tv Hudson Institute Discussion on Nuclear Security Policy CSPAN August 28, 2019 10:08am-12:14pm EDT
interviews, c-span's bejewel archives, and unique access to the senate chamber. we will look at the history, traditions and roles of the u.s. senate. sunday at 9 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> now a a discussion on congressional oversight of nuclear security and arms control. speakers include representatives from the arms control association, the hudson institute in washington, d.c. hosted this two-hour event. >> thank you. let's begin. i want to welcome everybody to
hudson. my name is richard weitz, and the director of the center for political director of the center for political and military analysis here at hudson. today we are honored to talk about an important report and the port subject that is congressional efforts to oversee the u.s. nuclear security efforts. we are specifically going to talk about a report, copies of which are outside, by the partnerships to secure america and arms control association on empowering congress a nuclear authority, blueprints for a new generation. i want to take the welcome the c-span audience for joining us. to make everything easier, if people could silence any cell phones you might have now, that would be very helpful. the report and either work we have been doing with partnerships to secure america and arms control association has been over a year, and independent project over collaborated with these
organizations last you doing through events on hill, congressional briefings on the nuclear threat, the tools of the trade. that is, how do we identify an account of the threat, and global security nuclear architecture. both the report and the presentations we gave in congress were generously supported by the macarthur foundation. the agenda for today is, we will have three presentations that will discuss the importance of congressional nuclear oversight in general, the key findings and recommendations of the report, summarizing and assessing them, and then a discussion about what more needs to be done, what might be good initiatives of the study or we pursue as a go further. our first speaker will be andrew semmel who is chairman of the board of directors of partner to secure america which is a nonprofit out by former u.s.
representative lee hamilton and yes, senator warren rudman. since january 2008 he has also been a private consultant at aks consulting. before that he was deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation and the departments bureau of nonproliferation, and then he had me position before then. afterwards, the next big will be kingston reif, director of disarmament and threat reduction policy at the arms control association. and arms control association is a national nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to promoting understanding policy. one of his expertise is very fitting for the day is that as a
legislative process and congressional actions on these issues. he's very smart, , being a formr marshall scholar and a frequent beaty, to do. then, independent of the to the conversations of the report we have as a guest respondent, an expert, joyce connery, a defense nuclear facilities safety board member. this is an independent organization within the executive branch that is responsible for recommendations and advice to the public health and safety issues in the energy department, nuclear facilities. before that she worked in various national labs and and the department of energy and served on the national security council. her views are sold her own with no official support or endorsement by the board of u.s.
government and and, in fact, af us as independent think tanks we are not taking institutional position on these issues. we just want to contribute to a debate on what we consider to be a important topic. you want to go ahead? >> i'm a little out of breath because we hustled down here. sorry, i got stuck in traffic and apologize being late. thanks, richard. two things before i i start talking about the report. i want to introduce, we have to make other fellow members of the partnership for a secure america, rachel and went to mention jack. jack was a project director -- just wave your hand. you can join in on some of the discussion as we get into it. want to point about for the work they've done. the second and want to mention is in supremely great timing this morning, as i think some of us know that congressman panetta and fleishman introduce a
bipartisan piece of legislation that is a derivative of our study, really one of our recommendations called nuclear security nonproliferation accounting act which would, if it's acted, past and enacted it would rocard gao to give congress an annual report on the budget and spending on nuclear security and domestic, both international and domestic nucleus could programs. this is one of the recommendations of the report and both those members of the nuclear security working group in the house of representatives, bipartisan piece of legislation. what i'm going to do is just talk about -- get my voice -- talking about the study we did and why we did it, how we did it, and what sort of generalization, what kind of principal findings that we derive from it. when i say we, i mean the actual survey we did -- excuse me --
among congressional staff. >> here's some water for you. >> the way we started on this issue, we wanted to get some greater clarity on what is nuclear security, what is the nuclear security issue area. we thought we would see particularly how congress thinks about this issue, what is knowledge base is, how it feels about it, what his priorities are and so forth. the reason i want to focus on congress is because congress has a little bit of a history of bipartisan history in some cases of actually coming up with good initiatives, interesting initiatives that have moved not by this legislation but other legislation, the one we oversight is a cooperative reduction act and so-called nunn-lugar legislation that was passed in the early 1990s. so congress is an important player, , coequal branch of the government, and more. what we did was we set out to
focus our attention on congressional staff, congressional staff in part because congressional staff are more accessible, we can get them willing to participate then more than members are. they play an important role in the entire legislative process in terms of their advice to members, in terms of writing legislation, coming up with ideas, staying on top of legislation so forth. i think no of the country and will rivals the role and of whh staff as far as i know, staff place in a legislative process. i know i talked to members legislative and other countries and they marvel at the role of our congressional staff in the legislative process. in terms of the partnership for a secure america we have an established record of being able to mobilize congressional staff on a number of the program soviet a running start on some of this. how did we do this?
our database is composed of three different components, and i'll give you the numbers on them. the first part of the database is we did face-to-face personal interviews with about 20 congressional staffers, most of whom are what we call directly involved are heavily involved on this issue in nuclear security. these were personal interviews in their offices, personal interviews have the advantage of being able to get clarity on some of the responses, maybe a follow up with things like that. this was one sort of some set level of the data that were able to gather on it. second was we did a digital, set out a survey to congressional staff and received 107 responses on that. it's not exactly how would call a random sample but it's a large sample, gives us some credibility in making inferences from those data. these were directed at staffers
who had some broad engagement on foreign policy, national security, homeland security, intelligence, that sort of thing. so we had those two groups of individuals, and then we had, which total about 127 samples, if you want to call it, data sources. the third part of this sort of methodology was to have a small focus group. teens can and i would do. we invited another ten ten or o staffers i think it was, and to simply sort of go over them, go over with them but we thought our findings were, and have discussion with the staffers. most of whom had not participated in the survey itself. some of them did, some of them didn't. this was a way to enrich our
understanding of the data that we were able to collect and to give us more texture, i think. so those three components are they key of our methodology. the data was collected some time ago, and i think it was the fall and winter of 2017-18, so it was obviously before last years mitchard elections, which changed the composition of congress in a remarkable way. it was before the nuclear posture review was released, so it's been nearly -- anyways, before that was released. let me talk about, there were a number of findings that we had in the report. let me talk about four or five of them that i think were very interesting, most interesting to us, and hopefully to you. what did we learn? the first thing we learn is probably the most important thing we learned, and the least
surprising to those of us who either been on the hill, i just than 16 years in the senate, and have some time ago, obviously back before the thinking of the battleship maine. [laughing] but some understanding of the hill. this is a first important thing that i think we learn. we asked the question first of all, elicit some responsibility question was, when someone raises the issue of nuclear security in congress or talks about the threat of nuclear security, what comes to your mind. our findings provoked a veritable scattergram of responses. the single largest response, we develop a word cloud, it's in the report, in which we take all the words of the respondents that were elicited, and according to their frequency, the words would appear larger
and so forth. so that word cloud, what we saw basically in response to this is there was no consensus of what this issue area, nuclear security is a was at that point. and that there was considerable -- there was no disagreement, no understanding or i might point out what this term, what this issue area was. most other responses, many of the responses i should say pointed towards that the nuclear security was state-based threats. that is to say, many staffers pointed to north korea nuclear program, russia, china. there was some sprinkling of pakistan and other countries in there. the bad actors. there was some discussion of nuclear terrorism in those responses and so forth and so on. so basically congressional staff
tended to view nuclear security more in terms of threats emanating from other states, not as defined -- by the way, in the questioner, both the interviews and in the digital questioner that we set out, we had the standard iaea definition of nuclear security, securing nuclear materials and the facilities that house them, in generic definition. i don't know whether those responses respond back to top of emphasis in that. time was around north korean nuclear program and others. there was a disorientation. it wasn't a focus on nuclear security as people do with this issue, understand it. it was more state-based threats, and so that was not a surprise to me but it was i think a favorite important finding. there's misunderstanding, in other words, about this
particular issue area. second major finding is derived from the first, and that is that staffers that we interviewed in this sample tended to view the issue of nuclear security according to the work requirements. you know, where you stand depends on where you sit type of affirmation. that is to say, one, if these staffers work on defense or defense-related issues, defense-related terms, armed services, defense appropriations were part of the sample that we had, they focus more on things like command-and-control, weapons development and the like. those of the sample who worked on energy or energy-related issues, the energy committees and energy and water appropriations, et cetera, tended to see the solution on energy terms. nuclear safety storage, waste
management, sabotage, nuclear energy of course. those who focus on more traditional foreign policy errors, the house foreign affairs committee, senate foreign relations committee tended to see more in traditional terms of proliferation, new s.t.a.r.t., iaea, things like that. so the responses to this question tended to break down along the internal institutional lines, depending upon what the work requirements of the individual staffers that we talked about. there was some common concerns that funding that cuts across all of these work requirement issue areas. another finding very quickly is those staff with more years of experience, been on the hill longer obviously, people we described as more, people we described as more directly on the issue tended to give this
