the worst global threat environment now in 46 years? >> it's certainly the most diverse array of challenges and threats that i can recall. >> why is that? >> well, i think it's frankly, it's somewhat a function of the change in the bipolar system. that did provide a certain stability in the world. the soviet union and its community, its alliance. and the west, led by the united states. and all other threats were sort of subsumed in that basic bipolar conflict that was characterized by that instability. when that ended, that set off a whole range, a whole group of forces, i guess or dynamics around the world. that have changed. >> you both have long and deep
experience in the middle east. in your experiences, is the middle east a place that prizes concessions and negotiations? or strength and toughness? >> i would argue that in almost all these cases, strength is preferred over signs of weakness. >> do you believe that the appearance and reputation for power is important part of the reality of power in national security affairs? >> yes, senator. >> what would you believe sour current reputation for power in the middle east, after say 10 american sailors were videotaped kneeling at gun-point by iranian revolutionary guard corps forces? >> i don't know that that incident alone reflects the
perception of our strength and power. i think over the last several years there have been some concerns among our partners about our commitment to the region. our willingness to employ the force where our interests, both national and strategic interest lies. i think that's caused a little bit of concern among our partners about our commitment to the region. >> i would like to return to a question that senator hinrich raised, he raised the news that the saudi defense ministry and now the emiradi foreign ministry suggested they would be willing to deploy their troops to the ground in syria and asked you to assess the capability of those militaries, but threats, for good or for ill capability and intention in both of statements from saudi arabia and the uae, they both insisted they would need to see u.s. leadership in that effort.
director clapper, do you have any idea what kind of leadership they're talking about? what more they would expect to see from the united states that they apparently are not seeing at the moment? >> i don't know what, and i took it to mean specifically with respect to if they deployed a significant military force into syria. and i took it to mean the command and control capability that you know, the u.s. is pretty good at. i, that's what i took it to mean. >> general stewart? >> i think, i think the arab countries led by saudi arabia and the emirates, would like to see more ground forces. to match their commitment. having said that, i do not assess that the saudi ground forces, would have either the
capacity to take the fight on. as i've said earlier, the emiratis, very capable. acquitted themselves well in yemen, lacked the capacity to take on additional fight elsewhere. i think the idea is how do you get more u.s. skin in the game. >> director clapper, in early october, shortly after russia began its incursion into syria president obama called it a big mistake, and quote doomed to fail. do you believe four and a half months later that russia's incursion into syria is a big mistake from their standpoint and doomed to fail? >> it could be a big mistake. one of the concerns the russians have of course, those with long memories is a repeat of afghanistan. and of course, that's why the russians to this point have avoided a significant ground force presence. they have about 5,000 personnel tied up in supporting the air operations advisers, intelligence, et cetera.
so long-term a mistake for them. they haven't enjoyed the success i think that putin anticipated. i think he, he believed that he would go in quickly and be able to leave early. and that is not turning out to be the case. and that they are getting into a long-term stalemate themselves. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman, good morning, gentlemen. i repeat what so many have said here. thank you for your public service. given what you've just said, general clapper, about russia being concerned about being bogged down and going back to the comments of senator cain,
about the cash reserves of russia diminishing because of the price of oil. and you mentioned that at some point that the streak in russia, these are my words, to erupt. can you give us a sense of when that might occur? given the factors that's been discussed in the whole committee meeting? >> senator nelson, i cannot. i don't know when that tipping point might occur. as i said, russian people have a great capacity for enduring discomfort and inconvenience and pain. but i think at some point they will reach, reach a breaking point. and i, i think the russian leadership is mindful of that. and are very concerned about it.
so this sustained economic recession, which will go well into 2016, i think is somewhat of an imponderable to try to predict when, if it's sustained, to predict when that will cause a breaking point and when the street will say something. >> from an intel standpoint, putin can continue his diversions, crimea, syria, what-not to get the nationalistic fervor of the russian people continually stoked up. but when they can't get butter, and they get to the point that they realize that that's going more to guns, do we have any sense from the history of
russia, of all or from an intel standpoint. do we hear anything of the rumblings going on in russia that would give us a better idea of how to predict that timing? >> well, no. >> i don't think predicting you know, socialological dynamics is very difficult. when people will collectively reach a breaking point. that's kind of what happened with the demise of the soviet union. when the big lie, i think became evident to more and more people. that's another thing that the russians worry about is information. sand information from the outside world. the russians expend a lot of energy, time and resource on controlling information and controlling the message in russia.
