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tv   DNI Dan Coats Testifies on World Threats  CSPAN  March 8, 2018 5:33am-8:04am EST

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>> we are pleased to welcome our distinguished witnesses, dan coats, general ashley, nice to have you here. it is particularly timely that
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we are at -- here in the context of the administration's newly released national defense strategy. i just returned from senators and as and sullivan member of the house armed services committee, where we visited the philippines, taiwan, japan, with the new threat we are faced with in the south china sea. senior military defense leaders competitivethat our advantage is eroding. general dunford said we are qualitative and quantitative edge that we have enjoyed for such a long time. rising powers like russia and china have been investing in military modernization, contestally to america's capabilities. china is increasing spending and
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fiscal 18 by 8.1%. over the last year, the third straight year in a row they have massive increases to their military spending. it is important to point out that russia has made advances in weapon systems in clear violation of the treaty, which putin touted just last week. while our response here at home during the last administration was to provide our military with inadequate funding, budget era ofinty, now in a new great power competition, of russia and china, china which we witnessed during our meeting last week. it is a pretty scary thing, so director coats, you summed up the gravity of the current threat environment when you wrote in your prepared statement "the risk of interstate
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conflict, including among the world's great powers is higher than at any time since the end of the cold war. thank you very much for being here, senator reid. mr. chairman. i would like to welcome back director dan coats. also, welcome, mr. ashley. the central challenge facing the nation's strategic competition with russia and china and this competition replaces terrorism as the primary concern in u.s. national security. question, china and russia pose a threat to our national security. in order to counter these threats, we bus -- must understand our objectives. in doing so, we must consider the spectrum of capabilities of our potential adversaries. from high-end platforms to
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irregular warfare approaches. the kremlin is pursuing strategic competition across a range of capabilities from conventional modernization to asymmetric operations below the level of military conflict intended to undermine our democracy. we need a clear right understanding of president bush -- putin's ambition and using every tool at his disposal. there is also an assault on the year.m elections this we heard from administration officials that the white house has not directed the intelligence agencies. components to disrupt attacks against the fundamental institutions of our society. in the case of china, we need a whole of government approach we need a whole of government approach that counters the
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economic and military challenges we face. military response alone will not be successful. china is a large entrepreneurial country with a long-term vision. we must every defer to ensure that china adheres to the rules based order which its benefited greatly. i'm deeply concerned about the continued militarization of the territorial features of south china sea, its elicit theft of u.s. technology and intellectual property and its course of activities against its neighbors including the economic retaliation against south korea for accepting the thaad deployment necessary to defend itself from north korea. china should work with its neighbors instead of destabilizing the throughto resolve peaceful mechanisms that exist. great power competition may be the current reality, but we must not neglect other equally important challenges. it would be harmful to our national security if we exclusively focused on great power competition at the expense of ongoing threats boess bows by rogue regimes and
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other nonstate actors. for example we face a clear and present threat from north korea that must be detained and deterred. a war with korea would be a catastrophic event for the people of south korea and the region. we must come up with a robust deterrent strategy that lays strict sanctions and sustained diplomatic efforts. we must also pursue a robust counter proliferation effort. it must be globally coordinated. we can contain the threat that north korea poses without going to war if we engage in a consistent strategy and adequately resource our government agencies, especially the state department in the coming years. according to all reports iran is complying wits obligations under action, however iran plans to play a destabilizing roles in the middle east, particularly in syria and yemen. while so the called physical caliphate preefl enjoyed by isis has been dismantled, the group has not been defeated.
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isis directed inspired attacks will remain a persistent threat for some time to come. likewise, al qaeda has proved resilient in which it can launch spectacular ataeks against the -- attacks against the west. in afghanistan, the coalition threatens the insurgency as well as a variety of groups that call south asia home, many which have proven significant in the face of military pressure carried the national defense strategy calls efforts insources to afghanistan, however the administration is said to increase the number of troops in conflict, which falls on the heels of last year's increase. at the same time, we hear countries like russia may be seeking to expand efforts to engage with our adversaries in the taliban, possibly a spoiler to our efforts. it is clear we are living in complex times and i look forward to your testimony on these issues and thank you for your service. since acorn is now present, and asked the midi to consider
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the general took her before this committee this last week. be director of the national security service, andander u.s. cyber command dr. park to be deputy of nonproliferation security of the admin station. is there a motion? >> i so move. >> all in favor, say aye. the a's have it. coats, we appreciate your being here with all of your friends and we would like to .ear from both of you if you can find your statements to five minutes, that will be helpful. we have a lot of questions. mr. chairman, thank you and member read and members of the committee. it is an honor for me to be here
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today alongside general ashley to represent the men and women of the intelligence community. as you will hear during my remarks, we currently face the most complex am a volatile and challenging threat environment in modern times. the risk of interstate conflict timee highest since any since the end of the cold war and we have entered a period that can best be described as a race for technological superiority against our adversaries who seek to sow division in the united states and we can u.s. leadership. it is ever more important that we remain vigilant to the range of threats worldwide as we seek to do all we can to provide security to the american people. i'll provide a brief overview of some of the top threats, starting with the functional topics and then moving to reasonable -- regional threats. much of what has been said by the chairman and ranking member will be reaffirmed and reflected
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in what i say, so i will try to keep this as brief as possible. let me begin, however, with the myer threat which is one of greatest concerns and top priorities of our office. from u.s. businesses to the federal government, state and local governments, we are under cyber attack. while state actors pose the greatest threat, cyber capabilities worldwide has enabled and emboldened a broader range of actors to pursue their maligned activities against us. likelyss that russia is to continue to pursue even more aggressive cyber attacks with the intent of weakening our alliances. persistent end -- system -- disruptive influence operations will continue in the united states and european allies. as opportunities
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to undermine democracy and sow discord and undermine our values. actors,ion to russian we will see chinese, iranian and north korean cyber actors continue to build off past successes to improve the scope and scale of their cyber capabilities. quickly, let me talk about weapons of mass destruction. overall, state efforts to modernize or develop their delivery systems or underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the united states and our allies. north korea will be the most volatile and confrontational of the threats this year and russia will remain the most capable wmd power and is expanding its nuclear weapon capabilities. state and nonstate actors, including the syrian regime and isis possess and have used chemical weapons in syria and iraq, we continue to be concerned about other actors pursuit of biological weapons.
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my third topic is the ongoing terrorist threat, which spans the secretary and gambit from hezbollah to state-sponsored activities of iran and other affiliated and nonaffiliated terrorist organizations. u.s. based violent extremists remain the primary and most sunniult to detect terrorist threat in the united states. isis remains a threat in iraq and syria despite territorial losses. it will focus on rebuilding in the region, expanding a global presence and inspiring attacks worldwide. al qaeda will remain a major act as -- actor as it continues intent on attacking the united states and u.s. interests abroad. lebanese has belong with the support of iran will continue to foment regional instability through its involvement in syria and direction to other shia militant groups. let me briefly transition.
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i know we probably will be talking about commercial space and we need to look to the heavens, as well as the earth in terms of threats to the united states. we can discuss that in morgan -- detail. let me know russia and china have been expanding their space-based reconnaissance communications and navigation systems and both countries seek to reduce u.s. and allied military effectiveness and perceptions of u.s. military advantage in space. chairman, ranking member, both of you touched on the various regional issues. we saw the news this morning relative to north korea, hope springs eternal, but we need to learn a lot more relative to these talks and we will continue collection possible
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relative to the situation that exists in north korea. we will be talking about that will, i want to note china increasingly seek to expand its regional influence and shape outcomes globally. it will take a firm stance on its regional claims and attempt to use its one belt one road initiative to reach geostrategic regions across eurasia and the pacific. in south asia and afghanistan, we expect the picture to modestly deteriorate in the willg year and kabul continue to bear the brunt of taliban insurgency. afghan national security forces -- with coalition support, probably will maintain control of most major population centers. complicating the afghan situation is our assessment that pakistan-based militant groups continue to take advantage of their safe haven to conduct
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attacks, including against u.s. interests. we assess to russia, president putin will continue to apply a certain foreign policies to shape outcomes beyond russia's borders while constraining his domestic opposition in the run-up to next month's presidential election. we also assess that putin will resort to more authoritarian tactics to ming control amid challenges to his rule. perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 28 teen u.s. midterm elections as a potential target. we continue to see russian activities designed to exacerbate social and political fissures in the united states. in the next year, russia will continue to use propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesman -- sympathetic spokesmen and other means of influence to try to build on its wide range of disruptive operations. we expect russian influence efforts to continue in other
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locations, as well. for example, we assess russian aggression in the ukraine will persist, even as we seek to bols -- bolster ukraine's ability to protect itself. let me turn to the final plan -- regional plan that i plan to talk about today, the middle east and north africa. this region will be character rides by political turmoil, economic fragility and civil and proxy wars in the coming year. iran will become the most prom -- will remain the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism and adversary in the middle east. its provocative and assertive behavior increases the potential for escalatory actions especially in iraq, syria, and yemen that threatens u.s. forces and allies in the region. turkey is seeking to thwart ambitions in the middle east in the ongoing kurdish incursion is complicating counter isis activities in the region and increases the risk of u.s. sources located in the
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area. syria will face continued unrest and fighting throughout 2018 with spikes in violence occurring as damascus attempts to recapture urban areas as we are now witnessing. i will pass over in the interest of time our assessments on iraq, the situation in yemen, and some other complex -- conflicts. let me note that the conflicts around the world today have displaced more people sings world war ii and these present major social and humanitarian challenges. finally, just let me add one additional thought to our nation that i would like to present. it is deeply concerning that our increasingly fractious political process, particularly with respect to federal spending, is threatening our ability to properly defend our nation. the failure to address our long-term fiscal situation has increased the national debt to as you know over $20 trillion and growing.
