tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 13, 2013 1:00am-6:00am EDT
legitimately threaten regional stability. on the issue of terrorism, the threat from core al qaeda and the potential for an mass coordinated attack on the united states is diminished but the global movement is more diversified and a more persistent threat. domestic extremists remain determined to attack western interests. the turmoil in the arab world has bought a spike in threats to u.s. interests. the rise in new government and egypt, tunisia, yemen and libya, provide openings for opportunistic individuals and groups. these and other regions of the world, extremists can take advantage of the minister counter-terrorism capabilities, most especially a high proportion of unemployed young males. weapons of mass destruction development is another major threat to u.s. interests. north korea has the michaud capabilities that threatened the
united states -- has demonstrated capabilities that threaten the united states. we believe north korea has taken steps towards fielding a system although remains untested. they used a launch vehicle to a satellite into orbit. these developments have been accompanied with a crest of public rhetoric was the united states. iran continues to develop technical expertise in areas including nuclear reactors and ballistic missiles from which it can draw nuclear weapons. these advancements strengthen our assessment that tehran has a scientific and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons.
after almost two years of conflict in syria, the erosion of the capability is accelerating. we see this in the regime's territorial losses and logistic shortages. they're aggressive violence and security conditions have led to increase civilian casualties. this violent off the company's-- violence causes major political upheaval being protected by the leaks trying to retain control. this violence and economic dislocation has led to more than 2 million syria is being displaced, internally and the externally. in iran, leaders are exploiting to spread influence abroad and undermine the united states and our allies. iran continues to be a destabilizing force in the
region, providing weapons and training for syrian forces and standing by the syrian opposition. iran's efforts to secure regional dominance achieve limited results in the fall of the assad would be major strategic loss for tehran. sectarian issues are rising. there was a rise in vehicle suicide bombings by al qaeda in iraq. iraq is producing and exporting oil at its highest levels in the two decades. they remain resilient and capable of challenging u.s. and international goals. the coalition drawdown will have an impact on afghanistan's
economy which is likely to decline after 2014. in pakistan, the government has made no effort to institute -- this past year, the pakistani armed forces continued operations in tribal areas which have been safe havens for al qaeda and the taliban. pakistan saw fewere domestic attacks from the militant group. violence, corruption and this cretinism in africa will threaten u.s. interests this year -- and extremism in africa will threaten u.s. interests this year. we still see a result conflict between sudan and south sudan, extremist attacks in nigeria, a persistent conflict in central africa. china is supplementing its more invest military capabilities but altering maritime law
enforcement to support its claims in the south and east tennessee's. it continues its informations dealing campaigns. russia will continue to resist putting more international pressure on syria or iran and display its sensitivity to missile defense. latin america and caribbean contend with weak institutions and trafficking which pose a threat to the united states. roughly 20 million human beings are being traffic around the world. every country is a source or destination for human trafficking.
in some, given the complexity of our global responsibilities, intelligence could abilities have never been more important. thank you for your attention. we are ready to address your questions. >> thank you very much, director and for the written comments as well. director mueller, in a quick question, i mentioned the 100 terrorist related arrests in united states since january of 2009. and the number of convictions since 2011 at over 400. has the fbi been impeded in its ability to conduct investigations or collect intelligence from terrorist suspects because of the need to
read miranda rights or present a suspect to a court? >> it is hard to responsdspecifically. -- respond specifically. there may be an occasion where it was an issue but for the most part, the answer is no. if you talk to agents, they would tell you is their ability to elicit information by developing rapport with individuals. that is a prime mover in terms of providing the appropriate intelligence. let me put in context what i think is the under estimating of the ability of the criminal justice system to produce intelligence. if there is a terrorist attack, i understand it will be on us. i'm concerned about maximizing the access to intelligence. one of the thing that is underestimated the ability of the criminal justice system to do just that.
there are very few cases where we have not ultimately obtained the cooperation of the individual. going through the criminal justice system. we have had a number of cases where we have a convicted person and because of our plea-bargain in our system, we got the cooperation we need which is led to are testifying in cases -- to our testifying in cases. we add intelligence from our system that they did not have. if you look at three cases prominent in terms of providing intelligence, you start with david hedley of the chicago opened the door to us in terms of the mumbai attacks. then the plot to bomb the new york city subway and another individual.
in every case, we look at the best option. in some cases the military tribunal option is not the best option. the ability of the criminal justice system to produce intelligence is often overlooked. >> thank you very much. either for director clapper or mr. brennan, in light of recent warnings by north korea, including the renunciation of the cease-fire with south korea after six decades, does the ic assess they could take provocative action that could lead to a renewal of active hostilities with the south? >> absolutely. having followed korea ever since i served there in the mid- 1980s's as director of intelligence, i'm concerned about the accidents the new
young leader -- the actions of the new young leader. the rhetoric is an indicator of their attitude in perhaps intent. i'm very concerned about what they might do. they are -- if they chose, they could initiate provocative action against the south. >> i agree with director clapper. it is a dynamic time now with the new leader. it underscores the importance of making sure our analytic a collection capabilities are as strong as possible. we are talking about the elements that have strategic importance and potential consequence for u.s. interests, not just in north east asia but globally. this is one of the areas that we need to pay close attention to.
>> thank you. mr. vice chairman. >> director clapper, let me address your comments relative to sequestration. we are spending too much money in washington. i do not think there is disagreement about that. the reduction in $1.20 trillion in spending is not a bad idea but your reference to the way we are doing it is exactly right. it is a foolish way to reduce spending to tell every aspect of the federal government you do not have a choice. you are mandated to reduce spending across the board, whatever the dollar amount is, in your agency are office. -- or office. let me give you the assurance and everybody here that the chairman, myself and -- we are committed to ensuring the intelligence committee --
community does not suffer a lack of resources. what in the constitution is aware about is that it is the role of congress to provide for the national security of americans. we intend to honor our obligations. you and those that work under you are very professional and you are doing your job. the arctic is doing exactly what we ask you to do. -- you are doing exactly what we ask you to do. we want you to know we are committing to do everything within our power to ensure the resources are there to allow you to continue to do what you are asked to do every single day. >> i very much appreciate that. i think on behalf of the intelligence community, now more than ever, we are dependent on particularly our oversight committees -- to be our stewards and advocate.
i am not suggesting we will not take our fair share of the cuts. all we're asking for is a latitude on how to take them to minimize the damage. >> i know you mean it exactly that way. we will have their back on this. it will not be easy but we will work hard. >> a point of personal privilege i have to go to the continuing resolution. may i respond to your comments in terms of the state of play? we have a continuing resolution on the floor. this does not deal with the sequester. that has been negotiated by the higher powers. my job along with senator shelby's is to move the continuing resolution. we are working steadily to do that.
but the money is for local and ugal, and in, terms of flexibility you just ask for, we will not have that in our bill. we were told that is a poisoned pill. i would like that as we go through the rest of the day, we could talk to see if we can have an amendment that would accomplish that. we were told by the house and by others that this was a poison pill. i would like to do everything i can to get you the money and the administrator framework. i can say nothing but positive things about senator shelby. but we need help. if we could do that, we would. we do want to work with you. we so admire you.
>> if i may just again in the complexity of ppa's, we're asking to be treated identically. we have been singled out for small, exacting ppa's which restricts the latitude to move money away -- to move money around to litigate the damage. >> the only thing this amendment would do that's being introduced today is the view that authority is to give you that authority. i will like you to give it to
senators reid, boehner, mcconnell and the house democratic leadership as well. i always hoped a higher power would be on my side. we will have a new pope and i would like you to have new flexibility but it will take a higher power and this is what you need to show. >> thank you very much. shall we continue? >> let me direct this to both director clapper and director mueller. obviously we are still in the stage of remorse relative to the death of four brave americans in benghazi. the american people have demanded answers.
i realize we are in an open hearing. what i would like to ask is to tell the american people, what are our lessons learned here as we move forward? we know we have a lot of other vulnerable spots around the world. what can you tell us about the progress towards bringing these murderers to justice? >> first of all senator, one lesson in this is a greater emphasis on forest protection for our diplomatic facilities. -- force protection for our diplomatic facilities. i think a short fall for us having a better appreciation of the tactical facility. the other lesson is do not do
talking points are classified-- or classified talking points. >> with regard to the investigation, since this occurred, we have had teams on the ground in tripoli and elsewhere around the world conducting the investigation. with regard to the cooperation of the libyan authorities, there is a willingness exhibited by their actions to cooperate. however, it is difficult particularly in benghazi. we have received cooperation from the libyan authorities to continue to coordinate with them. i will say the investigation had not been stymied. i believe we will prove to be fruitful.
>> thank you very much. the next four. senator rockefeller. >> thank you, madame chair. i cannot help, director clapper and john brennan, bring up the subject saxby did in his opening comments. talk was just given about a good relationship between the intelligence community and congress. what happened over the last couple weeks was -- is a threat. it is a threat to trust between us and you, us towards you, you towards us. what basically happened was we were given certain things which we requested primarily because
you are up for confirmation had we not been given those things which we requested, the confirmation would not have had the votes. it is a terrible situation. i think you are superb. i have been through every cia director and i think you are the best. but the irony was that we were given certain things to look at then we were told that as we did that and got our staff to participate, this goes all the way back to 2001, then minders,
as i sat with my marine intelligence expert, there was a minder sent in. i was not aware that person would be there. that was an insult to me. and i kicked the person out. we have to find a way for us to trust each other. i do not think we may be mutually but in any event, we have not figured it out. things after the confirmation,
went directly back to the way they were from 2001 to 2007. we had a classified briefing, all of our staff was kicked out. with one exception, two exceptions. i was outraged. we were eager to do it -- the first bill passed after 9/11 allowed the fbi and cia to talk to each other. maybe we need another bill to talk to us openly, more than a half. it is a real problem. john brennan, i do not think this is your instinct but during
your 4 hour grilling, you were superb. we cannot be told things that could be in our purvey to look at which in fact have nothing to look at that is a threat to anybody, that we cannot have that. or that our staff cannot be in attendance. what would happen if we had you here and all those behind you have to stay out of the room? that is a comparable situation. i am not a lawyer, i am not an intelligence analyst or specialist. i need advice, i need staff. i have a superb one. as we all do. is there a way in your mind that we can somehow come to an understanding which makes this program or problem work of the way it should so that we are
comfortable with each other but you do not protect yourself beyond where you have to so we can trust each other and really concentrate. >> let me start and then i know john has views on this. i've done confirmation three times and as more than a body should stand. what i say may not be entirely satisfactory to you. i think all of us think trust is fundamental to the relationship between the intelligence committee and our oversight committees. the oversight committees have the responsibility, unlike others, because so much of what we do is classified and secret.
we recognize the doubly important responsibility you have on behalf of the american public since not everything we do can be revealed. as a general rule, that which is under our control and activities that we manage and oversee i think our record has been pretty good, pretty consistent in sharing that with you. we depend so heavily on you for your support. when there are documents that elsewhere in the executive branch or when we are attempting to abide by a longstanding practice which has been practiced by both republican and democratic administrations of executive privilege, i think
that is where we begin to have problems. for that which is fully under our control, i think i can pledge to you that we will endeavor to burn your trust. john.-- earn your trust. john? >> like most hostages, i was excluded from ransom negotiations during my confirmation process but one of the things i have committed to myself is to familiarize myself instantly with the rules and procedures that govern the interaction with this committee and other oversight committees for programs and activities that fall under my purview. i what to speak with the chairman and vice-chairman about this. i do not know what those have been heretofore. what i really want to do is have as much dialogue as possible with you so that trust can be built up so we are able to address these issues earlier.
