tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN September 30, 2016 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
here from killing innocent people across the united states. it's tactical success. strategically, though, one of the reasons we were created as a division is because success is not the successful bringing of a criminal prosecution. success is preventing the threat. and to prevent the threat here, we need to change strategically two core things. one is defeat these terrorist groups where they are overseas. that's going to be less directly our focus in the national security division. the second, though, is how do we keep a terrorist group from exploiting what western and american, in particular, minds created, built, make money off of, and is a great boom in general to society, social media. we should be the best at using this system, and right now they're exploiting it. so how do we change that strategically? and there part of our job i think is just to educate. >> do you tweet? >> no. i don't. >> are you on instagram or --
>> neither tweets, no, i'm not on instagram, i'm not on -- that does not -- now, i'm sure many of you -- >> but you've got other people who understand social media, that are part of that in the department of justice? >> yes, no, absolutely. >> though it's not you. >> but also, they don't particularly recommend that i'm highly on social media when you're in this role because we do the terrorists and also spies under our mandate. and i think you've heard -- >> so, just to kind of -- do you -- i mean, i've read a little bit about your division. do we need a domestic terror statute in the u.s.? >> i think it's something that -- so -- >> or tell us what that is, kind of shortform. >> i think there's been a discussion. when you have a group, if there's an international terrorist group, there's a clean statute that says that if it's a designated international terrorist group, then you can prosecute someone for providing support to that international terrorist group. but by design, we do not have a statute that says you can
designate some group inside the united states based solely on being in the group and say it's illegal to be in the group or provide support to the group. instead it's based on conduct. that line i think makes a lot of sense, but it has caused the question, for instance, do you take as seriously if someone's motivated by a purely domestic political motivation but commits an act of violence? do you take that as seriously? and we do, but it's not always reflected in a statute that we can charge. so they maybe get charged somewhere else in the federal criminal code or locally. one question that i think's worth exploring is is there a change in the code that still reflects our values, so it says you committed some other crime, like violence, but says there's some additional penalty if the reason why you committed that act of violence is to change political behavior. that is defined already in the federal code book, but it's not a stand-alone statute.
>> so, defining who and what a domestic terrorist is, is that potentially a slippery slope? >> so, that is in the code book, again, but it doesn't -- it can be used for things like sentencing enhancements. it could be. i mean, you have to look carefully to ensure it is not a slippery slope, but if the definition is tied to committing some other criminal offense, plus having the intention to use that criminal offense to change political behavior, that might be a way that you've seen in other statutes like hate crime statute. i'm not advocating necessarily making a change now, but it's a worthwhile discussion to have, and it would reflect, what does the country want in terms of our using our federal system? do we assign that type of crime a special value different than the loss of life that occurs? >> right. >> is it somehow worse or should
be separately counted for because of the motivation. >> when you look at the number of things in front of you you've got to think about on the terror side, do you ever have a good day? is there anything promising or optimistic out there? and as you answer that question, the reason i want to set this is up is john and i had an opportunity to talk at aspen this summer, and one of the things you raised was the internet of things and how kind of the dense connectivity that we have. you talked about trucks and autonomous driving vehicles being tools of terror at some point. and it just, at that moment, i realized, you know, what a comprehensively big picture this is. and as you try to balance fear in a society with trust that you're not going to have to be bothered by this crap every day, how do you guys that are so obsessed on the fear side get it right? >> this is a great question. you always have to be careful in terms of talking about this publicly, because our success would be that other people don't need to think about these threats. and so, but we have learned that
it's also important for us to get out and speak more publicly than we have before because if you don't educate -- >> is this a favorite thing for you? >> it is not my favorite thing to do the public events, but we've learned that, particularly with this type of threat, in order to have people prepare and also with cyber, when they need to think about, we need to get out and explain what we're seeing so people can take appropriate steps. when you think of internet of things, when we moved from analog to digital as a society in a really short period of time, in about 20 years, we moved about 98% of what we value from analog to digital, connected to the internet, and we did not think about security. we just didn't. and we made huge mistakes in terms of underestimating the cost that security would add. and now you're seeing it's as a society play catch-up and try to build systems that were never designed fundamentally to be secure, try to build security in. when we think about the internet of things, and that is, as we
connect more and more physical devices so that they can connect data -- and i'll use cars as an example. by 2020, 70% of the vehicles on the road are essentially going to be computers on wheels. as we make that enormous transformation in society, maybe as big as moving originally from the horse and buggy to the car, we'll be moving from a passenger-driven car to an automated car, we can't make the same mistake again. and it's on us in government then to explain, here's how we think terrorists or nation states could exploit this new technology and to call upon the private sector to say, and this will be good for business along with safety, get it right on the front end. think about these threats on the front end, and then it's a design flaw if you're not building in on the front end protections. it will ultimately be a competitive advantage. and you think of an attack like nice, where you had one individual take a truck and just mow down innocent civilians. if we've moved our trucks to be automated, it doesn't take much
imagination to think, oh, a terrorist group will try to exploit that. and many of these original internet of things devices are rolled out with no protection at all against hackers. and we're talking about our most sensitive areas, medical devices, trucks on the road, missile systems. so, we need to get out in government and educate, not to cause fear, because i think it can be done right, but to make sure it's built in on the front end so we don't have the terrible incident after the fact. >> i want to go to the audience in a moment. one of the other things we talked about was your role in tracking down people who leak things in government, who go after -- and i had just seen this film by alex gibney, called "zero days." have you seen that yet? >> i have not. >> is that the official statement, i have not, like you did zia few clips? did anybody see "zero days"? it must be the biggest flop. phil wilhelm is the only one who saw it. >> i don't feel so bad. >> let me cut to the chase real quick. in the film that tells alex
gibney's story, an award-winning filmmak filmmaker. it's the store thaey sort of looks at these zero days malwares things, the computer viruses that sit out there in the system and lurk. and i didn't have the literacy about this. so, the question is about the literacy. i didn't know what "zero days" was six months ago. and we're seeing hillary clinton dragged around about her lack of literacy or concern about e-mails at a certain point and how those should be managed. what do you think looking forward -- we're looking back 15 years, but as you look forward tomorrow and the next day, when the next president comes in, what are the key literacy issues that we need to be really worried about, that we might be casual about today? are these zero day viruses in our electric grid infrastructure? are they things that you see that you have a literacy in that someone like myself would not? what are the big things that you would put on the table? then we'll go to the audience.
>> i think there are a couple categories that are in there right now but aren't going to continue on that trend. one will be the internet of things. as we move more and more devices and fundamental to the provision of the services that they provide is being digitally enabled to the point where our workforce is not capable of fixing some of these systems anymore without doing it digitally. we need on the front end to think, and that could range from electrical grid or ukrainian-type incidents to the next wave, which will be in our homes, in our cars, in our medical devices. second, which is in the realm of the right now is we need to continue to get the message out about when your kid is in your house seemingly safe -- and i think we've done a decent job in this in terms of sexual predators, but not as much when i go and do outreach as terrorists. that when they're on social media, that there's this dedicated international
terrorist group that's looking just to exploit troubled kids and to get that message out. that kind of figuring out how to balance what you're doing westbound yowithin your home versus the risks. and in terms of the companies making sure that they understand what the threats are and provide safe platforms for what they're encouraging our children and others to use. those are two major issues when you think about it as we go forward. >> thank you. you're going to be off the stage soon. i know you're going to feel better then. let me take a question. right in the back over here. we're going to do these lightning round, real fast and real fast. >> hi. john hougy. turkish president erdogan believes fethullah gulen, who lives in pennsylvania, is responsible for all efforts to destabilize turkey, including the recent attempted coup. and therefore, for him, he's a terrorist. given the u.s. terrorist elimination program, what could and should be our response if erdogan tries to take gulen out
in pennsylvania by drone strike or assassin? if you can do it in 30 seconds or less. >> 30 seconds. next speaker is my predecessor and national security division lisa monaco. i'm sure she'll handle that question. >> other question, comment. >> sorry, am i up? >> wait, where? where? okay. yes. >> sorry. really quickly. my name is robert. my father was actually killed on 9/11, so i want to thank most of the people here for all the great help they did. >> thank you for being here. >> yeah. and one of the few perks is that the office of military commissions actually invited the family members down to see the prosecutions of khalid shaikh mohammed and the other 9/11 conspirators and i was genuinely impressed by the good faith shown by the prosecution and defense team, but they seemed to be handstrung by the complexities of international lawfare. i wonder what you think the future will be for domestic terrorism cases prosecuted on u.s. soil with u.s. citizens that have this international tie and how you think the u.s.
