tv Bipartisan Policy Center Honors 911 Commission Co- Chairs CSPAN September 11, 2018 6:55pm-8:07pm EDT
united states efforts are determined now to increase local capacity to deal with these issues. now in some cases that may be to improve governance and in some cases it means really just simply improve their abilities to legitimately suppress these terrorist organizations. so this is not a fight simply to be waged by the united states alone. >> you then act this a long time studying terrorism issues with the rand corporation. nearly 50 years. can you talk about the nature of terrorism than when you started this work compared to today? >> well, some differences. certainly the major developments over the past half-century have been, first of all, beginning from the early 70s, late 60s
and early 70s, the spread of terrorism to become a global phenomenon, a second one would have to point to -- >> a landmark document that led to the overhauling of our national security infrastructure and protected our homeland from future attacks. and so, in the years since that report was released, we've seen the adoption of many of their recommendations on a bipartisan basis that enabled us to successfully weaken terrorist organizations abroad and most importantly to protect the homeland from another mass casualty attack. but one crucial recommendation from the 9/11 report remains unfilled. we foresaw the need and included in the report the recommendation to develop a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond responding to violent extremism
and focus on preventing its rise in the first place. in the words of their report, a preventive strategy that is as much or more political as it is military. we have seen that without the successful prevention strategy in place, that terrorism in fact has continued to spread and the number of terrorist attacks worldwide have gone from 2000 in 2001 to more than 10,000 in 2017. we are seeing that extremists have been particular gained a foothold in the fragile space with social contract between government and the people fundamentally broken and where they find fertile ground recruiting aggrieved, disenfranchised societies and in particular duke and they win public sympathy by providing the
services that their governments in those countries do not. so last year, usip as it often is was directed by congress to a task force. this is to tackle the issues that lead to the spread of terrorism in fragile state and we were asked to develop a comprehensive strategy with a focus on missile and the horn of africa. we are enormously grateful that governor king and congressman hamilton once again answered the call for public service and really saw this as the completion of an arc from their very important work on the 9/11 commission. and they are joined in this effort by a very thoughtful bipartisan task force. a number of whom are here with us today. could i ask you to stand or commission members, task force
members, senator a.i., ambassador eikenberry, ambassador dabrowski, board chair steve hadley. thank you, thank you each of you. ambassador johnnie carson. [applause] the task force is further supported by a group of senior advisers, many of whom are also here with us today and we thank you all for the idea and the energy that you are putting into the task force. so our program tonight gives us an opportunity not only to reflect don and honor the legacy, but also to look forward to the combination of their efforts through their work with the task force today. under their leadership, the task force has produced an interim report. you will find inaccuracies.
this report serves to underscore the interlocking nature of the challenges posed by fragility and extremism. over the next few months, these interim findings will inform a final report, which will include very specific concrete proposals for how we turn a decade of learning and scholarship into action that matters. we have a lot of work ahead of us. we welcome everybody's good.then ideas. and most of all, we extend our gratitude to congressman hamilton and governor king for picking up this challenge once again. so with that, thank you once again for joining us. we are delighted to have this evening together and enjoy your dinners. [applause] .