on some of the matters related to like the benghazi talking points, we need to address it as soon as possible. we have a clear understanding of what your interests and requirements are and then we need to do what we can to give you what you need to fill your statutory responsibilities of oversight. we have a clear understanding of what your interests and requirements are and then we need to do what we can to give you what you need to fill your statutory responsibilities of oversight. >> either others or i will continue this. >> thank you, senator rockefeller. the olc opinions in particular, particularly with our obligation which is robust oversight, you cannot know whether something is
carried out by the executive branch within the law unless you see those opinions which phrase the law. i think that is the problem. it is very difficult to look at them. not to look at them and to make judgments without understanding. i believe you with that. senator coats. >> madame chair, thank you. director clapper, of all the topics you chose to talk about, you put cyber at the top. i think i understand why. we are undergoing a major transformation intertwined with digital technology and the internet that has profound implications for the u.s. economic and national security.
i was disappointed we were not able to put a legislative package together in the last congress that failed in the waning days of congress. the president followed up with an executive order. mr. brennan, you are part of putting that order together. it is limited in terms of what it can do. i'm hoping we can work together to fashion a proper legislative proposal that will enhance our ability to better understand and deal with this ever-growing critical threat to our economy and to our national security. in that regard, the executive order from the president indicated a strong willingness to share information from the government with private industry, but the hangup is that
the reverse information from private industry shared with the government hit some roadblocks. you need some incentives to provide private industry to feel secure in terms of their sharing proprietary information and impact on its competitiveness with others and so forth. providing such things as liability coverage and so forth, ensuring that the standards that are set are compatible with industry standards are critical issues. i think i am making a statement in that regard.
hopefully we can address that and keep that at the level of priority where you put it. i know the majority leader has said we need to set up. unfortunately, we are caught up in debate and issues related to the fiscal issues. this is a serious subject we need to get on. sooner rather than later. i want to briefly ask you if you have anything to say about cyber, that is fine, but this one question -- with the ratcheting sanctions against iran in terms of its pursuit of nuclear weapons it ability development -- capability development, a, have you seen any glimpse of possible change in the decision-making and will of the leadership that will decide whether or not they will comply in any sense at all with requests made by the global
community, and b, are there concerns relative to the cooperation between north korea and iran relative to holistic missile technology and other aspects that might give iran -- modify the timetable for the ability to get this capability? >> for the first part of your question at the second part for the relationship between north korea and iran, that might be better addressed in closed session. clearly the sanctions have had profound impact on iran's economy. by any measure, whether it is inflation are unemployment
availability, commodities, etc. that situation is getting worse. at the same time, these publicly, overtly change in iranian leadership, the supreme leader's approach, we can go into perhaps more detail our discussion in it closed -- in a close setting for some indications that might be of interest to you. i will let it go at that. >> fair enough. >> i would add to your point related to cyber, the seriousness and the diversity of this threat the country faces in the cyber domain are increasing on a daily basis. i think this is one of the security challenges we face. the threat will continue and
grow. we need to reduce the vulnerabilities and take steps. i hope congress will move forward with legislation and issues that you raised on sharing liability art key once. -- are key ones. >> what john just said, you really highlighted what i call organizing principles. they have to be covered. there are standards that would apply both to the government and the private sector. the other thing i want to mention is to consider civil liberties and privacy. >> i assume both of you would acknowledge that time is of the evidence -- essense here. >> yes, sir. >> the sooner we get this done, the better. >> thank you, madame chair.
director, congratulations. i appreciate the chance to speak about a number of issues. i will ask some additional questions about drones. for today, my congratulations. director clapper, i want to ask you what i asked about year ago, and that was a matter of surveillance and what the rules are that intelligence agency would have to follow in order to electronically track the movements and location of an american inside the united states. i asked you about this a year ago. you said that your lawyers were studying this and i hope that we can get some answers to these questions. first, if an intelligence agency wants to track an american
inside the united states, how much evidence do they need? >> first, in the case of nsa and cia, there are strictures against tracking american citizens in the united states for foreign intelligence purposes. i think i may ask director mueller to speak to this. what you are referring to falls into the lawn for cement -- law wenforcement criminal area. >> i do want to hear from director mueller, but i'm trying to get some general principles out with respect to intelligence. you have cited from areas that are relevant, what i'm trying to do is get an unclassified answer
to a question about what the law authorizes. >> the law is embedded in the foreign intelligence act. it was extended for five years. it places strict shifters on -- strictures on that intelligence community tracking of americans. that is overseen strictly by the court and the executive branch, both by my office and the attorney general's. there are strict rules. >> as you know, there are some fundamental questions about the balance chain security and liberty -- between security and liberty. can make a direct answer to the question about when the intel community needs to get a warrant.
second, the circumstances when no evidence is needed at all. the law does not justify whether a warrant is required. >> i would ask director mueller to help me with that question. >> i'm anxious to hear from director mueller, but i also need to hear from you with respect to the intelligence community. i asked you this a year ago. >> senator, and the case of cia and nia who are engaged in foreign intelligence collection, that is a practice they do not engage in. >> director mueller? >> senator, let me start by saying we treat them the same.
there is no distinction between our intelligence cases in terms of undertaking the activity you suggest and criminal cases. that being said, put some things in an area where we are seeing where things are going to go. the standard for a warrant is still up in the air. for a particular monitoring, that would have to be more fact- based. >> director mueller, you have identified the exact reason why i'm trying to get an answer from director clapper. there is no question we will
watch what the courts will do in the days ahead. the question is, what will be the rights of americans while that is still being flushed out? it does not specify whether a warrant is required. i want you to know that i will be asking this question of you just like we did with respect to the legal documents for targeted killing, which we finally got after seven requests until we get an answer. i think americans are entitled to a direct answer. thank you, madame chair. >> would you like director mueller to respond? >> i think he did. he gave a very thoughtful answer, which is the courts are still wrestling with the various interpretations of it. that is a correct answer by director mueller, but we still have a question remaining -- what are the rights of americans as of today while the courts are wrestling with this?
and that is a matter we have not gotten an answer to. i will follow it up in the second round. >> would you like to respond? >> with the law not having been totally identified, we think the most -- we take the most conservative approach. >> fair enough. >> thank you. next is senator rubio. >> thank you, madame chair. i want to talk about egypt. i want to have a clear understanding about the security apparatus and the military. it has been seen as a professional organization for a long time upholding its international obligations.
what is the status of that now? especially with the recent political changes and the reelection of president morsi? and the coming of power of the muslim brotherhood? has that changed the nature of the organization? >> i think the military as an institution in egypt has attempted to sustain its status and stature as a professional military organization and not be drawn into the internal local upheavals going on. >> what is the most significant security risk that they face? we recently have seen jet planes and tanks and so forth, but it strikes me that the real security concern should be toward upholding the peace
treaty with neighbors and providing law enforcement in the streets. can anyone comment on what the real security risks are? especially that egypt is not at risk of being invaded by any foreign army anytime soon. does the weapons acquiring reflect the real security needs? >> that is their policy decision. particularly with security. they recognize they have a challenge over there. their intent is to -- they wish to support the peace treaty. the fundamental challenge that faces egypt has to do with the economy. it is kind of a spiral. when it impacts on the economy
has been a decline in tourism. that is related to the security situation. they recognize that. they have internal challenges. >> the real security challenge is internal. street crime has gotten pretty dangerous, especially in cairo. the other question is broader. that is a general direction that they are heading in government lies. there was an election that questions reforms of the constitution in egypt. where is egypt heading? where is the muslim brotherhood or president morsi? is he heavily influenced by them? is there democratic transition? is their push for an islamist type stay?
or is there still a flux? >> i think that latter, the third condition is still in flux. the leadership of egypt is influenced by pragmatic aspects and challenges like the state of the economy and the security in the streets. however, at the same time, the ideology is influenced by the muslim brotherhood. that is evident in some of the constitutional provisions, particularly with the rights of women. >> the u.s. policies, u.s. aid policy toward egypt would weigh heavily on the pragmatic side of the equation for the leaders.
and in their ability to receive financing they need to stabilize their economy and provide the gear they need to provide security so people feel safe in egypt again. >> yes, sir, but not at any price. they are very sensitive about their sovereignty to the extent at which we are anyone else -- that is an issue for the egyptian policy apparatus
to decide. >> ok. thank you. >> thank you, senator rubio. senator udall. >> thank you, madame chair. the documents are very readable. thank you for the work your team has done.
director's comment as well. let me turn to director mueller in an interview with vanity fair in 2008. you were asked about terrorist attacks and whether they were instructed thanks to intelligence up taint through the use of the cia -- gathered through the use of cia. have you seen any information since april 2009 to change your views on the topic? >> i was trying to express -- i was not aware of the practices of the facts. >> thank you. i want to follow up with you later. i will turn to director brennan. congratulations on your appointment. i appreciate your involvement with the hostage negotiations.
i look for to working with you in your new role. in her confirmation hearing, we discussed the committee study and the importance of putting reforms in place to prevent past mistakes from happening again. i also pushed for the committee's report. last week before you were on the job for the first day, newspaper story was published quoting a senior intelligence official who claimed that the cia is ejecting a majority of the 6000 page report, which has 35,000 footnotes direct resource to cia documents. there was numerous inaccurate
statements about the committees report, including a has has 20 recommendations, which it does not. it appears that the unnamed intelligence official was unfamiliar with the committee's report, i'm concerned that despite the chairman going out of her way to make sure that only certain individuals have access to the report, the cia personnel are leaking what may not be the official response to the report. it seems unnamed officials are putting you in an awkward position before you even have a chance to weigh in as a new cia director. the questions and i will run through them -- do you believe this is the cia's views despite official seem unfamiliar with the report? second, do you anticipate looking into the leak?
finally, provide comments -- can you give the committee a sense of when we can expect the cia's comments? >> thank you. first of all, i will not speculate on who might have been responsible for the information that appeared in the newspaper. i know that people are looking into that right now to see whether or not there was any disclosure of information. there is a real interest in the part of the cia to be responsive to this committee and that report. i have had a number of discussions. the comments will be conducted and done within a month's time.
hopefully before then. there have been a number of conversations with members of this committee on that. it is my firm resolve to look at what the cia has pulled together in response to that report. >> thank you. i look forward to your firm resolve as soon as possible to this important report from which we need to learn the lessons of we do not repeat the mistakes that were made. thank you and congratulations. >> thank you. senator collins. >> thank you, madame chair. director, in your opening statements, you painted a bleak and dark picture of a very dangerous world. i share your concern about the impact of sequestration on the intelligence community. senator udall and i have introduced what i believe to be
the only bipartisan flexibility bill that would give agencies that ability to set priorities, submit their plans to the appropriations committee the way you do with reprogramming request now in an enhanced reprogramming authority. i talked to senator mikulski about it. she has a similar vision in mind. i know the chairman also has some amendment dealing with the i.c. i want to encourage you to make the consequences of sequestration known to the senate leaders and the house leaders because that is where the decision is being made. it is critical that they hear from you and from all members of
this panel about what the consequences would be, particularly in light of the dyer threat situation that we face. -- dire threat situation that we face. i want to turn to iran. during a senate armed services committee, the current diplomatic and economic efforts to stop iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon capability are not working. do you agree with that assessment? >> not completely. i think i indicated earlier that that it is having a huge impact on iran. they'll will have an influence on the decision.
we can see indications of that. where i do agree is that the sanctions and thus far have not induced to change on the iranian government policy. >> i think the fact that they have not produced a change suggests that they are not working. let me follow up with mr. goldberg with the second question. the president has exempted nine countries from fully complying with the sanctions on iran because they have demonstrated a significant reduction in the purchase of iranian products. these nine countries include some of iran's biggest trading partners, including china, india, turkey. turkey was granted an exemption even after it conceded that it
had helped iran conduct energy exports the acquisition of billions of dollars of gold. what is your assessment of what would happen to iran's fiscal and economic situation if these nine countries were not exempt from the u.s. sanctioned policy? >> what i can tell you is that the overall iranian oil that is being exported is down considerably. there were workarounds within the exceptions made for those who reduced over time. that is a constant evaluation and consideration. but the actual amount of iranian oil being exported is down.