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our continued plunge into debt is unsustainable and represents a dire future threat to our economy and to our national security. from a national security perspective, it was then former chairman joint chiefs mike mullin who first identified the national debt as the greatest threat to our national security. since then, he has been joined by numerous respected national security leaders of both parties, including our current defense secretary, jim mattis. i believe it's vitally important for all of us to recognize the need to address this challenge and to take action as soon as possible before a fiscal crisis occurs that truly undermines our ability to ensure our national security. with that, i will turn this over to general ashley and then we will be ready for his remarks and we will be ready to take your questions. ashley: chairman inhofe, thank you for the opportunity to provide the defense intelligence
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agency's and assessment of a global security environment and address the threats confronting the nation. my statement for the record details a range of challenges competitors, threats, foreign military capabilities and transnational terrorist networks. in my opening remarks, i would -- north korea is a critical threat to the united states and our allies in northeast asia. kim jong-un has pressed his nation down a path to develop deliver themns and with ballistic missiles that can reach south korea, japan, guam and the united states. a rapidnstituted missile development and flight testing program that has over the last two years brought north korea closer to its goals. moreover, north korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in september of last year. a much larger seismic signature
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than other tests. hasurrently, pyongyang invested in conventional systems and training designed to increase the threat to south korea. north korea's nuclear and missile testing has deepened the regime's isolation. while the united nations have imposed additional sanctions, kim shows no interest in walking away from his nuclear or ballistic missile programs. additional missile launches are near certainty and further nuclear tests are possible as pyongyang seeks to refine its weapons design and reliability. china. in 2017, china armed forces continued implanting sweeping organizational reforms to enhance the ability of the people's liberation army to conduct joint operations, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the chinese mainland.
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planse military moderation -- modernization plan includes strikes against adler terry -- adversary forces. china is leveraging its growing power to assert sovereignty claims over features in the east, the south china sea's and the china india border region. asian's military modernization program is expanding in concert with an intent to invest in a range of missions beyond china's periphery. 's increasingly lethal joint force will be capable of holding u.s. and allied forces at risk rater distances from the chinese mainland. : russia views the united states as the primary threat to its national security and its geopolitical ambitions. the kremlin seeks to establish a sphere of influence over former soviet union states, prevent ofther eastward expansion
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nato and assure that no major international issues are addressed without russia's input or add it -- at its expense. strategic nuclear force as a foundation of russia's national security and sees modernized general-purpose and nonstrategic nuclear forces as critical for many of its conventional military threats. russia's aggressive actions abroad over the past several its military interventions in syria and ukraine, have boosted russia's confidence and its military and increase moscow's geopolitical profile. --hanistan, in southeastern south asia last year, afghan security forces protected major population centers and denied the taliban strategic gains while combating isis as well as al qaeda.
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the security forces will build on their incremental success by developing defensive capabilities while the alabama will threaten afghan stability, undermine public confidence by conducting intermittent, high-profile attacks in urban areas, increasing influence in rural terrain, threatening district centers and challenging locations. iran remains the primary nationstate challenger. it continues to improve its conventional capabilities to adversaries and defendants its homeland. it has the region's largest listed military arsenal that can strike targets throughout the region up to 6000 kilometers from their borders. following the joint action inive plan of 2016, the international atomic agency continues to report that uranium not enriched
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beyond allowable levels and maintains limits and allows monitoring of nuclear fuels. it is committed to modernizing its military, building capacity of partners, and building a desire into the economic system. competitors are developing and using cyberspace to increase operational reach into military and civilian systems. exporting our honorable at ease and exploiting our defense. terrorism -- isis suffered significant setbacks in 2017. territorial losses in iraq and syria and counterterrorism operations against isis's global network has impeded sustainability. dispersing. are
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creating clandestine nine networks to preserve core capabilities while isis capabilities have been degraded in numerous countries. it remains a significant threat and inspires more tax than any other operation. isis also remains a significant threat to the u.s. finally, advanced technological threats -- our competitors are working to develop more advanced technology which poses increased threats. developments in hypersonic swell provide the ability to strike targets more quickly and at .reater tech supercomputers, artificial intelligence and enabling new military capabilities. prioritizingre research in quantum computing which can supply the means to build secure communication
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systems and eventually break encryption over rhythms. overview, andf look forward to questions. >> thank you. excellent opening statements. >> stingray. it was disturbing to see this. it is having -- it is a intimidating our allies. reclaiming land. this was land that was never there is. they are creating land without any legal authority to do so. it is obvious this would be done
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for military purposes because that is what they have on these islands. notches 10,000 runways but missiles and the rest. dangerous, as we look at it and see the affected is having on our allies there. and china's producing at least in addition to their increase in spending, at least a dozen warships per year. developing long-range missile systems and fifth-generation fighters. after seeing increases in defense spending, this is what is going on right now. that ismajor thing having an effect of challenging us in the united states as the lead the freed world. so director coats, let's start with you. what you think they're doing out there specifically in that part of the china sea?
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building that aggressive of a fortress out there? what is the reasoning? i think it has been very clear over the past three years the china is willing to take pretty extraordinary means in terms of expanding its influence, not only over the region as you suggested in south china sea but throughout the globe. one belt, one road program for learned -- ive would clarify the actual number but a report was recently on classified conversion that china would spend about a trillion dollars and 68 different nations establishing its geostrategic positioning that is not only and for trade
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purposes but also for military facilities. south china sea's is one of the areas they started on early and -- we have not paid much attention to the but as you said, several thousand runways. notches to bring tourists over to enjoy the beaches but also to establish military presence of they are definitely expanding regional and global influence. spending an extraordinary amount of money on that as well as upgrading their military. general lashley noted this in his remarks. power.become a world that is their goal. their goal is a goal of intimidation because that is what is happening. with our allies there, there is a fear that they have.
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looking at usare in looking at china wondering which one decided. what you think? director coats: i have traveled to asia and spoken with countries that are our allies and one to be our allies but they fear the influence of china. they provide a credit, a lot of loans that are very attractive. nations that do not have those resources to build roads, build facilities. and it is for all the line purpose. -- purpose. statement that was made, the opening statement. our president, back when kim jong-un made that threatening statements about what he was going to do with his nuclear button. people were critical of our president but he was saying something that came from the reality in terms
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of the power he has as president of the united states. in the work. it was a matter of hours that they contacted south korea and said we're going to join you in the winter olympics. we watched the affected had on people. i agree that hope springs internal -- eternal. there is no doubt kim jong-un is going to be a changed person. i think the news last night that he is actually made a response to the message sent and that he is ready to negotiate, ready to stop his nuclear activity and testing, do you share my somewhat optimistic view of what happened, general? optimismot share your right now. we will see how this plays out. >> we were right that down and see who is right and who is wrong. >> thank you. director coats, i always
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appreciate your candor and honesty as our colleague and friend. today you started off by citing ciber is one of your primary concerns, especially russian encroaching on our elections. live asked members of our intelligence committee what is being done and we have not heard much. it begs the question, what are we doing? do your knowledge, are you aware of a formal meeting of the and a sweet in which -- i've the nsc in which this was discussed and a way to counter malign activity was presented? are you aware of anything like that? director coats: there are ongoing discussions among a number of our agencies. the department of homeland security, the department of department, state in others relative to the cyber threat.
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our office recently met with three of the most pertinent agencies. and also with others to talk about the effective ciber on the upcoming elections by the as well as the impact of that. it is a whole of government approach. i've discussed it with the president of the united states. he said, i assume you are doing your job. if you need for me to direct you to do it, do it. that is since we had our with a cc. on the -- so it is a concern. the white house is engaged and has been. bob joyce and others have been leading the effort. it is a current discussion underway about how we best
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address not only defense but how do we look at ways to respond to that to prevent us from being vulnerable to attacks. onagain, i will just comment discussions. i think there ongoing. it is a plan of action and direction. somewhere in that is ultimately the president. that is the nature of his office, the nature of our constitution. director coats: i would agree with that but working with congress much of the time in my last term here at the senate was trying to identify legislative regarding critical infrastructure and putting a cyber plan in place. i think this is something the whole of government has to work with congress on what we would provide. >> it has to be. if we're at the top
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going to get anything done. let me change the subject for a moment. i had the opportunity of visiting u.s. forces. the disconcerting discoveries as we do not have an ambassador in south korea. we do not have an ambassador in jordan or somalia. criticalroops and equities and other countries. does it disturb you that we do the state department engaged? >> as the former ambassador i would like to see ambassadors get nominated and confirmed, but that is really a question for secretary tillerson and the state department to address. there has been ongoing discussions on that but i do not knowledge inght terms of decision-making.
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>> thank you. general lashley, you point out that the chinese are investing a huge amount of money and quantum computing and if this technology is realized, it would be revolutionary and i say that emphatically in terms of encryption, in terms of vessels,ng underwater etc. new -- underwater vessels, etc. >> i cannot speak to where we are as a nation and where we are investing. >> are you making the depth, the scope of this investment clear to your colleagues that do have the responsibility to inform leaders of all we should be doing? >> we are.