justice system can go forward? >> and piggybacking on your question, if you don't mind. since those cases don't seem to be going swimmingly, could they be retried in u.s. federal courts? >> i'm sorry for the loss, your loss. and i think what you've seen in terms of the use of our federal justice system domestically is that it's been very successful in terms of holding people to account over the years. we've brought hundreds and hundreds of cases since 9/11. now, that's, again, tactical success, but it's incredibly important. our job can't be to measure success as prosecuting those who commit heinous attacks after the fact, but we still -- it's still got to be one of the most vitally important parts of our job, as much as we continue to focus on prevention, so that others are not dealing with loss in their family. i am not optimistic in terms of
using the justice system for the vast majority of individuals who have already gone into the military commission system at this point in time. >> those there permanently. >> we would obviously look to do everything we can if we were asked to, to hold someone to account in the federal justice system, but i'm not optimistic at this point in time, certainly for the vast majority of individuals that are there that we could effectively hold them to account now, if you were to try to transfer them into the federal criminal justice system. as we've gone forward with other individuals, they've started there, and i think we have a very good track record of holding people to account through our court system. and that's taken hard work in terms of statute changes, great work by the intelligence, law enforcement, and judges in terms of finding, as they have so many times throughout our history, a balance between protecting our essential civil liberties in order to provide for a fair trial, but also making sure that
it's a fair trial where you can hold someone to account who's committed the crime. >> right. well, thank you very much for spending time with us. i hope we can have you back and spend more time. we're going to have to get your predecessor up here on stage. but john carlin, assistant attorney general for national security at the department of justice. >> thank you. >> thank you very, very much. >> thank you. >> please welcome lisa monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, here with npr's mary louise kelly. >> hello, everybody. lisa monaco, welcome. >> thank you. great to be here. >> for bringing up the rear. we're glad you get the grand finale and the last word today. before i dive in, i should just acknowledge the last question that was -- or one of the last questions actually got, how should we put that, deferred to you. do you want to weigh in on the question of turkey and bfethullh
gulen and the process fekt of drone strikes? >> well, i would rule out the prospect of drone strikes within the united states, so i would rule out that store. but we've been working with the turkish government in response to their request for information and we'll continue to do that. we have an established practice by the justice department to work with their legal counterparts and other countries for their requests for legal process, and that's the process that's going on now. >> all right. there we go. so, lisa, we just heard her title, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. i mean, that actually makes you as the president's chief counterterrorism adviser. and i don't know who came up with the name for our session, but we're down to talk about the presidential daily brief, so i figured we should run with it. >> sure. >> i think it might be interesting for people to get a little bit of a glimpse as to how that actually unfolds every morning. so, let me ask you to paint us a picture. >> sure. >> like, take us inside the white house. where are you? what time does this start every
day? >> so, for me, the day starts earlier than the president's daily brief. so, the president's daily brief is both the name of the book -- now it's an ipad -- that the president and his senior national security team, myself and every member of the national security cabinet receives every morning. and it is also the name of the meeting that occurs. and it occurs in the oval office. so, what it means for me, as it does for susan rice, who's also in the meeting, and others -- >> how many people are in this meeting? >> so, it begins with a briefing from the director of national intelligence, jim clapper, or his deputy, mike dempsey, or perhaps stephanie o'sullivan. and then also in the room is the vice president and his national security adviser, susan rice, myself, the deputy national security adviser and then dennis mccdonagh often joins the meetig
along with others. >> so a dozenish? >> no, less than that. there's a half dozen folks in the room for this. and it begins with a discussion and a briefing from the director of national intelligence about the overnight reporting. what are the threats we're watching, both immediate threat streams that we might be concerned about as well as strategic pictures. what do we think is happening in the world? what are the things we're most concerned about? but it begins for me a lot earlier. >> yeah, where are you getting your information from? do you get a sneak peek of the brief before -- >> i do. so, i get a copy of this book along with a whole bunch of other things in the book, whether it's different intelligence reports, in addition to the basically articles that are prepared for the president. so that is the president's daily brief, the five or six articles that are prepared for him and his advisers to look at. but also in my book, as in the
other members of the national security team, in our book is a whole set of other reporting. mine is tailored to, as you might imagine, counterterrorism and homeland security issues. but as i think we'll probably talk about, that is a very wide span of issues. so it begins with me receiving that briefing myself from a member of the intelligence community who is assigned to brief me every -- >> what time's that happening? >> so, that happens -- it depends on what's going on in my schedule. usually around 8:00. but i have arrived earlier and i'm digesting the book itself and looking at questions that i might have of my briefer, things i might want to raise separate and apart from what's in the peb with the president that morning. so i spend the first several hours of my day in, i would add, a windowless office, so it's very nice to be here, outside, seeing some --
>> we're happy to spring you. yes. >> -- some actual rays of sunshine. so, i begin that in my office in the west wing, on the ground floor of the west wing at the white house, which is actually just a little bit under and caddie corner to where the oval office is. and i'm in there reading the book, looking at what has transpired over the evening, looking at a number of issues, whether it's policy issues i want to update the president on, threat streams, things we're doing about the threat streams, other issues that i want to use that time with him to raise those issues with him. so, spend a few hours doing that as well as having other staff meetings. and midmorning, it depends on what the president's schedule is, i will go upstairs outside my office to a short staircase that goes right up to the oval office and meet with the president in the oval office along with the people that i mentioned. and that meeting can last anywhere from half an hour, 45 minutes to an hour, depending on
what's happening in the day. and one of the things that i've noticed in the 3 1/2 years that i've been in this job and doing this kind of series of preparations every morning is, "a," the just expanse and wide array of issues that are both covered in the president's daily brief and that we are talking to the president about. one of the things i've noticed is there is an increasing amount of that briefing and the issues that i'm raising with him. i am regularly, obviously, talking to him about terrorism threats. i'm regularly talking to him about homeland security issues of all stripes. but increasingly, over time, i have raised with him regularly in that meeting cyber threats. so, that is as well as emerging infectious disease challenges. >> so it's taking up more of
your time and attention now than three years ago. >> so, it is a very robust part of the homeland security side of the title that i have in addition to the counterterrorism one. >> sounds robust. it sounds like an incredibly stressful way to begin your day. i know it's your job, but -- >> it's never dull. >> sounds like you're facing a final exam every morning. >> that's true. i described it like -- and i was a prosecutor for many, many years. it's like going before a tough judge every day. you have to know your stuff. you have to be prepared for hard questions. you have to have thought through what is it i think he needs to know, what is it he's going to want to know. most importantly, what are you doing about it? what are we doing about it? are we doing everything possible to keep the american people safe? that is his beginning, middle and ending question. >> can you share any headlines from this morning's pdb? >> well, a lot of things you might imagine. we're constantly focused on the
threat that isil poses, what's going on. a lot of information in the pdb, without obviously getting into the specifics, will be tailored to meetings the president may be having, issues he may be confronting. so, he is now winding his way back from a nine to ten-day trip in asia, so there will have been a lot of material in addition to whatever kind of timely or threat intelligence we have. there will be strategic pieces that the president is digesting about the issues he's meeting on. >> great. and the leaders, his meeting and that. can i mention two words that i'm guessing came up more than once this past summer in these morning sessions, and those words are cyber and russia. was russia behind the dnc hack? >> so, look, this is what i'll say. first, good try. >> i'm not done. >> yeah.
look, there is a very active and ongoing investigation, as i think people know and as i have expressed, as the president has said and as i'm sure people on this stage have said before today. i'm not going to get ahead of that. what we know, though, and i have said this and others have talked about this -- russia, along with other capable state actors, are continually trying to intrude upon our systems. that's government systems, that's private-sector systems, that's public systems not in federal control. so they are an increasingly aggressive actor in this space. that is also true of china and iran, et cetera, as well as nonstate actors. the dnc hack and other issues that have been very much in the news is an example of the evolving cyber threat that we have confronted. i've just talked about how we've been looking at this over time and things like the pdb. what we're seeing is an
increasingly sophisticated and diverse set of actors. so nation states, nonstate actors, criminals, hactivists, terrorists and an increasing set of sophisticated techniques and an increasingly wide attack space. john carlin just talked about the internet of things. that gives malicious actors a very wide, as the cyber security experts talk about it, attack surface to go after. so it is an expansive threat that we're facing, which is why we have placed this at the very top of our priority list. but unlike in the counterterrorism space, we have got to rely on and work with the people who own, operate, house and administer those systems. and by and large, that is not the federal government, that's the private sector. >> and you've just added some nuance and reminded us of the complexity, which i appreciate.