it is probably -- i probably reserve on the exact quantity for close session. >> i suggest that there needs to be much more transparency in order for us to make a judgment on whether or not doing such sweeping exemptions is wise policy. mr. brennan, i want to quickly touch on cyber security since you and i have worked extremely closely on that issue last year when senator lieberman and i repeatedly tried to get our comprehensive bill through. i had real reservations about the president issuing an executive order. i think it sends the wrong signal that you can take care of this through an executive order. do you believe the executive
order is a substitute for legislation and that only legislation can take further action such as conferring the branch of immunity on companies that comply with standards? is that inaccurate assessment? -- an accurate assessment? >> i am no longer part of the policy community. based on the nature, scope and diversity of the cyber threat out there, we need to do more as a country to address the vulnerabilities that we have and take a step that we need to in order to protect our infrastructure, our networks from these types of attacks. i do believe there are enhancements in legislation that
can be made and that need to be made in order to help us, the country, detect our systems, how networks and infrastructure from those kinds of attacks. >> thank you. >> this committee spent an awful lot of time examining the process that resulted in the unclassified benghazi talking points.you touched on that a lit this morning. i have one simple question around that. in your professional view of that process, was it in any way unduly politicized? >> absolutely not. >> thank you for a very simple answer. you don't get those very often. i really appreciated. i want to move onto serious for a few minutes. just to set the table, i wanted to ask how you would describe the current state of the opposition in serious -- in syria? rex it is increasingly gaining territory.
at the same time, the regime is experiencing shortages in manpower and logistics. that said, the opposition is still fragmented. there are literally hundreds of these opposition battalions with varying strengths. and there are times he made by the opposition to bring some overarching command and control to that. the bad news in all of this, i believe, with respect to the opposition, is the increasing prevalence of the al qaeda iraq offshoot that has gained strength, both numerically and otherwise. they have been pretty astute about this. they are where they can providing more services in what is a very terrible situation for many for -- for many from a humanitarian standpoint. there are many human fighters
that are attracted to the conflict in syria who have joined the opposition. the opposition, in my view, has been very astute about that. the question comes up -- how long will assad last? our standard answer is that his days are numbered. we don't know that number. he is very committed to hanging in there and sustaining his control of the regime. >> how would you assess there ran -- assess iran and the role they are playing in serious to -- in syria today? >> in terms of providing material aid as well as advice, to the extent of organizing militias and the sort of thing -- iran, along with their surrogate has below, have a huge stake -- their surrogate hezbolah, have a huge stake. it would be a street -- a strong strategic loss for the iranians if the regime falls. >> you have mentioned that
assad's days are numbered. how do you think iran will react to a post-assad syria. >> that is why they are investing with materials and fighters, to maintain their interest and their physical presence there. whatever form some successor regime takes, or if there is fragmentation, they would at least have a foothold in syria. theirlly don't know what strategy is. >> i will leave you with one last question and then i will give back my time. on egypt, how capable do you
think that the current egyptian government is in handling the unrest that we are seeing currently? >> unrest, you say? they were able to suppress the violence in port said. i think they have the capability, once they put their minds to it, to maintain order. >> thank you. >> ok, i yield back. >> senator king. >> i want to call upon your long years of experience. we put a lot of stock in sanctions and have over the years. we are putting a lot of stock in sanctions in iran.
as americans, we tend to think that other countries will act and react the way we do when, in reality, their systems are very different than ours. my question on iran is -- is very sufficient political -- they sufficient middle class that has clinical power to influence the regimes decisions aced on the squeeze supplied by the sanctions? does the supreme ayatollah care whether his economy is going down? >> yes, he does. he does care. it does concern him about the deterioration in the economy because of the prospect for promoting unrest. among the citizenry of iran. we are seeing more signs of that.
at the same time, i think the supreme leader's standard for the level of private nation that iran suffered during the iran-iraq war. we don't believe they have reached that point yet. as the supreme leader looks westward or looks at us, he can argue that we are on the decline with our influence declining particularly in that part of the world. his view of the world may not be necessarily fact-based come a particularly when it comes to internal conditions in his country.
>> turning again to another long-standing part of us policy, which is nuclear deterrence, which is a policy since the late 1940s -- does deterrence work with a country like north korea or iran? it is sort of the same question. do they care of a mutually assured destruction? are they've responsive to that kind of thinking that has guided us policy for 50 years? are they countries like the soviet union that we think that they will make a rational decision knowing that, if they do something crazy, they will be wiped out? >> i do think they both understand that. i'm not sure in particular with
north korea if they would expect us to use a nuclear weapon here but they certainly respect the capability of our military. they have gone to school on what we have done, starting with desert storm. i know that for a fact. i think deterrence in this broadest context does work and does have impact on the decision-making calculus of these two countries. >> you had a brief colloquy with last year's cyber bill. that bill did not get through. there were rejections from -- there were objections from the
is his point of view. are there things we can do to get that bill through? there is a certain urgency here. i believe it went twice before the senate and it didn't go through either time. what is happening to get that done? i'm sure there are things that congress can do to push this forward. i would underscore the importance of being able to come up with some legislation that will be addressed -- that will address vulnerabilities that our opponents would be aware of. >> would you characterize the cyber threat as accelerating?
>> absolutely. our site is all i have. >> thank you very much. -- that is all i have. >> thank you very much. we will see if we can work together that we can get a bill together that we can move to the committee on the information sharing part of it. that might the of help to you. so we will begin that effort shortly. we will have one other quick round. i have a question on has bola -- on hezbolla. they will continue to conduct terrorist attacks against israelis and americans. as it has recently done in other places. it is a yes or no question, i think.
>> yes. they clearly have the intent to do that when they can. >> ok, how does their capacity compared to al qaeda at this time? >> i don't think they reached that level of been the core al qaeda at its height. >> i would agree with director clapper. to be specific, it is not at that level. it does have a presence that extends to many countries around the world.
we have seen activity across the globe. but we haven't seen anything like capabilities or duty that can be seen from al qaeda in the last 10 years. >> thank you. >> you are the guy who is responsible for gathering all of the information from the intelligence community, sifting through it and making some critical decisions, not only about who gets what, but where the danger is. this is a public hearing.
tell the american public what keeps matt olson awake at night. >> thank you. i would say that this is -- there are a number of things that we are particularly concerned about. from an overseas perspective, it is the decentralized nature of the threat from al qaeda. as we talked about this morning, the threat from the core al qaeda has been greatly diminished. it is nowhere near where it was 10 years ago. but we have seen that threat become geographically dispersed as affiliated groups and groups
sympathetic to al qaeda and its message have grown in areas, for example, in north africa. the significant of those affiliated groups is al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. they seek to carry out attacks against aviation targets three times over the last several years. so i would put that on the top of the list on the overseas perspective you're looking for certain home in the homeland, the number one concern for an attack, albeit a small scale or unsophisticated attack, comes from homegrown extremists who may be inspired or radicalized the message that al qaeda sends.
but it would be a person more likely to act alone or in a small group to carry out a sophisticated attack. it is very difficult for us from an intelligence perspective to see in advance and therefore be able to disrupt. >> is there an aggressive effort on the part of al qaeda as well as other affiliated groups or other terrorist groups for that matter to develop homegrown -- american homegrown
terrorists? >> we deftly have seen both from al qaeda court in pakistan as well as a queue, ap in yemen, to reach out beyond those regions into the united states to radicalize individuals who are here who may be susceptible to that kind of a message. they may be simply wayward knuckleheads. but they may well be inspired by that message and seek to carry out an attack. >> let me address that to you, also, director mueller. the fbi has jurisdiction over criminal and domestic activity. i would like your comments on what you see taking place from the pinpoint of homegrown terrorists. >> let me start by saying that the threat from aq ap, the thread is still out there. the individuals responsible for previous events are still there. more directly at home, it is the radicalization of individuals on
the internet who have developed the desire or the will to undertake attacks. they are difficult to find. co-conspirators and others can join in. but then again, the internet can facilitate that
kind of meeting or coming together for that kind of attack. it is lone wolves that we are principally concerned about. the other point in terms of keeping me awake is cyber. and the fact that what is happening in the cyber arena cuts across any of our disciplines, whether it's counterintelligence or countered and -- counter terrorists as well as criminal. there are various objectives and goals of discrete individuals utilizing the cyber arena, whether it be for criminal purposes or for terrorist purposes that has grown to be right up there with aqap with homegrown terrorists and cyber attackers. >> thank you. senator rockefeller, are you ok? >> i think i'm ok. i have a couple of questions i would like to ask, but i would like to get to the closure. >> i know you have a fustian. >> just one, madam chair. on the surveillance front, i hope we can do this with just a yes or no answer and i know senator feinstein wants to move on. last year, the nsa director was at a conference and he was asked about the nsa surveillance of america. he replied, "the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions dossiers on people is completely false." having served on the committee now for a dozen years, i don't really know what a dossier is in this context. so what i wanted to see, if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question, does the nsa collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? >> no, sir. >> it does not? >> not wittingly. there are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect but not willingly.
>> i have additional questions to give you in writing. i thank you for your answer. >> just to answer -- just to follow on his questions, we keep talking about al qaeda. but my impression -- we have to realize that it only takes four or five people these days to mount some kind of a threat. is there a danger that we are so focused on al qaeda that we will miss a second cousin of al qaeda that arises in brazil or someplace that constitutes a serious threat? >> i don't think so. that is reflected on this panel. we all work area closely together to look forward to determine where that next threat is coming from.
we are very focused on the activities of groups in north africa during that may simply be sympathetic to out cato, but have not reached the level of -- to al qaeda, but have not reached the level of pain al qaeda. i speak on behalf of the people working at the national center who are laser focused in trying to identify that next threat good will be -- next threat. will we be perfect every time? no, but we are focused on trying to see that next threat. that is something we are doing as a community. >> if i might add, domestic threats, we have not forgotten
the bombing of oklahoma city in 1995. while, yes, outside threats can be undertaken within the united states. with homegrown terrorists, we try to look aboard -- we try to look across the board. >> are you seeing any increase in those numbers, the number of those groups not related to islamic extremists, but more homegrown? >> to a certain extent, it is cyclical. there are groups who may lose their leaders. either they are incarcerated or have passed. the capabilities of that group, in order to undertake an
attack, would the diminished. we have seen that off and on. we seen that many of the radical groups or extremist groups do not want to be associated with the lone wolves and will push them out. if you have surveillance or understand what is happening, a substantial extremist group having someone around them would present a special challenge. >> we are seeing a proliferation in north africa of sharia chapters. they seem folk used more on local and regional issues -- they seem focused more on local and regional issues in those particular countries and less inclined, at least at this point, to promote attacks elsewhere. although that is always a possibility. so we will watch these groups as they evolve in their objectives. >> thank you. >> let me thank you, everyone, on behalf of this committee for your service to this country, for your presence here today, for your testimony. and for those of you who did not have a chance to respond, we look forward to seeing you in the committee on some of these issues. we will recess and reconvene directly to our skiff right down the hall at the call of the
chair. so thank you and this committee is recessed. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the house budget committee will mark up paul ryan's but more morning. you can see live coverage on our companion network. members are expected to work on the proposal into the evening. president obama returns to capitol hill to meet with house republicans tomorrow and senate republicans on thursday. friday, he travels to the argon
national laboratory near chicago to talk about energy and climate change. it is staffed by more than 1000 scientists and engineers. >> chuck schumer says he is optimistic about coming up with a bipartisan bill expanding the background check system for gun purchases. he spoke as the senate judiciary committee passed a different version of a background checks bill. it involves legislation on school safety. this is 40 minutes. >> i'm glad to see we have a number of senators here. we can get started. i appreciate those who come in here because we have -- we can continue the committee meeting we had last week. i look forward to our concluding our committee consideration of these important items.