so the combination of these factors, their ability to endure the gradual erosion of the economy of russia, their tight control of information, not unlike the heyday of the soviet union, makes it to me at least, very difficult to predict when all those forces will collide. >> let me ask about assured access to space. which is essential to our national security. we have a great deal of optimism as a result of what we're seeing, a number of companies now producing rockets. that seem to be quite we have the likelihood of new engines being produced, but this
senator is concerned, not in the long-term, but more in the short-term, of is there a gap there. that if we do not have that russian-supplied engine, the rd-180, that we will not have the assured access to space. because of the alternative being number one that the delta 4 cannot be produced quickly enough. and number two, that it would be prohibitively expensive compared to the alternative of the atlas 5? >> i said earlier senator nelson, i'm in the customer mode. i have certain imperatives in terms of our assured access to space for overhead reconnaissance purposes. this is extremely crucial capability for the nation's safety and security. so i look to the providers of those who get those things into space.
which for me is the air force. >> i understand. >> to decide that. so the delta has worked great for us. we felt it was responsive, it was cost-effective. and it worked for us. are you concerned that there could be a gap? >> well i certainly would be. when we've had, when we've had to manage gaps, not so much because of launch, but simply because of capabilities in space, that is a great concern to us in the intelligence community. so yes, i would be very concerned about gaps. >> senator rounds? >> thank you, mr. chairman. director clapper and general stewart, thank you both for your service to our country. and we most certainly appreciate the participation that you have in this meeting today. in october of last year, the
u.s. naval institute published a rather chilling article, detailing the long list of advanced weaponry. that the chinese military has cloned by stealing from other nations. either through cyberespionage or reverse-engineering. what roles do you see the intelligence agencies taking to prevent this hemorrhaging of american technological advantage? >> well, i think it's our responsibility to insure that our policy makers and particularly the department of defense, are aware of the, this hemorrhage, if you will. of technological information that the chinese have purloined. our duty to make sure people know about this and suggest ways to try to stop it. >> general stewart? >> i don't know if i could add anything more to that.
we detect, we get an appreciation, understanding of the threat vectors. we inform. if we can, we provide potential solutions. it's up to those with the technology who have been threatened, their intellectual property threatened, to take those countermeasures. we identify, we warn, we report. and it's over to the users. >> would you both with regard to the tools you have available today, do you have the appropriate equipment, tools and technology to be able to detect and report these, these attacks? >> yes, we do. but i do think and this gives me an opportunity for maybe a small commercial that we do sustain r&d, this is particularly
important for all the i.c., but particularly nsa that we stay ahead of cybertechnological developments in the, in the world domain for foreign intelligence purposes to stay abreast of these. >> what do you believe constitutes an act of war in cyberspace? what do you assess it would look like? when does it become an act of war? >> that's a great question, senator, one that we've wrestled with. to a certain extent, i guess it's in the eye of the beholder. this gets to the whole issue of cyber deterrence and all of those complex questions. but i think that's a determination that would almost have to be made on a case-by-case basis. depending on the impact.
>> so if we were to suggest that it was time to define what an act of war in cyberspace would be, would not be appropriate? or should we be looking at clearly defining what an act of war constitutes with regard to the cyberactivity? would that be helpful or not? >> i think it would be extremely helpful to have clear definitions of what constitutes cyber events versus acts of war. we generally look at all cyber events and define it as an attack. in many cases you can do reconnaissance, can you do espionage. you could do theft in this domain. we call cyberspace. but the reaction always is, whether it's an adversary, doing reconnaissance, an adversary trying to conduct operations in this domain.