if i can return to the original question, though. jim clapper, the dni, just showed a little bit of leg -- in fact, a lot of leg, you could arguably say. he said russians hack our system all the time. >> mm-hmm. >> you're willing to go that far? >> yeah, and it's also what i have said, which is they are one of the more capable and more aggressive actors in cyberspace, including against our systems, and the president has talked about this. >> should the u.s. respond? >> so, yes, the u.s. should respond. the question is how. and what you have seen is we have adopted an approach on this, which, one, says we're going to be driven by the intelligence, we're going to be driven by what the fbi, the intelligence community tells us has happened, what is it that we can explain. take the sony hack. it's a very good example of this. how can we both attribute that
activi activity, show what it is we know so that we can make very clear that we're calling out these actors, and what we do is we have a full set of tools and responses that are on the table for us to look at and make judgments about. and what the president has said on this score is our responses in this space on cyber issues will be proportional. this is very consistent with the approach we've taken across the board. they'll be proportional. and they will be done in a time and place of our choosing. and some will be seen, some will not be seen, some will be diplomatic some will be military, some will be intelligence, some will be law enforcement. you saw we just had john carlin up here. he's the head of the national security division that i had the privilege to lead before coming to the white house. and when i was in the national security division, we began an investigation into the hacking
by five members of the chinese military into private systems to steal intellectual property. that then became public about a year and a half ago, and that was in one sense a response that we are signaling we are going to call to account and we are going to impose costs on those who would hack into our system and steal our intellectual property or attack our critical infrastructure. >> and why choose to name names there but not in this case this summer? >> so, i guess what i would say to that is i challenge the premise, right? we have undertaken to call out north korea with regard to the sony hack. we have done so with regard to china. we also have done a great deal of good diplomacy with china in setting up an agreement with them that came out of the meeting with president xi last
fall. >> but there's a lot of dancing around russia. why? >> well, so, i guess i would, again, i'd challenge the premise of that, which is to say i have just said, jim clapper has just said, yes, they are trying to -- and the president, most importantly, has said they are intruding on our systems all the time, and we are -- one should not assume that we are not responding. i guess that's what i would leave it at that. >> are we responding? >> i think we engage with the -- on a whole host of levels is what i would say, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence, military, on these actors, whether they be china, whether they be nonstate actors, whether they be terrorists. so, the point here is we've got a framework. we have a set of tools that we use. we have the intelligence that comes forward and the investigations that are done, but people should not assume that if they're not seeing it,
we're not doing it. >> and i take the point that there's a value to not having everything you're doing being telegraphed immediately to a general audience, but isn't there a value in responding in such a way that the u.s. doesn't look weak, you know? i was getting asked in the corridor out there about the russia and hacking question and saying, is the u.s. getting its butt kicked? because that's what it seems like if you just follow the daily stream of news. >> i disagree with that, right, i disagree with that. i think the fact of the matter is we have, and the president said this i think just a few days ago, we have far greater capabilities -- offense, defense. that is known. we make that known. i think all experts would agree, cyber responses don't always require -- or cyber actions don't always require cyber responses. sometimes there will be other responses. we've got a whole set of tools
that we are absolutely willing and able to use. the question is, how are we doing it, how are we communicating that? what is proportional? all of those conversations go on on a daily basis with regard to a whole set of threats that we face. >> just quickly before i change the subject. you referred to it as an ongoing investigation. is there a time frame? >> i think you should talk to the fbi about that. >> do you know -- can you put any detail on what piece of information it is that they don't have that would allow attribution? >> no. one of the things i did when i came down the street from the justice department to the white house is i took off my prosecutor hat, and there is rightly a separation on that. so, they will conduct their investigation and the intelligence community will do its job. >> all right. we're going to have time for a quick question in just a second, but let me ask, i don't want to let you go without asking you about guantanamo, because we've heard a lot this morning about the radicalization process and
how to prevent radicalization, and i want to ask you about the other end, people who have been radicalized, people who have been in guantanamo. are you going to get guantanamo closed before president obama leaves office? >> so, the president talked about this just this morning. so, no greater authority on that than him, which is to say we are continuing to work it, and he is continuing to work it. what we have done is -- >> but do you think in your heart it's possible, still, in the months left? >> i think it's entire possible to engage constructively with those who right now have made this a very difficult thing, to close guantanamo. >> talking about congress. >> yeah, we've got a number of restrictions, but we have been working with congress on those restrictions, on still transferring safely, securely, because that's the number one priority, transferring these individuals pursuant to security
restrictions and agreements with the receiving countries. and that's what we have continued to do. right now there are 61 detainees still at guantanamo. that's down from 272 when the president took office. and there's a number of individuals there who are still approved for transfer by a unanimous view of the president's national security team. that's going back a number of years to 2009 when we conducted a very careful review that was led by career prosecutors, intelligence, military and other officials across the government. and so, we are working away at transferring detainees securely, humanely, because that's the top priority. >> and within the white house, is the goal still realistically to get this done by next january, or is it kind of an unspoken, that would be nice,
but if we could get it to 25, that would be good? >> the president's been absolutely clear, he is committed to continuing to work this, to transfer everyone who can possibly be transferred. as he said this morning, it also -- this is a very big-ticket item when it comes to the budget. there is an exceptionally large amount of money that is being spent on this, $400-plus million a year to continue to detain detainees, 61 detainees at guantanamo and a whole fleet of our military personnel who are working there to do this. so, as the president said this morning, at a certain point, you get down to such a relatively low number, and you're continuing to spend those funds. i think the -- what he would say and what he has said is the american people should be focusing on that and congress should be focusing on whether that's the right expenditure of our resources.
>> and is that -- and if you have questions, please get your hands up. we're going to have lightning round one or two, so put your hands up, we'll get a mike to you. i guess what i'm driving at is what gives you hope that you can close guantanamo in the next, whatever, four months, when the president hasn't been able to do that in the last eight years? i mean, what do you see that's going to change? >> well, one is our ability to have transferred so many people over the last, particularly over the last 3 1/2 years -- >> that the cost ratio becomes insane? >> that it is a real mismatch. and the fact that it does continue to impose real costs on our engagements with our allies, many of whom are very vital partners when it comes to counterterrorism. >> quick question right here. yes, sir. >> kevin hanretta. 15 years later, are you encouraged by the direction and the progress that the
intelligence community has made under the director of national intelligence? was that the right decision, to bring that community together? >> i am. and i think it was. and i think jim clapper has done a tremendous job, because he is focused on what the mission of that office is, which has been to integrate. that has been his kind of watch word and his mission. and i see under his leadership and his team a real value. when they come to the situation room table, we ask the dni for what is that community view. and i rely on it when i chair meetings of the deputies committee, or in my case, of the principals committee of the homeland security council. and the fact that there's one place to look and say give me the community view, the best judgment of the entire intelligence apparatus, there's real value to the policymaker in getting that. >> all right, lisa monaco, assistant to the president for
homeland security and counterterrorism. thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you. >> please welcome back to the stage "atlantic live" president margaret low. >> thank you, lisa monaco, mary louise. it was an incredible way to end the day, hearing about the presidential daily briefing and the expanding dimensions of what that requires. we actually didn't know about our own threat stream with the loss of a letter "a" in the middle of our day, but i also, as we close, i want to give a special shout-out to boos alan hamelton for their support on the day. they were ready and willing to stand up for this important conversation. steven brill for his enormously important reporting and for allowing this gathering to happen as we try to take account
of where we are 15 years after 9/11. we covered a lot of territory this morning. former secretary of homeland security began the day by telling us that we have to accept the reality that there is a global scourge but that we also must put that in perspective. and he affirmed that he believed that we are, indeed, safer today than we were 15 years ago, and there was clearly not universal agreement about that. we heard the concern about the rapid expansion of the ideological battlefield abroad and about homegrown terrorism at home. we heard about the desperate need to streamline congressional oversight of homeland security and the warning that we have to imagine the unimaginable, the danger of dirty bombs, about bioterror. we heard about the threat to civil liberties and how we are dehumanizing whole groups of people in the name of national security. there was optimism. i think we all heard it, from former senator joe lieberman, who asserted that reforms that
exist today, had they existed on 9/11, that those attacks never would have happened. and homeland security chief jeh johnson affirmed at the beginning of the day that we are, in fact, a remarkably resilient people and that we come back better every time. you have been a remarkably resilient audience. you gave us the greatest gift of all, which is your time. we hope this has been a meaningful morning for you. we thank you so much for coming. as you leave, if you would answer our survey, that would be -- we would be most grateful for that. it actually informs the work we do. we hope to see you back here again. thank you so much for your time. live tonight, the fall 2016 munk debate on the upcoming u.s. presidential election and the question can donald trump make america great again. arguing in support of mr. trump will be former speaker of the house and fox news contributor
newt gingrich and syndicated talk show host laura ingraham. arguing against will be former labor secretary robert reich and former two-term michigan governor jennifer granholm. the debate will be moderated by munk debate organizer griffith live from toronto at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. and tonight on c-span, we're reairing last saturday's dedication of the smithsonian's newest museum on the national mall, the museum of african-american history and culture. president obama and museum director lonnie bunch spoke at the ceremony with guests including first lady michelle obama, former president george w. bush and laura bush and congressman john lewis. smithsonian secretary david scorton. you can watch that at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday night at 8:00 eastern on "lectures in history," westfield
state university criminal justice professor george michael describes the relationship between the extreme right subculture and current politics. >> at first, trump said he didn't really know enough about duke to categorically reject the support, but a couple days later, trump formally disavowed any support from duke and related parties. be that as it may be, that does not stop the media from caricaturing trump and his supporters as racists and bigots. >> then sunday morning at 10:00 on "road to the white house rewind," the 1988 vice presidential debate between republican indiana senator dan quayle and democratic texas senator lloyd benson. >> we would be pushing very hard to open up those markets and stand up for the american farmer and see that we recapture those foreign markets, and i think we can do it with a dukakis/benson administration. >> to come in and tell our
farmers not to grow corn or soybeans, that's a policy under the dukakis administration and one that the voter will reject. >> and then at 8:00 p.m. on "the presidency" -- >> henry kissinger, as he said, wanted to make sure no agency had particular entree to president-elect nixon. he and kissinger wanted to control all of the intelligence flow, and he didn't want the agency in effect trying to sell itself as the premier actor in the intelligence community. >> with the recent release by the cia of some 2,500 presidential daily briefs of richard nixon and gerald ford, historians at the nixon presidential library and museum discuss the changes presidents have made to the daily briefs. for the complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. this weekend, c-span's cities tour along with our comcast cable partners will explore the literary life and history of pueblo, colorado. >> and it's really the railroad
and the steel industry and the coal industry that bring pueblo as a city to where it is today. and i think it sort of speaks to how this is a natural place to settle with the confluence of the creek. people keep coming back to this place because it's sort of a natural place to build a city. >> on book tv on c-span2, amber montoya, professor and author of "making an american workforce: the rockefellers and the legacy of led low." talks about the deadly strike between miners and the colorado fuel and iron company, which resulted in a public relations nightmare for john d. rockefeller jr. >> united mine workers president frank hayes actually walks out to rockefeller's car and tells him to turn around. he says you're not welcome here. i cannot guarantee your safety. >> then, author matthew harris discusses his book, "the founding fathers and the debate over religion in revolutionary america." >> religion's interesting. they didn't talk a lot about religion at the constitutional convention.