last thursday, we had a bipartisan vote for the soft illegal trafficking firearms act as 54. some law enforcement strongly favor that bill because of the problems they were facing with the gangs and cartels and others getting weapons. that was the first legislative vote on domestic violence since the newtown tragedy. i thank them for their support. i thank all of you, both sides of the aisle, for the efforts to move forward. the white house call for action last week had an important bipartisan step that takes on the various -- the very serious problems of drug -- of gun trafficking. hand the signing of the violence against women reauthorization act, the president gave the bill a big
step, real progress. he knows that bill would crack down on people buying guns and turning around and pawning them off to dangerous criminals. it is the same position law enforcement has taken. i want to continue to make progress on other bills aimed at reducing violence in the country. we have strong support from several leading law enforcement organizations on the gun trafficking bill, including the fraternal order of cheese, cities chiefs association, federal officers association, various organizations, black law enforcement executives, police executive research, the naacp and so on.
so we will continue with the three remaining on gun violence. the proposal to those loopholes in the background check system for firearm purposes. senator feinstein's bill for the assault weapons ban. i hope we can get them all out of the committee by the end of this week. after remarks by senator grassley, we will turn to senator schumer for committee consideration of his bill to close loopholes in the background check system. we have to suspend -- even though we were on senator feinstein's bill, we have to suspend that as a major meeting of the intelligence committee at the moment. she has to be there. so, senator grassley. >> i will pass the opportunity to make a general statement. i will wait until senator schumer presents his bill. then i will speak about that bill. is that ok? >> we have before us s374,
senator schumer's bill. senator schumer, i yield to you. >> i want to thank you for the opportunity to consider this piece of legislation and the other important pieces of legislation you brought before this committee. i do not want to say too much, because the chairman has asked us to keep our statements short and because i am working on compromise legislation. the fixed gun checks contains my ideal approach to expanding background checks to all gun sales, a concept over 90% of americans support. it is not the only way to do it. i've been talking and continue to talk with colleagues across the political spectrum and across the aisle about a compromise approach, and i remain optimistic that we will be able to roll one out. soy're not 100% there yet, for purposes of this committee's markup, i have circulated my own bill, while we finalize a
bipartisan compromise. i have a statement about the bill i will put in the record with the chairman's approval, with numerous letters of support. for now, i will highlight it does two critical things -- helps get states into the database and requires background checks for all gun sales. >> the senator has a right to substitute. i would assume we accept the substitute -- of course the bill would be open -- accept the substitute to his bill, and then it would be open to amendment, and before i yield to the senator, i know we have senator franken, senator schumer, senator hatch, senator flake, so that amendment is accepted, and senator grassley? >> i want to speak about my objections to senator schumer's bill, and at the end of my
statement i have got questions i would like to ask senator schumer. i oppose the bill. the first point goes to process. when this first was listed on the agenda, it was a listing of findings, so it was not ready for markup then. the language is now changed as the substitute implies. i do not think it is still ready for markup. we are marking it up anyway. we were told that there was such a widespread support for universal background checks that a bipartisan bill would be on its way to passage. instead, three of the four senators involved in those
discussions do not endorse the bill that is now before us. i sense from senator schumer that he is hoping that that can still happen. the bill we are on is similar to a bill that senator schumer introduced in the previous congress. let's start with the big-picture problems that i find with it. first, as a witness stated at the hearings, there's no way to enforce a requirement of
universal background checks without implementing a gun registration. i acknowledge senator schumer says the federal law prevents such a registry. but federal law can be changed by federal law. this would be federal law requires the federal licensed dealer to keep a registration record of the transfer. mass shootings would continue to occur despite the universal background checks. criminals will continue to steal guns and buy them illegally to circumvent the requirement.
when that happens, we will be back again debating whether gun registration is needed, and when registration fails, the next move will be gun confiscation. it was concluded earlier this year with respect to universal background checks that effectiveness depends on requiring gun registration. he noted that the largest sources of how criminals obtain guns are through straw purchases and theft. he wrote that would likely become larger. this bill would unnecessarily burden private sales. i think it has unintended consequences. the law already requires background checks for sales by licensed dealers. we are told criminals do not get
guns because of current background checks. we are told when we seek to purchase guns, background checks do not prevent them, but criminals still get guns. they obtain an because they do not receive them because they do not comply with background checks. -- they up tame -- they obtain them because they do not receive comply with background checks. they would be driven even more to control straw purchases and theft, just as a national institute of justice officials said. my next point, and this goes to
the details of the bill, the mental health provisions have been eliminated. we have professor david, one of the witnesses, who pointed out the flaws in that language during the last congress. many other flaws remain. the bill greatly restricts the rights of law-abiding citizens. the bill does not permit a temporary transfer in the home. a gun owner cannot bring a new gun to a friend's house and let him handle it. if a gun over -- gun owner and a friend returned from a shooting range, the friend cannot handle the owner's gun to show him how better to clean it. an owner can transfer his gun to a friend at a licensed shooting
range or while hunting. if they go target shooting, the owner cannot let the french use his gun. those are some of the problems. on top of that, a gun safety instruction would be rendered in possible in many situations by this legislation. the training could occur in a target range. many of the classes take place at schools, offices, sporting goods stores, and other locations. and then after those glasses, only at the end does a class go to a shooting range for fire instruction. gun safety instructors could not offer the class room component of the course anywhere but a shooting range or at the instructor's home. the most troublesome individual provisions of the bill, this is a personment that
who's gone was lost or stolen hast reported in 24 hours. a problem with this goes way beyond the short period of time that is allowed to report. for one thing, it would be a burden that applies only to lawful gun owners and not to the criminal. it shall be unlawful for any person who lawfully possesses or owns a firearm to fail the report -- to report the loss. there is no requirement that a person who unlawfully owns a gun report a loss. a law-abiding citizen who forgets commits a felony. this provision poses a major threat to freedom. in america, we prohibit criminal actions, although that limits freedom, it does so much less
than a law that criminalizes non action. only a few classes of people have an obligation there, police officers and doctors. ordinary citizens do not have that requirement. one very limited exception is filing a tax return. took a constitutional amendment to give the government the power to mandate that requiring people to report lost or stolen guns is a good idea. many if not most gun owners do so. making it a federal offense not to take affirmative action is a legitimate question. i wonder what constitutional authority congress has to make people take inaction such as this or face criminal penalty. maybe some of my colleagues will engage the senator on that point. i know the views of market, he s
the father of a young son, james, murdered in newtown. he said he is not willing to entertain the conversation until congress implements solutions to improve the database. until you fix the database, you will not solve anything, and of ". he says, these are not universal and never will it be. that word is to give people the sense they solve a problem. i agree with the letter writer. we heard testimony that hundreds of thousands of mental health records of prohibited persons in a single state have not been provided to the and i c.s. -- nics. we should make sure laws are
enforced before we enact new ones. as i said to the senator, i have three questions i would like to ask him. i think they take short answers. i am not doing this to extend it out but to get clarification. >> just for a moment, i have to step out. i will give the gavel to senator schumer. i will be right back. >> just a minute. what if a person who misplaced a gun, does a 24-hour. applied. apply?
>> you are required to report it. i put in the ideal bill that law enforcement and others want. we are willing to negotiate and compromise on those. i am certain that even under this proposal, if it is a 24- hour period, if you think it is lost, you do not have to report it. if you know it is lost, you have to. >> i said originally i did not think the bill was ready. how does law enforcement benefit from simply reporting a gun is lost or stolen without specific identifying information? >> the more identifying information, the better. as we know, 90% of the guns that cause crimes in the city come from out of state.
90%. we can have whatever laws we want that will not do much good. the purchasers and everybody else go to other states. the best way to figure out how these purchasers are working to trace the guns. if a gun is reported lost or stolen, it helps law enforcement in the tracing process. they sing -- they think so. >> i was worried about the cost for the additional federal and local law enforcement who will take reports of lost or stolen guns. has that been taken into consideration behind your legislation? >> the whole system and is paid for by the federal government. in the provisions of our bill and the provisions of any compromise, and i think they are in the provisions senator gramm has introduced, there are
incentives for the states to complete their records. they get funding to do that. >> have you taken into consideration if a person reports to the police that the gun is stolen but the officer misplaces beef -- the form, -- >> i am sure we can do with that situation. there are all kinds of situations where we do not hold the person liable. i want to make a few brief points here. look, the bottom line is the brady law, by almost universal agreement has been extremely successful. without infringing on the rights of legitimate gun owners. i go to gun clubs in the rural parts of my states. .
i talked to the folks. i understand their view that the second amendment is often treated differently than the third and fourth. i am sympathetic to that. but i asked them, as the brady law interfered with your right to bear arms in any way? they say, absolutely not. almost all of them are for it. almost all of them. all we are doing here is extending the success of the brady law to the areas it does not cover. we are using the same exact system of reporting. this idea that this will lead to national registration or confiscation, i have to tell you, that means the arguments here. the bill explicitly says there is no registration, explicitly says no confiscation. better than that, we have a track record of history. we have the exact same system that is used to being
implemented for gun shows and other types of transactions. not a whit has anyone including the nra said this is a system of registration. they are not opposing it. i do not see anyone putting in legislation to repeal the brady law. we do the same exact thing. we do the same exact reporting system as the brady law now does for guns that are bought at an ffl and we do it for gun shows and the most burgeoning area of gun sales, the internet. i am working on compromise with my colleagues. they have some of the same concerns you do on family exceptions, a gun safety trading, and i am sure we can work those out, even though law enforcement would prefer us not to.
all i am saying, it is sad. right after new town, there was a view that maybe the right place that we could all come together on was background checks. background checks, unlike some of the other proposals here, which i support, do not interfere with the law-abiding right to bear arms. they say a felon, someone mentally ill, should not get that done. everyone says, that is what we should do. the argument my colleagues make that there will still be people who get around a lot, that is true. this will not be a perfect bill. but it will reduce crimes, 1.7 million people went into ffl's and were denied a gun.
gun crime has declined since this was enacted. i wish you would show the same view on other guns. you do not use that on any other law, terrorism, robbery, murder, money laundering. you never see the argument that the bad people, we should not have lost because the that people will get around them anyway. only on this issue do you. makes no sense in my judgment with all due respects. -- respect. we will find a compromise that will involve people who have different views than i do. pray we debatend the rational parts of this bill and not say it will lead to confiscation. there is nothing in this bill or nothing in the history since the brady law was passed that indicates a little truth to that
argument. >> go ahead, senator. >> no amendments, just a 10 second bottle. i thought i was trying to be very authoritative and not emotional about registration when i cited the testimony before this committee for the publications from the national institute of justice. i will stop there and defer to any other members. i said all i will say on these subjects. >> are there any amendments to the senator's bill? if not, the clerk will call role on senator schumer's legislation as amended by his amendment. >> aye.
substitute, the s. 146 -- s146 is amended with the substitute offered. >> i will offer an amendment but i will not speak about it now. i think i will be able to vote for the bill. i will say a few words. i work closely with the senators on this substitute. i think them for agreeing to changes that i requested. i also have one amendment i want to bring up. the substitute reduces a new war effort -- a new authorization from the proposed $400 million a year to a more reasonable $40 million a year. this is a $600 million reduction in the cost of the bill over the 10-year window. the secure our schools program
was authorized in the year 2000 following the columbine tragedy. it authorizes funds, supplemented by 50-50 funds, to make security-related improvements to schools. the original bill included a $30 million authorization. this substitute provides a modest increase to $40 million, which is essentially adjustment for inflation during that period of time. further, the substitute amendment retains the current 50-50 matching requirement to ensure localities awarded funds under the program have a share in the program's success. the substitute amendment also made a change to the campus safety action pour often -- portion of the section. removes the authorization, a previous version of the bill
included. instead of new spending, this bill authorizes a use of funds through the program under the grant program. necessary.e is finally, the substitute includes an amendment that i circulated increasing accountability. i fought majors for the grant program. this is an amendment i have added to a number of bills and had received bipartisan support, including the trafficking victims' protection act. it is in response to the grant programs that have oversight over the years. it is important to ensure grantees are careful with the taxpayers' dollars. i have one amendment i offered to address duplication and overlapping found in the justice
department grant programs. the amendment will ensure these dollars help the most communities possible, the largest number possible. it insures -- ensures the agencies at the justice department coronate prior to awarding grants. this is a recommendation to reduce duplication and overlap. i urge my colleagues to support that. my amendment will strengthen the bill further, provided my amendment is adopted, i am prepared to vote in support of the legislation to help communities. >> the amendment you have, han1234? >> oll13112.