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ask to my very much. >> thank you. thanks gentlemen, first of all let me thank you for your service to our country. director coats, i am curious. you indicated you have had good conversations and direct conversations with the white house regarding cyber security and so forth. do you believe this country clearhas appropriate and policy with regard to cyber warfare? director coats: no. i think it is a work in process and needs to be in process. i believe there is real concern that we take action because we are seeing the results of our adversaries using cyber to degrade any number of things here in the united states. so i think putting the plan together, as i said, needs to be a whole of government effort to get his various agencies in
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various forms of not only government or private institutions and companies and businesses, financial, etc. being threatened with this. and it amounts to a very significant threat to the united states. >> you made very clear that seriousness of the cyber threat. for the last several years, the national defense authorization act has directed there should be a policy established. have you seen progress made over the last several years with regard to the creation of that policy and who is setting it up? >> as i said, it is a whole of government effort. the white house is involved as well as agencies. specific answer to your question, i do not think the progress has been made quick enough to put us in a position where we have a firm policy and understanding. not only ourselves but what our
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adversaries know relative to how we are going to deal with this. it is a dicey issue. we know the capabilities and have been on the losing end of some of those capabilities of other cyber actors. starting with potential takenation for actions from an offensive response. they have to be weighed. in the context of all of that, our critical infrastructure, which a number of efforts are underway to protect that infrastructure but we still have it from a policy standpoint branchfrom the executive or other branch on how we are to support those defenses. the question of response i think that's really beats to be discussed, because there are pros and cons of how we should do that. i have personally been an asocate of playing offense
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well as defense. i think we've done a pretty good job of defense. we do not have an offensive plan of thee to be the policy united states. >> i had the opportunity of serving as the chair of the cyber subcommittee for this committee and along with senator nelson, who is my ranking member. we have to the basic conclusion aat you have -- this is critical and most certainly a primary source of threats to the united states now and in the future. we are also concerned that while the whole of government is working on it, we do not have an appropriate policy in place today and it should be, as you have suggested, a primary point to be reckoned with. i would also agree with your assessment. i think the science board for the department of defense has made it very clear that for the next 10 years with regard to cyber attacks, our defensive capabilities will not match the offensive capabilities of our
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competitors. requiring that deterrence be enhanced on our part. i am very pleased to hear you feel the semi and i hope the message gets across. that has got to be a part of our cyber policy now and in the future. thank you for that. let me ask one more quick question. with regard to space, buried on page 13 of your items that have to do with the threats in space and the threats to our capabilities to use space -- do you think there is a disconnect between our policy with regard to our capabilities in space and what our competitors are doing to utilizer ability what has now become acceptable technical capabilities? gps and so forth? are they in a position right now to basically shut down our use of space in a time of war? ?r near-war
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>> our assessment has been we hold a significant advantage and . our assessment also says there stations, particularly china and russia that seek to catch up with us. i would turn to general lashley general to the -- ashley relative to the military protection. trying to maintain that advantage we currently have. >> doesn't interfere with strategy when you look at russia or china, they understand the dependency we have on space and so they are developing capabilities to counter that -- an attack tack satellite or jamming from the ground. so they are looking at a layered approach to deny us that
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capability because they realize how integral it is for us. >> thank you. in the development stage at this point. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you both for being here. director coats, it is always nice to see you back in the senate. i want to make sure i understood what you said to senator reid. i understood when you raised the concerns about needing to respond to what russia is doing potentialre with the election coming up in 2018 that what you heard from the president was that you should do whatever you need it to to support that. did i understand that correctly? >> my response was in the question that was asked relative to cyber. the direction to go forward on
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cyber. not, in my opinion i did not understand it to be said in the context of the russian influence on the elections. exit you have not heard anything the white house -- >> so you have not heard anything than from the white house with weponding to the claim that are furred from a number of intelligence officials that of said there is currently interference going on from russia in our upcoming election cycle for 2018. in june of not had any direction from the white house or the administration to respond to that, zac correct? director coats: i would not put it in that context. there is concern about the ongoing effort of russians to interfere with our elections. the white house is well aware of that, as we all are.
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asked tohave been address this. abouting that i talked also included our working with ,tate and local officials election officials, relative to protections to put in. our job is to do the warnings. our job is to do the collective information. do the assessment. provide the warnings. to interrupt,at but that is a direct contradiction of what we heard from admiral rogers. he said he is not heard from anyone in the administration of the white house about taking any action to respond to what russia is doing to interfere in our elections. it sounds to me you are saying something different. director coats: the nsa which admiral rogers directs is one
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component. dhs has taken the lead on this. the white house has been engaged in the department of defense, other agencies have been engaged on this. >> can you tell this committee to respond?g done is that something you can tell so thatis open hearing i can reassure my constituents that we are in fact trying to address this? director coats: much of what is being done or is being examined to be done would fall in the classified area. i would be happy to address it in a classified session. >> mr. chairman, would urge you and the ranking member to hold a classified briefing for this committee so we can hear firsthand what is being done to respond. let me ask you, general ashley, to change the subject of a little bit will stop last week before his state of the nation and his state of the nation speech, general putin --
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president clinton bragged about anywherehat can strike in the united states or -- aboutent putin bragged weapons that can strike anywhere in the united states. state of the union and context, obviously an election year is coming up and it was for consumption of a domestic audience. but i will say we are aware of the systems he spoke about. they are in a research and development phase. any further discussion we would have to go to classified session. >> i hope we will have the opportunity to hear about that in a classified session. that got a lot of attention in the united states and a lot of concern. when you talked about the threat from weapons of mass destruction, you talked about sarin gas in syria but there was no mention made of chlorine gas
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attacks in syria which we know are happening almost regularly now. is that something we have also considered a weapon of mass destruction? how are we responding to that? >> we do consider that as weapon of mass destruction. probably more use of chlorine gas then sarin gas. we are discussing this recent attack. we do not have full information yet. each side is blaming the other. we do not have the assessment made yet. we are very concerned. as you saw the president's this is something under serious discussion as we speak but again, something that needs to be discussed in the cause might session.
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>> i do remember the president's response last year and that is why i raised it. given the serious humanitarian conditions that are happening in syria, for us to allow those weapons of mass destruction of chemical attacks to continue i think goes against all humanitarian assessment of what we should be doing. >> i could not agree more. >> thank you mr. chair. director coats, general ashley, good to see you again. thank you for your service. director coats, would like to start with you. in your opening statement, you know that u.s. allies and uncertainty about the willingness and capably of the united states to maintain its international commitments may drive them to consider reorienting their policies. particularly regarding trade. the president's decision on imposing tariffs on
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steel and aluminum, believe that it is important we consider any national security implications that this might have. the national defense strategy states that the u.s. needs to current alliances and foster new partnerships in order to combat threats around the globe. from your perspective, what message do you think this terror would say to our allies? how ourexplain relationships with other countries canadian our national aid our efforts -- can national security efforts? coats: what we see around the world obviously needs to be looked at in the context of who is on our side and who are our adversaries and how we can better maintain relations with our allies in order to address these.
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general mattis talked about we're trying to address some of by working with allies. obviously, trade is one of many together.at ties there are pros and cons. the president's announcement recently has not been finalized. it was done in the context of national security and the concern that certain types of materials like steel land aluminum -- and aluminum are important for national security purposes. not to be relying on foreign entities, even some that we might call adversaries now but might not be later. our job in the intelligence community is to assess things after a of happened or are about to happen and try to provide
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information to our policymakers so they can make determinations on the policy so i really am not in the position to discuss willy on trade but the ic provide everything we can to -- not influence, excuse me -- to provide policymakers with what they need to make those decisions. aren't -- >> thank you. is the shangri-la dialogue or the munich conference, not only do we talk about national defense but we trade,em to talk about especially in the pacific. we chairman just stated that return from an overseas trip couple weeks ago and often times many of those partners really do emphasize the need to remain strong trade partners because where there is an absence of u.s. trade, often we see china
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stepping into close those gaps. obviously, i'm a strong supporter of our trade relationships. general coats and ashley as well, from that the experience we took away was we had the opportunity to talk about the challenges we face on the korean peninsula. we have seen where north korea has been able to garner support through illicit trade. an example is we know north korea has exported ballistic missile technology to countries like iran and syria. can you talk about how the intelligence community can help aid and restrict that flow of illicit materials overseas. proliferation of weapons of mass destruction very seriously and try to track that to the best of our ability. we know the history of north
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anda transfers for cash other reasons. it is particularly critical now as we deal with a serious situation with north korea. workarounds, sanctions that have been proposed by the north koreans to achieve essentially revenue to support their military. it is something we take very seriously. it is a very high priority. ashley, is that something for the military community where we are able to work with partner nations to share information to stop the trade? think you need i to sensitize all of the nations that would be in that supply chain as to where that risk may lie and how they can interdict that. some of the technology has dual use. some of the chips are not protected.
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when you start moving things from a maritime respective, we see more aggressive behavior on how to catch ships. those kind of aggressive actions will serve our interest in trying to interdict that. all the nations involved in potentialons, the ribbon of commodities, anything tied into the development of a missile or all of the components you would use to build that would be something we would share across all of those nations and defense partners. >> very good. thank you gentleman very much. and thank you mr. chairman thank you both for your long and distinguished service to our nation. director coats, have you read the indictment against 13 individuals and three russian entities that was recently returned by special counsel? >> i've read a summary but not all the details. >> would you agree with me that russia committed an act of war
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against the united states by interfering in our past election is detailed graphically and dramatically by that indictment? , it is notescribe it a conventional war. it is a war of influence. itselfact, russia described it as informational warfare. it is the obligation of the congress to determine whether or not something is an active war against the united states. it,hatever way you describe and i would call it an active war, is continuing, is it not? what ir coats: that is said in my opening message, yes. >> and yet you have not and directed to do to russia with evident west, right? director coats: the president wrecks me to do my job and my job is to do the intelligence. >> but he has never given you orders to take any specific
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action to deter or retaliate against russia or its act of one our country? director coats: there are some issues we could discuss and classified session but i cannot do that here. i'd you are talking to the american people here who have been told russia attacked our nation. can you assure the american people that the president told you to take effective he turned action -- effective deterrent action? coats: "scoffing -- ] -- the president told me to -- >> i apologize for interrupting, he never told you to counter, deter, retaliate, take any plann, or devise any against russia? director coats: these are issues to discuss in a classified relative to this.
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>> i think the american people deserve to know whether in fact the president directed his top intelligence officials to effectively counter this continuing active war on our country. may,e shift questions if i i am sure you are aware of both public and private information that at least four countries discussed how to influence and manipulate certain officials of the administration. director coats: i have seen that leak, yes. >> they discussed how to manipulate jared kushner through his business arrangements, his financial difficulties, his lack of policy experience. that you aree us taking effective action to protect our national security against that manipulation?