issue area a higher priority in the realm of foreign policy and national security than those with less expert on you. again, nothing surprising but it was nonetheless now we have an empirical base to say that's true. our findings suggest, we can come back to this, there really needs to be more crosscutting contact in communication with s naked on the hill across these three different issue areas, committees, , caucuses, and so . another finding very quickly want to get through this task in another study finding pertainse sources of information that staff utilize in understanding the nucleus could issue. we asked, to whom to look when you want to be more fully, what to more fully understand nuclear security issues? the crs and nongovernmental organizations and think tanks
were cited as the most fuller, most reliable sources for most of the staff. those staffers who recalled more directly engage on the issue on a much more frequent basis tend to lean more towards ink tanks and ngos for insight, while those we discovered is less directly engaged turn to crs and congressional research service or other sources such as executive branch, the needy, committees of jurisdiction, personal staff and the like. i might point out there was some skepticism if your work anil or a work on it right now, some skepticism about reliance on the executive branch and on the media. another interesting finding was how staff assessed the role of congress as a whole. their own work environment which they work. as institutional data with nucleus could issue. again we asked two related
questions. the first one was, how much of an impact do you think congress can have on this issue area, nuclear security? then a follow-up question, how much impact do you think congress should have on improving u.s. and global nuclear security programs? and issue of nuclear security. the results were somewhat i find intriguing, having worked on the hill. the staff tended to say that congress should have, take of those who are highly engaged, with great impact and influence on policy programs, on nuclear security then they said that congress can have. so that was some disappointment what congress can do and there was some hope and expectation that congress should be doing more than they were, in fact, doing. this might suggest congress is
underperforming on this issue, at least from the sample that we took. many staffers doubted whether congress could take a lead role in some of these issues, despite the fact that our historical examples, the nunn-lugar legislation i mentioned being the example. we interpret this in part to the fact that so a lot of expertise, a loss of expertise among members, among staff on hill and that at the time were interviewed was no major nuclear terrorist incident at galvanized interest and attention. and that there's very little constituent interest among the constituents of congress. by the way, on these issues we found, much to our interest, that there were very low differences between democrats and republican staffers. no big significant difference
between house and the senate, perhaps the size of the sample, whatever it might be, but that's what we found. we asked the staffers about constituents very quickly, and we found very quickly that among the constituents, this is not a high priority, not a big concern, not an interest to members. there are some exceptions for members who has a nuclear power plant in the congressional district or state or a nuclear facility of some sort or some other thing that might engender some greater interest, but basically not much constituent concern. and this issue gets lost in the flood of some of the things. there's not something to catalyze interest. we also asked congressional
leadership, we wanted to know what knowledge they had about the past as sort of predictors of the present maybe the future, what they might do legislatively. staff mentioned a few current members, some members who are part of the nuclear security working group in the congress that was being created recent, a few years, but the dominant response among particularly those with longer tenure, longer use of service was as mentioned before a nunn-lugar threat reduction program which is a five person piece of legislation that having worked for senator lugar i know something about that, and i know those two defense nuclear facilities safety board nominate at least six times the nobel peace prize and never got it for the effort. so it is the marquee example that members of the staff mentioned to us. finally, we asked staff what
they thought, whether there were gaps in domestic and international nuclear security programs that need to be filled, given the threat that terrorism and pose. virtually all -- we found agreement on what steps i duly crated this word cloud again. in the middle of the big word cloud is a word not sure. if we have, if with some of his workload surrender, they are in the back i guess. not sure, and does a static and unresponsive. there was a belief we ought to be doing much more with them but not quite sure what it is we should be doing. it ranged across a whole bunch of issues, strengthen the ipa, get more funding, so forth and so on. so let me stop at this point in time. i have taken up too much time. we can get back to some of these. >> thank you to encourage people to start thinking about your
questions and comments now after the presentations. we will want to have a vigorous debate and discussion for this. go ahead. >> they carry much, richard. it's a pleasure to hear. i i thought i might follow the opening comments about our report about the survey we did that informed the report, talk a little bit about the policy context within which this is situated, challenges to congressional engagement on the issue. nuclear security, kind of status check on congressional engagements as we sit here in may 2019 and then some of the recommended action items that we proposed and how some lawmakers had taken up and pursued some of those action items. so first the policy context. i would say the global nuclear security enterprise right now is that a key inflection point. with the nuclear security summit process and use nuclear security threat reduction programs have played a vital role in reducing
the risk of nuclear terrorism. separate report from arms control association and the physical materials working group published last ship out as a result of nuclear security summit process, states took 935 actions to significantly strengthen global nuclear security. this is not a reason to be complacent about the threat of nuclear terrorism. approximately 900 tons of of inadequate protective nuclear weapons useful material remain in countries where there are significant threats to several regions of the world are plagued by conditions that can facilitate access to the so material and nuclear weapons by terrorist groups, notably south asia, north korea and russia. to call that it matters terrorism threat is not standing still. advances in new technologies such as additive manufacturing, offensive cyber tools and artificial intelligence and machine learning to diversify and increased potential nuclear security threat. a report published this year by
harvard university project for high-level political tension to nuclear security and overcoming obstacles has largely faded, international mechanisms for fostering new prescription action and cooperation have managed to fill the gap created by absence of nuclear security summit and political disputes continue to impede efforts to sustain a expand cooperation in crucial areas, end quote. because the consequence of nuclear terrorist attack would be so upstream, extreme, this must be high priority. the good news is that this is a preventable problem. since without nuclear radiological materials, terrorist groups would be unable to perpetuate a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack. the task of plug into gaps in reducing material stockpiles is likely to be more challenging now that the summit process of life government which took place in washington washington in mad high-level political tension abroad to the issue must come to an end. much of the low hanging fruit
has already been picked. the international institution that inherited the summit process and action plans developed to carry on the work but so far resulted in a few deliverables. in addition, russia which processes the largest cash of nuclear weapons is a mature on the planet boycotted the 2016 summer and ended most nuclear security cooperation with the united states in 2014. cooperation with other countries pose significant nuclear security risks remains limited. what it's called were processes the troubled administration has been five preventing nuclear terrorism as a national security priority, at least in rhetoric. the administration 222 nuclear posture review released in february 2018 states nuclear terrorism is one of the most significant threats to security of the united states. however, the nuclear posture review has far less attention than the previously ministrations presented at the double posting your programs or
initiatives to augment nuclear material security. in addition for the third year in a row the trump administration has proposed to reduce funding relative to the prior use congressional appropriation for court use nuclear security and nonproliferation programs at the national nuclear security administration which comprises the leading edge of u.s. nuclear security work. i should do this trend did not begin with the troubled administration. such a request for nuclear security to client every year during the obama administration's second term. for fiscal year 2020 the top administration requested 1.3 billion for core nuclear security and nonproliferation programs at nnsa. a decrease of about 100 million from the fiscal year 2019 appropriation. when measured against what the nnsa said it would request for these programs during the last year of the obama administration, the fiscal year 2020 proposal is more than 200 million less than projected. in addition, a recent story
published by investigative reporter david wellman in a los angeles timestamp that the administration has scaled back or in the program the department of homeland security designed to combat chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. the work the remains to be done to secure nuclear materials and future challenges and nonproliferation a increased funding, not less what these vital programs. an absence of high-level government attention to nuclear security and nonproliferation and well-defined and bold vision for these activities in fundinr this mission will continue to decline, critical expertise will be lost in our capacity to address the evolving threat will erode. even administered lisa gordon hagerty suggested the administrations fiscal year 2020 budget submission is insufficient, telling a congressional committee in april she would gladly take additional funds about the budget request
to secure nuclear materials around the world, because that nuclear material as she put it that are less likely to fall in the hands of terrorists or adversaries. asked at a committee hearing what nnsa could do with an additional 80 million for international nuclear security programs. , the minister said the agency could acquire additional cash to undertake a spin around the world and help other countries with security installations. over the years bipartisan congressional support has been a critical feature of u.s. leadership and continuously improving global nuclear security. there is a long legacy of bipartisan congressional action to reduce nuclear risk. such as tenderness sam nunn and the late senator richard lugar in 1991 establishing u.s.-led programs to assist the countries of the former soviet union insecurity and eliminating nuclear weapons and materials via the cooperative threat reduction program. in recent years bipartisan
leaders like senator dianne feinstein, lamar alexander, representative marcy castro at champion sizable funding increases for the nuclear security programs. during the first two years of the top administration congress provide almost 300 million more than what the administration requested for core nnsa nuclear security and nonproliferation programs. and for fiscal year 2020 representative castro who is chairwoman of the appropriations subcommittee of the house that oversees nnsa nuclear security and nonproliferation program proposed an additional 113 million above the budget request for the agencies court effort in this area. as a child just a summation of becoming more complex there's a need for congress to play a still more active role. despite recognition of both republicans and democrats, the nuclear terrorism remains a critical concern. congressional attention has declined and few new idea seven put forward to advance the mission.