>> it's always a danger to besps served. you do have salads on your table. my only thought here is that my mother continually told me as a child to please keep your mouth closed as you chew. but, i urge you to chew. the other thing that came to my mind is the story about the pastor delivering a wonderful sermon in reading those parishioners on the rate way
out. they got all the accolades they said what did you think of my sermon. and they said i thought it was very good, but i believe you missed a critical opportunity. he set opportunity for what? >> she said, to quit. [laughter] i make it a point this evening that if you look hungry enough i might have to quit. but, i want to thank you for the honor of being here talking to you. i have enjoyed a long partnership with the bipartisan policy center. following my return from germany, i served as cochair with former senator my former senate colleague chuck. little did i know he was on the iran task force. little did i know then that i
would be standing here today as director of national intelligence. virtually every morning reading, looking, or asking, what happened in iran last night? so, it is a pleasure to know that bpc, in combination with the institute for peace is still putting out great programs and great information that is of value to those policymakers that will be taking a look at this and the value to this country. you have terrific people here to do that. i want to acknowledge my former colleague, kelly ayotte who i had the distinct privilege of serving with kelly. i miss you, the senate misses you, the country misses you, and
we hope you will continue to see and seize opportunities to serve your country. we know how much you love your country. i am glad you are here doing what you are doing, and others. [applause] the governor just told me is moving back home. i move back home and now i am back here. so, be careful. be really careful. chuck, rob, and i had a terrific time working together. another good friend is in the audience, tim slattery. i'm a republican, he is a democrat, we actually like each other. so, jim, i know you are part of this commission also. my respect for the bpc approach to the way they do things, just the facts analysis and solutions
to our nation key challenges is what we are looking for in the intelligence agency. we do get just the facts from that on a bipartisan basis along with solutions. we appreciate that. tonight, i am here to honor and pay tribute to two great american patriots. congress lee -- and reflect on their legacy and contributions to our counterterrorism efforts. as a fellow hoosier and cherish colleague in the congress, and leah, sorry you can't be here. leah is a longtime friend and former colleague. lee has earned great respect for members of both sides of the aisle for his exceptional leadership on matters of foreign policy and national security. he served as an example for his
formative intellect, his tireless work ethic and nonpartisanship. i am not surprised that lee signed up along with you for this next step. do you know what privilege it is to work with lee. while our political careers have some parallels, lee achieved many milestones including one i will always envy and never achieve. he was inducted into the indiana basketball hall of fame. [laughter] [applause] trust me, as far as hoosiers are concerned, nothing else you can do in life comes close to that achievement. in tom king lifetime of service to this nation in higher education is remarkable. from governor of new jersey to
cochair of the 9/11 commission to president of drew university, tom is widely respected for his leadership and willingness and ability to work with others to achieve a common goal. we gather to honor these two men on the somber anniversary of september 11. i stood this morning at the pentagon during a ceremony. on the side of the pentagon where our son-in-law, as a young army captain who was serving, marsh and i had been in germany just the weekend before starting our ambassadorship. september 11 was the second day on my job. when i noticed the plane flew into that portion of the pentagon, i knew that is where our son-in-law was. his commanding officer was
killed, as was one of his aides. he miraculously survived. so that moment came back to me in a very personal way. we are grateful he survived and we regret that so many lives were lost. as i said, we arrived in germany just the weekend before. my very first activity after saying hello to the staff very next day i had asked the staff to find someone who could best provide the experience of the relationship between the united states and germany postwar. at our residence of the driveway came a german citizen, 88 years old of jewish descent named
doctor ernst -- his life story was remarkable and inspiring. it speaks to the importance of service to a cause greater than oneself. as a young teenage man, he and his entire extended family were sent to . after their arrival they cobbled together whatever valuables they haven't smuggled him out of the camp and into the hands of people who could send him to the united states. shortly thereafter, then 17-year-old ernst wound up living on a farm in mississippi where he attended his senior year of high school. that year was 1941. the morning after the attack on pearl harbor, ernst said i am not going to the high school today, i'm going to the army recruiting center. i want to join the military and go back and free my people in
germany. he landed early on the beaches of normandy and was ultimately part of the team that liberated -- only to learn that his entire family had been murdered in the holocaust. he vowed never to let it happen again and became a stall work for u.s. german relations for the rest of his life. still going at 88. he had been editor of the largest circulated newspaper in germany and wrote regular columns about our relationship. as we finish lunch, our focus turns to the issue of future threats to our respective nations. doctor kremer shared with me that is growing concern about terrorism and radical ideology believing this would be the biggest challenge for the free world and years ahead. unknown tests as we are concluding our discussion the first plane hit the world trade center north tower.
as i walked into the door and said goodbye, my staff rushed in and said, turn on cnn. marsh and i watched with horror as the second plane crash into the second tower. news reports came in about another missing plane and an explosion at the pentagon. to use the words of the 9/11 commission report, on that day at that time, the united states became a nation transformed. that's a in our nation response to the attacks would define my tour in germany. back home, force our nation to rethink our approach to national security. lee and tom were again asked to serve their nation. they were charged with leading the 9/11 commission to evaluate what happened and how we could prevent it from happening again.