if we can get much fuller, definition of the range of things that occur in cyberspace, and then start thinking about the threshold where an attack is catastrophic enough or destructive enough that we define it as an act of war, i think it would be extremely useful. >> have we done enough or a sufficient job in deterring cyberaggression? >> i think we have a pretty robust capability to understand the adversaries. i think most potential adversary understand that we have a capability. whether or not we are ready to use that, because that's the essence of deterrence. that an adversary actually feels we will use the capability that we have. i'm not sure we're there yet. and that goes beyond our ability to understand and to counter the military capabilities. i think there's another
dimension from convincing from a policy standpoint that we're willing to use that capability. >> wouldn't it be a good idea a to have a policy, general? as i understand it, we have no policy as to whether we should deter, whether we should respond. whether if so, how. wouldn't it be good if we had a policy? >> mr. chairman, i always find it good to have a policy that guides the things i do as a military officer. >> i think that's not an earth-shaking comment. to tell you the truth. i don't think we'll stop the presses. the fact is, we don't have a policy. and i don't know how you act. when there's no policy as to how we respond to threats or actual acts of, of penetration into some of our most sensitive information. senator sullivan? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome, gentlemen. great to see two marines at the table. as the chairman knows the terms marine and intelligence are
considered synonymous by most. so glad to see -- >> really? glad to see you're bolstering that fine tradition. i wanted to focus a little bit on what's going on in the south china sea. >> and director clapper, last time you were here, you expressed concerns over the possible militarization of some of the formations that are being built up in that part of the world by the chinese and as you know, here we are a year later and that's exactly happened in terms of 3200 acres of new land. seven large land features, an air field, one of which is 10,000 feet long. what do you believe the chinese, what do you believe their goals are in the region? >> well i think the chinese are very, very determined to sustain their exorbitant claims in the south china sea.
they've had this nine-dash line, claim for sometime. they have sustained that. i think they will continue with building up their capabilities on these outcroppings. >> do you think they're clearly looking to militarize those outcroppings? >> i think, not sure what you know, what the definition of militarize is, apparently president xi may have a different view, definition than we do. i think when you put in runways and hangars and start installing radars and start doing port calls with chinese navy and chinese coast guard ships, they have not yet, i don't believe, actually landed any military fighter aircraft yet. but they have tested the air worthiness so to speak of their
air drones with civilian aircraft. so i think it's very clear that they will try to exert as much possessiveness, if you will, over this area, this area and the south china sea in general. >> i want to follow up on a point the chairman just made. as far as our policy, to counter that. you know this committee in a bipartisan way certainly has been encouraging the white house, the military, to conduct regular ops in the region, preferably with our allies. our allies are all very motivated to see american leadership here. do you think we have clearly articulated what our policy is? do you think that regular fon-ops by u.s. military vehicles, ships, aircraft, with our allies is an important way to counteract the strategy that seems to have very little
push-back on it right now? >> well again this is -- a policy and we're just down in the engine room shoving intelligence coal. but i do think that we have made clearer the policy on freedom of navigation and have done at least two fon-op missions. >> do you think our allies understand what our articulated policy in the region is? >> i think they do and i think they welcome our navigation and operations, i think they are a bit reticent to speak publicly as of supportively as they do in private. >> let me turn to the arctic. i appreciated your both of your focus on the arctic. and your testimony. and as you know there's been a dramatic increase in the russians' military build-up in the arctic. there's been statements by the deputy prime minister about how we should colonize the arctic. you even mentioned, director, in
your testimony that the russians would be prepared to act unilaterally to protect their interests in the arctic. let me just ask a couple of questions. and both of you can answer them to the however you want. in terms of prioritization. what do you believe the russians are up to with their dramatic build-up in the arctic? president putin certainly is somebody who probe force weakness. how do you think he's reacting to our actual plan force dramatically withdrawing the only arctic-trained forces in the active duty u.s. military? and do we need to be looking at kind of fon-op, operations in the arctic, particularly given that the russians have such a significant interest in the arctic? they've built up their northern fleet, they have 40 icebreakers and the strategic northwest passage is only going to be become more important.
is that something we should be looking at, doing on a regular basis? you can answer, or any or all three of those questions, if you like. >> i can comment from a intelligence perspective that we are turning our attention to the arctic, there's about 6,000-kiloliter-long coastline that the russians have on the arctic. they've established, built around their northern fleet, a joint command to oversee their military activities. they're refurbishing bases there. quantitatively they appear to have, where they're going, would be actually less than what they had in the arctic regions during the heyday of the cold war. but qualitatively it will probably be better. what has stymied the russians that i alluded to was the grand plans for investing there, particularly with energy extraction have been stymied because of the economic
recession. and they need foreign technology from a technological standpoint an are not getting it because of the economic extremes they're so yes, the arctic is important. we engage with the countries that are a part of the arctic council, notably canada and norway. we're stepping up our intelligence-sharing with those countries. in terms of what the russians are doing there. >> as far as what we do about it and troop deployments, that's kind of not our department. you can give us assessment on what you believe putin would think as he builds up the arctic, we're withdrawing forces from the arctic. and your assessment of how he operates and thinks, what does he think about that? how will he review a reduction in arctic forces by the united states when he is dramatically building up forces? you can certainly answer that question. >> i don't know what he thinks, i don't read his mind.