a consecutive overset of the nuclear security mission has been constrained in recent years by several challenges as our study documents. first, limited institutional knowledge on subject matter expertise. nuclear security is simply not a priority for most members of congress or their constituents. second, skepticism of mission need. in recent years some members have increasingly characterize u.s. financial assistance to secure and eliminate nuclear materials, particularly in russia as unnecessary. they say recipient countries to pay for nuclear security on their own. rising tensions with russia over the last several years and the difficulty of engaging other countries such as india and pakistan have reduced opportunities for cooperation and raise doubts about what more can be done and accomplished after two decades of intensive effort and investment. third, competing priorities funding and change. the prioritization by both the obama and trump administration to sustain an upgrade u.s.
nuclear warheads and the supporting infrastructure is meant less funny has been available for nnsa is nuclear security and nonproliferation programs. moreover, as intimate and, members have focused on nuclear threats, much of their attention has been consumed the rain and north korean nuclear challenges. these . these challenges are reflected in request the lawmakers make to the authorization, appropriations commits every related to nuclear security which we been told have numbered in the handful in recent years. despite these challenges the goal of preventing nuclear terrorism continues to enjoy bipartisan support on capitol hill. several initiatives including ours have sought to augment congressional engagement. for instance, the congressional nuclear security working group, a bipartisan house caucus focus on improving awareness and engagement on the threats posed by nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism continues to play an important role in
educating members and step on nuclear security issue and elevating the profile of the topic. beginning in 2017 the working group partnered with the george washington university, the macarthur foundation and defense nuclear facilities safety board to establish a nuclear security fellowship program. the mission is to expand the resources and expertise that is available pursuant to the goals of the working group. fellows with the background picture and efficient newquist could have in place and handful of senate, house and committee offices. following the release of a report and he described last july, the arms control association partnership for a secure america and hudson institute partner to host three briefings on capitol hill. last summer and fall informed by our congressional survey. the events addressed and nuclear security threat if i i become a global nuclear secured architecture and included a technology fair with nnsa nuclear editors and an incident response team were averaged
about 80 attendees present which is quite as far defense on nuclear weapons issues go and i'm sure chick-fil-a we offered at lunch of nothing to do with that attendance. so the task network to augment congressional leadership in partnership with executive branch in the face of disappearing nuclear security cooperation with russia, competing interests and evolving threat. as exams of congressional engagement such as the nunn-lugar threat reduction program offers several lessons to build on. we recommended several near-term oversight steps. first, required the office of management and budget to annual repair or report summarizing the u.s. budget for non-proliferation and nuclear security program. the consolidated summary we recommended should include all funding for agency and department for u.s. government programs to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism, prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, if an arms control agreements,
halt transfers, screen cargo at the mask and international ports, research and the tools and strategies to address future nonproliferation challenges, and more. we recommended that gao review the report. we call for establishing a blue ribbon bipartisan congressional commission to recommend by 2020 and comprehensive strategy to prevent, counter and respond to evolving nuclear and radiological challenges. the fiscal fiscal year 2015 nal defense authorization act mandated the advisory group conduct a similar review but the review which apparently has been completed did not focus a comprehensive strategy for preventing nuclear terrorism. a congressional commission would carry a higher profile and thus be more likely to influence policy. and third, we recommended congress hold more hearings on nuclear security which have been few and far between. in addition to some of the overset steps we recommended we also urged congress to pursue
several larger strategic initiatives such as securing the most vulnerable highs risk radiological materials around the world in five years, expanding the nsa nuclear security nonproliferation research efforts and even establishing a program of activities aimed at what would be required to strengthen nuclear security in north korea as part of the potential phase and in an verifiable dismantling of no country north korea's nuclear arsenal. these recommendations were endorsed earlier this year and a bipartisan par statement by 32 former high-ranking government officials representing both political parties do i believe there's an op-ed that was just published this afternoon in defense one by representative, former representative lee hamilton and former secretary of state george shultz both of them signed on to the bipartisan policy statement highlighting some of these recommendations for congress that we make. in addition to the funding
increases i mentioned that were proposed by representative castro, of the members have set forth this you with new initiative. for example, send it to joe manchin successfully offer an amendment to the fiscal year 2020 in the eighth of establish congressional commission on preventing town and responding to nuclear and radiological terrorism. and today as intimate and jimmy panetta and chuck fletcher entered is nuclear security and nonproliferation accounting act, bipartisan legislative records the government accounting office to provide annual reports to caucus on the budget for international and domestic nuclear security programs for the united states. the bill would bring greater clarity in our view to the cost of the government wide ranging nuclear threat reduction activities, allow for better understand of the alignment between program goals and budget estimates, make it easy to again five potential program gaps in overlap, such changes in essence from year-to-year and examine the extent from which budget
estimates online with plans for newquist could efforts. so let me stop there. i would be happy to answer any questions that you might have. >> thank you. let me remind the c-span viewers that nnsa means national secret agency, ended up in agency and the department of defense that deals with nuclear security issues. >> thank you for inviting here to review this report and to provide comments on it. i'd like to think the partnership for secure america and arms control association for the work you've done and hudson institute for hosting us here today, and for inviting me to join you in the diversity in the crowd. untold we needed, washington mayor, so we needed a a female voice on the panel. hopefully there was a better reason for inviting me as well but any rate, what i wanted to do is kind of address some of
the topics that and he raised with regard to the port that had done the survey because i thought some of those things are quite interesting and deserve bag for more conversation is going to walk through some of the recommendations. i don't know lee hamilton but has some views have worked in both the bush administration and in the obama administration on issues specifically nuclear security. i was lucky enough to be involved in the creation of the first nuclear security summit. i owe my crew to senators nunn-lugar. i don't think i would've 100 wandered into the stupid i want to say i concur with the overall conclusion of the report. more needs to be done to educate congress and the staff about nuclear security and i think the, to just heard from kingston indicate you have cracked the code. if you put those on the heels were interested and passion about these things, they've come up with unique legislation and
convince their congressman and the congresswomen to put forward these bills. just a nod to the folks who thought was a good idea to put folks on the hill who come in these positions of these backgrounds. for the purposes of my commentary i i want to use theo definition of nuclear security that andy talked about a little bit, which is the security of nuclear materials and facilities which house them. that definition is a lot closer to the core issue of nuclear security as we speak about it here that issue of state-based nuclear threat. as you heard a lot of the folks in congress did not necessarily make that distinction. interestingly, some of the recommendation on a specific to nuclear security but include nuclear nonproliferation which is more of the traditional state-based threat. but there are some nuances and