in fact, one of the only things they said was that you didn't have to hold public office -- or you dens have to believe in the bible or some form of christianity to hold public office. >> on american history tv on c-span3, hear about the ludlow massacre, which took place during the colorado coal strike in 1913 and '14, and we'll visit the steelwork center of the west museum and speak with curator victoria miller about the colorado fuel and iron company. >> so, this is the shift change whistle for cf&i. many generations of pueblo children learned how to tell time by this whistle. >> the c-span cities tour of pueblo, colorado, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. the house armed services committee held a hearing
assessing the fight against terrorism 15 years after the september 11th, 2001, attacks. witnesses include former u.s. ambassador to turkey and iraq, james jeffrey, as well as terrorism and military experts. they provide an analysis of the u.s. military strategy to combat isis and offered recommendations for dealing with violent extremist ideologues in the middle east. the committee will come to order. today the committee meets to consider 15 years after 9/11, the state of the fight against islamic terrorism. all of us marked the 15th
anniversary last week of the attacks of 9/11. that was an opportunity to remember and honor the victims of those attacks. it was also an opportunity to remember and honor all of those who have sacrificed to prevent a recurrence of 9/11. but it gives us, i think, not only an opportunity, but an obligation to look back on these 15 years and look at the state of the fight against terrorists, what has worked, what hasn't. how is the threat changing? are we adaptable to meet the change of the threat? my view is that the people in the military, the intelligence committee and law enforcement have done an incredible job to prevent another successful attack on the scale of 9/11, but the rest of the story is we have been lucky. some of the bombs just didn't go
off because they weren't constructed appropriately. just the events of the past few days remind us how this threat is changing and how difficult it is to detect it and prevent it as well. in my view, we still have not dealt effectively with some of the root causes, we have not effectively dealt with the ideology that radicalizes people here and around the world. and it is essential moving forward that we not just try to muddle through, contain, try to prevent a catastrophe, but that we have a strategy that will be succe successful in dealing with the threat as it is evolving. as you all know, isis says even if it loses its physical caliphate, it will pursue a virtual caliphate. one of the questions for us, are
we ready to deal militarily and otherwise with a virtual caliphate? so, we face i think a number of serious challenges in our responsibility to keep the american people safe. we have some outstanding witnesses to help guide us through those challenges. but first i'll turn to the ranking member for any comments he'd like to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i think it's a very appropriate hearing to gauge 15 years later where are we at in fighting the groups that attacked us on 9/11 and the ideology that is behind it. and i think the chairman laid out fairly well the challenges that we face. post-9/11, we took a very clear look at it. we had a clear group of folks in al qaeda that were challenging us, and we went after that network. and i think we went after that network fairly effectively. i think it was general mckristol who said at the time it takes a network to defeat a network, and
we pulled together all of the different elements of u.s. power and our allies with the intelligence, law enforcement, military, and built a very sophisticated operations center and tracked this group, first, of course, in afghanistan, then into pakistan and yemen and elsewhere, and have done a successful job at taking out their leadership and minimizing their ability to move forward. what we have not been successful at is turning back the ideology. and that is where other groups have popped up. and you know, whether it's al qaeda or isil or ansar al sharia or any of, you know, boko haram, you know, dozens of different groups that adhere to this nilistic, violent, death ideology. that ideology has, quite honestly, spread since 9/11. there are more people adhering to it now than there were then, and that is the great threat. and that is what we have seen in
europe and here, as people not directly affiliated with al qaeda or isil or any of these groups but simply pledging allegiance and committing violent acts in their name. now, in some cases, these are people who have bought into the ideology. but even more frightening, it's now, seems like this ideology is the last refuge for every sort of violent loser and loner in the world. some of these folks, you go through their history. they haven't had much of a connection to this, they just wanted to act out and used this as an excuse to commit violent acts and threaten the lives of others. so, i think the most interesting question for this hearing is how do we turn back that ideology? and this is particularly important for our work with the muslim world. how do we promote the more peaceful brand of islam that the overwhelming majority of people in that religion adhere to and work with them to defeat the ideology? and the last thing i'll say is i
think that is a challenge, because this is what osama bin laden wanted. he wanted a war of civilizations. he wanted the west versus islam. and every time islam. and every time we take a look at this and cast a broad net and cast aspersions against the entire islamic religion, we only empower al qaeda and isil in their message. we have to find a way to work with our friends in the muslim world. both at home and abroad to confront this ideology and turn it back. yes, i think we have to continue the military aspect of it as well. if there are specific groups plotting out. what's our strategy for rendering the ideology neutral?