>> sorry. i thought it was the -- >> i think i will put a statement on the record. >> this form, -- this one, -- >> that is in the substitute. >> it is already in it? >ok. oll13112 i understand would mandate the cops can -- cost grant. must insure the applicant does not receive funding for the same purpose for another grant
program. state and local law-enforcement rely on public safety community policing grants, lifesaving equipment provides necessary training. i understand to get what they need to do the kind of trading they need -- training they need, they sometimes have to apply the multiple grant program. they are not getting the same money for the same thing over and over again. but one grant might provide for one part of the trade and another might provide for another, and so on. i am wondering. i know what the senator does not want, duplicates. i do not either. i wonder if the senator would be
willing to withhold the spirit it will be awhile before you get to the floor. i wouldn't do anything. we can see what we can do to work on this to make sure -- i do not want to have a case where somebody applying for a grant, between the police and fire departments and others, or the ems, because they have to apply for two or three grants, that they not be blocked. >> what i want to prevent his having an agency apply wherever they can for one purpose -- to get it from 3 different services. limits the number of people who can benefit from the total dollars coming from washington. we have some evidence that has happened. with a single purpose in mind. >> i am on the senator's side on that.
i was wondering if we could look at this and crafted in such a way that we do what you want, but that we do not block police while they respond to something. it probably also have ems respond, and not be blocked from doing the train together. >> if i agree with you and if you understand if we do not work something out, it will slow this whole thing down on the floor of the senate, i am willing to do that. i hope -- we have all been caught up in this procedure. then you find out is not quite as move. >> i do work with him. try to understand, [indiscernible] what if a school district is
looking for some help here and they want to cover 10 schools and they get a grant from one of these programs that covers half the schools, are you suggesting they cannot go from another program to get the other half cover? >> the answer to that is we see it as an effort of people taking every opportunity they can to get a guarantee they will get some money, and also to get more if they possibly can. so you do not spread out the dollars and help as many school districts as possible. that is the problem i see. >> i assume the awarding of the grant would take into consideration, whether completing the grant in one school tricked or giving to another is the appropriate thing to do. >> we are trying to facilitate communication with in the justice department of these various programs. it is almost so simple.
but you cannot put this in that language. why do you not pickup the phone and talk to each other once in a while? >> what kind of sense of tradition do you have? [laughter] i can assure the senator, and he knows i always keep my word. i will work with him on the spirit -- this. >> we will go head as you suggest there and i want everybody here to realize this is not some scheme shot fought off. this comes from a government accountability offer. >> i am on your side. i just want to make sure we do not have the unintended consequence. >> let's vote the bill out. i will vote for it. i was not going to vote for it without this amendment being
adopted. i will go ahead based on your good faith. >> senator gramm? >> there it goes. >> [indiscernible] >> it takes about a half second . >> i just wanted to reinforce. i like most of your schemes. i am in the same position. i had an amendment i was going to offer. i want to work to dedicate some of this money to resource officers at schools. she is very open-minded. we will do that on the floor. i will vote for her amendment with the understanding we will try to follow some of this money into school resources. >> what i have proposed doing is that we call. several senators have indicated to me they like to speak on some of these. i will stay here as long as
an appropriation bill. it has what i would consider -- and we haven't been completely through it -- some things that are totally counterintuitive to where we find ourselves in terms of spending money and before i could grant a unanimous consent -- and i will as soon as we get through the bill, i plan on granting a unanimous consent. but i want to know, we just heard the majority leader say he can't understand why somebody wants to read this bill. talk about in excess of a trillion dollars. that's one of the problems, one of the reasons we're $17 trillion in debt is people don't read the bills. so i have -- and i also want to say to my friend from alabama, i have greatest praise for you. you know some of the heartburns i have in this but we knew that was coming from the house. but to not allow us to time -- the time to assess what you have produced by being able to read and study the bill is -- is really going against the best
traditions of the senate but it's also going against common sense. how do we know whether we want to offer amendments unless we've been able to read the bill? are we just blindly to say whatever you want to do, we're going to approve it because we have a deadline at the end of this month? i'm willing to do what is necessary to make sure we get a continuing resolution. but i'm not willing to do that blindly. and so i'm going to study this bill. we've got three members' staffs working full time, we have had since last night, investigating, looking at this bill, and i won't go into the details of the things we've seen so far but we at least ought to have an opportunity before being rushed into granting a unanimous consent to go forward and plain on allowing that, but i'm not going to allow it until i know what the agreement is going to be in terms of amendments and whether or not even if we've red
the bill -- read the bill and had have some good ideas we'll be allowed to offer them. this is an appropriation bill. we ought to be allowed to offer amendments with our ideas on ways to save this country money and increase its efficiency and effectiveness and still meet the deadline that the chairwoman outlined. i hope you will understand why we're not in any mood right now to grant it until we actually know what we're talking about. and to ask anything less of us, you're asking us to deny the very oath that we took when we came here. so with that, i would yield the floor and thank my colleague, john mccain, for being down here. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, i intend to object, along with the senator from oklahoma, and i think he made the case. i would remind my colleagues that a week ago, senator coburn and i sent a letter to senator reid and senator mcconnell,
with copies to senator mikulski and senator shelby, and we stated in one sentence, "we write to inform you of our intention to object to entering into a time agreement for floor consideration of a continuing resolution until we've had at least 72 hours to review its contents." that's -- that's what we wrote. that's what we asked for. and i would remind my colleagues again, it's a 597-page bill of over a trillion dollars that we got at 9:00 last night. is there anyone who has had time to read this entire bill of 597 pages long? and we're talking about a trillion dollars? a trillion dollars and we are holding up the united states senate over not having since 9:00 last night until 3:30 this afternoon to examine a 587-page bill, over a trillion dollars.
now, and what i've already found -- what we've already found -- and we haven't finished and we hope to be finished within a few hours examining this legislation -- is the most egregious pork-barrel spending at a time of sequestration. this is -- i find it mind-boggling. you know, we spent three weeks in december on the floor of this senate doing the fiscal year 2013 defense authorization bill. there are provisions in the c.r. that directly were prohibited -- prohibited -- in the defense authorization bill. now, i respect the knowledge of the senator from alabama and the senator from maryland on defense issues, but we spent three weeks and hundreds of hours of hearings and amendments and markup and we said, for example, that there would be no money for
guam until we have a -- a coherent strategy laid out by the administration as to how we were going to implement the base realignment. i won't go -- but the fiscal year 2013 national defense authorization act prohibited spending -- expending that money. now, what have -- what have they crammed into this 587-page bill? $120 million for a public regional health laboratory and civil juacivilian wastewater ims on guam. why? why? i ask my friend from alabama, why would you directly contradict the authorization bill that was just passed that said no money would be given to guam for these purposes until such time as we had developed the strategy for the base realignment in guam? is it because the senator from alabama, the senator from maryland know something more than the again authorization -- authorizers did, that we had
debate and discussion and authorization of and we specifically prohibited it? so here we are, we have had to not deploy an aircraft carrier because of sequestration, we have had to cut down on flying hours, we've had to reduce maintenance, we've had to make all kinds of tough decisions as to the men and women who are serving and the equipment and operations and maintenance. so what have we already found out? what have we already found out in this bill, and i want to assure my colleagues, i am not making this up. i am not making this up. okay? $5 million additional for the national guard youth challenge program. now, i think the national guard youth challenge program is a pretty -- a pretty worthwhile project, but while we're having to keep a carrier from deployment, $5 million for the national guard star base youth program. $154 million for army, navy and
air force -- quote -- "alternative energy research initiatives." this type of research has developed such shining examples as the department of the navy's purchase of 450,000 gallons of alternative fuels for $12 million, over $26 per gallon. $18 million for unspecified -- quote -- "industrial preparedness." $16 million for parkinson's disease research. that's on defense, my friends. that's not out of health and human services, it's out of defense. $16 million for neurofibro mitosis research. $16 million for hiv-aids research, which is a worthy cause, taken out of defense. $9 million for unspecified radar research. $567 million for unrequested medical research. $20 million for university research initiatives. $7 million for civil air patrol program increase.