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director coats: we are doing every thing we can to protect united states citizens from harm from abroad including what you have just described. once again, we provide the intelligence and provide information to our policy makers to how tocisions as go forward. >> jared kushner never -- no longer has access to toxic or classified information but he continues to have access to secret information, correct? director coats: he is a temporary security clarets as do others. general kelly has taken the position that we need to shorten that list. it is in process right now. these decisions are made by the fbi. these clearances are cleared by the fbi -- >> isn't his continuing access to that information a threat to our national security?
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general coats: i do not believe it is a threat to our national security, no i do not. under general kelly's direction, temporarybeen a security to some types of information but not to highly classified information. , senator grassley and i have written to both the white house and the director of fbi --ing for a full exclamation explanation of the continuing security processes because i continue to believe, speaking only for myself, that it continues to be defective. i hope you will cooperate in that review. director coats: we certainly will cooperate. drugs can you assure as you will take action in the event that any foreign government seeks to manipulate a member of the white house staff? director coats: well, once again i want to make clear that taking
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action is a policy decision. to power. truth truth to those who make this policy decisions. to the extent that that community can participate in those actions, that has to be formulate through policy. >> but you will make recommendation? director coats: we are very much part of these discussions, yes. >> thank you. senator fischer: welcome gentlemen. if we could gear this back to worldwide threats that we are facing is a country. i know in the recently released nuclear posture review, you stated that russia mistakenly assesses that the threat of nuclear escalation or actual first you -- use of weapons would serve to deescalate in terms favorable to russia. that is commonly referred to as an escalade to de-escalate
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strategy. russian government and particular has disputed this assessment and denied that russia has such a strategy. general, would ask you -- do you agree with the assessment that the escalate to de-escalate strategy reflects russian doctrine? >> that has been part of their doctrine for some time. >> i know we cannot discuss in atat detail how you arrived that conclusion, but a general is it fair to say that this strategy is reflected in their military exercises, statements of senior leaders, in developments of military capabilities? >> overarching in terms of what they think of when they think in terms of their nuclear triad. that is integral to their deterrence strategy. it is the same kind of triad we have. when you talk about nonstrategic weapons, it is de-escalate to
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escalade or escalate to nominate or escalation termination. the strategy is you create a strategic pause where you back into talks within the context. where i see them using this would be a situation where moscow saw their national vital interest, actually russia proper was at risk. >> in the ncr, it does state or aa limited first use limited first use could paralyze the united states and nato. that the russians believe that would happen and it would end the conflict on terms favorable to russia. do believe that statement? like that would be the desired outcome. >> both of your opening statements discuss the increasing nuclear capabilities
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of russia as well as china. do you agree with the npr assessment that since 2010, global threats have worsened in general terms and with specific respect to nuclear threats? >> i would agree. yes. >> in your statement, for the record, you assess the kim "attempted to reinvigorate north korea's conventional military." we have focused extensively on weaponsrea's nuclear development by can you please elaborate on north korea and have they invested in modernization of their conventional forces well? >> yes. a lot of that is focused on the old equipment they have in terms of modernization. integrated to existing weapons that are part of that inventory. i think the big change we've seen from his father to kim jong-un knows the rigor of
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-- is the rigor of training. kim jong-un has taken that readiness aspect very seriously will stop they do not have the capability that could reunite the peninsula, but there is theificant capability over 30th parallel in terms of what they could do with their conventional weapons. >> do believe the regime has impacted north korea's effort to modernize conventional military? >> it is starting to have an impact. or ina general sense specific areas where they are looking at that modernization? >> i think the modernization in a classified session on specifics we have seen there is an impact. element of north korea's
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conventional force do you believe poses the greatest risk not to just our forces but to south korea? sheer number of artillery pieces and ballistic missile's that could be fired as an initial salvos. on the evening of february 7, the u.s. forces repelled an attack in syria. do you believe these russian mercenary groups are acting under the direction of or in coordination with the russian government? ori cannot speak to whether not that particular action was executed with the knowledge. what i know now is unclassified level. >> if i could follow up later with you on these. >> just ma'am. >> thank you. want the members to be
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aware we have two votes coming 11:00. it will be the intention of senator reid and myself to work through this. >> you and others have testified it is in fact the russia's continuing its efforts to interfere with our elections. last weekdgers testified he had no specific authority to counter these efforts. both of you pointed out that homeland security is the lead counter the russian efforts to interfere with elections. i understand the department of homeland security is working with the state election people to ensure infrastructure will
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to hacking byble russians, but who is responsible to counter the use of social media by russians to conduct what they call informational warfare question mark is is also department of homeland security responsibility? >> this is more of a whole of dhs toent effort for play a primary role. other agencies are involved. this is an ongoing process in terms of how we put together a strategy and policy to deal with this and counter this. aware of thes well need to do this. as i did say, one coherent strategy worked between the executive and commercial branch.
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-- congressional branch. >> who is in charge here? who is the lead entity to bring everybody together? a lot of entities. somebody has to take the lead. of 120 in the context mayan dollars the state department was given specifically to deal with the russian interference. they have not spent a dime. should the state department be the lead agency to come up with all whole of government approach russia's continuing interference, noting also that 2018 elections are right around the corner. why do we not have a whole of government strategy already in place? general coats: it is an losses. the white house is actively engaged. this is a high priority. they are working through that
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through the national security committee. topic we understand has to be addressed. influences continuing by the russians. onlynt to be not defensively ready, we are working with states and local election officials. i do not have a specific answer to your specific question which is which agency or individual person is taking the lead. >> to it think there should be a lead agency. >> i think that is a decision that has to be made by the president and white house. and what is being undertaken as we go forward will probably lead
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to that. we do have a cyber command through the military. you just confirmed the new incoming director. >> i hate to interrupt you but i am running out of time. i think the conclusion is this is not a top priority for the present. you are doing your very best but i've a question for you regarding the most recent reports that south korean officials are saying that north korea's willing to begin negotiating with the united andes on denuclearization they are planning a summit between the two leaders. what are your thoughts on the perceived willingness to negotiate nuclear capabilities. what do you believe should be the u.s. role as these discussions continue? >> we will know a lot more in a few days as our envoys come back and give us details of what was discussed. i happen to have a long history
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here in a previous life of democratic and republican administrations trying to reach agreement with north korea on the nuclear question. all efforts have failed. , while hem jong-un is is unpredictable, he is also very calculating. views possession of nuclear weapons as essential to his well-being as well as the well-being of his nation. he has repeated that statement over and over. all efforts in the past have failed and have simply bought north korea time to achieve what they want to achieve. i'm quite skeptical about all of this.
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not all administrative officials have been developed. springs eternal and we have drawn a very clear line. north korea has to agree to not possess nuclear capability. until that happens, we cannot have an agreement with them. that is our position. we will see what happens. maybe this is a breakthrough. i seriously doubt it. hope springs eternal. >> thank you mr. chairman. director coats, thank you for being here. we are glad you are where you are. general ashley, when you marked down that list of skeptical versus optimistic put me on your and i get the check mark.
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i want to go back. when we have this discussion about a neck of war, i am pretty sure -- i am relatively new to this but i believe that is an article one power. people should be talking about taking the steps congress takes based on the information presented, to put their money where their mouth is in terms of declaring war. i do have a question about russia. it has to do with the nature of the threat and what we do not know. when we talk about conventional weapon systems, we talk about standoff. we have a better understanding of what we need to engage in say theater, let's cyber theater. when we talk about in the war in cyberspace, do we have any earthly idea of what the nature of the threats are to our canrsaries to the point you go to a fight and know it would not be a fair fight?
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generalat regard, as developments of , we are welles aware of the threats. have to start thinking about threats as we look up into space as well as threats here on earth. and use the same kind of principles that we used to assess what is happening here. space warfare could be a major issue for us. >> when you have in the past, you would view the action of a hostile nation, it was easy to identify exactly what they did. then you could determine how to respond. that one of the challenges we are trying to sort through the fact patterns to know exactly who was involved and
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then to know exactly how to respond. is that a way to characterize it? from a defense department perspective, part of what you are alluding to is attribution. when you get into things like cyber, attribution becomes more problematic. your initial question was, do we have a pretty good capability will stop we have a pretty good capability. it is global. one thing about cyber, it is not founded. a previous question about capabilities, when you look at that character of war that is changing and that technology, you have the ability to reach weapons. with cyber is a global weapon system. the nature of character of war, have thisny longer lining up in the border and coming across. the line of which you declare hostilities is extremely
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blurred. if you are to ask russia and china, do you think you are at some form of conflict with the u.s., think behind closed doors the answer would be yes. it is hard to definitively say what constitutes an article of war when you are in the gray zone. >> i want to ask you as we move and wearkup on the nda are looking at resources we need -- i will ask the question and you answer. what more should we be looking at? is there anything you see considering what is helpful or not helpful? what more should we be thinking about? general ashley, it has to do we are doing with our allies, how you would engage in various areas and written testimony. how you would gauge the health of the relationship and our nato partners and what more do we need to do. give them a scorecard.
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>> let me go with the partners question first. the secretary of defense laid out key lines of effort. he said we have to be more lethal and efficient in terms of governance and effectiveness. one of the three key lines of effort was partners. he is an appreciation for we cannot do this by ourselves. our successes or is been integral to leveraging partners. they will bring insights, capabilities, capacity we do not have. one of the things we have to take a hard look at is in terms of intelligence sharing. how do we better integrate? the way we should look at some thatese problems is what problem is. if you have a problem in south africa or northern africa, then maybe it is not a flyby solution. maybe there are seven nations that can contribute to that.
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the intel sharing and opening that aperture is an area we need lowe ponde and integrating partners is essential to our success. >> let me address the nato situation. we see nato as recovering. ussr dissolves, what is the role for nato? thanks to vladimir putin, we have gotten a wake-up call. the russian bear came out of hibernation and was hungry and started grabbing countries like crimea. crimea.ke now the fighting in ukraine, the issues and georgia. russia is not back in business. they have a ways to go but the trend is right. it is disappointing that the country i was a bust or two, the country most capable of
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providing strength and resources to nato, germany is not living up to its weight and with the election that just took place it does not point to any additional move in the right direction. having said that, there are a number of nations, particularly ordered nations that are upping their game. there are exercises taking place. i have a grandson who is an airborne ranger who is been in over on theses border nations of europe and russia. intelligence division has been over to brussels twice on that. it is providing significant coordination and integration of intelligence that nato had not had before. they are upping their game. they see the threat coming.