when i first came to the work of nuclear security, one of the things we talked about is, from what and whom did one get nuclear material. early on we talked about i worked in the maternal protection and control and accounting office, which basically worked on two things, physical protection which is what you think of guns, dates, guards come security as well as the control and accounting fees which took care of keeping track of the material so it would not be diverted. when the cooperation programs were expanding and maturing, we moved specific from guns gates and guards to look at issues of insider threat material account to become much more important document issues in very recent years about cybersecurity which were not part of additional program that we had initiated under the nunn-lugar program. but as you start looking at the programming and begin to the actual programs within the department of state, departments of energy and defense, you have
to have that broader view of what nuclear security is. additionally, converting material to less desirable form also nuclear security or removing it from threat entirely. so we have this same as we develop the first nuclear security summit that if you got it, protect it. if you don't need it, get rid of it. and if you have it and you need and you can't protect it, ask for help. that was kind of our concept amendment to the nuclear security summit ephod of engaging the states about how we would address nuclear security. i point this out because the nature options for directing the right of threats is understood. it also allows for cost-benefit analysis in considering the options for nuclear security. but i -- i forgot to bum my disclaimer at the beginning of
these remarks. i know it was still at the beginning. my remarks here are my own and do not reflect the views of the defense system safety board such as want to make sure i stayed out loud. and i just want to caveat my remarks to the fact that the safety board where i work, oversees the department of energy nuclear systems from the standpoint of nuclear safety and not security. while i spent much of my crew were to issues of nuclear security in both the bush and obama administration, i've been focused on the state commission of the fin sports and 2015. so my comments with regard to the action of the administration are based on reading the good works of my colleagues seated and the counterparts across the ngo community. i also have the great pleasure of being a part of the nuclear security working group which is mentioned in the report and they are responsible putting staff at on health. -- on the hill. what i can say with confidence
is there individuals in the administration and on the hill who think hard and work hard on issues of nuclear security. as mentioned in the report there's little daylight between nuclear security. how it gets done, how publicly gets done, and who does it with what funding, that is the essence of the debate, not whether or not it's important. so before i get to the individual recommendations, there are points that struck me as i was reading the survey that i thought we should comment on. i'm not an expert on surveys or pulling but i do know how you frame the question matters. so wasn't a surprise to me that the respondent said more must be done and more money must be spent. if it did say that in the survey conducted by the secure america, i would be shocked. that's the nature of the question, if you would ask the question you're going to get that answer. i do know it's telling the definition nuclear security varied so widely in
interpretation. that's because it's much easier for the public to wrap their heads around a nuclear north korea or potential nuclear iran. public equals constituents which equals congressional interest. it isn't all that hard if you get there obvious policy discussions to gadara state actors with nuclear ambition. should i use a character or a stick? sanctions or kinetic option works the nuclear material in question is already in the hands of what we would consider an adversary. our nuclear security is bit harder to capture in policy space because you can't sanction a nonstate actor and the materials are not yet in the hands of the adversary. better policy tools and the results are much less comfort like a better term, sexy. i would say that with the exception of the summit, the summit was very sexy. when you have 47 heads of state and three international
organizations sitting about ara table conduct nuclear terrorism, that's a pretty interesting and noteworthy event that captures the imagination that captures the press. i'm not saying your policy options are not the right ones. they just don't capture headlines as they, residue to completely denuclearize the dprk wood. you struggle with that. and consequently if you are a senator or congressperson, whether not you're going to spend your energy doing that which will not get the same headlines as denuclearization of dprk, that's the trade space in which were. it was interesting but a surprising those who are in congress longer were more likely involving nuclear security issues. i will say we did not do a great job in the nuclear security summit, speaking specific 2010 engaging in. we may have had two events which members of congress were invited to participate but i don't
remember having that much contact with dale prior to the summit. clearly, if we'd done more so, or to engage i think the result would've been better but we were trying to figure out how to throw a nuclear security summit. pick and choose where we going to spend our time. a a discussion about the federal government and the hill was familiar and rather said. i don't know if you look at the report, and i don't know if andy mentioned specifically. there was constant mistrust of what the administration was telling the hill and there were comments in there that it was difficult because of that sire to control the message by the administration and the need to keep people informed and understand on the hillside he ws speaking and with what authority. so we need to be able to pick out a balance, not sent mixed messages. congressional of their offices
are often maligned to be enablers between congress and executive branch. if the relationship between executive it and legislative branches back anyway, i can actually destroy the relationship and that's not a good thing. one of the areas that is ripe for work is how do we make that medications better? how do we bring to into spaces where they can speak to each other and not worry about what is being said? so they can give an honest assessment of what the administration is doing and the hill can receive the information without necessarily being in a hearing room in front of cameras and subsequently their constituents. the logical alternatives is for the ngos and think tanks to present information on the hill of what the executive branch is doing and what should be doing from their perspective. i had the utmost respect for the civil side and think tank community but then homework and think deeply about these issues everyday but they don't always have all the information baby
because the executive branch has a provided or its classified or whatever other reason. also think tanks have finders with specific objectives, and one of my colleagues are objective in their analysis, the question post might not be that objective. whoever is funding the work frames the question. so those of us who have the luxury of focusing on one policy priority don't face the same challenges as those making a a decision with a multitude of factors to consider. by no means i money folks. on the contrary we need more, more policy ideas, more critical analysis. what i'm saying is i can't make up for this hill having full and accurate information from the executive, and maybe a little more full of honesty about the challenges they are facing would be important. i can't agree more with report statements that the limitation of nuclear security knowledge to
a small group of staffers makes it difficult to retain institutional knowledge. that is, a defined i think of their report. i also highly agree the members personal interest in issue can yield results. we have an example of young lugar -- nunn-lugar, another example of a young congressman the went on a coattail to see some of the nunn-lugar work and i was president obama before he became president, and that influenced how we thought about nuclear security when he made to the white house. some more we bring people showing tell, take them to the facilities with which we're working overseas, i i think the more impact we would have. so i force recommendation goes, i will put them into three buckets. the first one is education and communication. as the evidence you document in your survey indicates, education and communication are necessary. there are three proposals to go with a recommendation two,
national level exercise. i read reluctance to engage for a variety of reasons. the question on civil society, they entrench them in a position rather than persuade them. i agree more discussion should take place between the administration and congress and the congressional delegation, staff delegation is very important, not just a foreign site but domestic as well. show until can staff members as to potential for improving security through technology. force on force can drive home new security, training and best practices. members and staff with clearances should be kept abreast of intelligence assessments relative to security and this is a gap we haven't talked about but it is a big gap.
both staff and members have a broad range of ideas. the second report, i put recommendations one, 4 and 6 under this category. recommendation number one would require omb to summarize the us budget. when i reviewed this i didn't know there was a hill proposal to do this but the gao would convince it. government accountability office under the comptroller general would be assigned to do it and the governmental office would be the one who performs it which is good because i was going to say i think the office of management and budget was the place to do this. i've seen attempts to map out programs for nuclear security, none of those were pretty.