but i guess any time he sees an opportunity where he believes we're reducing or not being, prevalent, then if he, if he, if that serves his purpose, he'll take advantage of it. >> general, any views? >> the russians intend to increase their ability to control the arctic regions. they've built air bases, they're building missile defense capability, both coastal and naval missile defense capability. they're doing that for economic and military reasons. in the absence of something that counters that, they will continue to expand so there is, i think an imperative that we have both the willingness and the capacity to push back on their control or dominance of the arctic region.
>> i think they're probably in a place where they would be willing to negotiate and discuss how you conduct operations in the arctic. but they need to have something to push against. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator king feels compelled to ask an additional question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think. a quick question about money. two questions, actually, where does north korea get its money? it doesn't seem to have much of an economy, yet its building missiles, military capability build-up. where is their funding? >> their primary trading partner of course is china by far. probably 90% of their trade. they, and the biggest single export from north korea to china is coal. they get it by 1.2 billion a year in coal sales and it's illicit finance. illicit finances, they have an
organized approach to laundering money and this sort of thing. but most of their trade in north korea is natural resource-heavy. so the chinese exploit that. so that's where they get the lion's share of that. >> is it safe to say that if china decided they didn't like the direction of north korean policy they could have a significant influence over it? >> i don't think there's any question that to extent that anyone has leverage over north korea, it's china. >> second follow-up question. this time about russia, what percentage of the russian budget is funded by oil revenues? >> i'll have to take that for the record. but a large part is, a significant proportion of their budget is, i think is from oil revenue. i don't know exactly what it is. >> you talked about a 4% contraction in their economy over the past year, which is projected to continue into this year? >> correct. >> and at some point it seems to me they're going to reach a point where they run out of
money. and i wouldn't imagine they would be too good of credit on the world credit market. >> they do have very significant reserves, financial reserves they've built up over the years they're starting to eat into. you're quite right. over an extended period, they can't sustain that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> quickly director, general kelly testified before this committee about the issue of this manufactured heroin, which has now become a major issue all over america. particularly the northeast and the midwest, this dramatic increase in heroin drug overdoses. some of it comes across a land border. general kelly testified before this committee because of his lack of assets, he watches sometime seaborn transportation of drugs that land in various places in the caribbean and come up into the united states. isn't that an issue that, that you can trace to some degree to
sequestration, but also the old squeezing the balloon theory? >> well, i can't say whether this is considered attributable to sequestration or not. i do know that there is a great deal of intelligence that the intelligence community produces on drug flow into the united states. >> and some of that has shifted to seaborne -- >> yes, seaborne interdiction with these semi submersible vehicles that are sailed to american coast. and the difficulty has been not enough operational resources, and particularly coast guard or navy resources that could be used to take advantage of the intelligence that is produced. i saw general kelly speak to that, just about every year he testified. >> the interesting thing about
this is if you talk to literally any governor in the northeast or midwest of this country today, they would say that this is practically an epidemic, a dramatic increase in heroin drug overdose deaths. and now we're going to have this agreement with the farc, which all of us wanted in columbia. does that mean that all of these farc people will go into the drug business? >> they certainly could. and the other thing, sir, i alluded briefly to this in my statement is of course we're seeing an increase in cocaine, occasioned by, it comes from colombia and as part of this agreement, and also i think, president santos, took heed of what we're presenting to him as environmental impacts of the eradication program. that had been existent in
colombia for some years. so they're stopping the drug eradication and trying to appeal to the farmers to grow other crops, which probably will be a challenge. >> you saw that experiment in afghanistan. >> trying to get the farmers to go to other crops rather than poppies. it was a failure. >> well it didn't seem to work, no. i mean, there's so much money to be made. and it has such a, a huge money-maker. that it's very hard, i think, to find other, alternate crops that are legitimate that are equally profitable. >> finally, i apologize for imposing on your time. but one thing we know is the ergo mesh, the company that sells the russian rocket engines to the united states is rife with people who are cronies of vladimir putin. people who have been sanctioned. part of criminal activities. wouldn't it be better for us to