under their leadership, they delivered and unclenching a bipartisan analysis of what went wrong. in many ways, the commission final report contains valuable lessons and important historical information related to terrorist activities in the decade prior but remain relevant to today and today's threat environment. they offered recommendations on the basis of reforms for intelligence and national security architecture in 2005. this included the creation of the national counterterrorism center and the director of the national counterintelligence. little did i know at the time that i would one day serve in this position. the intelligence community that i had the privilege to lead today is the result of lee and the results of tom in that commission.
that decision, now 12 years later has left us with a more integrated, more capable, more technologically advanced than it has ever been. to demonstrate how far we have come, let me paint a picture of what our counterterrorism center looks like today. and ctc is the counterterrorism hub for the entire intelligence community. around-the-clock operation, seven days a week, 365 days per year. twenty-four hours on three shifts. step inside and poke your head into the nt -- center and you'll notice activity is officers monitor the latest report from around the globe. including as many as a thousand or more reports every single
day. open a conference room and you will see officers leading one of several inter- agencies convened every day to maintain situational awareness across the government on the latest ct threats. as you stroll through the hallways, you might bump into a cia officer. an fbi agent, or a local first responder. or a military representative or an officer all here on wrote tatian rotation. for anyone who has been involved in the standing up of a new government organization, or assembling an interagency team, you know it was no small feat to realize the end times vision. before 9/11, no organization in the u.s. government had access to all ct information. now, analysts have direct access to foreign and domestic threat
information from networks all across the government. cia, nsa, dhs, to name a few. before 9/11 there is no single electronic library of terrorism related information. now they maintain a central repository that officials from all around the government can access with the click of a key. before 9/11 there were four databases of known suspected terrorists and 13 watchlist. now, we have a single database in a single watchlist which has instant access to all our agencies. before 9/11 there is no effort to integrate operations. now we lead efforts to bring all elements of state power to bear against ct threats.
this integrated approach to ct is a model for the rest of the community. we are fine some of the lessons learned to other transnational problem sets. counterintelligence, cyber, transnational organized crime and counter proliferation. as director of national intelligence and focusing on these principles. intel integration and incorporating disparate viewpoints to ensure that intelligence community, all 17 agencies deliver the best possible intelligence to our policymakers. the united states and allied efforts have throated dozens of plots and thoroughly disrupted terrorist capabilities. we have degraded capacity to conduct large-scale 9/11 style operations. as far as we have come, as good as we are today, we know we cannot rest.
the threat landscape has changed dramatically in demands or constant attention. in addition to the complex terrorism global landscape, we face a power competition, delegate negotiations with north korea, the pervasive cyber threat and troubling use of chemical weapons in syria in the peaceful paved streets of salisbury, england. the complexity of the terror threat is evident when you compared to the centralized large-scale plotting we saw from al qaeda in 2001. today, the threat is global, less centralized, and harder to detect. if history has taught us anything, it is that the site will not end unfortunately, anytime soon. we have entered a new phase in the post- 9/11 counterterrorism fight. despite setbacks in syria and
iraq, isis ability to launch an insurgency and carry out terrorist attacks abroad has not yet been sufficiently diminished. we see members of this group pursue and create methods of attack, dispersing throughout the globe and in many ungoverned places. meanwhile, al qaeda has evolved as they dealt with the loss of many leaders. today there concentrated in the middle east for they have a greater ability to operate and remain an enduring threat to the united states. they both continue to aspire attacks by radicalized homeland extremists. we face a growing terrorist threat from iran and its terrorist allies. tehran remains the most prominent state-sponsored terrorism in the world. so, as we look to the future, we must continue to identify
encounter enduring drivers that are withstanding. one of those key drivers is what lee and tom have focused on in the task force. the weak or nonexistent government governance and fragile and failing states and socioeconomic consequences. all of the terrorist groups i reference are working to expand their influence and unstable regions. they are exploiting degraded local security conditions in support of safe havens, resources or recruits. these activities remind us of the importance of using nonmilitary levers, including economic assistance and humanitarian aid. thus, the bipartisan policy center work. the institute piecework to study these dynamics and identify
elements of a preventive strategy is instructive to our long-term efforts. while we must maintain our ct pressure, will be our efforts to address the underlying drivers of terrorism that will ultimately yield success in this generational struggle. i would like to close by offering my congratulations to tom, emil and to lee to your commitment to our nation. when we reflect on 9/11, it is fitting to honor these two members who have set aside partisan differences to find solutions that makes our country stronger and who have helped out our nation effort to help with counterterrorism. to acknowledge the work with lee