i think it would be great where the work was being performed and all the funding is going and i don't think the office of management and budget is the right agency to do it, but the first report is most important. that is where you will catalog where these activities are taking place and difficult to replicate on a yearly basis. it will take a lot of work and you have to define it carefully. after 9/11, when national counterterrorism center was set up, the war on terror, we love acronyms, national implementation plan became the net. all the agencies across the government the keys of the counterterrorism portfolio
included the nuclear security were responsible to populate a huge spreadsheet with all their activities in an effort to understand, coordinate these activities across the government. i was in government that whole time and i'm quite sure that document wasn't useful but it took up a lot of time and energy and effort to fill out this detailed report where you only had a small line to explain what you were doing in the realm of counterterrorism. i fear that if taken to extreme, a report of this kind could be so unwieldy as to be rendered useless so definitions are important. it is useful to separate the activities undertaken by the united states and understand separately and distinctly, activities taken on internationally.
and cross-pollination between the two you can identify but it is different to take taxpayer dollars to spend the nuclear security versus cooperative programs with international counterparts, we should understand what is being counted and are we only counting security dollars and what about nuclear nonproliferation dollars? are we including direct bilateral spending on the international atomic energy agency, other international commitments like the global partnership, and the 1540 committee at the united nations? but then again, what about the funds we spent in the military or department of energy to protect our facility to be included as well? i don't know there's a budget breakdown that delineates that. i'm not sure of that. defining the scope will be the
challenge and it is worth the effort to figure out how to do that as well. the second recommendation was a blue ribbon bipartisan commission to recommend by 2020 a company and strategy to respond to nuclear and radiological terrorism. i'm going to sound like a senate but in washington blue-ribbon commissions, basically were tough issues go to die. that is the nature of them and blue-ribbon commission after an incident happened to determine what happened or you have an industry so intractable that you are trying to see where the overlap is. in this case i don't see the need for a blue-ribbon commission because both sides understand this is a priority. what is the funding allocation? how do we go about doing it? that is where the difference is. i don't mean to be too cynical but that is my view.
the nuclear security cost cut initiative idea isn't new and isn't a bad idea. it can be revitalized. you know they need to take stock of capabilities and that is true and a useful activity and honestly as we have turnover in staff it is lost. good things happen, fresh ideas come in, bad things happen when we make the same mistakes when we should be making new ones. we should recognize what has been done in the past and improve upon it. because sometimes we get into a rut of doing the same thing over and over again. it is important to understand what capabilities we have. i would also say given the attrition rates in the federal government at this time and the
technology sector in particular in the us government including national laboratories we should understand where those capabilities are as well. in terms of crosscutting initiative to implement activities we normally use national security council for that and i think you will find if you scratch the surface a little bit there are some of those crosscutting plans in place. the cost cutting nature, the thing that would be interesting to me because i don't see a lot of it is not just what are the different agencies doing but having a dialogue between security people, nuclear nonproliferation folks, nuclear safety folks, nuclear waste folks, nuclear energy folks, that crosscutting conversation happens, and i think when you talk about engaging with
international partners, security can be the harder nut to crack but if you have an entryway with nuclear waste you can build those relationships and from those relationships move on to nuclear security. we do a very bad job in the united states government having cost conversations interdisciplinary among those groups. finally the last category is action oriented. i will call it programmatic, the nonproliferation research and develop and effort. 100% agree with that. determining, i'm not going to go down your wish list but i would say i haven't looked at this, knowing what the research and development area looks like, with the national nuclear security administration in the national lab in the defense department and how those can be applied to nuclear security
would be vitally important and more should be done in this area. as we talked about these new emerging technologies, 3-d printing, cyber security issues, artificial intelligence, all of those will take cutting-edge research and develop and to understand. additionally in the event of a denuclearize north korea we can and will need new technologies as we deploy new nuclear reactors, we can and will do research and develop intense new technologies to address proliferation issues. there was a to support global strategy, stronger regulation, increased funding, secure the most vulnerable high list grady raskin -- radiological materials. it is similar to president obama's call to 5 year, for your efforts to secure nuclear
material he made in his prague speech. in the hierarchy of needs, radiological security is important, i don't lump it into nuclear security as tightly as others do. the first nuclear security summit we were conscious not to do that because of the different nature of the material. and because we have limited time. later at the nuclear security summit it is important but we have to recognize the fact these sources are using commercial industry. having that conversation government government and not involving the commercial entities that use these sources, probably not the best strategy for protecting us. there was a to support conversion of naval reactors,
ltu fuel, low enriched uranium fuel, highly enriched uranium fuel in nuclear submarines and some believe we should as a country explore switching to low enriched uranium fuel. this is in the appropriations bill. my guess is it will get funded. i don't believe this is the best use of our funds. there are reasons we use highly enriched uranium in the nuclear submarine force. i don't understand what problem you're trying to solve except make a point. i don't think demonizing them to demonize highly enriched uranium is a conversation we need to be having at the moment. i know that is controversial. i will move to funding program activities to strengthen nuclear security and north korea, part of a phased disarmament of north korea's nuclear arsenal.
again, i believe these conversations are taking part in the government in think tanks. what i would love to see is an organization that convenes, staff members from the hill and people from the government and think tanks to noodle through, technical term, noodle through what it would look like to dismantle north korea's nuclear arsenal and what the follow-on program looks like. the report references -- not sure that is the model we should look for because non-lugar was after the collapse of the soviet union. we were on the brink of having four nuclear states versus one nuclear state and there was a need to put money in quickly and address the issue. what you see in north korea is going to be slow, painful and
incremental because of the need to have this in conjunction with the north korean leadership if that is what it looks like. we have to understand what those assurances on both sides are. what we do need in the room are colleagues that work on them. the non-lugar program of the past, former iraq weapons inspectors, the current focus of the administration. came out holiday scenarios, understand where the pitfalls are and where we should be putting research and development dollars. that would be a fantastic outcome and if the civil society community focused on these issues and could pull that together would be a tremendous asset to future generations. >> very comprehensive and concrete, lots to work with. i imagine you may want to give
us your response and if -- the question i was asked, we can go ahead and respond to choice first and think about what else. >> i won't say much. i will just say the interest that you raised, i saw that, the part of the report we focused on in the survey, this is not exactly what you were referencing in the report but the same issue pertains to the issue compartmentalization that takes place on the hill and the communication across these committees and responsibilities and among those, the type of issues folks have done focusing on defense related issues, that doesn't take place very often. i suspect that is pretty much
the case. there is a tendency for committees to look at the response abilities and i know when i was up there, i don't want to be autobiographical but that is what i know. i tried to set up an effort to have some kind of, the only informal group, defense from the armed services pretty and foreign relations committee to deal with issues when parties are interested like for example the civil issues in war zones. it seemed that was in issue both committees would have interest in. difficult to do that. that is an example of the difficulty of the crosshatching of response abilities and that is difficult. i draw from my own experience
how congress is structured. it doesn't always help to make progress. the one example i like to always site, non-lugar was itself a difficult process. ideas coming out of the side were important and the russians said we have a problem and that helped us. the one example i use is the freedom support act. this report in the 1990s was one piece of legislation where congress took the lead in trying to decide what the us strategy would be for the massive changes taking place in eastern europe after the collapse of the soviet empire and the soviet union and so forth. without going into a long execution, that piece of legislation in the senate was
carved among 7 different committees, 7 different committees took a slice of the responsibility and it was because of the willingness of leadership. bob dole, not sure who it was anymore, a vehicle to take those components. stitch them together in a final piece of legislation. we don't have that leadership from the top but very difficult, everyone wanted a slice of this legislation. it was a metaphor in some ways of how difficult it is to do complex legislation across the committees and forced all of us to deal with a share of ideas among staff. i would mention one thing. we know that is true of the
executive branch communication not only across agencies but certainly within them from our own prior experience. i hate to be chide about this but to be resolved by strong leadership certainly on the hill and determined leadership to pull the pieces together. we were supposed to do that in the national security council in the executive branch, not always done. >> thanks for those thought-provoking comments, really great and useful. let me respond to a few of them. with respect to hearings, joyce is not sold on the benefits of hearings. you mentioned tabletop
exercises, public forums can be tricky, agree with the letter points. one of the benefits appearing is even if the hearing is not well attended, the hearing forces staff to engage in the issue and prepare for the issue. that is important with respect to addressing some of what we found from the survey in terms of lack of engagement, knowledge with respect to congressional staff, focusing on this issue for a member who really cares. in that respect it can be an important tool to enhance understanding and engagement. blue ribbon commissions is were tough issues go to die. i think that, you hear that often in washington.