rather than giving tens of millions of dollars to putin and his cronies, to buy more deltas? as part of the solution? and i know your answer is going to be, you're the purchaser. i also think that this almost borders on a national security issue. because if we're going to give tens of millions of dollars to people who are known thugs and putin himself who is just recently implicated by the british for the murder of a former kgb agent in london. the assassination of boris nemtsov in the shadow of the kremlin, for us to unnecessarily provide the russians with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, doesn't seem to me to be a logical way to do business particularly if we have the
opportunity to buy more deltas and have the development of russian rocket engines here in the united states. which people like spacex and others are working on. do you have any comment? >> i would agree with you. i'm interested in the service. in lift and launch and getting our reconnaissance satellites deployed on time. and i would much prefer that the, the totality of the system, that gets those satellites into orbit were american. >> i thank you, senator reed? >> i simply want to thank both general stewart and general clapper for their testimony and service in particular. and in particular, general clapper, thank you again for your extraordinary service to the nation. >> sometimes we have hearings that are maybe not too productive. i view this as one of the more helpful hearings that we have had before this committee. and i thank the witnesses for their candor and their wisdom. this hearing is adjourned.
the uk will decide later this year to stay in the 28-year member. this debate was held last week and includes remarks bier my corbin and angus robertson. >> statement, the prime minister. >> here here. >> speaker. >> with permission, mr. speaker, i would like to make a statement on progress with our renegotiation. the house has had a chance to study the documents published by the european council yesterday. i believe this is an important milestone in the process of reform, renegotiation, and referendum that we set out in our manifesto and which this government is delivering. we've legislated for that referendum, and we are holding that renegotiation. so let me set out the problems that we are trying to fix and the progress that we have made. first, we don't want to have our
country bound up in an ever-closer political union in europe we are a proud, independent nation with proud, independent democratic institutions that have served us well over the centuries. for us, europe is about working together to advance our shared prosperity and our shared security. it's not about being sucked into some kind of european superstate, not now, not ever. mr. speaker, the draft text set out in full the special status according to the uk and clearly carves us out of further political integration, and actually go further to make clear that eu countries don't even have to aim for a common destination. this is a formal recognition of the flexible europe that britain has long been arguing for. in keeping britain out of ever-closer union, i also wanted to strengthen the role of this house and all national parliaments. so we now have a proposal in the text that if brussels comes up with legislation we don't want, we can get together with other
parliaments and block it with a red card. and we've also proposed a new mechanism to finally enforce the principle of subsidiarity. which states as far as possible power should sit here in this parliament, not in brussels. so every year the european union has got to go through the powers they exercise and work out which are no longer needed and should be returned to nation states. second, i said we wanted to make europe more competitive and deal with the rule-making and the bureaucracy that can cost jobs here in britain and across the european union. we ask for commitments in all the areas central to european competitiveness. we want international trade deals signed, a single market completed and regulations stripped back. all of these things are covered in the draft texts. there's a new proposal for specific targets to reduce the burdens on business in key sectors. this will particularly help small and medium-sized businesses and there's a new mechanism to drive the targets
through and cut the level of red tape year on year. third, we are absolutely clear that britain is going to keep the pound, in my view, forever. we need to be clear that we can keep the pound in the european union that will be fair to our currency. put simply, the eu must not become a euro-only club. if it does, it would not be a club for us. so we call for a series of principles to protect the single market for britain. we said there must be no discrimination against the pound no disadvantage for businesses that use our currency. wherever they're located in the eu. and no option for britain ever again to be forced to bail out eurozone countries. all of these principles are reflected in the draft text which is legally binding. and again there's a mechanism. britain has the ability to act to uphold these principles and protect our interests. mr. speaker, we should be clear. british jobs depend on being able to trade on a level playing field whether in financial services or cars or anything