ultimately that's what won the cold war for us. we proved that communism was a failed ideology. not only did the soviet union collapse, a couple of isolated places in the world, communism collapsed. before we were successful the ideology that al qaeda and others have advanced is what we're going to have to defeat and ultimately going to have to collapse. i don't personally have any easy answers for that. i look forward to hearing more about how we can approach that. and with that i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me welcome each of of our witnesses. we appreciate you all being with us and the insights you deliver. pleased to welcome honorable james jeffrey, ambassador to turkey and iraq. and senator adviser to president on of iran on these topics, and
lieutenant colonel doctor bryan price, director of the combatting terrorism center at west point. but he is not here representing the army or the center, he is here only in his personality capacity as an academic and terror expert. without objection, your full written statements will be made part of the record. ambassador jeffrey, we're pleased to recognize you for any comments you'd like to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. ranking member. thank you very much for holding this hearing on the 15th anniversary, particularly given the events you mentioned in the last week. the fight against islamic terrorism in its various manifestations is both a key element of our national security and a central component in the effort to stabilize the larger middle east. i would like to touch briefly on where we are in response to your questions, where we may be going
on this campaign in a very broad brush. this and the last administration's combination of playing defense, protecting the homeland and going on the offense both with military action and in the effort to deal with political roots and psychological cultural and religious groups of terror all in all is a good model, and we should stick with it. nonetheless, as you've just indicated, there are problems with what we've done up to now in our success so far. homeland defense all in all. military action directly with partners the record is mixed. the u.s. was slow countering isis's rise. and we didn't react as quickly to the events in syria that have led to a major increase both in isis's terrorist threat and in the underlying dysfunction ality of the region that feeds terror of all sorts, including terror
supported by iran, which is a major factor i'll touch on in a second. in terms of the root causes of terrorism, as the ranking member said, this is not something we can do directly. this is something the region has to do itself. and if we try too hard to do it, it becomes counterproductive. as someone who spent 20 years in the region. but there is much we can do. that's what i would like to talk about right now. first of all, this is going to take a lot of time, as we all know. we're already 15 years into it. and the roots of this problem stretch back decades before 2001. the military element, while it cannot solve this problem, is critical both in defending ourselves, limiting the expansion of terror, and stopping the creation of new ungoverned zones. you create an ungoverned zone by
one or another breakdown of order in the middle east. and we have more than a half a dozen right now. you will get isis, al qaeda from hezbollah and southern lebanon to the sinai, gaza, to the fatah of afghanistan, somalia, libya, on and on. these are breeding grounds for a huge threat to the basic structure of the region. now, military operations this committee has discussed a lot the past 15 years. they don't have to be large scale, costly or high casualty. but we have to thread the needle. if we try to transform the region and to some degree we tried to do that in the last administration and this administration with the surge in afghanistan and with libya, we tend to go too far, overshoot the objective and it doesn't work out. on the other hand, when we pull ourselves back and don't respond, as i said as we did initially with isis, as we have
done in syria, we see the problem just morphs, metastasizes without american presence. so you have to thread that needle, enough military force but not too much to challenge the american people's patience and sensitivities in the region. those sensitivities are important if we're going to work with folks in the region. and in the end, they're responsible for the kind of truces they have amongst themselves and how they deal with the rest of the world, including us and europe. we can help, but only on the margins. but there are few things we need to keep in mind. first of all, only a few people in the middle east really endorse this kind of extreme terrorist violence is. a much larger percent of the population however accept the views of islam that are orthodox, that are quite strong, that include sharia and
basically challenges modernity in many ways. we have to be sensitive. sensitivity can go too far. one of the things i'm concerned about is we seem to avoid speaking publicly of this threat as an islamic terrorist threat. it is an islamist terrorist threat. i'm sensitive to not generalizing as the ranking member said. but if we try to hide this, muslims know what's behind this. they know this is a struggle for the region. and to play this down, frankly, doesn't play very well in our own population or the population in europe. and it's very important to keep those people behind us. we have to support the governments of the region, recognizing that often they're going to be imperfect partners. but it's not just they're the partners we have that the only basis we can use to work against
terror but also partners throughout the region are watching how we deal with an egypt, with an iraq, how we deal with the leadership, again, however imperfect they are. we have to not only say what we are against but what we are for. the united states stands for 100 years on international order based on certain laws, national sovereignty the, national unity, peaceful resolution of disputes. and the sanctity of border. that's an important issue also in the middle east. all of these are being challenged by movements close to our supporting terror. finally, our campaign must also focus on iran. iran is not an acceptable partner in the war against terror despite a recent article published in the united states by the iranian foreign minister
zarif to that end. they have much in common with sunni islamist terrorism. it has realizes with al qaeda and tell ban elements and undercuts international order and sovereignty and thus provides a breeding ground for terror of all sorts. but in particular, and we saw this in iraq repeatedly, there is a real danger that if the sunni/shia conflict, sunni partners could see violent sunni islamic movements not as threats but allies against iran. mr. chairman, i will stop there. thank you. >> thank you, sir. mr. jenkins. >> chairman, ranking member smith, members of the committee, thank you very much for inviting me to address this important
issue. fifteen years of u.s. efforts to destroy the jihadist enterprise have not led to victory in the classic military sense. such victory may not be achievable in this kind of war. instead, our counterterrorist efforts have achieved successes in some areas, far less so in others in what is likely to be an enduring task. that have been no more 9/11s and worst-case scenarios. the operational capabilities of al qaeda and isil remain limited. the vast majority of muslims express negative views towards both jihadist organizations. but even a very low percentage of favorable ratings still
represents in actual numbers a large reservoir of potential recruits. the constellation of jihadist groups is less than it appears to be on a map. to be sure, al qaeda and isil have sought declarations of loyalty from local groups across africa and the middle east and have established a host of affiliates, provinces and jihadist footholdsment this is growth by acquisition and branding. these partners share a banner but are focused on local quarrels rather than a local jihad. there is no central command, no joint operations. isil has lost territory and can be defeated as a quasi state. al qaeda's central command has been reduced to exhorting others to fight. but these continuing calls on local supporter, terror supporters in the west to take
action have thus far, despite the occasional tragic event, produced only a modest response. however, right now large volumes of homegrown terrorists and returning foreign fighters pose a significant threat to our allies in europe. in the united states, fortunately, the number of homegrown terrorists remains far less. i believe that americans are safer now than they were on 9/11 in the 15 years since jihadist terrorists. since 9/11, they have been able to kill fewer than 100 people in the united states. true, we have been lucky. and while every death is a needless tragedy, this is a far better result than certainly was feared or expected immediately after 9/11. on the minus side, targets of the american-led campaigns have survived intense u.s.
counterterrorist efforts. al qaeda is and isil have been cornered, not crushed. and we can't claim to have dented their determination. the jihadists have powerful ideology, as both of you have mentioned. it arouses extreme devotion. however, that ideology, which we have not yet effectively countered, has fortunately gained little traction in most muslim communities, especially here in the united states. personal crisis is dominant attribute of most american jihadists. isil has made more effective use to reach a broader audience. but the atrocity makes it a magnet for marginal and psychologically disturbed individuals. the taliban remains a formidable foe. the continued deployment of u.s.
forces will be necessary to prevent their comeback. the fighting in syria and iraq will go on for the foreseeable future. foreign powers cannot impose peace from the outside. faced with loss of territory, isil will not quit. leaders of isil fought clandestinely for years and will go underground to complete the struggle. syria and iraq will remain fragile states. sources of continued violence, regional instability. the current partitions are likely to persist. the big problem is going to be the sunni areas in both countries could become a persistent battling. the world will be dealing with these for years to come. thousands of foreign fighters who joined isil cannot survive in an underground campaign. indeed, the construction of the
his slammic state could bring about a spike of terrorist activity by its scattering veterans. refugees pose a long-term challenge. those going to europe right now include a large proportion of single young men coming from violent environments with little education. they already are the targets of radicalization. the primary threat to the united states will come from the ability of al qaeda or isil to inspire attacks by individuals here. the united states is now equipped to combat terrorism. so after 15 years there has been progress, but we are not through it yet. >> thank you, sir. colonel price. >> chairman thornberry, ranking member smith and members of the
committee, i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify today. as an active duty officer my testimony is based on my academic work and my personal and professional experiences. i'm here today in my personal capacity. my testimony should not represent the views of the united states military academy, the army, or the department of defense. congressional hearings like this allow us to reflect and critically analyze where we are in this conflict. i can tell you our enemies are doing the same. in my written testimony i highlighted a 50-page document that shows our enemies are in this for the long haul and are serious about learning from their mistakes. my written testimony contains a list of our many counterterrrorism successes, as you heard from my fellow panelists. but i want to focus on lessons learned for the future. to begin the threat evolved and
metastasiz metastasized. the threat posed by jihadist terrorism is geographically diffuse, and unpredictable than it was september 12th, 2001. nobody could have predicted the greatest terror threat 15 years later would not be al qaeda but its rival. so what is the best way to conceptualize this going forward? to view this not as a war but as a chronic disease like cancer. in other words, it may be worth the fight against jihadism, that can be solved, defeated or vanquished but modern learn that can be managed, contained but never fully eliminated. first, in my opinion, i think we need to do more in articulating realistic threats posed by
terrorism and our ability to combat it. it is impossible to stop all attacks in a free and open society. these subtleties are often loss in public discourse which leads to unwarranted fear, divisively and knee-jerk decision making. unfortunately ridding the world of every jihadist is as fanciful as ridding the world of every criminal. number two, decapitation tactics must be part of a strategy. targeted strikes are the most lethal and precise methods to use without putting american servicemen and women in danger. on the positive side, i've done research in this. 207 groups from 1970 to 2008 showed the killing or capturing the top leader significantly