there is some truth to that but the model we had in mind with respect to this commission idea would be the congressional commission mandated by congress at the end of the george w. bush administration. i believe in the 2007 timeframe to create a congressional commission on strategic posture of the united states which was a bipartisan commission tasked with identifying the way forward for nuclear weapons policy. this is not an event on that mission or commenting on whether one agrees or disagrees with that commission but i don't think there can be any doubt the commission informed the obama administration's nuclear posture deal and had a significant impact on that process. at least that is my view.
when there is a controversial issue in congress, they turned to a commission. in this case there can be real value in particular because this is an area where there is more bipartisan support and overlap. the disagreement among the disagreements among the different views and perspectives on the way forward, what do we allocate, what is the funding allocation? what do we spend money on? those are the questions this commission should be tasked with taking on. the hierarchy of needs in this area, clearly an incident of nuclear terrorism, nuclear device going off in the city would be more devastating than a dirty bomb but nonetheless a
dirty bomb were to be detonated in downtown dc, it would have massive repercussions, massive consequences, listen terms of the number of people killed and injured but certainly economically it would have tremendous implications with respect to the national psyche and who knows what kinds of steps our government would propose to take to combat a future such attack. the material is obviously prevalent and used more widely for domestic use which creates challenges but also opportunities. north korea, take on north korean recommendations i agree with that. i know in ci has been doing important work in this area. thank you for the report on the
subject which i commend to everyone. naval u. i don't want to get too much -- three reasons this is an area worth focusing on or pursuing. reducing the amount of h you that is available is a good thing but also reduces the risk of nuclear terrorism. number 2, this is an operation benefit but to pursue this effort it would reduce the incentive for other countries who have not gone down this road to do so. if you look at the iran case, the attractiveness of higher levels of enrichment particularly highly enriched uranium as a way to produce nuclear propulsion and finally if you believe as i do that the
national nuclear security administration plans to upgrade nuclear warheads and supporting infrastructure already executable, weight until an actual program to develop domestic enrichment program starts to come off the budget books. to the extent we reduce our reliance on h you for naval and nuclear propulsion, that opens up interesting potential alternatives to rely on domestic production line and possibly i know this is controversial, the international market for lu. >> you were really patient and i want to give you an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. if you could raise your hand we
will start on one end of the room and go to the other. please identify yourself and go ahead with her first and move backwards. >> thank you for bridging the gap in the conversation and branching into our conversation we had previously at the hudson institute on nuclear security. i wanted to bring in an idea my organization led in the past and that's the congressional study group led by the association of former members of congress as a potential idea to bring in current members of congress and staff members and in our case also international partners into the conversation, an additional area to maneuver in. i had a question of the report which i'm looking forward to reading.
the focus of the staff members on faith-based track which we would normally put under concerns with other issues but i was wondering if there was any discussion about nuclear newcomers and the conversation we had into these meetings which brings back the role of increased need in the area. thank you. >> you were a participant in one of these conversations. break that in two parts. former members of the association from psa to address that one. >> the first question on discussion can -- congressional discussion expanding that, there is a history of some of that already, so that on the hill. we had the arms control
observer group in the house and senate. it was a group that was heavily funded and the leadership, it had to be funded and provide resources for that, did not discourage, this group was focusing on arms control issues in the late 80s and early 90s and it was not exactly a discussion group but issue oriented organization which ultimately revived, went through a metamorphosis at some time while focusing on missiles at some point but something along that line. members get together focusing on a given issue area and so forth and this is a group that went to geneva during the
negotiations that were taking place so you had individuals invested in the issues, spending time as i recall, staff or two but most efforts are not involved in this. the proverbial language of members getting in on the dynamic of the issue as it was evolving over time, trying to handle it later on. i remember writing a paper on one of these for senator lugar when he went to one of these discussions. a different kind of discussion. i can't recall exactly what it was. something to do with funding issues.
anytime we have this interaction, you can broaden the number of people in that group it is a good thing and some other sides depending on the choice of the group. but it is a good idea, one of the implications of study at least in the survey is some of the best ideas are not in the executive branch but in civil society including non-lugar legislation which brought ideas in with cross fertilization. can somebody pick it up and do something with it or the administration for that matter.
>> to recall the distinction with nuclear newcomers. >> i don't think that popped out of the data we were able to collect. there were newcomers, it was high on the agenda. a high priority of staffers we interviewed and that is what you mean by newcomers. that was dominant in news headlines and so forth. beyond that i'm not sure. >> i am a scholar at columbia university and human rights. in light of growing interest in
middle eastern countries producing nuclear energy programs how would you suggest congress keep nonstate actors from using and obtaining nuclear materials? thank you. >> i think congress has a big role in that. in order for us, the united states to trade nuclear materials we need section 123 agreement with other countries and that has to go through congressional scrutiny before it is enacted. as it stands, that agreement sits in front of congress for a certain number of days and if they don't act, it isn't enacted. it is a passive agreement at that point in time. one of the ways congress can be
helpful is to pay attention when the agreement comes in front of them and hold hearings and ask the administration of they've done their due diligence with the credentials of the country seeking to have nuclear cooperation with the united states. that one way congress can get involved. the country's nuclear energy ambitions and other countries, very hard and this goes to the point you are making, hard for us to have influence over that unless we are competitive in the market in terms of having nuclear companies competing to sell nuclear technologies. to do that you need an agreement in place. that is how that plays out. >> you mentioned the middle east. another issue, much discussion and conversation in congress, particularly the issue of us
cooperation with the saudis. obviously there's a nuclear safety component to this, an important nonproliferation component with respect to what the united states should ask, even demand the saudis to do, nonproliferation front, part of any civilian cooperation deal, what leverage do we have to insist on those positions? the saudis finding out additional protocol and controversial issue and also agreeing not to engage in nuclear dealmaking or enrichment and processing. this is a controversial issue but in terms of the nuclear
security issue, nuclear security, those challenges become more difficult if the country is engaged in making its own nuclear fuel, separating plutonium. from my perspective i think the united states has a significant amount of leverage, give the trump administration credit, it does appear they are holding the line in terms of insisting on additional protocol. enrichment and reprocessing is the us position. >> the state department seeing the agency as well as international organizations for nuclear security all have nuclear security programs and engaging in all new entrants, those who want nuclear energy to educate them on the issue of nuclear security. that is something that
proactively the administrations in the past continued to support, that kind of education prior to a country entering nuclear energy build. >> we have two questions, up toward the center. >> i am an attorney and dc. how integrated is the discussion of the current discussion of cyber security into the discussion, your discussion of nuclear security? i just wondered. >> not nearly enough. it needs to be integrated more. there are people who look at cyber security who are engaging in international conversations that is challenging.
when you talk cyber security you don't want to give away your vulnerabilities. that has always been a challenge talking nuclear security but even the government as a whole, doesn't necessarily have a handle on cybersecurity for tone protection and infrastructure and is working hard to do that but from this point from what i can see on a day-to-day basis. >> there's more time in that. more awareness. >> several workshops on this particular issue. congress is engaged and interested. the executive branch is looking at this as part of research and development effort in terms of potential vulnerabilities. >> i would say the obvious. when anybody assesses what
needs to be done, what are the emerging problems? cyber is high priority at the top of the list and it is seemingly a this moment not retract double but a high priority to allocate resources. there is the risk of revealing information that might be protected. it creates a new set of can under a and high priority. >> the nuclear threat initiative did a report on this and the harvard center so folks are working on this issue as i mentioned but i would recommend those resources to you if you are interested.