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they want to be prepared. we are moving in the right .irection relative to nato >> thank you. director coats, with regards to cyber i fear that the phrase "whole of government approach" has become a catchall for "it is someone else's job." we hear this over and over again. a substitute for action and it is not a substitute for real cyber doctrine, something that could really achieve deterrence. when can we expect an actual cyber plan from this administration? give youoats: i cannot a specific date. we will continue to supply as much intelligence we can gather to policymakers. >> i would love to hear somebody say "the buck stops here" instead of "whole of government approach." what if you done to create a
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sense of urgency in the white house? general coats: i have daily and weekly interactions with the white house and we discuss any number of issues. it is clearly an issue for the national security to see. and for the nsc at the white others.d for so, there are ongoing discussions and it is part of the whole range of threats we face. as i earlier said, there has not leadyet a formulation of a agency that would work with the congress on legislative action and putting a policy of place relative to that. there are complicated issues here. >> we're running out of time. last week, i asked admiral rodgers if our response to
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russian cyber attacks has been adequate enough to change their behavior. he said we had failed to change their calculus and that their behavior has not changed. do you agree with this assessment? general coats: i agree with that. i asked you agree it is possible to change someone's behavior, specifically someone like vladimir putin without imposing some kind of cost on them for their action? general coats: i believe that. >> how should we impose those costs on russia? general coats: that is the question. how do you assess the retaliation and impact and what it might lead to? i think that is the >> this body passed a law nearly unanimously that required that the president's ancient individuals with financial ties to russia and their sectors. wait sanctions by
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certifying that they have reduced the attacks by the united states. but give you told me the intelligence community is seen -- still seeing activity up to the 2018 elections. -- 2016 elections. you said i think of the united states was under attack. why hasn't the human knighted states found anyone to section. >> as you probably seen, 13 individuals have been named. out acretary is bringing list of sanctions on those who have been complicit in this. you're talking about the 13 individuals indicted by the special counsel? >> correct. this goes the that to others that i don't know what names are on the list. we provided intelligence information to the department of treasury for this determination, and i'm told it is coming soon. you are asked to provide
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analysis to support the treasury department's decision. in -- decision? know is we have been engaged in providing intelligence on the subject of continuously -- >> when they made their initial decision of release of names, they did not choose to sanction any individuals at that time. where you asked to provide analysis for them to come up with that decision? back andd have to go double check whether this was just part of a regular, ongoing provision of provision of information or whether this was a specific ask. i would be happy to get back to you on that. >> i would like that. we talk a lot about sanctions against north korea. it seems -- it seems like there should be a direction for this. >> thank you gentlemen for your
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appearance today. says weonal strategy return a great power competition. terrorism remains serious, but becomehreats catastrophic, primarily when they are supported by a nationstate in one way or another. there are two great powers in and follow-up on some of the conversation we have had. between the south korean delegation that went to pyongyang and what it means. is it your understanding that any talks between north korea on one hand and south korea on the other hand would be talked without any confessions made to north korea? >> any current understanding
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that no confessions were -- it thatg topic was not -- >> is it part of the problem we have with innovator korea and reason we got to where we are that in the fast two tore three decades we have king w thely ran confessions to get them to sit down to t talk to us. >> that's correct. >> so one thing to sit down with an adversary but another thing to bribe that adversary to sit down to talk with us. >> talk is cheap. shouldn't play brown to their lucy. >> there's been a football an there's been a lot of misses. >> thanks. some people talk about the possibility of deterring north korea the way we deterred the soviet union that makes assumption about north korea of the north korean leader and regime. i want to reference a report from "the new york times" last week, that sited the u.n. panel of experts on north korea saying that, north korea is suspected exporting large amount a of material to syria that could be used to develop chemical weapons
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do you care to comment on those reports from last week? >>to we know in the past that there's been a transfer historically between northt, koa and syria. relative to currently going on we would have to discuss that in the session. >> perhaps we will do that. but that sounds like the kind of thing that north korea would do isn't it given their history? >> given their history it sounds like it. and that t make it is somewhat different from the soviet union. soviet union, of course, had a nuclear arsenal that destroy the american way of life. but they rarely transfer that kind of weapon of mass destruction technology to rogue nations like syria, correct? >> i'm not sure i have -- enough information to say yes or no on that. but that's -- >> history -- >> risky transfer nuclear technology if you care for the
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long-term preservation of your regime but given which economic andpl diplomatic decision it mak it is different than the soviet union in the cold war. general ashley, turn to brief comment you made i think in exchange with senator fisher about the indirect fire system that north korea has on or near the dmz sometimes the north korean leadership says this can turn into -- a lake of fire is that what they call it? >> i'm not sure of the phrase but a significant amount of carnal ties. >> you also mention that a lot of north korea's military -- weapons are soviet air systems do we know which percentage of the rocket in ises in north korea are arsenal are soviet air system which is means by definition at this point at least 27 years old? >> i would say majority of them are. we can givee you an exact break down. >>ar okay.
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of that percentage do we know how many or what percentage of those are very well maintained by north korean military? >> so my understanding is the level of maintenance is pretty good on the system it is now there's going to be a degree of atrophy over time and systems will work. >> what about ability of the pack or parts and ammunition rounds that all of those systems needs?at that becomes more problematic in materials it have no ammunition and supply parts for replace mings. >> those are not widely available -- >> correct. >> and then finally systems don't fire themselveses they need well trained crews to fire them. do we have an assessment of the training level of the north korean armies at the crew level and how they can operate all of the systems. >> so we watched winner and training exercises -- a little of discipline and expertise. i don't knowxe that i can take that down to the crew level. but i will go back to the comment i made earlier that kim
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jong-un far different from his father in the level of rigger that they've applied to their trainedor regime to make sure tt you are cruse arecr ready. >> so when you pile up all of those estimates on top of each other there's some question about overall effectiveness of north korea's -- indirect fire systems you know probably a little bit less than what north korean leader suggest it might be. but still a great threat to south korea and to american troops on the peninsula is that is i right? >> still a great threat. >> finally what's the qawment of north korean air self-defenses against u.s. aircraft? >> so let me take that into a closed session that's a little more complicated answer. >> okay, thank you. appreciate it gentlemen. >> senator, cain. >> thank you mr. chair and twoenses i want to first begin by applauding your prepared testimony i know you have to summarize briefly at the top this hearing but both of the prepared sets of testimony are very strong. in particular, i noticed both of you focused upon protracted
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conflict and environmental challenges et cetera, leading to migration and displacement in the security challenges caused by deplacement. general ashley you indicate retracted conflicts and secretary violence include at thete highest level on record according to the united nations. i'm going to come back to that in a second, and director coach you have a strong section on environment and climate change page 16 and 17 of your written testimonies that are important. i've been disappointed with some of the environmental agencies for scrubbing website not talking about it. but you're very is straightforward about the challenge it is that are present inside our security is environment in this section and encourage colleagues to take a look. here's a worry that i have -- would youes agree with me that - that the title of the hearing is worldwide threats would you agree with me that one of the best ways we deal with worldwide threats is stronger alliances?
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moree allies? >> i agree with that. >> general? >> senator, i agree. >> here's a concern that i have about the administration. there seems to be a number of areas inn which we're isolating org'ses it is from allies. it could be the failure to nominate ambassadors, senator reid talked about that. it could be proposals to reduce dramatically the budget state department and usid that's ongoing it could be pulling out of the united states of international accords whether it's pulling out of the paris accord stemming back from the u.n. compact on global migration threaten threatening to step out of an iran deal. threatening to pull out of a korean trade deal threatening to pull out of nafta. starting tariffs which could suggest trade wars with allies. even tweets about allies and adversaries even ow our own diplomat i worry about an ice
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lacist attitude of a immune system strength in dealing with worldwide threat strengthening alliance and worried about this right now. let me ask you about two thingses that concern me. first, since you both focused upon the displacement and refugee challenges and director coach you actually in your own testimony near the talked about. this is a significant phenomenon whether it's war, violence, naturals disasters, weather events, droughts, corruption, causing migrations of population. we've seen the challenges that syrian migrants have compounded in europe, for example. in december, the u.s. announced that it -- alone among nations -- was going to pull out of the u.n. compact on global migration which was a voluntary agreement by nations in the u.n. a unanimous agreement in september of 2016, to sit down to start to talk about knew best practices for dealing with my tbrants and refugeeses.
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completely voluntary, no encourage into the sovereignty of nation to make their own immigration decisions. but the trump administration announced in early december that u.s. was pulling out of the discussion ises citing sovereignty is a reason which was a nonsec tear since entire idea not to give up sovereign ability to do anything but that we would have a dialogue about how to deal requestde this -- significant security threat that you each identify w in your written and oral testimony. why is it aal good idea for the united states to pull of a global discussion ab way to deal with displacement problem that identify in your testimony? >>n senator, i'm not familiar with that particular decision why that was made in a larger sense relative to what you're talking about. it's easy to looked a way we
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have con conventionally done things but not always worked. i think we've seen potential upsides to some decision that have been made that have caused nations that we have with either been adversary or allies to change their positions. i look at nato, the criticism that came to the president for criticizing nato his resulted in the fact that many nations have come in line and agreed an said look, with yeah you're right. we have not held to our -- commitments. we haven't treated nato as something that is necessary. there are a number of nations that now have changed their position on that. >> relative to trade are, other benefits that have come from -- and decisions that have been positive. so just going back to the conventional that's always coit the way we've always done it. really hasn't worked very well. >> i want to comment on this and have one question for the record. i get that questioning existing
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institutions. could they be better? that's one thing. this was an initiative that was just being started. there was no history. there was no bad action. it was a decision by every nation in the world to meet beginning in mexico in december of 2017 to talk about the human displacement problem that you each testified to is achieving real significance? the nation and world needs to figure out how to deal with it and u.s. decided not to be at the table for the first discussion so it wasn't a critique of what was being done, it was a unilateral decision is that the u.s. would be a nonparticipant and i can't see how that would benefit either the united states or the world. givenu. your own testimony about theiq seriousness of the proble. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator, graham. >> thankgi you, both. dan, thank you for serving in the role you're serving in. you're great counsel president general thank you for your service. let's see if i can sort of go over some highlights here.