increased the mortality rate of terrorist groups. but timing matters. decapitated group in the first year and it is eight times more likely to end than groups who have not been decapitated. strikes are not a solution. they must be part of a broader strategy. three, we should acknowledge that the military will be a critical part of any effective ct strategy moving forward, but it is only one part and may not be the most important part for long term success. i have the privilege of briefing many of our officials the top four years. there has been one common refrain. we cannot kill or capture our weight to victory. our military is the best in the worrell at taking out terrorists. but long-term success lies in altering the socioeconomics in the region. four, future ct strategies should do more to leverage
public/private partnerships in the war of ideas. the progress the u.s. is making, the late richard holbrooke once asked, how can a man in a cave, meaning bin laden, out communicate the world's leading communications society. our difficulty remains from two inescapable challenges. strategically communicating these issues. simply put, perspective jihadists do not turn to the u.s. government for career advice. the second is bureaucracy is slower, uninspiring approach to messaging. one fix is more public/private collaboration. the government does not have the credibility to be the primary messager and lacks marketing capabilities. the private sector often has the credibility and the requisite competents to deliver the
message but it is is not incentivized to do so. last, in my opinion we need to find more systematic and dedicated means to use their own words against them. they can be accomplished with more efforts to declassify their documents and made available to the combat terrorism center at west point. thank you for this opportunity to testify and i look forward to any of your questions. >> thank you. one of the things i'd like to follow up on. let me backtrack for a second. you've all touched on this. i'll just ask directly. looking back at the first 15 years, what is the most significant way that the terrorist threat to us has changed. looking back 15 years. looking ahead 15 years, what do you think the most significant
change in the terrorist threat to us will be? and then the third part of that is are we prepared to deal with that change you see coming? so what's the most significant way it's changed in the past 15 years, the biggest way it will change in the next 15, and are we ready for that change? ambassador? >> tough questions, mr. chairman? i would say over the past 15 years the thing that is most significant is terrorist movements have been able to exploit the changes and the challenges of the broader middle east very effectively. a good example, the best example is the arab spring. that wasn't generated by radicals let alone terrorists. people wanted a better
civilization, and in many respects, closer to the west. thus, a seemingly good idea. the result has been in syria, parts of egypt, libya, and yemen is and @ margins in other countries a decrease of state authority and who fills the gap? terrorist groups. their ability to exploit this underlying set of malignancies is extraordinary. and i think that's the lesson at the strategic level i take from this. things that work and things that don't. getting to the second question, what will happen. the risk is not that this will continue. believe me, it will. the risk is they hit a home run. we almost saw that with isis as it consumed a third of syria and a third of iraq in 2014 and didn't look like it was going to be stopped. we can't have one or two more of those without bringing the whole
region into a strudel of chaos and dysfunction alley and it will will more of into ways we can't imagine at this point. how do we deal with this? what the three of us said. you can't deal with the core roots of it but you can deal with the manifestations of it. i would just advocate you have to deal aggressively with it. one of the rare things i would disagree a bit with colonel price, although i think i was saying the same thing as him, i would be careful about this idea of the goal of containing isis or other terrorist movements. in the end, that's what we're going to accomplish. if we set out to contain these movements, they'll beat us. if we set out carefully to destroy them, we will probably succeed in containing them. and i think that the history of our relationship with isis from
january 2014 to late 2015 is a good illustration of that. so we need more aggressive action and willingness to take risks not only in our public message but in a military and diplomatic activities. thank you, sir. >> thank you. mr. jenkins. >> i think that a couple of significant changes in the last 15 years. first of all, the adversary is now broader, more diffuse, more complex. a lot of that, as ambassador jeffrey has pointed out in my view, is a consequence of the so-called arab spring. that itself is a symptom of a fundamental turmoil that's going on in this region. and we have to deal with it, but we are on the margins of being able to intervene to change
things fundamentally. we simply don't have the resources to do that. the other thing that is clear in the last 15 years is that our adversary here has been the beneficiary of these events. they would probably claim the beneficiaries of god's will. but they have proved to be extraordinary adaptive, able to more of to meet new circumstances. that is much more difficult for us to do. we are reacting. with regard to the next 15 years, first of all, i'm glad you had the next 15 years. because i think we have to realistically think of time horizons in those terms. this turmoil that we see now is going to go on. i think the ambassador is
correct in underscoring that state authority in this area has weakened. that's clearly the case in syria and iraq where power on the ground has shifted from national institutions to militias that are under foreign or local, not central government control, and rebel formations that challenge that. that is happening in completely across the region. in dealing with that, in accepting the long-term thing, i think we have to be very, very careful about picking our tasks very, very carefully. i would agree with the ambassador that we have to destroy the islamic state. so long as that exists. without any illusions that the fight stops if we destroy the
islamic state, it has to be. i'm going to sound like ancient senator kato on this, and further more, the islamic state must be destroyed. but it has to be. it continues to be a source of propaganda, an attraction for these fighters. and in addition to destroying it, i think we really do have to try to -- for those that want to go down and make their final fight, we have to close that ring around them and give them the opportunity to do so. better to do it there than to deal with tens of thousands of them scattered across the globe. in terms of our own actions going forward, there's not going to be a single strategy that any of us can determine now that events over the next 15 years won't oblige us to revise and alter as new circumstances arise. that's the feature of a long
conflict. but a couple of principles ought to continue, and that is since it is going to be long, whatever we do we have to be able to sustain it for a long time. so we have to be careful not to overcommit. at the same time, what we have learned again and again is prematurely walking away from these things, whether it's in iraq or yemen or afghanistan, that just risks a comeback by the adversaries that we have already successfully contained. >> okay. thank you. >> mr. chairman, in terms of answering those questions, i agree they are all three tough questions. what happened in the past 15 years and what has changed, my discussion of containment earlier does not make me think we should not go on the offensive and attack the islamic state. i guess my fear, though, is if
we focus too much on defeating the islamic state and we are unable to do that, what does that mean in terms of our counterterrrorism credibility going forward. if you kill every last member of the islamic state, there will be other groups that enter the fray. in terms of the structural conditions that have changed the past 15 years i think are most important. i would echo my panelist mr. jenkins when it talks about the geographical diffusion. the second has not been mentioned was the internet. the virtual caliphate if you will. that has chained the jihadist landscape the past 15 years and presents the most challenges to
us moving forward. the other thing i would argue in terms of the next 15 years that poses the greatest challenge is the exploitation of jihadists to exploit lack of governance or governance issues in places around the world. and so those two things have brought a very broad tent. a lot of people are gravitating toward that type of ideology. how do we fix those moving forward? i think there's promise on on the enter is net side of the house. this goes back to my point about public/private partnerships. our government is working with the private sector to work around some of these issues. i can tell you that jihadists particularly online are very aware of the rules is and limitations they have in order to not come on the radar. and they're also getting or adept at communicating via the dark web. and the final challenge is, and this has been echoed by ambassador jeffrey and mr.
jenkins. going back to the issue of lack of governance in these place, the tphaoeu has found it difficult and challenging to effect governance when they are not allied with us like others. >> i want to pursue the ideology piece of it. before i get there, part of the problem, and mr. jenkins mentioned we can't leave too soon from places like iraq and afghanistan. but what i have found as we try to do this, imposing an outcome with on our military might, whether it's in afghanistan or iraq or libya or syria or wherever we try to do it, has not proven to be terribly successful in large part because of the credibility issue that colonel price pointed out. you know, having a western army
in a muslim country or western military in a muslim country just fuels the problem. the first question is how do we get out of that trap? because it seems like when you look at the different countries involved we stay too long, we get out too soon. you can take the three examples of libya, syria and iraq. in iraq, we went all in. we were there for a long time. a lot of people say, well, we got out too soon. i think if we had been there in those numbers another 10 years, at the end of the 10 years people would have been saying we got out too soon. western military might is not going to force the outcome we want. and i think some may disagree. in libya, we decided we'll go in and take out the leader. we'll have less of a footprint. we'll let the locals decide with a little bit of help. that didn't work out. in syria, we said, there's
really not much we can do here. let's not make it worse and let's stay out. so basically all three methods havened in failure. libya, syria, and iraq, to all varying degrees are not where we want they to be. how do we handle that in terms of our presence? and then the second question is how do we deal with that ideology? there are some groups that embrace modernity, that are willing to accept other religious opbs, viewpoints, while pursuing their own. there is not a reasonable alternative right now in terms on of governance and religion. so that gives fertile ground for these crazy ideologies to grow. so those are the two questions. and colonel price, if you could
start out, since you sort of touched on those in your opening. what's the approach to handling that? >> yes, sir. on the first question, i think the way we will have to move forward and what we have done since 9/11 is realize this is not a unilateral fight. that obviously entails a number of functions, billioning capacity, security force assistant, and those types of programs. but i don't think i have a good answer to come back with the perception problem of having u.s. in those countries. on the second one, how to deal with the ideology. this is more difficult. and in your open statement, sir, you mentioned some parallels to the cold war and communism and how we were able to defeat that type of ideology. i think the major difference we're talk building here is and the threats to the united states
in the past century, when we were defeating fascism and totalitarianism, we defeated that on the battle field. there is no mistake who is the victor in that fight. i think a lot of people would say our economic system had a large part in debunking that. not a lot of new nations popping up trying to have a communist economic system. so the difference here, though, is when you're talk building jihadists, they do not perceive defeat the way other ideologies do. when we defeat them on the battle field, the lesson they learn is not that this is a failed ideology, the lesson they take back is they were not resolved enough, committed enough to the cause and that they see this as being a very long-term fight. and the second dynamic, which we
can't get around, as long as the united states enjoying a significant amount of power asymmetry over other states is and specifically non-state actors, the united states will continue to be a convenient foil for non-state actors and jihadists that want to pwhraeul the united states for all their grievances. that's why i am largely so pessimistic about the fight in the long run. >> i'm not sure that being blamed for the ills of the world is necessarily new territory for us. the united states is blamed for the world's problems, blamed for not solved the world's problems, and blamed when it tries to solve the world's problems. that comes with the status. the second point is for those who are really committed to this ideology, it would be nice to think we can bring them back in an ideological struggle.