>> i am with the nuclear threat initiative. if you have questions about the product, happy to talk about that. i was curious about the outcomes of the survey you conducted and wondered if there was a generational component to your results. one of the challenges for the field is raising awareness of nuclear policy so i was wondering if you thought about the need to raise awareness of nuclear policy issues in addition to the specifics of nuclear security and if anything came out of the survey in those regards. >> i made mention in my initial remarks that those staffers have been around, the average
age of staffers is, i can probably figure out the average age, the average age is young in the 20s and congress, congressional staff work is often a springboard to something else, kind of throughput and a great launching pad to career development. longevity of members is very short and staffers short on the hill but the memory is based on other things, with the record of the committee is and so forth. i mentioned the report those who had been on the hill longer with more experience had some expertise on this issue, elevate nuclear security to a
higher priority and may have recollections what happened in the past and may be sensitive to the nuclear summit process helping the united states so they might be more sensitive to that. also for those of us who were in the heyday of working on this legislation in 1990s, the decomposition of the soviet union, these were high priority issues, seem to be imminent but those staffers are gone in terms of the hill so that expertise among staff has dissipated over time. they are starting all over in a
post cold war environment, what we call the post cold war environment but the issue remains that that is what we are talking about but there is a legacy i mentioned before. the non-luker legislation, not much else and i think so the generational problems exist with young staffers, constant turnover after elections, they are starting to scratch and many have to relearn issues. that is why the programs with just -- we suggest, you are
right that senator lugar encouraged senator obama to take one or more trips to former state of the soviet union as barack obama got religion. he understood what those problems are. he was the new generation coming in at that time. the suggestions we are making, civil society is playing an important role, the nuclear threat initiative and i should have put a plug in their, it is interesting to note that tracing the interest not just among members, among funders to
think tanks, ngos, you find the interest of gone like that, the interest is shifting to the reality of arms control issues of us russian relations that the plug i wanted to mention is several years ago the macarthur foundation, the mccarthy corporation of new york put together an extraordinarily -- great initiative in which they announced they were going to put aside i don't know how many hundreds of millions of dollars to encourage groups like ours to work together in a collaborative way to do some research and funding, some project on nuclear security. that money pool has dried up because now the issue is not as prominent as it used to be. it goes from carnegie and rockefeller on down and
hopefully we can't get to a situation where it becomes a problem with those funders and they are not doing that anymore. there was a generational thing among funders. >> let's go to the next side. start in the front and move back. >> stephen buckingham, i'm a dc-based security analyst. my question is does your study group think the gravity and urgency of the nuclear security risk calls for the establishment of new subcommittees in the house and senate dedicated specifically to nuclear security issues? it seems the specializations of congressional staff are determined by the existence of the committees and subcommittees. i was wondering where the urgency calls for committees,
is that what addressed the issue of specialization? >> i think it would be a good idea. creating that goes back to the problem i mentioned, trying to put together in formal ways of doing this, to follow through on them, the existing institutional structure, to have some institutional change, institutional innovation but the issue is right, they put together three sets, losing my voice, foreign affairs, bring together in some kind -- going back to that.
creating task forces are not easy for leadership. anyway do i think it is a good idea? yes. it could be very helpful. people ask why this issue, why not something else so you don't want, if i use the word proliferation, committees are protective of their turf and don't want to give it up, almost like sovereign territory. what could happen or should happen. >> the arms control association, starting to address the question i had. you mentioned compartmental is
8 and and joyce mentioned the need for interdisciplinary crosscutting conversations. during my time on the senate intelligence committee, the barriers to dealing with foreign affairs or armed services on the issues intimately involve all 3 committees and i think i would be interested in hearing about anyone else's ideas how to achieve that and giving a couple examples from my own experience on the intelligence committee we were responsible for monitoring the intelligence bureau with 16 other intelligence bureaus, nothing to do with the authorization for that entity and likewise we could do cost-effectiveness evaluations between diplomatic
reporting and clandestine reporting that authorization for these two were handled separately. there is no way to rationally use trade-offs. it seems like a structural problem in congress and you talked about the value of senior leadership in congress and i think you are saying an informal arrangement would be an alternative way to break down these barriers between committees that deal with nuclear security and armed force -- >> experience is when we have these kinds of problems of coordination and information sharing, many of us just get together and for lunch or after words, to share this.
that was not always satisfactory because it wasn't formalized. it was mostly staff. the authorizing committees working with appropriations committees in foreign affairs have trouble getting legislation passed. that is not true the national authorization act but certainly in the other authorizations. so because the leadership would not once allocate time for taking a foreign relations authorization to the floor without certain outcomes. for example the last foreign assistance authorization bill was separate and integrated with the state department. the last authorization bill was to set policy and authorized
findings, what is past was and acted in 1986. i was sitting on the floor next to senator lugar. that was pretty -- we haven't past one since. that example to the committee relies on appropriators because you need appropriation at some point, a sneak piece of sit down and talk until we get this done get that done so the good relations between the members and staff is essential to moving that legislation where there is blockage in one place that open avenues in another so there are lots of examples like that. perhaps you should be at some time a review of committee
jurisdictions. a monumental task. each committee has their own bylaws if you will and some of them as you suggested out to be someplace else. that would be an interesting reorganization, congressional reorganization to take a look at that. very difficult, a lot of resistance to it. any organization wanting to give up something it already has. so i think there are legions of examples but it is a problem. compartmentalization makes the
legislative process more difficult. there are more ways of doing it informally but the way congress should be restructured there are many efforts in the past, they walked up the hill and walked back down. >> joyce? >> we are running out of time. any questions left? why don't we take the two next to you right there. >> edward levine, center for arms control and proliferation. when you talk about congressional hearings, pete zimmerman and i staffed the first hearings on nuclear security in the 1990s. and we also had a series of classified briefings.
the briefings featured in particular the national laboratories. suffice it to say when the labs came up and explained to us in great detail what an improvised nuclear device would look like and how it could be done, that briefing was so impressive to members who attended that we had to do it again a couple years later by popular demand. and those helped focus members in hearings were able to sign on and do more about the problem. similarly you mentioned the technology fair. there was one that doe had. it must've been around 1989 or
a little later, 1990 or 91, that was really what school senator joe biden in the importance of the issue and biden then took it on as a personal mission to make sure those programs are funded and he would go to the floor each year with amendments to the national defense authorization act and he would work -- i take it back. it was an appropriations bill. he would work with senator domenici to get very nondescript amendments that would barely tell the conferees
fix this and domenici would use them to fix this and get more money for the programs. all of this is to say it can be done if you get even a small number of members to become it to the success of the funding efforts. when you talk about fellows and i'm glad to see there is another fellowship program keep in mind there are important fellowship programs sponsored by aaas, the state department and the energy department and all of them have at one time or another said very useful scientists to the hill who then had a major influence on the content and funding of federal programs. all of those are important to
keep up and between them all, you probably have in any year a dozen or more fellows available to members if they take advantage. when you talk about gao reports, fine as far as it goes but understand the gao has had a hard time covering the intelligence community. to the extent that that is relevant to what you want people to look at you really have to perhaps look to organizations other than gao to come up with all the things you want. the jasons have been mentioned as one possibility, the national academies did useful report in that regard.
on briefing members and staff, success with evening briefings from members where the understanding is who attended and what they said would be kept secret. that gives members the opportunity to ask dumb questions as well as smart ones and to educate themselves without worrying it will show up at politico a week later. finally, choices -- joyce's point about how big the data set programs, i tried to do that myself one time. i took all the programs and send them to tom layer's. the
table of the elements and i only sang it once, los altos, and it was unanimously decided i would not sing it again. >> raise your hand, we will collect your questions or comments and we will have points aired.raise your hand, the woman behind you. >> my name is gabriel a small of national security and law. i was wondering about congressional leadership, making sure it is implanted for security, do you prefer to take a more objective approach and if the latter is preferred you take a collective action problem that will result as members pass it along and take a big initiative on it? >> the next person get their hand up as well.