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north korea is it still the policy of the united states to deny the north korean regime to the ability to hit america with a nuclear tip icbm? >> absolutely. is that true general? >> you agree with that? >> yes, sir. denial then is different than containment. we havet rejected the idea of giving them the capability in trying to contain it is that true senator coats? >> yes. and reason is that they get a bunch of capability likely to sell or share it is that accurate? >> yes, we have. >> let's move to -- the follow-up concept through as last reare sort military action is on the table. >> it is on the table. >> iran when it comes to iranian involvement in syria a line with russia do you belief we have a sufficient strategy to contain russian or o threat in syria? >> we certainly are working on one, and it is of constant discussion in terms of how we -- see that problem that it clearly is a major issue that needs to
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be addressed. inch oaks. >>dr well i want to congratulate you on the tiewght against isis and you've done a great job in results on the ground that syrians have a counterrun strategy in syria and other places the better. i got back from a trip and there are thousands of rockets pointed at israel. do you have any reason to doubt that in the hands of hezbollah. >> no reason to doubt that. in a response to your previous --ut question, there is a strategy in place really relative to iranian engagements throughout the very difficult part of the world and what iran has been doing. >> maybe in a different setting we can -- fnlings happy to do that. >> i'll just be honest with you. director coats i got back in from israel in jordan is not bearing froot. fruit do youga agree that united nations fromm lebanon has failed when iter comes to protecting
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israel in central lebanon? >> do you agree with that? >> i don't think it is my place to make that assessment. >> fair enough. so israel told us our delegation they need more ammunition and backing from the united states if they have to go into southern lebanon to hezbollah rockets and rockets integrated with apartment complexes, schools, and hospitals. they have made to the targetses hezbollah does that make sense to you. can you confirm that? >> given the sources, obviously, we like to talk about that in detail and in a closed session. but yes publicly, that has been -- been pretty clear. >> well i want to let the committee know is just a matter of time before israel has to act. they're actually making preare decision guided weapons inside of southern lebanon and hezbollah couldn't do it. nuclear agreement is itth the policy of the president that we
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need a better deal? >> yes, it is. >> what are the concerns of the clause?deal since that >> that's correct. >> urnghtd the sunset clause the mere passage of time iran can enrich reprocess without limitation is that correct? >> i believe that is correct. >> i think the policy of the yieghts says any time in near break should we impose sachss? >> i understand to enrich that it would take a year to put a weapon together. >> i totally support that we need a t better deal replacing e sunset clause withen something better. dog you agree with me -- director coats that, the arab assume iran gets a nuclear weapons overtime unless something changes under the current agreement? >> i think that's a reasonable assumption. >> that's what they've told me is that they're going to respond i' kind as to russia interference inru the election
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legislation with senator that has if people from private sector to come forward to give us recommendations about how to hard it been infrastructure regarding the 2018 election. can i send that to you? qow give me feedback -- >> i would be happy to do that. >> general? >> so u how likely that 2018 election will be compromised by russia? >> we have not seen evidence of robust effort yet in thehe partf russia. but, we know that they're afnghts continue to -- >> pass in the future is highly likely would you agree with that? >>s it's highly likely that they'll be doing something. we don't know how much when and where. >> do youou agree with that? >> senator, i agree. >> we have a policy of mutual assured destruction if we're talked by nuclear weapons we will wipe out o the country who attacked us. do we have anything like that in the cyberarena? >> not to my knowledge.
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>> do you think we would be well served to let countries know you attack america through cyberspace at your own apparel? >> i think that message is already delivered but if it hasn't it needs to be. >> thank you both for the jobses you're doing for our country. >> senator peters. >> that you think and witnesses today thank you for your testimony and to your service. general, ashley, what is your definition of -- political warfare when you hear that term? how would you define it? >> more in the information domain so information how they use the phrases that is targeted toward the populous at large. and if you look in the context as we talked about russia, they have a thing that's in their doctrine been their doctrine since back in the 60s called reflex of control. and what they do is they use a
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level of influence to try to take you are down a path to make a decision you think is your own. and so that is nothing new. but as we're looking in context of what's evolved over last couple of years it's -- it's a ubiquity of communication social media and other means by which you can deliver those messages, that that has been a integral to their strike that is strategy back in the 1960s. >> all right. so basically many of the things that we've been talking about here -- could very easily be defined as political warfare so qow would youe agree that we're using political war with fair gns the united states? >> senator, i don't have a doctrineha term but i can say tt it's you know warfare in the context of warfare. i think it's -- >> at least in the context -- >> information confrontation in terms of how -- the russians look at it. >> att least in the context of the term political warfare it is king consistent with that? >> could you interrupt for a
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second. senator wicker presiding. thank you mr. chair. >> is that correct in the context of that? >> well i have to look for the exact definition of what political warfare constitutes i can't tell you that. >> as i was recently reading a report from brookings institution by authors boyer, and i found that merging threats -- section in the report particularly interesting i want to read it to get your comments about emergings. they write in future of warfare is in digital do main and moscow against the west are still fairly basic they rely on vulnerabilities in social media ecosystem and lack of awareness among thewa public. , the media and policymakers, with in the three to five year temple, however, these tools will become more advance and difficult to detect. in particular, technological advancement and a artificial intelligence and cybercapabilities openie
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opportunity to undermine democracies effectively than what we have seen so in addition increasingly significant tested primarily by russia in eastern europe have already effected western systems and in a attack on western critical infrastructure seems inevitable. end of, quote. general what do you make of that ?aiment -- >> there's validity in the statement. atricks could become more difficult but at the same time what we have seen transpire in europe, you had the -- level of influence but the russians tried a number of elections where it's france, germany, other nations, norway. because of the heavy had hand in nature which they did that it reallyse aluminated what therm doing so people became more suspect. but the more we talk about this in the public domain and may question information that they see that's out there. so they may question whether or
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not this is, in fact, true it is used to influence them toward a political outcome. >> point they also make in the report are use that is easy to see some of it because of the heavy handedness is with the very rapid advantageses and machine learning are are officialwe intelligence is going to become extremely difficult to see exactly what's happening. would you agree with that? >> i think there's an ai application. my -- my now -- the nato particular piece of that is because it came in the public domain and we talked about so people started looking for it and start to the see it. j my final question is a lot of this misinformation and the tools that are being used that will be exploited in increasing fashion in the future, are able or used big data. basically the weaponnization of big data. how do you approach that concept and what are you doing in regards to that first off do you believe that's a significant threat of weaponnization of big data? >> i think it is a threat. so part of that threat so engage
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facebook, twitter, other is too of platforms engaged in that that the intelligence community to both of you engageed in conversationses with theseun platforms understanding that we need to probably cooperate if we're going to be able to thwart this threat general you first or director coats i'm sorry. >> i'll let the director take that so let me take the context of big data in terms of our understanding. so as we start seeing what's changing now ined the character war, you are speed o of decision. so there's always things that arel, happening globally information that is moving around so intelligence standpoint on military side, it's being able to see indications of warning being able to see faint signal of conflict that may be coming your way andg, so to take all of that disaggregated information and aggravated in a way to start to see trends indications of warning and gives analyst time to start to think about what he
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or she is seeing that's one with of the big applications in terms of sensing the environment. so it is a critical capability that we're focused on. >> great. >> i'm out of time. thank you. >> senator mccaskill. >> thank you very much and indulgence i haven't voted so they're letting me do it out of turn to make a couple of points. director, i liked your analogy about the bear coming out of hibernation it is accurate discrimination of what's going on with putin and russia. eand as you described it the ber is outut of hibernation grabbing krpghts and i would add to that attacking democracies would you sphwrea? >> i would agree. >> but we're not hunting bears. the united states -- and that is by and large because commander in chief is not interested in hunting bears which is very trrting for all of us whether it comes to sanctions or comes to director action, russia is not feeling the might
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of the united states of america and admiral rogers very clear last week that he's not being demanded to use tools he has to go after a russia. and as senator graham indicated those bears are now colluding with iran. to threaten directly our best ally in a very dangerous neighborhood and that's val. so i wanted to get that on the record. i also just wanted to ask you quickly about the security of our supply chain for our weapon systems. this is something that really concerns me. and a this i would direct to both of you, we now know that the riewrmts about china and russia to review proprietary information of the united states companies in return for opening their markets if to the united states companies could cause realpr problems down the line. do either of you support that we should require u.s. companies to tell us if russia or china is requiring them to open up their
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proprietary source code as a concern of doing commerce with those two countries? >> i don't know if that decision hasor been made. it has some -- implications -- m thatyo you know, would bear some legal examination of the issue. but it is you raised the right question. a concern, and looking at the supply chains in downhe u through, but whether we're in a position right now legally or with the authorities to enforce that against various companies, i don't have the answer for that i don't know general if you out of the military supply chain have taken -- >> actually, i don't know if we put those laws in place. but from a supply chain risk management, the pongt you bring up is -- is critical and that we have to
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be really much more cognizant less naive where our technology is coming from. especially in acquisition side when you look at components that are brought in so for example if i have a contract with you for something and you haveom a subcontract with senator ricker with a subcontract with senator warren. senator warreng in this case may represent the labs and that is a problem. but it was not written in the contract that you had to be able to preclude that from happening. so we're getting smarter about supply and risk management and doing more on counterintelligence form to uncover those relationships. >> i would like recommendations from both of you what we can do in nda a to give you legal tools necessary to require u.s. companies to let us know when they're being required to reveal source code. and important proprietary software that in order to do business with people that are not always our friends secondly to require more transparencies with sub contractors for the protection of our weapon system supply chain. both of you could make us any
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recommendations i think that this committee on a bipartisan basis would be interested in give you whatever tools are necessary for r that really desperately needed protection. thank you both. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator mccaskill. director, coats. senator mcs made a statement you agreed with it and made another statement i suspected man you didn't agree with that one. but you weren't asked whether you agreed so let me it shall see -- if we can expand on that, last week u.s. approved selling 210 javelin and launchers to ukraine, the javelin is defense of lethal aid that ukraine has been calling for from the united states since -- russia's illegal of crimea so in that sense we're fighting the bear inn that regard. is that correct? the director coats? >> probably.