$45...-th.the list goes on and n and we haven't finished. how in the world, how in the world do you have a provision -- quote -- "for an incentive program that directs the department of defense to overpay on contracts by an additional 5% if the contractor is a native hawaiian owned company?" how, how in the world is this justified when -- in these times of sequestration? i note the presence of our leader on the floor and i want to assure the leader, with all respect, that this is a 587-page bill of over a trillion dollars. we got it at 9:00 last night. i hope that in a few hours that we will be able to finish examining this bill. but what we've found so far is -- is -- is so egregious, is so egregious that it's hard to
imagine that anybody, in light of the sequestration and the damage that it does to the lives of the men and women who are serving in the military, could have added these kinds of provisions is, frankly, beyond anything i think that i have ever seen in the years that i've served in the united states senate. i yield to the -- to the distinguished majority leader. and before i do, i object. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: object to what? mr. president, through the chair to my friend from arizona, it's a 587-page bill that has been available to the public because this -- the vast, vast majority of this bill is identical to what the house already passed. identical. so, i mean, he and his staff and the senator from oklahoma have had days and days to look this over. now, mr. president, i want to make sure everyone understands,
i can only do so much. i mean, i'm really -- you know, i -- i try to be not too sensitive, but the senator from observinoklahoma seems to have m with -- i assume he's referring to me, he's referring to durbin, he's referring to schumer and murray. here's what he said on sunday on one of the shows. "the senate's not nearly as dysfunctional as it's made out to be, coburn said. our problem in the senate is the leadership in the senate." well, i don't know if he's referring to senator mcconnell. i don't know who he's referring to, but one day he should look in the mirror. now, mr. president, i want to try to get along here. the -- the vast majority of the stuff that's in this bill came from the house of representatives. it's been available for days. i can't remember what day we got
this. i think last wednesday or thereabouts. so it's been many days. i -- i have -- i know senator mccain very well. he and i came to the house together. we came to the senate together. and i understand how he feels about these issues, and i don't blame him for being upset about some of the things in this bill. but it's not our fault. we're trying to get a bill to fund the government. and what we need to do is get on the bill. i'm criticized around here for not allowing amendments to be offered. we can't have amendments offered until we get on the bill. so i think it would be much better if we could get on the bill and people want to offer amendments, it's kind of jump ball here. we have a hundred senators and there are a few of them want to offer amendments. well, we can't dictate what amendments are going to be offered before we even get on the bill. so i would hope that my friend from arizona would take some time with his staff, look over the bill that's been around since last wednesday or thereabouts and decide when we
can get on the bill. i mean, the time's really wasting. we have to finish this and the budget before we leave here for the easter vacation. now, we can do it this week, we can do it next week or we can do it the week after. we've got to get this done. and i'm not trying to fight with anybody, but, as i said, i do have some sensitivities about my friend from oklahoma continually berating the leadership in the senate. and i've come to the rationalization maybe he's talking about his own leadership. i don't know. mr. mccain: from that, i yield for a question, i guess. first of all, i -- i appreciate very much that the majority leader's responsibility, in fact, is to make sure that the trains run and that we take up and pass legislation and there
are many times when i have to say that the majority leader has been frustrated by some events and individuals that arouses my sympathy for the responsibility that he has and his inability to carry out those. i would point out to my friend from nevada that we really just got this bill last night, and to rely on the fact of a house bill to be our guide when we know that there were many provision provisions -- at least some provisions that were added that we've already found in the senate version of the bill, i would hope that he would understand that we just need a little more time to try to get through the entire bill. and i hope that will be sooner rather than later. and then we can, as the majority leader has said, be open for amendments. i just hope that the majority leader might understand our
point of view that this is over a trillion-dollar bill, it's 587 pages, and for us to take sort of an act of faith that this is the exact bill that came out of the house obviously is not the case. so, again, i appreciate -- mr. reid: will the senator yield? mr. mccain: yes. could i just finally say, sir, i appreciate the majority leader's responsibilities, i appreciate his frustration. i hope that he will understand ours and we'll try and get this done -- move as quickly as possible. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: for many, many years, for decades, senator mcconnell has been a watchdog of what goes on with spending in this country. i expect it of him and i don't say that in a negative fashion. so i have no problem with senator mccain taking whatever time is necessary to look over this legislation so he feels comfortable moving on it. and then if he has amendments to offer, move on to these amendments. so i have no complaint about
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> do you believe that our conventional forces today would be able to execute a deterrent mission that is currently performed by our nuclear weapons? >> i think in some cases conventional forces are capable of executing, of producing a military result that would be similar to what a nuclear weapon could do. the question about deterrent effect i think is an interesting one. in some cases, then yes, i believe that strong conventional forces clearly improve and increase our overall deterrent
just like a number of other factors do, but i believe that nuclear weapons continue to occupy a unique place in our -- in our defense strategy and in our national security and i think in global perceptions. i think they continue to occupy a unique place. >> from your response, i would assume that you would agree that we need to maintain the balance that we currently have been with our nuclear dernt in balance with our conventional forces. is it a good balance right now? are we at a good point? >> i think an interesting thing has happened. i believe that we are. i think that they are complementry, i would say. and what has happened, i believe, since the cold war, is
that our increases in our conventional capables, in the overwhelming conventional power projection that we can bring to bear around the world has made a difference in the role of our nuclear deterrent and i think that we have been able to narrow the role of that nuclear deterrent accordingly, but i think as we go forward, that will be an interesting question to watch whether our conventional forces remain strong. >> but at current levels, you believe that it is a good balance? if those levels would drop with conventional forces or with nuclear, but the focusing on the conventional, if we see the nuclear side drop, if we don't maintain the arsenal that we have now, or if we continue to limit its, can the conventional forces pick up the slack? >> i think in some cases the answer is yes.
i don't think they can across the board. i don't think that they substitute for the effect of the nuclear deterrent. however, i do think that conventional forces do, in fact, make a difference in terms that we are no longer in a position where we have to threaten nuclear use in order to overcome a conventional deficiency. that has made a difference. i also think that we need -- saying that they are in some kind of balance today doesn't mean in my view that there isn't some opportunity to perhaps go below new start levels. >> would you like to elaborate on that? >> i think there are still, as i said earlier from my military perspective, i think we have in the deliberate path way we have been on with the russians over
the years in reducing the number of weapons that can potentially threaten the united states or our allies and we have done that in a way that has maintained stability and in a way that has been verifyable, i think that has provided benefit to us from a military perspective and i think that if there are additional opportunities in the future, we ought to explore those. >> would you recommend going below the new start levels unilateraly? >> i would not. i would not. i think again, the formula for success has been that we have done this with the russians and i think that is the formula for continued success and i believe that certainly secretary panetta was very public about that. i've seen some correspondence from secretary hagel where he has agreed with that. the president mentioned in the state of the union address that he wanted to work with the russians. i think that is a consistent theme that we have seen across
the board. >> it's been suggested by opponents to our nuclear program that the program is on a hair trigger. do you believe that there is any risk that is caused by our red -- readiness posture right now? >> we go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that our nuclear deterrent force is both safe and secure and i believe that it is safe and i believe that it is secure. it is also under the positive control of the president of the united states. >> do you believe that it makes our country safer? >> i believe that in today's global environment, that having a portion of our force in a red-to-use posture for the president -- ready-to-use
posture for the president i think that will vary as the world situation changes. >> thank you. general alexander, if i could just ask you a brief question. the defense authorization bill said that congress should be consulted about any changes do the u.c.p. as it relates to cyber command. would you commit to providing this committee, this panel with justification for elevating to a u.s. cyber command? >> absolutely. i think right now the secretary and others are looking at that and i know that the intent is to share everything with this committee before they take any action and make sure the committee is comfortable with any actions. right now it is just in the discussion phases. the new secretary has to look at
it. i think that will take some time and they will bring it back. >> ok. thank you very much. thank you mr. chairman . senator blumenthal is next. >> thank you for your service and your extraordinary contribution to our defense readiness and our nation. perhaps i could begin, general alexander, by asking you a general question, which perplexes me. we agree, i think all of us on this committee agree with you that the threat of cyber attack and cyber interference with key parts of our nation's infrastructure, private companies that are so vital to our national offense are a clear and present danger to our nation and yet the nation as a whole seems unaware, certainly unalarmed by this threat.
and i know that you have thought a lot about these issues, have spoken to us about them privately as well as publicly and i wonder if you have some suggestions for us as to how we or you or the president can make the nation more aware about them. obviously the president has spoken about them but i wonder whether you have some thoughts for us. i know it may seem as though it is in the political realm but really in the educational task that i think we face together to make the country aware of the real threat physically and otherwise of cyber attack. >> senator, thank you. what you bring out is the key, i think, to really moving the legislation and other things forward. that is educating people on the threat. accurately educating them on the technical side. what does this mean? what is a cyber attack?
what are the effects? what's going on? what are we losing and what should we do? there are many reasons that industry and other players are concerned about legislation and other things. part of it is the cost, the bureaucracy to come in. part of it is addressing a very complex issue that at times it is easier to ignore. intellectual property. the fact that they lose it is an issue. but for the country, for the nation as a whole, this is our future. that intel eaktchal property from an economic perspective represents future wealth and we're losing some of that. >> you've referred to it i think as the greatest single transfer -- legal transfer of wealth in the history of the world. >> you know, that -- exactly. i'm concerned that if we don't stop it, it will hurt our nation significantly. there is two parts to stopping it. one is fixing our
infrastructure. working together with industry and government to stop these attacks and then the second, as was brought out by mr. donnelly, perhaps our administration and others reaching out to those countries and stopping them. i think the second part, we have to step back to the first part and look at how we educate. i do believe that we have to be more public in some of this. and we have to diffuse the alarming stuff that comes out on civil liberties and privacy and have a candid set of discussions on what it means protecting cyberspace. i think that is often lost. often it is just thrown out there as a way of stopping progress when what will happen, what i'm really concerned about is a significant event happens and then we rush to legislation. we have the time now think our way through and get this right. we should ebt people. we're pushing same thing and we'll help in any way we can,
senator. >> thank you, general kehler, if i may ask you, you have stated and i'm quoting it is essential to provide sufficient resources to replace our ohio class ballistic missile submarines, as you're aware, the f.y. 2013 budget defered procurement of the first ohio replacement boat by two years. and i would like to -- i would like you to share with the committee to the extent that you can whether 12 submarines are still required. i assume that they are. and how in general terms a requirement like this is established and what we're going to do to achieve that goal. >> senator, we established the requirement by looking into the
future and making a number of judgments about the future. it is what we do with every weapons system that we put on the books. in this case, though, i think we've started from the assessment that the value of a submarine-based deterrent as we go to the future, will remain as high as it is today. and then, the question doesn't become if you need to do it in my mind. it becomes when do you need to do it? and so we've worked this very carefully with the navy. it is ultimately the navy's assessment of the current performance of the existing submarines and their longevity that is driving the answer to this question. much like any other military platform, the amount of use that gets put on it determines its lifetime. in the case of submarines, which i don't know much about, but a
number of submariners who worked for me remind me constantly that it is the cycles on a submarine. it is a harsh environment first of all and then you get the pressure, no pressure, reduced pressure, etc. and so that does things to metallurgy. it does things to fittings and it does things to the internal workings of a submarine that ultimately cause them to question the continued safety of being able to cycle down and up. the navy tells us that we're going to reach that. it is not going to be a bright line in the sand that on today they are all ok. tomorrow they are not. there is a zone that they are going to enter and sliding these an additional two years to the right puts them in the zone. my view is it is not prudent for us to slide them further. unless of course the navy steps forward and says no, we can go
another couple of years. i don't know that they are going to say that. i don't expect that they will. but i think again, it is not a bright line in the sand. i think the issue for us will be 12 looks like the right number as we go to the future. that can always be adjusted as we go to the future. it seems to be the right balance between capability and cost and that is going to be important as we go to the future, no question about that. so on balance, my view is that we do need to go forward with that. we need to go forward with the long-range strike aircraft as well and we need the complete the analysis of alternatives on the future of the intercontinental ballistic missiles. it is not a decision that we need to make today. >> there is no question right now that 12 is the right number? >> i don't have a question that that is -- that's -- i would say that is a minimum number that we sit there looking at today. i don't know if the number gets larger than that and that will depend i believe on a number of
factors as we go forward. >> and when you say that sliding to two years puts us in the zone, could you explain what you mean? >> the first of the ohio class submarines will begin to reach the end of their service lives just about the time their replacements come online. it's a dance that we're working. by the way, we're working this with the united kingdom as well. they are looking to piggy back on their own replacement. this is a dance the navy is doing with the u.k. as well as with the needs that stratcom has put on them. >> thank you. my time has expired. perhaps i can follow up with some questions and also to general alexander if we can explore the education of the public which is so vital to the work really that you're doing and that we're seeking to assist you to do. thank you very much.
thank you both. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator sessions? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership in the important commands that you have and both of which are extremely important to america. the defense department acknowledges, general kehler, that russia is increasing its reliance on nuclear weapons and that the pace and scope of china's nuclear programs as well as the strategy behind their plans raises questions about their future intentions and the number of weapons they intend to have. likewise india and pakistan are modernizing their nuclear forces and the french president recently commented that nuclear weapons are essential for france and of course north korea continues to expand its capabilities while iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons.