>> i am from george washington university. i had a quick question. first of all in your personal surveys and small focus groups was there any discussion about efforts to improve social resilience? .. and understand your report was issued in july 2018. has to be shipped or emphasis as a result of that perhaps with respect to third-party transfer or related issues? >> i'm a graduate student at gw
and the intern here at the houston. my question is on issues, sometimes to the lens of probability versus consequences. the consequences are high but the problem is low it will not be as inclined to act on them. my question is, of your proposals which of them you think best addresses that issue when advocating to policymakers and their staffers? >> anyone else? last call. please go ahead and address them. is anything you want to say? >> i will do a a closing, becae a lot of the questions are dressed to the survey and they are all good questions. i just want to go back to a point, i understand, i take the point about ray logical security and he didn't mean to diminish it in general. what i was addressing was sure to raise it to the level of
having a four-year effort similar to what we had on this all material. i had a lot of remarks about radiological security, what's been done historically, i just did want to get into them with the interest of time. it goes to question about consequence and risk. i think as a policymaker, aside from the executive branch, when folks come to us with proposals for us to look at, i think there are a lot of things we take into consideration, cost-benefit, what are the ways we can address the issues that would be most successful? how do we manage risk is not necessary to eliminate risk. that's kind of the key verses the consequence piece of it. obviously the consequence of a nuclear detonation is extraordinary the consequence of a radiological incident is
impactful, but the frequency of a radiological event would probably be, likelihood, more likely than a nuclear detonation. yet the consequences of a nuclear detonation are just unacceptable and that's what policymakers have chosen to act on those things. there are two ways we can secure, try to prevent nuclear terrorism. one, go after the terrorist. they tend to move around a lot. we don't know where they are and that pop up in different places. material is easier to understand where it is and how it secured, for the most part. but to the point about intelligence community and your point, intelligence committee, that's one piece we haven't addressed which i think is on to our understanding of where the vulnerabilities are. if it's true we've hit all the low hanging fruit, the low
hanging fruit is material that we knew where it was and where people were willing to work with us to address it. the nuggets that we haven't gotten to yet on the material that we don't know where it is and where we have less willing partners cooperating with us. that's the bigger challenge, and i don't know that mrs. hill you get to that without involving intelligence community, understand where that material is in using all the tools of government to put pressure on those individuals who have that material in the possession. that's why it's important to get rid of the stovepipes, to work across disciplines to try to get at a diplomatic solution without individual country or entity that has control of that material, to try to figure out how to address it. rather than, you know, put money to programs that are helpful but not necessarily as in fact, at
getting at that material which is the most vulnerable and the most problematic. >> let me take, so the question with respect to the implications of the jcpoa and the inf treaty for nuclear security. there's potentially, the bigger implications with respect to the withdrawal from jcpoa because there were provisions in that agreement with respect to cooperating with iran pursuant to the steps that iran was taking to address concerns about its nuclear program, breakout time, and there were some small preferences to nuclear security cooperation. i know there have been proposals in the nongovernmental space to build upon the deal, to enhance conversations with the iranians about the nuclear security issue as well.
but with the united states not a party to that agreement anymore, and the future the agreement certainly be in doubt. there's obviously the opportunity for that, is much less with, in my view, potentially negative consequences. >> sort of a scattergram of responses. you mentioned about joe biden, vice president biden, candidate biden and his introducing textures and so forth. several months ago he had the opportunity for staff to come in to see, touch, feel the actual equipment that is being used for detection purposes, monitoring and so on. and to have those who know how
the equipment is being used know how to explain it and some demonstrations took place. it was actually very well attended, what i think education myself. obviously i did know much of this equipment other than by name. so i think that kind of education is extremely important. you can up your expertise pretty fast if you know these things. the other thing i will just mention is that, going back to the hill again, when i was in the hill, we used to say, who owns this issue? i mean, who owns this issue, whether it's, let's say, who owns arms-control? who owns the bimetal issues and so forth. today, i don't know who owns nuclear security. i don't know who owns arms-control.
someone who puts him or herself, by members of talking about, members, him or herself in a position to take some risk, politically, by giving out in front of an issue that perhaps constituents are not very concerned about. someone who is willing to, as biden did in your example, educate his colleagues through dear colleague letters, get-togethers and so forth. i don't know who owns these issues on the hill. perhaps are not well informed what it'll don't think anybodys up. as a little bit of a scattergram of members who share some of these inches, nuclear security working group and so forth, but, discussed back to the issue of leadership, somewhat take a step forward and to think of sending out dear colleague letters, having informal meetings and
elevating the priority of nuclear security, some source which there's many. i know there was no question i think about what to be the priority. i don't know. them to work in the international field, we have international, edi, nuclear federation, laura did this marvelous matrix in which she laid out what she called nuclear architecture. there must've been boxes, 25 different elements. we have a patchwork of the international system of sometimes disconnected, needs some agreements and treaties, initiatives, but it doesn't always work in the same
direction, always work in harmony, with one another. so someone who focus on the international side, there's a lot of things that could be done to sort of fix up the patchwork and then to try to move this issue on an international side towards mandatory requirements. right now the iaea, which by the way i am a part-time consultant for the iaea, the iaea set probably as good a set of standards, international standards, for member countries of how to secure their materials and house them. and there's also something called the code of conduct for radiological resources. all that is voluntary. countries are not mandated to follow those rules, which means
you can have huge diversity. the fixing of the international system of controls, strengthening the nuclear suppliers group. anyway, there's a lot of things that could be done, and i think, if someone is personally interested in this issue, we try to fix up that and move, try to come as difficult as it may be, try to convince the world that some of these standards ought to be mandatory. that ought to be implementation of the standards, enforcement of the standards and consequences for noncompliance with them. but that's a huge jump. i'm not sure his administration -- would be in the right position to push but someone should be pushing. >> so for now i have a couple
thank yous to give first two were speakers. i think they did a good job of explaining a competent issue and helping us think through some of the implications of this really good report and beyond. i also want to thank the hudson team and the c-span team. they have been here for three long events in the past 36 hours. mid-august, i figured you guys had other temptations i think we all owe each other around a thanks. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> i think this is what ruffled a lot of people, but not all cultures are like. we'll try to doubt doubt this code of behavior as being one that was particularly functional and suited to our current technological democratic capitalist society and comparing it to other cultures which are not as functional. we gave some examples, and that immediately caused a a firesto. >> sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> in the wake of the recent shooting in el paso, texas, and dayton, ohio, house judiciary committee will return early from its summer recess to mark up three con violence prevention bills which include banning
high-capacity ammunition magazines, restricting firearms from those deemed by a court to be a risk to themselves, and preventing individuals convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing a gun. live coverage begins wednesday september 4 at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span, and c-span.org. if you're on the go listen to our live coverage using the free c-span radio app. >> the defense department advisory committee on sexual assault in the military held a public meeting in arlington, virginia, with criminal law and justice division chiefs from the army, navy, marine corps, air force and coast guard. the meeting again with committee members reviewing the conviction and acquittal rates for military sexual assaults in 2018. >> let's get