and tom, well done, good and faithful public servants. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome the governor of oklahoma. [applause] >> i know we are all waiting to eat, so it is anticipated to be a fidel castro to earn 27 minute address by me will be 47 seconds. the chaplain comments earlier about the experience of those who served and sacrificed on 9/11 brings to mind a story of my own tragic experience is the governor of oklahoma during the oklahoma city bombing. we had search and rescue teams
from all over the united states including several from the washington metro area. from new york came ray downey, the deputy chief of the new york fire department. he brought the new yorkers to assist us in our time of need. a group of nuns from various places sent me groceries. i went out to the side of the tragedy and i saw downey out there and i said hey, are you a catholic russian mark and his own new york way he said is the police catholic? so, i gave him this rosary and i kept one for myself. he put it over his neck and for those of us who are catholic that's not terribly common, but he did. later, henry kravis had an event in his apartment to raise money for the victims and across the
room was ray downey, all gussied up and i walked over to him and said it's wonderful to see you again it's been several months since our sort horrible experience any separate your hand right here. i put my hand on his chest and he had that rosary still around his neck. well, 9/11 was a tragic day in the downey family. for all those firefighters and rescue workers who helped us, many were killed including ray downey, they never found his body. he was a wonderful human being, religious, funny, vital person so represented of our fellow citizens were murdered on that day. i went up there to think his wife and colleagues in the remainder of his team gave me a fabricated cross from tower one that was still hot. i have it on my desk at the
office and it will always be there. those were memories of wonderful men and women, of courage, faith and perseverance who did so much for in a horrible time in history of our state. but, tonight we are celebrating the lives of two extraordinary people who are patriots in bipartisan. my grandfather served one term and didn't serve again, he was a democrat. when i was a member of the statehouse there weren't republicans. we were treated like children, seen and not heard. my whole life in public life and politics surrounded the concept that i may not like your bad ideas, but i like you. the conversations necessary at every level of government, the state, federal, and local level to listen, learn, and converse
is essential in a free society. we simply cannot erect barriers between us. the debate should be robust, full and factual. then let the voters votes. we have two honorees this evening for this patriot award. i cannot think of any two better people. as a product of the military academy there is a little bit of indiana in me. in lien tom case, only with the indiana connection, men of one party and another who saw that what was important to solve problems. you look at the 9/11 commission report and it is exactly that. the only people these two men are married to or otherwise, nobody else. not their party, their love of country is unassailable.
we have listened to the biographies of these individuals and we have listened and have read the biographies but, one caretta scott king complemented tom in a wonderfully glorious way, mild class mate, bill clinton all of you know of the friendships and mutual respects, is there any wonder that we could not find a better duo than these individuals. as jason said, we will see a video here shortly and i can say this is my last official function as chairman of the board. i have returned to the ranch. with that said, we are going to hear from lee, at this time, it
is my thrill, joy, and honor on our behalf to give the patriot award for this year to this individual that we know so much about and have learned so much about as a gloriously successful governor of new jersey, back when they had republicans in new jersey. i can say that as a republican. a gloriously successful governor of new jersey and a man of every milestone, a man with his wonderful wife would have done so much for their state and country. tom, if you would step forward i have a special presentation to make on behalf of the policy center to you. >> they want us to stand here so we can smile. [applause]
[applause] [applause] >> a lot about tom and we thought it would be polite if we let tom say a couple of things. let me just say, i remember you telling me once that you and lee agree he would never appear with microphones without one another. so i appreciate the indulgence tonight, but lee is watching. so, i think we will have to behave ourselves. i have a couple of questions. i want us to think about you and lease partnership which is
pretty remarkable. it is quite powerful, you seem to have drawn strength from each other, certainly in my interactions. but my understanding is you did not really know one another when the 9/11 commission began. so my first question, was it mutual admiration at first sight? what was it like when you are brought together into this incredible moment? >> i cannot imagine the first item he was admiration. but, i had no only by reputation. we had maybe shaken hands but that was about all. we met for the first time, we were both second choices. the first traces were henry kissinger and senator mitchell. we both agreed that neither would have got along with the other if we had been with mitchell or kissinger.