so i'm not aware of any country reducing their nuclear stockpiles except perhaps us as we continue to look at that. let me ask you, what are the strategic implications of these trends of enhanced nuclear weapons around the world? >> senator, they do have implications for us. i think first of all, when we look at assessing other nuclear arsenals around the world, what we do is we look at intent and capability. i think none of us believe that the russians intend to attack the united states. i think we don't believe the chinese intend to attack the united states, etc. however, they have the capability to do so, and as long as they do, we have an obligation to deter against such an attack, and that means that we have to be mindful of the capabilities they are bringing to bear. we note their modernization and
certainly note their numbers. and i think, at least again from my military perspective, arms control and arms reductions have helped us in terms of limiting or reducing in some cases the threat that we face. we get to a point, here, though, where as we work toward a goal, if the eventual goal is zero, you get to a point where other arsenals are beginning to bear on this equation. >> i couldn't agree more about that. i think it is unimaginable that if we go to zero, that every other country in the world would go to zero and that would place us at a strategic disadvantage of great magnitude to not be allowed to happen. could the disparity in public
vision of countries and their nuclear weapons, most of these i mentioned more robust than the united states, could that make our allies nervous? i'm concerned about the discussions that we're having about further reducing our nuclear weapons to a level i think is dangerous. what those discussions -- impact they might be having on our allies around the world like japan and south korea that have relied on the u.s. nuclear umbrella for the past seven decades. if our arsenal and therefore the nuclear umbrella we provide continues to shrink, i'm concerned that our partners will look to create their own and this is the very definition of proliferation, it seems to me. as you may have seen, the sunday new york times reported following north korea's third
nuclear test, some influential south koreans are now beginning to open the call for the south to develop its own nuclear arsenal. do our allies -- is this a factor that we should consider as we evaluate the level of nuclear weapons that we want to maintain? >> yes, sir, i believe it is a factor you have to consider. >> in a message to the united states in february, twunal, president obama said "i intend to modernize or replace the triad of nuclear delivery systems, a heavy boredom, an air launch missile,an an icbm, and maintain the united states rocket motor industrial base.
senator inouye, feinstein, cochran and alexander president obama reaffirmed this commitment stating i recognize that nuclear modernization requires investment for the long-term. that is my commitment to the congress. that is my -- that my administration will pursue these programs and capabilities for as long as i'm president. can you tell us where we are on the efforts to modernize our triad and our nuclear infrastructure and are we on pace to comply with the president's commitment? >> sir, i can tell you that through the submission of the 2013 president's budget, with some exceptions that i told you about, there were parts of the business that the program didn't close, if you'll recall that, excuse me, from
last year. but the 2013 budget continued the modernization efforts across the board. some were later than others but it continued the modernization efforts. the 2013 budget turned into a c.r. i don't know what the remainder of the year is going to bring to us in terms of the 2013 piece of this. the 2014 piece we have worked pretty hard over the last year to structure it so it would also continue all of the things that you mentioned here. i don't know what is going to happen with the 2014 piece given the additional reductions that will come from sequestration. i can't tell you today what it looks like. i can't tell you it is not going to happen. we don't have a budget on the hill yet that describes our position. >> do you believe financially wesht -- we should follow through with the commitments that the president had and this is a reasonable defense posture and expenditure
for the united states? >> i believe, as the advocate for those strategic forces this continues to be a wise investment on our behalf. i do. >> in the last national defense authorization act, we articulated certain expectations of a national nuclear security administration, which manages our nuclear weapon production and the nuclear weapons council of which you are a member. with regard to the shaping and reviewing of the budget, you review the budget and through the council have input into that. specifically, our report said "the conferees expect that the nuclear weapons council not only certify as required by law that the nnsa budget as it is submitted to congress but that the nuclear weapons council also take an active role in shaping and reviewing the nsa budget as
it is prepared for submission in scomb arft negotiated with the office of management and budget during the budget review process. isn't it the, the nuclear weapons council in which you and others sit on taking an active role in shaping the budget proposal? it is really clear to me, colleagues, that the nuclear security administration and the department of energy, their role is much like a defense contractor, a boeing or lockheed. they are producing a weapons system that you have to have and utilize and you should be involved in how they manage that and the amount of money that is spent on it, i believe, or at least i think that is healthy for america. you feel good about what n.w.c. is and are we on track here to
raise it up as we intend it to give it more power? >> senator, i do feel good about where we are today in terms of insight and influence. it isn't perfect but i think that over the last year in particular, there has been a dramatic change in the working relationship between the department of defense and the department of energy and nnsa in particular over visibility into the budget and influence in shaping that budget. so again, it is not perfect. i think we're learning a lot about how we can get better at this as we go forward. i think there is more to do, but i have seen a tremendous change in the way we go about working together through the nuclear weapons council and i think it is a tremendous positive change. >> well, great. mr. chairman, i would note that my understanding is that the department of defense has not yet certified the budget. they must have some concerns about it. but it is at the o.m.d. level already and going forward.
i do think it is healthy that the defense department have real input into the production of budget for nuclear weapons. thank you. >> thank you. senator sessions. senator horano? >> thank you. thank you general kehler and general alexander for your service. general kehler. as you know, the men and women who are assigned to the missile range facility on kauai are some of the best around and the capabilities provided at this facilitated are exceptional. currently under construction, there is the assure facility i'm sure you familiar which will enhance the capabilities available for m.d.a. and the navy. if you have not visited prmaf
recently, i encourage you to go out there. i want to join you in that visit so that you can chat with the great team that we have out there and also the contractor personnel that keeps the whole place going. i would welcome your thoughts on the facility as we go forward in these economically constrained times. >> senator, i will do that. i could hear my staff back here volunteering to get on the airplane to go there. i can tell you that the entire pacific range complex that really starts on the west coast of the united states and goes to hawaii. there are other range assets in hawaii, elsewhere as well as as i know you know and then extends out and is very, very important to the united states. >> so i can expect your continuing support for the new construction that is happening for the aegis? >> yes, you can.
>> again, i note in your testimony the challenge that you're facing. i think you might have talked about this a little bit to process and analyze all of the data that are intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance platforms are providing. it is one thing to collect all of the data and we want to be sure that data is accurate and it is another as to how you are going to use that data. all of this tremendous amount of raw information that you're getting. so given the challenging budget situation that we face and the limits of the number of analysts that you have, the cost of data storage, any limits on the amount of intelligence products your consumers can effectively use, how do you solve this problem and find the balance while ensuring that we don't miss something big? >> senator, let me start and then i'm going to defer to my intelligence committee colleague
on my left because over the last 10 years i think we have learned something in combat and southwest asia and that is that it is not about the collectors as much as it is about collecting and processing. and so the more processing power we have been able to throw at the collection to make -- to have the machines make sense out of what is being collected, the better we have gotten and it has provided great insight forward forces to be able to carry out their missions. and act in ways the adversaries didn't think we could act. the question now is in the trick is to extend that globally for all of our combatant commands as we look to the future and that is something that we are looking at as we speak. so that is going to be really important and i'll defer to keith because his organization has been at the forefront, how do you use computing power to help us in this collection business?
>> senator, i think one of the things, and i'll just go back to iraq, was putting together a realtime regional gateway capability. think of this as the processing power that general kehler talks about, putting it forward with our combat troops so that they have the information they needed. i think there is a few things that you have to put on the table. first, understanding the needs of a tactical commander. what do they need to do their job? from the intelligence community perspective, that means our folks going down being in their environment, living in their environment and understanding what their needs are and then having access to all of the data that the collectors do. i think this committee and others, and some of your staff have worked hard to ensure that the censures that we have pushed their information into data storage that everybody could use. this side key. key to leveraging the power of our collectors, national, theater
and tactical to impact the tactical commander's requirements. we have made great strides in that. i know you have been up to n.s.a. hawaii. a wonderful facility. i think some of the capabilities exist there and our folks would love to walk you through those. >> so i take it that the research and development component of what you do is very critical and that we need to continue to provide resources for that in order to enable you to do what you need to do with all of this massive data that your needing to analyze. general alexander, you have talked a little bit about how important recruiting and retaining your key personnel would be and i note in your testimony that you wanted to increase the education of our future leaders by fully independent grathe cyber into our existing war college
curricula and you noted this will further the assimilation of cyber into the operational arena. i know that what you're working in is an area that needs to become fully integrated and assimilated. what are your thoughts on how long this is going to take to make sure that the curricula incorps rates cyber and that cyber is at the forefront of whatare all of our -- generals should be thinking about? >> it should be the first thing they learn and the most important. that is my view, of course. >> attempt to share that view. this is an very that we are very, very vulnerable. >> we have people at the war colleges that carry that message
forward. we have a series of courses that we have for our folks with the combat antant command staffs and all of them to understand cyber . the interesting part here is we'll get that set up, but it is key to note that every day this area changes. keeping on top of it and keeping those changes is what we really need to do and keeping people aware of those changes and the impact those changes have, that's the key part. one of the great parts about having cyber command at n.s.a. is that we can thrempling academic capabilities of n.s.a. with the military working together to ensure we have these courses that both our civilian and military people go through. we have made great strides through that. we have a whole series of courses that we can show you
that we're giving to our folks, and then when i talk publicly, i also give people insights to books that they should read. when i was a younger officer, i know i did not read all of those books that people recommended but there are some great books that we recommended they read. >> are you satisfied this assimilation is going on fast enough and that it will continue, you know, the changes occur very, very rapidly in this area. >> it is growing. not fast enough. there is a lot that we have to do, but changing some of these courses takes time. we are pushing this very hard. with a focus on those folks that first have to operate in this area. i think that part is going well. we do have the staff level courses up and we have opened it up for all of the combatant commands and we are hitting those key parts and the chairman and others have worked with the combatant commands and had these discussions for all of us sitting at the table to talk about cyber in a classified
environment. the senior officers in our military do understand that. >> you noted just now this is an area that changes very rapidly and you have to stay on top of these changes. can you talk a little bit about how you would measure effectiveness in your cybersecurity efforts and what kind of metrix would you use to determine whether we're on the right track? >> so there is two parts to measuring that. one is certifying individuals. we are developing a certification program. think about getting a flying license that our cyber operators would have to be certified to operate. that's one part. the other part is in our defense. looking at what we see in going through our cyber readiness to
see where each of our commands in the military are in defending their networks. what we have seen is a constant improvement in the cyber readiness of those networks. it is not perfect but it is growing and getting better. >> that's reassuring. i recall that you testified about how important collaboration is with the private sector. can you talk a little bit about what you see as a kind of collaboration? are we talking about collaborating on information with the private sector? collaborating on technology? and then you also said that in order for all of this to happen that the private sector would need insulation from liability. can you talk a little bit more specifically about what you mean and why the private sector needs liability protection? >> senator, the key things that they need, that we need in sharing information, is the ability for those to understand the threats as we see them, perhaps in a classified environment and what they are
seeing in threats on their networks. they are going to be looking at different portions of our network than the government loogs at. together we see more if we put those two facts together and come up with a more defensible architecture. there is that sharing information on the threats that we both see. they could be just routine malicious software that is out there. to nation state capabilities. that is one set of threats and sharing. the second part is what do you do to fix the networks and make them more defensible? here, industry and government have some great ideas in implementing those. for example, the joint information environment is just such a path forward that letsd us see threats better than we have been able to this the path. it is those kind of things that we're working on to move forward. the reason we need liability protection is the liability that
they incur because they are acting perhaps as an agent of the government and letting us know a threat is significant and allowing them to be sued in some of these areas, from my my perspective when we're asking them to do it, we're bearing the brunt of that lawsuit. we ought to give them the authority to share their information with the government, which they don't have today. >> thank you. i apologize for going over my time. i didn't see the little blue note, but thank you so much mr. chairman . >> thank you. we will put these blue notes a little bit closer to the eye contact in the future. we -- you've always maintained your courtesy so i'm sure my -- and our colleagues understand it, senator lee. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you general kehler and general alexander for joining us today and for your service to our country. both of those things are deeply