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general ashley has more knowledge about the impact of javelin miss unless weapons that we sent to ukraine but yes that is a push back. >> general ashley in that sense we're gauging the bear -- > correct. inwhat we're showing also is the good faith measure toward our in ukraine as well. >> i think one of the most straw teenage uk decisions one of the most strategicto acts in the next -- few months or the next -- few years is that russia lose in kriew yain do you agree with that, that that's a strategic octave? think that is a strategic october objective. yes. >> defense strategy now states that states for long-term security competitions our competition with china and
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russia are foremost and foremost priority for the department of defense is that correct? >> sir, that's correct. >> so in that case i want to ask you i want observe we're engaging the bear and doing so in a very strategy. general ashley, you are not quite as optimistic as senator enhoff when asked about north korea. i suspect that might be because you've, you've seen this movie before. is that correct? >> senator, that's correct. >> care to expound on why exactly you don't share much optimism about the announcement yesterday from kim jong-un? >> yes, sir. so unclassified level everything that i've seen everything that's reenforced mien , my assessment i'll be it there's a great deal of opaqueness i've seen nothing
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to take me down a path that think that he's about ready to make a hard right turn. but -- that possibility is there. but i've seen hog to tell me that there's sincerity in talks that are about ready to kick off. >> should question dismiss it out of hand or would your advice to the president of the united states to -- tor: follow-up with caution? >> i think you follow with caution and engage. >> okay. now, let me ask one other thing, there was a rand study that copy out in december, and it -- we'vewe had classified briefings that followed up on that and it was a public study. basically it was very startling what they said. they said that under plausible
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scenarios, the united states could actually lose the next war. they listed several reasons for or this. one with being that when we have to fight a war we have to fight it so far away from home. but also they said that -- our adversarieses are catching up with us in technology. did you have a chance to look at that rand ?id >> senator i have not. but i will. >> well -- okay director have you looked at that study? >> i have not looked at that study but seen a great deal of technologyca to the capables available to nations which didn't have capabilities before. there is a competition and there's a race and world is changing conventional warfare -- probably changed when we prevailed in desert storm you
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don't -- countries line up tanks or infantry against us given our capabilities that were demonstrated there. so we've seen -- a lot of type of threats. and the use of technology to achieve those threats so it's a different kind ofus warfare. that we're engaged this and i think we're fully aware of that. thanksks to the congress, the budget has been increased significantly they make up for -- some stuff that was pretty static for in the past administration. >> that's true, yes. i think we have to follow-up on the 23rd of this month. but let me get back to you, understanding general ashley, did you have not read the report. it was stunning, i think about with to many americans that a report could say we could conceivably under plausible condition lose the next war.
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what -- what do you it say to someone who would make that -- that flat statement? >> sir i have to look at the context of assessment one war, multiple war or o holding deterring -- it i do agree with everything that director coats says in materials ofer closing the gap d capabilities. our -- our poangts come at us in a way. the technology gap is closing and factt that we have global commitment, it's hard to posture yourself in the globe so you're always going to have that time distance where you have to move where you may be at a position when a con flct starts. ta>> general thank you very muc. well i'm going to ask you to take --- this and insert that and looked a unclassified ranked report came out about the fourth of january or now -- actually i think it came out in -- in december.or
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look at that and give us a brief response. >> yes,>> sir. >> so the allegations top line allegations made. senator king -- >> thank you mr. chairman. >> director coats i want to compliment use and members of the community that you represent on the report that you have supplied to us it is clear, and troubling in some cases which is what good intelligence will always be. particularly onbl page 16 is an extraordinary statement about the effective climate change on national security. the impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate more air pollution biodiversity los and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent and possibly upheaval through 2018. goes on to talk about the risk of humanitarian disasters, conflict, water, and food shortage, population, migration, labor short fall, price shock, power outage, and a possibility
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of abrupt climate change. if the notes -- indicate the current extinction rate 100 to 1,000 times the natural extinction rate. i just want to point that out. this is clearly your report indicates -- a serious issue of natural not?ity is it >> it is an issue. but it always has been an issue. what happens to the environment, floods, hurricanes, et cetera, we're seeing some tensity of that lately. >> this isn't talking about general environmental conditions. g talking, the past 115 or yearses i'm reading from your report warmest in modern civilization and warmest years on record. and then it goes on -- on to state, i would just hope that you would have the people prepared this brief that secretary of the epa -- because i think this information
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is important. it's important national security we often talk about risk of climate change and context of environmental i.. but according to your analysis, it is also an issue that affects national security will increase migration patterns, con thrict, famine and the like which is often how wars start. another part on the page 7 talks about iran and the iran nuclear agreement and there's an interesting phrase that says -- iran implement takes of the jcpoa extended amount of tile to produce for nuclear weapon from a few months to about one year provided iran continues to adhere to the deals major provisions. is it is the judgment of the intelligence communityhe that in has thus far? adhere to the deals major
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provisions? >> yes. and a the judgment is that no material breach of the agreement. >> and jcp oa again reading from your report has also enhanced transparency of iran'she nuclear activities mainly by fosters improved access to those nuclear facilities for the iaea and the authorities under the additional protocol. so if the iran agreement were abrogated weld lose that visibility into the iran nuclear enterprises is that correct? >> we bulletis a number of capacities relative to that. even since the agreement. so -- to say lose that, i don't think would be accurate. >> diminish? >> potentially it could diminish. >> i think you can do better than that. itou would diminish wouldn't it iaeai wouldn't have access that they have -- >> no they may not on the other hand we have provided other
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means andnd we have -- significantly upped our game in materials of our verification procedures. >> in your assessment on page 18 you talk about china, again, interesting language it tacks about china's security interests with regard to the south chienl sea east china sea and taiwan. uses the language i'm sorry language of national security in those regards sovereignty claims east china sea south china sea and taiwan but it goes on to talk about its -- efforts aim is fulfilling of the road initiative to expand china and political influence. my question is, what is the intelligence community's assessmentme of what china want. does china want --
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are they moving toward military aggression and enlargement of their territory ort are they looking more towards political and economic influence in the region? >> it appear to be the latter. while china is modernizing its military is increasing its pending -- most of it appears to be done in -- for deattorneys purpose. rather than aggressive purpose. they have -- clearly strategy of using credit and loans to countries around the world particularly in strategic places. then combining it with some military capacities and china seas -- their new base in jadubi we see that. china is seeking i think to become a world power. with great influence on a global basis and they're using a number
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o' techniques that -- are far more than just the typical military land grab that we see more likely with russia rather than china. >> thank you. >> thank you senator sullivan. >> thank you mr. chairman, and gentlemen good to see you again thank you for your wonderful service. i want to comment i saw my colleague senator cain making someai comments on some of his concerns particularly as it relates too alliances and -- how we're focusing on those or o not i think it's a good point i agree with him on it. but one thing he actually did mention was unprecedented delay of the confirms of many of the people thated the president has put forward in terms of the national security foreign policy area. so you don't have to comment on that. but i certainly wish if we're talking about challenges that we can -- agree that expeditiously move so many these opposed to delay, delay, delay.
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i wanted to ask about china regard to there's been a lot of it shall press recently about some of these i don't know if you would call it soft power but confucius institutes on campuses throughout the united states and how kind of the dollar diplomacy in some of our top universities is really having starting to have an impacts and people are starting to wonder what these confucius institutes are really up to. first of all, director coats, do you think that china would allow for kind of the equivalent let's say we have u.s. government trying to put forward james madison institutes or alexander hamilton institutes about -- freedom, liberty, free speech, the rulele of law on chinese campuses. do you think china would allow that? ivetle we certainly don't have any assessment that i could give you.
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given china's control over what's done this china through its institutions boat public and private. it would likely be harder hurdle to cross than it would be -- >> probably very unlikely. >>probably. >> what do you think -- have you looked at what confucius o institutes are on some of our top campuses are trying to achieve and what -- their goals are. are they actually spying onen chinese students? university do we know what's going on? like i said there's been a number of articles just in the past few months on these -- significant interest on this and studies going on and investigations going on relative to what china is doing and what their real intent is and how much is linked to the chinese government policies. rather than just students wanting to come to get a good education here. so we -- we take that very seriously and assessing where china is and where china is going.
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this is part of the effort. >> well it would be good to be able to see those reports and brief the congress on it because i think there's a lot of us on both sides of the aisle that are interested in that. you have a lot of questions on north korea. let meue be more specific -- i would like to get a sense so your confidence in the intelligence estimates with regard to the critical issue of innovator koreano capable for lg range nuclear missiles that can hit all of the continental united states or just western states or -- i have a particular interest in the noncontiguous states alaska, hawaii. what are your estimates right now of kim jong-un's ability to range all three of those geographic area in our country? >> we know china has tested the ability to with icbm and intercontinental missiles that theyth the power to reach all parts of the united states.