but the first time we got together, i have a funny background. and i'll speak with the new jersey assembly, when there was no majority, each party had the same number of votes and they settled on this with the legislature where you can get anything past unless you had people of both parties. when i was governor i never had a republican senate so if we hadn't worked together we would've gotten anything done. i was accustomed to working across party lines. so the first thing i said to lee and something lee would tell you if he were here, i didn't know about this i said, we have both been appointed here, but we are equal and we are going to work together and i'm not going to do anything you don't think is right and we will make the decisions jointly. i thought that was the normal thing to do.
lee told me afterwards, he said i was so surprised he said in congress, the chairman is everything. in the vice chairman is nothing. so when you said that, i was happy and shocked. but we worked that way all the way through. lee and i agreed on everything all the way through. we would agree with each other on most things. >> people have taken for granted the 9/11 success. when i look at the list, there were some partisan people on the commission. i remember you saying at one point that the commission was designed to fail. talk about what you and lee did.
>> bni with chairman and vice chairman the commissioners were terrific. richard is here, so thank you so much. [applause] the second thing is what i call the wind in our sales, the families of 9/11. they were there all the way, they supporters they lobbied and got us more time and money when we needed it. they were incredible group of people who suffered the worst loss a human being could suffer. and they came back to work for the public good in the memory of the family member they lost. i haven't seen it, but i think mary is here, the chairman of the voice of 9/11. [applause]
[applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] i see them both. those two were housewives who sat down in the congressional offices, picketed the white house when necessary and did whatever they could to get that report written and through. what was your question? >> i wanted you to comment on the idea that this is not a bunch of centrists. there are people with intense views. one thing is important is not to
be the knob partisan but to demonstrate people with strong personal views can actually respect one another and find common cause. >> we agreed to do certain things as commissioners. because i was chairman i got an early invitation to meet the press. i remember telling russert that i would not go on the show without lee. tim russert said, you don't like washington very well but we don't allow guests to invite guests. and i said well get somebody else them. about half an hour later he called back and say, if you will come on, you and lee are welcome. so we went on together and after that, the commissioners did the same thing, like norse art, if any republican was asked they brought a democrat and vice versa. we made sure never to sit next
to each other we divided. we became close friends. people who lost their partner in partisanship over time to the extent that we just wanted to do a job and respect the person sitting next to us someone who is equally dedicated to do that job. i think bipartisanship is not always easy. you have to work at it. but if you work at it, you can get more done than you might imagine. >> i think you understood this to be a very public moment. and good politicians are often great storytellers. my favorite reflection was from
john updike who wrote in the new yorker, the king james bible, or languages loan masterpiece produced by committee, at least until this year commission report. you understood early on that this was going to be an intensely public affair, how did you prepare the group and yourself for that kind of scrutiny? >> we had to do it not in the normal manner. first of all, when we hired the staff we hired three historians. we thought we are writing a report about history and for history. we do not think it would be issued by the government printing office. they said it's available for people when i said that's not what we want. so we called academic printers that i knew and said, if you can give us the fastest time a production and you can give us the lowest price to the public,
we will give you the official copy. the government printing office got wind of it and said it's illegal and i said you print as many copies as you want. but this is the official copy because we are going to sign it as such. so we got it very cheaply in the bookstores in a matter of days. available to every person at a low price. that is how we proceeded to make sure everything we did was available to everybody. >> a final question before we hear from lee and then have a discussion about the task force. you have been described as an optimist. it is tough out there, i wanted to ask you, what is it that makes you optimistic about the future? >> i think living for 80 years in this country as an american,
i have been optimistic about this country. i've never known any place that's any better. i've always thought no matter what, it's easy to look out and see problems. and we have more than i remember. but, we are all people with solutions. i believe that about the american people. whatever the problem is, sooner or later good people will get together and they will find solutions, that's way it has always been and will always be. [applause] >> will close by saying, looking working with you has been a