i'm somewhat skeptical of that. i think for those who are truly committed, this is a fight. as colonel price correctly points out, i don't know how many nazis were left in germany in terms of the mind-set at the end of world war ii. but it labbeded the military capacity to inflict that on other nations. so it was defeated. insofar as whether they accept it or not, what we want on to do is blunt their capacity to impose it on others. with regard to the various models on of u.s. intervention, i don't think under any circumstances however exquisite our counter you insurgency strategies may be in terms of
their sensitivity to local populations, u.s. troops in a foreign country killing local people is is on not going to be a winning formula. it may be absolutely necessary at times to conduct limited operations. but we ought to avoid that as much as possible. first of all, it is difficult to sustain american n terms of american political support. but also we accumulate enemies fairly quickly in trying to do that. so what this means is it's going to be indirect methods, it's going to be working with allies, and it's going to be working with local partners. now that is an imperfect way of doing things. and these coalitions and these
things are going to be messy, but that is preferable to sending in tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of american forces unless we're really prepared to keep them in for the next half century and to bear the price of doing that. and i'm not sure it would work then. >> i was going to say i wasn't sure it would work then either. i want to let other members ask questions. so i will yield my time. >> mr. jones. >> mr. chairman, thank you. mr. jenkins, i was thinking about your comments. the fact is i'm not an isolationist but i'm a realist. with $19.4 trillion in debt, we continue to spend billions and billions of dollars in afghanistan. i don't know what we're getting out of that, quite frankly,
except from time to time a soldier will lose a leg or get killed. and we keep doing it. and i wonder from you three experts -- well, is china concerned about jihadists? i don't think so. and here we are because of our foreign policy that i blame both parties for, bush taking out saddam hussein was a terrible mistake. and obama going in and taking out gadhafi was a terrible mistake. so here we are, as i think one of you saided, and i'm going to stop in just a second. you said when we get trapped into is a situation, those are my words, not your word, that we keep doing the same thing. and all we're doing is enhancing those who hate us with drone strikes and other strikes that
end up killing innocent people. and then that's what they talk about for the next 100 years. just like in afghanistan who defeated the russians. so what kind of foreign policy do you think makes sense instead of going in this direction of spending billions and billions of dollars in a failed policy in afghanistan that we will continue to pass bills to keep funding it. and then at some point in time, when we hit $21 trillion to $22 trillion in debt, which might happen in the next two years, then our whole country is in economic collapse. how do you get, say, a congress to understand what is the right policy versus a policy of keeping to spend, spend, spend, and you get nothing but chaos on
in afghanistan? john sotko has said corruption is worse today in afghanistan than it was 16 years ago. to my comments, would you give me a statement in rebuttal or a statement that i'm somewhat not off track? mr. am bass dorks i'll start with you. mr. ambassador, i'll start with you. >> you're not off track, congressman. the budget and the deficit are core national security concerns. nonetheless, there's ways to do this over the long term without breaking the bank. there's ways to do it over the long term without, as mr. jenkins rightly said, antagonizing those people because we're in muslim lands kill their people. for example, i did an inventory.
we have, from pakistan to egypt, in that region, long-term presence in 13 countries. in each country, the presence is relatively minimal but it is serving a good purpose over the long term securing things. taken altogether, it is less than the 28,000 troops we have in korea since 1950. and that's probably costing us more money than most of what we are doing in the middle east. but we all understand on the long run it buys us and it buys the region security without getting us, at least up until now, in trouble. that's the only way forward i can point out. you try to limit your commitments to be something that is sustainable in terms of the american public, the budget and casualties. and also not try to provoke people in these regions.
and we have been successful both in the middle east and elsewhere in the world in doing that. it's not impossible. what is impossible, and gets to the second question that came up, is changing the region. because of the concerns you raised, mr. jones, people want to somehow rush in and just end this. we don't want to keep being there for decades, so we try to find a solution. we try to get to hearts and minds. that's are, a, we start sending up the bills. right now the fight against isis i think over the last year was $7 billion. i think this committee would know better than i. but somewhere around that. we burned through $7 billion in a few weeks in iraq for years. and i was there to watch it. so i think that there's a way we can do this. but i realize it is hard to persuade people because this is a very, very good question. thank you. >> ms. davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
thank you all for being here and increasing our understanding. in light of the discussion right now, where would you suggest that resources really be focused and directed in a way perhaps you don't see them being directed today? and include any additional authorities you think are required to continue this battle essentially. jeffers, you were going on that vane. >> bear in mind since i just committed myself to limit the public's resources -- >> i understand that. where should they be that they are not? >> i'm personally a skeptic about work to go try to change the mind-set in the region about terrorism, about extremist philosophies and such. it doesn't hurt to try, because
i could be wrong and it isn't a lot of money. so that's one place where we are putting a lot of attention with, as you heard so far, limited success. but we might succeed tomorrow. we have done this in other areas, eastern europe, for example, successfully. it is worth trying. secondly, intelligence. that's crucial that we know what is going on out there and who is coming at us as soon as possible. that has helped us a lot in homeland defense. that is something really vital. thirdly, supporting this very limited but effective military force who will not be large, who will not be tasked to change the mind-set of whole populations but will be given specific military missions they can do. we can take out isis in mosul. we want to do it with partners,
which is right. but a lot of that will require u.s. leadership, u.s. fire power, u.s. combat experience, and some people on the ground. at least as advisers. that's the kind of thing we have to reinforce as well. but, again, if the region is all screwed up, there's nothing we can do to deal with this popping up of new terrorist movements everywhere. so everything we can do diplomatly, politically, economically, and militarily to keep the region in the sort of calm state that we have been so successful elsewhere from central and south america to the balkans, that will help. >> mr. jenkins, can you respond? >> you know, in all the questions that have come up thus far, there is an understandable skepticism about what we have received in return for the resources that we have invested. and that reflects the fact that
americans are practicing ma activities. how are we doing in this? but in this particular case, that skepticism, on the part of congress i think is entirely appropriate because in the immediate wake of 9/11 the issue was spare no expense. do whatever we have to do to prevent another 9/11. it's not which button we will press. we will press every single button. one of them has to work. and fortunately it worked. combination of what we do and luck. but now looking for the long haul, we have become more sensitive to both how much we do and how we go about doing that. that is imposed by the terrible costs we have incurred thus far.
but here i underscore the ambassad ambassador's remarks, when we have worked together, we have done more things with special forces or local partners, military and nonmilitary, the resources there have been a fraction of the terrible price that we have paid if you look back at the previous years, especially the first 10 years since 9/11. >> colonel, could you respond quickly. >> i agree with most of what has been said. in my opinion, the three places, intel is where you always get a great return on investment. one cost efficient one. i think we can make a lot of room in the informational domain. the public/private partnerships is the way forward there. the last is not very cost efficient but has to do with
improving governance programs that are fostering the violence. >> mr. wilson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank each of you for being here. ambassador, in particular i want to thank you for pointing out that the people of the middle east really do want to live in the 21st century. having had the opportunity to visit from beirut to amman to dubai, i explained to my constituen constituents, they really want to be part of the 21st century. and it is personal to me. all four of my sons served there. my oldest is field artillery, the second a doctor serving in baghdad, third son served bright star signal in egypt, and my fourth guy was an engineer in afghanistan serving with the local military.
and so i just -- i'm just so hopeful that we can back them up. but sadly the legacy of president obama is failure by not taking isis seriously, by declaring a red line that was not serious, by not having set forth a agreement. to me, he has not learned the lesson of 9/11 where there is a safe haven in afghanistan that american families are at risk. i was in new york on monday. thank goodness there were police officers, there were law enforcement, first responders who were national guard every five feet in a city that shouldn't be under siege. but they are. and i want to make every effort that we can to defeat terrorists from overseas. and with that in mind, colonel price, you have referenced this. and that is that we need to counteract the social media of
the islamic terrorists. how can we do this best and what is the role of the department of defense? >> obviously i'm not here speaking on behalf of the department of defense. but i can offer some of the academic perspectives in terms of what we can do in the social media realm. and i think this goes back to the public/private partnerships. what's interesting, as i mentioned before, the jihadists are very adept at the different ways to both communicate but to do it in a way that is not always illegal. so i think this will ultimately come down to a policy question that i'm not equipped to speak on. >> and are there legislative authorities that are needed to address the specific aspects of countering the cyber threats to
our country? >> i don't know. it's a matter of legislative authority. i think those authorities are there. i think we're make something progress. a couple of areas that have already been mentioned that i think we're not fully exploiting, one is colonel price is absolutely correct. there is a trove of documents produced by al qaeda, produced by isil, which i don't know why they're classified. i don't see that it is our responsibility to maintain our enemy's -- protect their secrets. these would be better served in the public domain. because i think they would be really instructive. i would make those available. i think another thing that is an underutilized source, we have some of these people coming back
from this experience. they can be utilized more. i know our tendency is, and it's understandable, this is a nation of law to say, well, we will lock them up and put them away and forget about it. that is fine. but that is an under utilized resource. it doesn't make any difference whether we think they're sincere or not but certainly they, not we, represent the most effective voices against jihad, against radicalization. so among these many hundreds who we have in europe and here, we could utilize them a lot more in terms of their own propaganda against their own side. >> you cited success stories. people need to know. i just returned from a wedding in colombia.