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we know that they've tested high yield nuclear device. we've assessed they will continue to do these testings. specifics of what you are asking, i think is better moved to a closed session rather than here. >> president has put forward what i would consider a redline in materials of u.s. policy i think you --ar in one of your hearings recently agreed with that. that he's saying we're not going to allow the north koreans have capability to have an intercontinue h nejts ballistic nuclear missile to hit the united states that would include myld state of alaska which is a little closer. has north korea crossed that red line yet? >> i don't believe they have crossed that red are line yet but i think that policy is still in place. >> and do you think they're going to cross that red line within the year 2018? >> you know, we do everything we can to assess what kim jong-un
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is thinking. and what the regime might do -- but it's been unpredictable as you know. b so that's just a matter -- and the message has been loud and clear. >> is it likely that it they'll cross that red line this year? >> i cannot assess that they would -- >> what would you define red line are you talking about their capability -- >> to fire intercontinental ballistic missile to range any state is in america including alaska and hawaii? >> we know they're pursuing their capability whether they exercise that capability or not that would cross that red line, is -- we don't know. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you sullivan senator warren. >> thank you mr. chairman so committee on foreign investment in the united states is reviews acquisitions by foreign companies to ensure that they don't threaten our national security and the director of national intelligence investigates the national
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security risks proposed by proposed foreign investment transactions so dr. coats your threat assessment observed that china and others are using legal ways to acquire american early-stage technologies. and that these foreign acquisitions are rode our competitive advantage. so i would like to explore that just a little bit. general ashley is head of the defense intelligence agency, you look at foreign acquisitions of u.s. technology through the lens of national security risks to the supply chain for our government and our military. so i want to pick up on this where senator mccaskill left off given that china and others will continue efforts to acquire ourr technologies, how well are we identifying emerging technologies that aret critical to maintaining our military advantage over our adversaries, both in the near future and
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beyond? >> so what i can speak to are technologies that arere coming t and what we do to go through the supply chain risk management counterintelligence how we examine those tied in the department -- if i can general, let me just narrow the question up. the question i'm asking is are we dong a good job of identifying all a of the critical technologies that are subject to the chinese that's the first part. you have to know that it's within your lens to take a look at. >> i can't speak toalty of everything that's out there that would be examined if but when you talk about how they acquire -- some of it is legal. some of is illegal. and some of is starting to build their own technology now. >> i understand that. i'm -- i'm a little concerned, though, about our ability to monitor this in advance. i'm very concerned do you believe that government investment in and basic
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scientific research is critical to maintaining military advantage? >> i do. >> good. >> you know, i think it's important for us to be proactive in identifying emerging technologieses that foreign adversaries will try to poach and to continue investigating this research that strengthens our economy and our national security. so that's the point i would like to underline today. i also another question to pick up where senator left off. one of the tools we have to hold russia accountable is sanction. congress overwhelmingly passed a law last year requiring sanctions on anyone that enghaidges cyberattacks. on behalf of the russians -- the president trump administration has not emotessed these required sanctions even though russiaa will continue try aring to interfere in our elections. so last week, i asked the nsa director what message it sends to vladimir putin when the trump administration does not implement mandatory sanctions to
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counter russian attacks i will quote himmed a morel i believe putin has clearly cool to the conclusion there's little price quto pay here. andio that therefore, i can continue this activity. and he concluded by saying, quote, clearly, what we've done hasn't been enough. director coats, do agree with admiral rodgers? >> haven't done enough sanctions our other concern secretary of treasury indicate canned as early as next week he might be listing some of those sanctions. but --we clearly, we have not -- successfully countered in offensive way rather than defensive way. how to deal with some of the cyberattacks -- >> so graw -- so you agree we have not done enough how about when we believe
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president putin has come to conclusion there's little price to pay here. meaning or for russian cyberattacks. and that he can therefore continue this activity. do you agree with the admiral on that? >> i think they have seen some successes. i don't know to what extent they believe that success they wanted to achieve. i do -- i do support what has been discussed really tiff to the transparency informing american people our job is intelligence community is to inform the americanan people of this so tht they take -- exercise better judgment is terms of what is real news -- >> you think our job is to inform the american people? i think our job -- it >> not only job -- i didn't say that's our only job but one of the things that we do. >> that's correct. did did you agree with admiral rodgersun statement or not. i didn't hear a yes or no in there? >> i agree there was more that we' can do and it's under consideration.
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>> i don't think if you're a democrat or republican but as all should be appalled that vladimir putin thinkse he gets to play a rolen the jam outcome of our election. >> i couldn't agree more. >> we need to prevent that are from ever happening again. >> transparency is part of the effort. >> i'm also transparency but trump administration doesn't implement sanctions required by congress, then we are not using every tool weng can to effectivy deter russia from undermining our democracy. >> as i said secretary, mnuchin will be announcing those within a week. >> eventually. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator -- thank you for your service and thank you being here today. dr. coats in your written testimony yowx, quote, iran remains most prominent state sponsor of terrorism providing financial aid, advance weapon and tactics and direction to militant andma terrorist groups across the middle east and cultivating a network of
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operatives across the dploab as a contingency to enable potential terrorist attacks. ase you know billions floated into iran including 1.7 billion in unmarked cash delivered in pallets in the dark of night. in your judgment, have -- has some of those billions of dollars has some of that money been used to finance terrorist operations? >> likely. >> what in your judgment is the greatest terrorist threat posted by iran? >> iran has a lot of afnghts going on right now. but seems to me that the greatest current threat is the support m for hezbollah and a hezbollah positioning itself against israel.
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that has turned into a hot spot and made this possible to move into syria territory -- very close to israel and arm themselves to point where it could turn into a major conflict. >> well indeed in recent weeks, we saw for the first time ever ania iranian drone crossing into israeli air space piloted by iranians. what do you see it the continuation consequences that iran now feels strong enough, belligerent enough to be directly leading a tax on israel with iranian weapons by iranians? >> well it could have serious con thricts. conflict result from all of that.. we know israel will not be able to tolerate that kind of threat threl on their border. and so it's -- i think it's a situation of --
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significant concern. >> and as iran continuing its research and development and testingg ibcm technology? >> they continue to develop and test their -- test their missiles. they claim it's not for that purpose. but there appears to be violations of u.n. security resolutions relative to what they're doing and that is one of the malign afnghts that we're concerned about. >> and missiles they're teeing their not merely short range missiles that might strike israel but they also include icbms that could reach the united states of america. >> like general ashley to -- >> so what they have in short range ballistic missile and they dons have a space launch vehicla morgue that tested a couple of times reliability is not there. so -- today if you were to ask me, is iran have an icbm capability
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they do not is that aspiration no yes. could they take that vehicle and start working it to a capability they could. but that is many years the. >> to we see indications of north korea sharing their icbm research and twoment with iran? >> so from iranian stand point and ballistic missile program really the seed corn of their ballistic missile program started back in the 80s and iran iraq war, that was a technology and really where iran wants to know right now is self-sufficient. so they want to have the ability not to depend on north korea like they did back in the 80s so they're self-sufficient in termsrt of how they're developig their program. >> let's shift for a minute to north korea. in january 2018 kim jong-un called for contacts travel and cooperation between north and south korea. and then yesterday kim jong-un host-u aside ten member delegatn of south korean officials in pyongyang.
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and according to president national security advisoror who leds the delegation north korea signaled a, quote, clear intent to pursue denuclearization and willing to hold talks with the u.s.. director coats, do we have any reason to believe that -- that kim jong-un would be willing to give up nuclear weapons? >> he is repeatedly stated that he would not give that up. he sees that as a exposensual to his regime survival into his own survival. wexi have seen nothing to indice otherwise that he would be willing to give up those weapons. >> so what do you make of these statements that are contrary is this simply propaganda or what's your assessment on it? >> well i think it is too early to make a clear assessment we need to hear from our lockers who will will coming here as well as south koreans to discuss what they have discussed. i spoke earlier about my history
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here of -- watching this movie a couple of times before. with both republican and in the administrations of the frustration of get into talks with north korea and not succeeding buying them time to do what theyto want to do. dso i have very, very confidene in what their intent might -- if their intent is for denuclearizing we have sewn no that point. to that decision -- >> general do you have a view on this question? >> ie agree with the director. i mean everything we've seen, leads uss down a path that realy the preservation of the regime from many kind of external threat is central to that weapons program. and lessons he's taken away from gadhafi that have given up programs puts him at risk. and it was surprising to see that. in the papern this morning, and we'll see where the talks go.
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>> thank you. >> thank you, senator cruz. me make a comment about that because i'm glad you brought that up senator cruz we talked about this earlier. and general ashley and i had a disagreement about this. let me tell you why i feel a little differently than both of you. i -- i too have been here while you've been here dan, and we've listened to this. we've seen this movie before and all of that. but you've got to keep in mind that king came off a of eight years with a someone in -- i say a policy of appeasement from the obama administration. that all of a sudden when the response came on the pressing butsen and he responded in a very, very straightforward way. he being our president, that all of a sudden the phone call went down d south korea yeah we wanto participate with you in the winter olympics and i was watching this because i was there at the time. not at the a olympics but i wasn south china sea, and i thought,
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you know, that happening and then, of course, what happened last night. is kind of unprecedented in coming forth in saying, under some conditions he would follow the denuclearization so i -- i'm a little more optimistic than your hope springs eternal, dan. but i do think and i want to think that had this -- this aggressive behavior of our president is going to have a positive effect on him. >> i think we would all like to think that, and -- hope that that's the case i just think wee should go into this eyes wide open and look at the history of what is happenedded before -- before we too excited about this. >> and i agree with that. i agree with that. >> any further comments senator reid we're going to go ahead before someone else comes in and -- releases this. thank you.
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yield the floor. [silence] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> here's some of our live coverage for thursday on the c-span networks.
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>> necks, hearing on scams and fraud against the elderly and aging. the senate special aging committee heard testimony from a couple on their experience losing $1230 to a scammer fraudulently claiming to be the grandson the needed money for bail. the 90 the 90 minute hearing alo included a panel of consumer advocates.

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