great honor. it's terrific to share this moment with you. thank you. [applause] >> one of the great privileges and pleasures of my life is working with lee hamilton. lee hamilton is one of nature gentlemen. we became friends, not a month goes by that we haven't talk to each other. he is a first-class person i have met in my life. so you go ahead and introduce them. >> after that, lee was really disappointed he couldn't come. and somehow, with great generosity he got to indiana university earlier today to make a video. he made a 27 minute video. so, with the greatest of
affection the staff had done an awkward job of editing this is something that felt more appropriate for the moment. so, we are going to share some comments from lee and then tom will be joined on stage to talk about the task force he is currently leading. >> good evening. thank you all for being here tonight. i am honored to be among you. i'm sorry i cannot be with you personally. but that is unavoidable. i will do the next best thing and talk to electronically. i am honored, very honored to receive this patriot award from the bipartisan policy center. it is especially pleasing to me to receive it alongside tom
kane. there may be a greater american then tom kane, i just haven't run into them myself. he's a marvelous person to work with and i deeply cherish his friendship. i consider it a high privilege to have worked with him and to receive this honor from the bipartisan policy center with tom. after the terrible tragedy of 9/11, the american people wanted fax and they wanted solutions. the commission took the, as its mandate, first of all to find out the facts and secondly, to try to suggest some conclusions and solutions. what happened on that terrible
day 17 years ago today, we hope of course it will never be repeated. i want to thank several people. first come i want to thank my fellow commissioners. what a marvelous group to work with. tom kane, richard, bob carey, fred fielding, john lehman, jamie, tim, slade gordon, jim thompson, they were just superb to work with, each one contributing significantly to the work and success of the commission. the members of the commission join me in recognizing the families of 9/11. they turn their grief into
constructive and positive action. they used it to push us for answers, they were supportive, they were critical at times, but always valuable associates as we pursued our mandate of finding the facts and suggesting solutions. tonight, we remember their loss, as heartbreaking as it was. we honor their particular courage in the marvelous reaction to tragedy. they have turned it into a singular service to the united states of america and to the welfare of its citizens. in the ten years that tom and i have worked on projects as a
bipartisan policy center, we have accomplished a great deal. he and i have come to appreciate greatly the bipartisan policy center. we live at a time when people are worried about the polarized politics of the country. we see a lot of centripetal forces operating that drive us apart. the polarization, it's a difficult environment and public policy and in the public dialogue work within. the bipartisan policy center has shown the way for this country and for other groups. with the themes of collaboration and cooperation in bipartisanship, i commend them for that leadership. it has been a powerful example of this country i'm grateful for
the bipartisan center. and give me the chance to work on that for these important issues. were very grateful to the carnegie corporation for supporting our work which of course it cannot be done. we are all very keenly aware of the fact that there's a lot more work to be done. please tonight to see the release of the first report of the task force on extremism in the fragile states. seventeen years ago today as we all recognize we had the greatest attack on her country.
but certainly one of the greatest attacks. we've made a lot of progress since then. we strengthen our homeland protections, we have gone after the terrorists effectively. we have killed and eliminated a lot of bad actors. but, there is more to be done as we recognize. we have to continue to use force, to attack and eliminate terrorists, we have to continue and do a better job of protecting our homeland, where i think the record has been very good indeed since that awful day. but new threats to our security continue to emerge. new generations continue to feel the impact of extremism and violence. for that reason, tom and i are
very pleased to have the privilege of continuing to serve by leading the task force on extremism in fragile states. here, in conjunction with the support of the united states institute of peace and in response from a mandate from congress, i would want to think the u.s. eyepiece president, nancy lindbergh, the u.s. ip chair, steve hadley, and members of the task force here tonight. they are a talented group of people. they are experts in national security. they are a delight to work with in all aspects. because of their contributions, our work will be improved and helpful in the weeks ahead.