appreciate. general kehler, in june of 2010, as the senate was consideration the new start treaty, your predecessor, general chilton testified before the foreign relations committee that the force level under that treaty, meaning 1550 warheads was exactly what is needed today to provide the deterrent. did i understand your answer to senator fisher's question as being inconsistent with that? i think i did. i thought i heard you say we could go lower than that. and if that is exactly what we needed in 2010, what has changed between now and then? >> senator, i think i'm not inconsistent with that. so let me explain. the way we determine the size of
force, we don't start with the number. what we start is with the set of national security objectives. they eventually wind up eventually being military tasks. they require a certain number of weapons to achieve. when general chilton was asked that question, he took a look at the national objectives that he had at the time, the task he was asked to perform and he looked at the number of weapons that were going to be permissible under a new start treaty and said all of those match. my point is that we may have opportunities to go below that. it duct start with a number. it has to start -- doesn't start with a number. >> ok. you're not saying as of right now you're certain or confident we could go below that. you're saying it is possible based on further assessment at some point in the future? >> i think it is possible based upon assessment and national
objectives and based upon the military tasks we would be asked to achieve and i think it depends on the nature of any threat that is out there. so i think many factors go into the number. my contention is, though, like the nuclear posture review said, i support this. i think we should explore whether further reductions are possible. >> one of the reasons why i was a little bit surprised to hear you say that, though, is in light of the ambitious ongoing modernization programs that we have going on in russia and in china, and in light of the fact that we have got other countries like north korea and iran with aggressive nuclear ambitions, i would think that our risk and our threat would be on the increase and our need for those weapons would not necessarily be diminishing. am i mistaken in that regard? >> i think all of those factors need to be considered. primarily, though, yet today,
the arsenal that we had that was built in the cold war and the arsenal that the russians have represent the vast majority of the weapons that exist. >> sure. i understand that. there are a lot of countries in addition to the united states that rely on our nuclear arsenal. >> moat definitely. >> so that umbrella, if you will, extends over a number of our allies, some of which lie in close proximity to countries like iran and countries like north korea. what consequence do you think it might have if we diminish our nuclear forces even further? either through reductions or because of a failure to modernize adequately? what impact might that have on some of our allies who rely on our own nuclear capabilities to protect them and couldn't that bring about additional nuclear
proliferation? >> i think that is always a possibility. i think we would have to be mindful of that as we go forward and that needs to be one of the factors considered. >> now, do you think that countries like saudi arabia, turkey, or maybe other nations in the middle east, might feel compelled to develop nuclear weapons in the relatively near-term future if for example, iran is able to achieve the status as a nuclear power? >> there have been some reports that some of those countries would consider it. whether -- i don't have a good feeling from my position about what our official view is of that, but i think that again, any time that we are talking about extending our nuclear guarantee, which is what we have done for many, many, many years, that our allies and what they
have told us when they come and visit my headquarters, is that it concerns them as we consider making changes. so i think we need to be mindful of those concerns and address them accordingly. >> right. right. that probably means that we ought to be you know, cautious, before reducing our nuclear arsenal and we also have to be very concerned about our failure to modernize adequately those same weapons systems, wouldn't it? again, it seems to me logical that especially as we have got states like iran and north korea moving in that direction, that that inevitably will have a huge impact on what other countries do and what other countries do will in turn most likely put more of a burden on us and further strain our ability to provide that insurance that we have provided in the past, could it not? >> i think, senator, as we have always thought, ultimately, our
ability to deter, our ability to extend that deterrence and assure our allies with that is based on the credibility of our nuclear deterrent and our nuclear deterrent force and increasingly, certainly over the last decade now, the presence and capability of our conventional capabilities has made a difference, and i think in some cases has set a different context for the way we view our nuclear forces, but they still remain critical and complementry. >> ok. in the minute and a half or so that i have left, i would like to talk to you a little bit about china. what can you tell me about the chinese nuclear arsenal and in particular whether you believe that china will continue to increase the number of weapons in its arsenal and whether it's going to try to seek a level of equivalencey with the united states and russia in terms of nuclear weapons? >> senator, i think the -- we
need to have a more full conversation in a different set than this. in this setting, i would say we watched china continuing to modernize portions of their nuclear force. in terms of numbers, i -- i believe the number ranges that our intelligence community has assessed with that, i don't think i can state that here, but i tend to believe that they are in about the range that we are talking about. i do not see, nor has the intelligence community reported to me that they are seeking to have some kind of numeric parity with the united states or russia, but i would quickly say i think we -- this is why we want more transparency with china. we would like to know what their intentions are going forward and we would like to be able to expand our dialogue with them so that we can prevent any misunderstandings.
>> thank you very much, general. thank you mr. chairman . i see my time has expired 3. >> thank you very much. senator graham? >> thank you. senator lee, i think he is right on point. we have to look at the world that we live in when we make these decisions about numbers and capabilities. general kehler, am i pronouncing your name right? close enough? >> we have been batting about .500. >> i'm a colonel. i don't want to get court-martialed. are we spending enough noun modernize our nuclear weapon -- money to modernize our nuclear weapon force? >> no. >> how does sequestration affect it? >> it affects it. it affects it in the near term
in terms of the impact on readiness which will come about over a period of months. i described this earlier as a slow motion impact in stratcom because the services were trying to protect -- >> those who voted for the treaty -- i did not. there was a promise given that we would modernize our nuclear force. >> part two of sequestration is the overall budget totals which are coming down. >> basically, my view is we never honored the modernization commitment in terms of funding and along comes sequestration, so you have been hit twice. we never made the commitment that was promised in terms of modernization funds even though it was more of the past. it is sort of a double whammy, would you agree? >> i don't know what the sequestration impact is going to be on us. i don't know. when we -- the budget details have yet to be worked out. >> it is across the board.
your account will be hit, right? >> certainly, if the rules stay the way they are, across the board. >> let's just assume -- get being a to me or the committee in writing. what it would do to our modernization efforts. could you do that? >> yes ks i can. >> general alexander, why is an attack on critical infrastructure in this nation, a cyber attack by a government like china or russia, why is that not considered an act of war? >> that's great question. i think one that needs to be ironed out. what constitutes an act of war in cyber space. let me give you my thoughts on that. >> please. >> first, trying to bat this around. >> there is no clear answer. i agree with you. >> first i would look at the laws of conflict and the intent of the nation and what they are doing. i would say what we're seeing today from those countries,
espionage, theft of intel act properties. >> what about military modernization plans? stealing? a lot of their fighters tend to look like our fighters. >> that's right. a lot across the board. so i think that is espionage. i think so that is theft of intellect chal property. if the intent to disrupt or destroy our infrastructure, i think you have cross aed the line. somewhere in that zone. >> have you seen an intent, planning process in place where enemies of the nation would attack us through cyber space? is that something we should be worried about? >> yes, that is something we should be worried about and i can give you more details in another setting. >> ok. now let's talk about outside the department of defense. you can defend the defense infrastructures but you're so
connected to the private sector, one cannot be disconnected from the other. if systems go down, if power systems go down, that affects you. if frnl services are disrupted, -- financial services are disrupted, it would aeffect you. you can go on and on how an attack on critical infrastructure could affect our national security. have you talked to senator wheist whitehouse about his solution? >> i have not. i have talked to him in the past and found that he and i are essentially in sync on those discussions. >> i am with him in that the concept is that we would identify critical infrastructure in the power supply, things that every american depends on and if they went down would hurt our nation and hurt our economy and could do harm to our citizens.
i think the concept, lets even lets identify critical infrastructure and come up with the best business practices within their industry and submit their proposal to a collaborative body with homeland security certainly a key component of it and if these best business practices are in the minds of the government meaningful, we would grant liability protection to those who met those standards. it would be voluntary. does that sound like a reasonable way to proceed? >> senator, i think in part that is reasonable. the issue that it leaves not addressed is the information-sharing part. >> right. that has to be done. that is a critical part of it. let's assume that we get the information sharing right. we got two ways to do this. through a regulatory regime. my belief is that regulations could be expensive and the threats move too fast for it to be -- to work. do you agree with that? >> i do. in fact, i would say if you
separate the two and you have information sharing on one side and liability and standards and regulation on the other side that work together, in essence, that's essentially where the executive order is trying to go as well. >> right. so i just want to encourage you. we'll meet with senator whitehouse and others to see if we can find a path way forward to set the standard for the infrastructure area. this is an ever changing threat. finally, what kind of damage could be done to our country through a cyber attack. start with nation states and then criminal organizations. what kind of threat are we facing and finally in south korea, -- south carolina, our database at the department of revenue was hacked into and every citizen's social security number and a lot of business information was stolen causing
the state of south carolina a lot of chaos in trying to provide identity theft protection to our citizens. this was a massive intrusion to a state system of over 3 million social security numbers seized. can you just quickly dell the committee the kind of threats -- tell the committee the kind of threats we face and if the congress doesn't get involved, i think we will regret the day. >> so generally speaking, all of our system today, our power ises, our water systems, our governments, our systems that depend on computers, computerized switches, depend on these networks, all are at risk. if an adversary were to get in, they could destroy those come opponents. either have to replace them or replace part of that. in the power grid, as an example, it is much more damaging than the attacks of 9/11. >> i think it would. in 2003, the northeast power
disruption was caused by a software failure. that was not somebody attacking us. that was a software failure. think about somebody impacting it across the united states and breaking some of the transformers which would be very difficult to replace. we would have significant power outages for extended periods throughout the country. think about wall street. if we were to go in and i know senator blumenthal was asking questions on this earlier about what happens if you attack wall street and you destroy the data that they need to, at the end of the day, ensure all the books are right. if you can't close those books, which are done today by computers, you have a significant problem in our banking infrastructure. not just ours but global. >> since our time is up, if you could maybe just submit to the committee sort of a worst case scenario from a cyber attack, kind of a 9/11 scenario,
finally, the executive order as a result of congress' inaction, and i don't blame the president at all, do you believe it would be prudent for the congress to enhance executive order that we need legislation in this area beyond the executive order to make the nation safe? >> i do. >> thank you. >> we are expecting senator cane back at any minute. senator inhofe has a question and then i'll turn it over to senator cane. >> general kehler, in response to the question that was given to you by senator graham, talking about what's going to happen to you under sequestration and then you qualified it and said that is assuming that it is going to be cuts straight across the board. of course that would be damaging because that is done in my opinion without a thought. just a cut across the board. i introduced legislation six weeks ago anticipating that maybe screst ration would happen. i didn't think it would but in case it does to, take the same
top lined a to how it is going to affect a whole division of bureaucracy and then say in the case of you and of anything having to do with defense, take that and adhere to that top line and allow the service chiefs to make those degrees decisions and would that be better? they said yes, that would make a world of difference. the devastation is still there but not as devastating. would you agree with that? >> yes, sir, i would. >> would you general alexander, too? >> i would, senator. >> thank you, and now senator cane. >> thank you mr. chairman and generals kehler and alexander. i want to focus a little bit on some of your testimony that grabbed my attention. the opening comment that you made and repeated verbally today. uncertainty and complexity continue to dominate the national security landscape and
i agree with that and i want to wrestle with a question that many of the colleagues here have asked about fiscal uncertainty. we can't necessarily reduce the uncertainty in the broader world but it is in our power as congress to try to reduce some of the fiscal uncertainty that you're dealing with. one week ago yesterday, the first weekday after the sequester cuts went into effect, visited the pentagon and spoke with secretary hagel and deputy secretary carter. i spoke with general welsh on that same day in my office. i didn't talk to the brass but went to the cafeteria and went table to table. in the random three tables i went to, i've got active duty assigned to the pentagon, veterans there having wluverage friends, d.o.d. contractors and civilians and some guard representatives there for a planning meeting and they were all sharing their concerns about
sequester c.r. and how it affects them and sends a message about our commitment to the mission, to the d.o.d. mission. one effect of the uncertainty that has dawn -- dawned on me, the personnel. qume of the comments on your testimony on page two, it presents accommodation of professional and personnel concerns as well. it is the envy of the world. but some of the best young union formed and nonuniformed people are questioning their future. the uncertainty surrounding civilian hiring restrictions, salary freezes and the possibility of unpaid furloughs is especially troubling because much of the essential work which supports our mission, our supports our mission, our crit