else. this plan, if agreed, will provide the strongest possible protection for britain from discrimination and unfair rules and practices. for instance, never again could the eu try its so-called location policy. the settling of complex trades in euros must only take mace in eurozone countries. these principle was outlaw that sort of proposal. mr. speaker, these are protections we could not have if britain were outside the european union. fourth, we want to deal with the pressures of immigration which have become too great. of course, we need to do more to control migration from outside the european union. we are doing that, and we will be announcing more measures on that front. but we need to control migration from within the eu, too. the draft text represent the strongest package we've ever had on tackling the abuse of free movement and closing down the back-door routes to britain. it includes greater freedoms to act against fraud and prevent those from posing a serious
threat from coming this to this country. it includes a new law to overturn as decision by the european court which has allowed thousands of illegal migrants to marry other eu nationals and acquire the rights to stay in our country and it's been the source of frustration that we can't impose our own immigration rules on third-country nationals coming from the european union. but now, after the hard work of the home secretary, we have a proposal to put that right. mr. speaker, there are also new proposals to reduce the pull factor that our benefit system exerts across europe by allowing instant access to welfare from the day someone arrives. people said europe wouldn't even recognize that we had this problem. but the text explicitly recognizes that welfare systems can act as an unnatural draw to come to this country. mr. speaker, our manifesto set out four objectives to solve this problem. i mention these at prime minister's questions. we've delivered on two of them within months of general election, eu migrants would no longer be able to claim
universal credit. the new unemployment benefit while looking for work. and if those coming from the eu haven't found work within six months they can be required to leave. we have secured proposals for other two areas. if someone comes from another country in europe, leaving their family at home, they'll have their child benefit paid at the local rate, not at the generous british rate. and crucially, we've made progress on reducing the draw of our generous in-work benefits. people said it would be impossible to end the idea of something for nothing. and that a four-year restriction on benefits was completely out of the question. but that is now what is in the text. an emergency break that will mean people coming to britain from within the eu will have to wait four years until they have full access to our benefits. and the european commissioner said very clearly that britain qualifies already to use this mechanism. so with the necessary legislation, we'd be able to implement it shortly after the referendum. finally, let me be absolutely clear about the legal status of these changes that are now on
offer. people said we would never get something that was legally binding. but this plan, if agreed, will be exactly that. these changes will be binding in international law and will be deposited at the u.n. they cannot be changed without the unanimous agreement of every eu country and that includes britain. so when i said i wanted change that is legally binding and irreversible, that is what i've got. and in key areas, treaty changes envisaged in these documents. so, mr. speaker, i believe we are making real progress in all four areas, but the process is far from over. there are details that still need to be pinned down, and intense negotiations to try and agree the deal with 27 other countries. it will require hard work, determination, and patience to see it through. but i do believe that with these draft texts and with all the work we've done with our european partners, britain is getting closer to the decision point. it is, of course, right that this house should debate these issues in detail.
so in addition to this statement, and, of course, a statement following a council later this month, the government would also make time for a full day's debate on the floor of this house. mr. speaker, as we approach this choice, let me be clear about two things. first, i'm not arguing and i will never argue that britain couldn't survive outside the european union. we are the fifth largest economy in the world, the biggest defense player in europe, with one of the most extensive and influential diplomatic networks on the planet. the question is not, could britain succeed outside the european union. it is, how will we be most successful? how will britain be most prosperous? how will we create the most jobs? how will we have the most influence on the rules that shape the global economy and affect us? how will we be most secure? and i've always said that the best answers to those questions can be found within a reformed european union. but let me say again, if we can't secure these changes, i rule nothing out. >> now, second, even if we secure these changes, you'll
never hear me say that this organization is not fixed. far from it. there will be many things that remain to be reformed. and britain will lead the way. we will continue to work so that britain works for the countries of europe and the people of europe. and crucially for the british people, who want to work and have security and get on and make the most of their lives. if we stay, britain will be in there, keeping a lid on the budget, protecting our rebate, stripping away unnecessary regulation and seeing through the commitments we've secured in this renegotiation. ensuring that britain truly can have the best of both worlds. in the parts of europe that work for us and out of those that don't. in the single market, free to travel around europe, part of an organization where cooperation on security and trade can make britain and its partners safer and more prosperous. but with guarantees that we will never be part of the euro, never be part of schengen, never be