[applause] >> please welcome the chair, stephen hadley, kelly ayotte and nancy. [applause] >> i hope you will continue to enjoy your meal because it gets distributed over the course of the evening. we will try to get everyone through the desert court. we'll spend 15 or 20 minutes talking about the report and the reflection of the members of the task force. we will probably do about two rounds of questions. let me begin if i can with the
governor. there has not been a major terrorist attack in the u.s. since 9/11. osama bin laden is dead, the islamic state caliphate lies in rubble. so, what is the problem here? why should policymakers be talking about preventing extremism now. >> and we did the commission that did the 9/11 report we talked about three things that needed to be done. one was at a sanctuary in afghanistan. reach the people who did it and destroy them. secondly, we did not want this to ever happen again, or anything like it. the second recommendation was to harden our defenses, to create
an coach to look at our intelligence operation and to make sure we had the best defenses in the world. the third thing was when we have some preventive measures to get out the ideology itself, the first reading, we have done successfully. the last, not so much. this is a continuation of the 9/11 work. it's to see where terrorists come from, where they breed, which is in failed or fragile states, and see if we can do something about the breeding ground. we said in our report we would not have been attacked if those terrorists had not been allowed to organize and be left alone for three years in afghanistan to plot the plan.
if they hadn't been able to do that they couldn't pull it off. we said don't allow that place to exist again. we have to disrupt it. this is an effort, a continuation of our work. sooner or later as these people spread on their ten times more terrorist attacks last year than there were after 9/11. find a way to prevent terrorism on the way to prevent terrorism is to work in these fields or fragile states make sure they are strong enough to prevent terrorism. sumac let me ask you this question, every think tank session you go to these days talks about national security challenges. people say what we have seen is the emergence or reemergence of this with russia or china. where does good bad aim extremism rake in your view
compared to the problem of dealing with russia and china? i think many americans would ask, given the problems presented, why should we pay attention to what is happening in the middle east and north africa? >> first of all, it is a huge honor to be on this task force given the incredible leadership. why is this important? first of all, we know from a national defense strategy that yes, strategic competition is a huge threat to us from china and russia. but also identified in that strategy which we know in this room and governor k knows all too well, it describes terrorism and extremism is a persistent condition. unfortunately it is a persistent
condition, as the director of national intelligence said, we are seeing a new phase in terrorism in these areas we are focusing on this commission, the horn of africa, unfortunately these are very fragile areas. there are other fragile areas around the world where we see the continual preview of extremism and terrorism. it leads to a persistent threat to not only our homeland, but to our allies and of course what they tried to hit us on 9/11 which was our way of life. but we have also seen is the strategic competition. we have seen countries like russia and china in particular, exploiting fragile states and exploiting this to the harm of our security and the harm of the international order.
we see that in syria, with russia and we have seen that in the way that china handles africa and what they are doing there. these two important national security issues are intertwined. they impact our security and the idea of making sure they prevent things from happening before we have to deal with them. dan coats wakes up every day to do that. anything we can do to help advance his work before he gets that intelligence is resources well spent. that's the purpose of this commission. >> let's talk about fragile states. the task forces charged not with preventing terrorism but also addressing the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states.
why is it so important to focus on fragile states? when we talk about them what is it that drives extremism. >> every fragile status fragile in its own way. we are seeing shared characteristics. there are states where the social contract between the government and its people have broken down. you usually have highly fragmented populations, pervasive sense of injustice, lack of opportunities, both economic as well as social and political. nonodone. no-no.
to degrade their ability to hold territory, it's tough to get out of it. we need to work in partnership with fragile states come international partners to understand and address those causes. >> let me ask a follow-up question if they can. the situation in the states is very complex. we've been working for 17 years in afghanistan. some 15 years in iraq. a lot of americans wonder, can we really make a difference?