it would have been inconceivable to have gone to a wedding and feel safe. due to the success of the american military, that dynamic country is free and dynamic. so thank you for your service. >> thank you. we diplomats will take some credit too, congressman. >> mr. orr. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to comment on some of the lessons learned that have been described by the panel, all of which are very help will. some of witch ambassador you talked about our failure to react in a timely fashion. but i want to talk about some of those things we have done in the past that have precipitated some of the problems that we see today. and perhaps looking forward some of the actions we could take that could prevent them that may not be military in nature. i appreciate my colleagues mr.
jones pointing out that 2003 the invasion of iraq set is off a chain of consequences. some of them factoring in to what we're talking about today. and then the decision to remove moammar gadhafi in libya had some very negative consequences, which we are still dealing with today. there's an interesting article in addition to the one mr. jenkins contributed to in "the atlantic," how the arab world came apart. in one of the things he notes, in these areas where we are concerned about isis and syria and iraq and in libya, they all had something in common, which is that 100 years ago they were creations of on the west. they weren't inherently -- you know, there was no real syria. no real libya. there was no real iraq.
these artificial political constructions could really only be kept together by a strong man. and typically the west would put a strong man of a minority tribe or s.e.c. sect. we see this lack of identity. despite the fact we spent $60 million training and equipping the iraqi army. and so my question is, to expand on the excellent question from the chairman, let's look 5 years back, let's look 15 years forward. could you look 100 back and 100 years forward with me? is there something we could do to facilitate a different political construction in these three countries? you know, the short-term for partition. but it acknowledges these are not real countries the way we
think of countries and acknowledges the sectarian interest, tribal interest, familial. convince me why it is not worth exploring and pursuing. >> i think the reality is that the partitions that we currently see in syria and iraq are going to persist. i know diplomats have to be optimists. and for ava right of reasons, we have to remain committed at least in theory to the territorial integrity of syria and iraq. the reality on the ground is quite different. without abandoning the notion that we are in the business of being the new sykes peak people that will now draw new lines in the sand, i do think it might
alter our approach to recognize that reality and instead of thinking in terms of broad peace agreements that will entire nation, or governments that will be created that will be able to command the loyalty of all citizens within the territories, that we accept the reality and perhaps go for more modest local accommodations. that is, instead of one grand peace treaty, a series of small steps that are aimed only at limiting the -- lowering the level of violence and allowing some commerce to take place, and life to come back to some -- something approaching normality, as opposed to going for these three-point diplomatic shots we sometimes try for. >> it i could quickly, congressman, i agree with everything mr. jenkins said.
there are two problems with this that i think we need to consider. first of all, other than east asia, i know of no part of the world where you've got countries with each its own ethnic religious group by and large. and a little bit europe. and what you described in the middle east is absolutely correct, but i saw the same thing without the same level of huge turmoil and generator of terrorism that we see in the middle east and latin america, again, that was basically one big spanish set of colonies that then broke apart with similar ethnic and religious backgrounds, but managed to survive as a set of independent countries. so that's the first thing. it may be there is a special problem in the middle east that we don't see elsewhere, and that won't fix that special problem. the second thing, as i mentioned in my opening remarks, supporting the international order, national sovereignty,
national unity should be our default position, because it is what we represent. we can make exceptions to that. as mr. jenkins said, and as i was involved in the ballkins, but one that worked, and hasn't worked in the middle east, fiddling in sued a country, everybody in the region has to be with. because if only one is against you, syria and iran with iraq, pakistan with afghanistan, we know all too well in this room what happens. thank you. >> mr. whitman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. lieutenant colonel price, what the united states did after major operations in iraq ceased in our presence there and what led to the current security situation, we find ourselves now five years after that significantly reduced military presence in iraq.
we see what is happening now. i expect in the months to come, there will be another major offensive to perhaps retake mosul. the question then becomes what should the u.s. role be to ensure security in iraq after mosul is hopefully regained from isil? >> yes, sir. so in my testimony, i did discuss that a little bit. unfortunately, this problem is not unique to the united states. as ambassador jeffrey pointed out earlier, doing this type of work and finding leverage in other countries to govern the way you would like to govern is extremely difficult. one thing i will say, though, is that i believe that if you take a look at most of the debates surrounding our campaign against the islamic state today, i would argue that most of those are centered around the ways and means of attacking them. discussions about boots on the
ground, troop levels, rules of engagement, air strikes, building capacity and so for th. what happens after. the islamic state, last thing i'll say, they have created an interesting scenario because they've create ad a lot of enems in the region. i believe we're going to be successful in retaking territory. my concern is what happens after, and i would like to see more national debate on that. >> let me ask this, having visited there, went up to kurdstan, visited with the kurds, visited with government in baghdad and i use that term loosely, and seeing what they're dealing with sunnis and shias in that region versus the kurds up north, the disagreements they've had with the baghdad government, is the future one that's likely to hold a country that is not
like we saw iraq previously, with it having those three areas united as one country? would it be potentially divided where you would are a kurdstan, you would have shia and sunni regions, regional operating under a centralized government in baghdad. give me your understanding of how governance would occur. obviously security has to happen first, but give me an idea of what you think governance would like like after that. >> yes, sir. there is no really easy answer to that question. i would be interested in hearing what ambassador jeffrey would have to say on this topic. the only thing i'll add, again, this is my own personal opinion, the key question, whether you're talking about post hostilities in iraq or syria, the key fundamental governance question are these states able to provide an alternative and credible form of government that's going be preferenced or preferable to
living the jihadist lifestyle. very difficult task. >> very quickly, to build on colonel price's comments, first of all, government in parentheses, you're absolutely right, but that's okay. >> yeah. >> that's how most of east asia fought years ago, corruption, quasi dictatorial regimes, army generals coming in, taiwan was a problem. thailand is still a problem. we somehow deal with them. the answer to iraq, it was functioning pretty well in the period of time from the end of the surge, 2009 to roughly 20013. many factors led to the decline of the state, including a lack of attention by us, and increasi increasing secretarian thoughts by the shia arab government, the
kurds and shias kind of worked things out in their own unique way. but i would say that you could go back to that. you will have all of the problems that you hear when you're out there but a lot of problems in egypt, a lot of problems elsewhere in the region. i've seen it work. the most important thing, though, the delta, we have to stay in there. diplomatically and military. that means with dealing with iran, because job one for iran, as soon as the isis battle is over, is to get our 5,000 people out of there. we have to find a way to persuade everyone in iraq that that's a bad idea and to some degree, to persuade iran that it is a bad idea in the long run for iran, too. that's a much bigger problem. i touched on it in my testimony, but it will haunt us as long as we're trying to stabilize the region. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just briefly a follow-up to
ambassador jeffrey on that point. do you think the intertwined relationship between the shia government and baghdad and iran can be so easily supplanted on our engagement there? >> absolutely not, congresswoman. we have to live with the fact that iran will have a great deal of influence in iraq. not just with the largely shia government and the see yeah in the south, but many of the kurds in the north. i've seen that as well. the question is, do we want to compete with iran or turn the place over to them. one of the problems with letting the place split into its three components is the other two components tend to anchor the shia south in a sort of independent status. if iran really were in charge, it would have long since picked up the phone and said why are you exploiting up to 4 million barrels of oil a day. this is killing us on oil exports.
believe me, those 2 million additional barrels of oil that iraq is exploiting now compared to a decade ago, thanks largely to us and international oil companies, that's one of the reasons oil prices are so low. that's good for your american consumers, but it is not good for iran. iran doesn't do that, because it knows the iraqis would say no. you break that country up, the shia south is going to have to gravitate into iran's orbit in a way much more than today. total oil reserves in iran and the shia south of iraq are greater than saudi arabia's. that's something worth combating. i think we can stay in there and push back. but it takes a lot of effort and it is going to take, again, dealing directly with iran. >> that's a big conversation that we can get into about the three state possibility for iraq and the consequence of as mr. jenkins mentioned, the reality on the ground, which is that
this partition has already taken place and the vacuum created by the oppression of the sunni tribes and others by the shia government has allowed groups like isis to in fact come in. which leads plea to my next question. much of the testimony today and much of the talk in the media, much of the conversation from the administration as well as from military leaders on the grounds in places like syria is their mission is to defeat isis, period. when we ask questions about what about al qaeda, what about the group formerly known as al nasr. why are we not targeting them or are we tarring thgeting them. the answers are insufficient. as a result, groups like jfs have really integrated themselves within the syrian society, right under our noses, to the point where if the administration is successful in removing assad,