do we know what we are doing here and are there examples where we've been able to help fragile states from falling into conflict and extremism are help fragile states become more resistant to conflict? >> one of the things we are doing on task force is to bring forward the lessons about the world of counterterrorism and violent extremism as well as a lot of learnings about what goes on in fragile state. we are seeing sometimes that subnational levels there is success in helping communities or regions become more resilient to the recruitment efforts of extremists. one example and it's a next example highly complicated would be today show where even though they've had a great outflow of fighters to syria and iraq,
there is also examples of communities within tunisia that have resisted the extremists recruit enough for and it is one of the most important countries to have navigated turmoil over the last decade. >> senator, a lot of americans with say why is it that we have to do every thing and particularly, why is it that we have to pay for carrying this burden? what is the potential for other questions in the region for international institutions to contribute to this, solving this problem? >> well, this is obviously a threat to us, but a threat to our allies come a threat to the world in terms of the ability to live in peace and international order with rule of law.
and so, one of the things will focus in this task force is coalitions that can be built not only with our nato partners commended the arab nation and others because this is something that, you know, i have a firm belief the united states is the indispensable nation when it comes to leading this regard, but we do need partners and we should seek out partners. we should not do this alone and that is one of the goals we have in this commission and frankly we're not going to be effective if we go alone on issues we are dealing with what the fragility, fragile states come extremism because this is something we need the partners. many of the local partners on the ground and that what you've seen in our initial report and also focusing on because we need that commitment from the local partners when we are working with a country to be effective, rather than thinking of the
united states would consult with ourselves. >> governor king, a question for you. you and congressman hamilton for effect did in getting the 9/11 commission recommendations implemented. what are the obstacles you see an way of getting recommendations that will come out at this task force, getting them to be implemented tauscher identifier may if you want to develop a bipartisan consensus in support of a strategy that could involve and be supportive by both congress and the president. is that possible in the current environment we are in? >> yes, i think it's possible. in fact the most very encouraged
a we were meeting people at the white house and the administration is getting ready for national security plan. the first thing they said to me when i got there was coming in now, we thought as we move through this process and talk to so many people that we would find partisanship everywhere. you know, we didn't find any. when you do with national security issues, they seem to disappear and that was very encouraging. and i think that's true for that is something we should all be working together on shares we had a easier frankly 9/11 because everybody was focused on 9/11. everybody was so shocked by what happened. everybody wanted recommendations put through and change is put through to make sure it never happened again, so we had
tremendous wind at our back getting those through congress. there was opposition from a bully start of overcame opposition because we had a force on our side and it was a partisan. the problem we are going to have his people are very distracted. they were so many things hitting everybody every day i can imagine serving in the congress today and being hit by the issues they are hit with day after day after day. you address one in their six others. somehow we commence a bipartisan majority in congress that this is important to get their attention and important enough to keep their attention to get bipartisan action going and that's not going to be easy. we need the help of all of you in this room and a lot of others. if we can get their attention,
and understand this is very much in the public interest first of all. secondly, much less expensive than any strategy you been following the fire. thirdly, that it's deeply, deeply interest dealing with these terrorists before they get organized enough to come and attack us. if we can convince people that keep the attention of the congress and the president, we can get it done. it's not going to be easy. we need everybody's help you everybody's help. really terrific. thank you very much come to panel. this concludes the formal portion of our program. you should have on our seats a copy of the bipartisan task force report. i hope you'll read it. it is worth reading. also available on the usip website. the task force will now turn to his developing specific recommendations and building on this initial task force report though should be available in
january or shortly thereafter and you should look for a final report at that time frame. i want to congratulate governor kean and congressman hamilton for the receipt of the patriot award. i want to thank them for their wise and effective leadership of this task force. they are the reason a lot of us signed up for this duty and we are delighted to have you. i want to think a bipartisan policy center for cohosting this wonderful evening. i think we should all join on the 17th anniversary of 9/11, let's let the memory of those who lost their lives recommit us tonight to work together to ensure that this country never suffers us a loss in the future. thank you all for coming. [applause]