tv DNI Dan Coats Testifies on World Threats CSPAN March 6, 2018 10:06pm-12:37am EST
their organic search, which is good, but they keep the advertisers on. money fromwing advertisers -- it seems like if you take out the organic search, you should take it out of the advertisement as well. we thank you for answering questions today. colleagues with written questions are asked to submit them by march the -- much 16th. with that, this hearing is adjourned. >> wednesday morning, we are live in phoenix arizona for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour. secretary of state michelle reg and will be our guest on the bus during washington journal starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern.
dan coats was asked about possible russian interference in the upcoming november elections. he was part of an armed citizen -- services committee looking at world threats. cyber security, north korea and terror threats were our -- also asked about. >> we are pleased to welcome our distinguished witnesses, dan coats, general ashley, nice to have you here. it is particularly timely that we are at -- here in the context of the administration's newly released national defense strategy. i just returned from senators and as and sullivan
member of the house armed services committee, where we visited the philippines, taiwan, japan, with the new threat we are faced with in the south china sea. senior military defense leaders competitivethat our advantage is eroding. general dunford said we are qualitative and quantitative edge that we have enjoyed for such a long time. rising powers like russia and china have been investing in military modernization, contestally to america's capabilities. china is increasing spending and fiscal 18 by 8.1%. over the last year, the third straight year in a row they have massive increases to their military spending. it is important to point out that russia has made advances in
weapon systems in clear violation of the treaty, which putin touted just last week. while our response here at home during the last administration was to provide our military with inadequate funding, budget era ofinty, now in a new great power competition, of russia and china, china which we witnessed during our meeting last week. it is a pretty scary thing, so director coats, you summed up the gravity of the current threat environment when you wrote in your prepared statement "the risk of interstate conflict, including among the world's great powers is higher than at any time since the end of the cold war. thank you very much for being here, senator reid.
mr. chairman. i would like to welcome back director dan coats. also, welcome, mr. ashley. the central challenge facing the nation's strategic competition with russia and china and this competition replaces terrorism as the primary concern in u.s. national security. question, china and russia pose a threat to our national security. in order to counter these threats, we bus -- must understand our objectives. in doing so, we must consider the spectrum of capabilities of our potential adversaries. from high-end platforms to irregular warfare approaches. the kremlin is pursuing strategic competition across a range of capabilities from conventional modernization to asymmetric operations below the level of military conflict intended to undermine our democracy.
we need a clear right understanding of president bush -- putin's ambition and using every tool at his disposal. there is also an assault on the year.m elections this we heard from administration officials that the white house has not directed the intelligence agencies. components to disrupt attacks against the fundamental institutions of our society. in the case of china, we need a whole of government approach we need a whole of government approach that counters the economic and military challenges we face. military response alone will not be successful. china is a large entrepreneurial country with a long-term vision. we must every defer to ensure that china adheres to the rules based order which its benefited greatly. i'm deeply concerned about the
continued militarization of the territorial features of south china sea, its elicit theft of u.s. technology and intellectual property and its course of activities against its neighbors including the economic retaliation against south korea for accepting the thaad deployment necessary to defend itself from north korea. china should work with its neighbors instead of destabilizing the throughto resolve peaceful mechanisms that exist. great power competition may be the current reality, but we must not neglect other equally important challenges. it would be harmful to our national security if we exclusively focused on great power competition at the expense of ongoing threats boess bows by rogue regimes and other nonstate actors. for example we face a clear and present threat from north korea that must be detained and deterred. a war with korea would be a catastrophic event for the people of south korea and the
region. we must come up with a robust deterrent strategy that lays strict sanctions and sustained diplomatic efforts. we must also pursue a robust counter proliferation effort. it must be globally coordinated. we can contain the threat that north korea poses without going to war if we engage in a consistent strategy and adequately resource our government agencies, especially the state department in the coming years. according to all reports iran is complying wits obligations under action, however iran plans to play a destabilizing roles in the middle east, particularly in syria and yemen. while so the called physical caliphate preefl enjoyed by isis has been dismantled, the group has not been defeated. isis directed inspired attacks will remain a persistent threat for some time to come. likewise, al qaeda has proved resilient in which it can launch spectacular ataeks against the -- attacks against the west. in afghanistan, the coalition
threatens the insurgency as well as a variety of groups that call south asia home, many which have proven significant in the face of military pressure carried the national defense strategy calls efforts insources to afghanistan, however the administration is said to increase the number of troops in conflict, which falls on the heels of last year's increase. at the same time, we hear countries like russia may be seeking to expand efforts to engage with our adversaries in the taliban, possibly a spoiler to our efforts. it is clear we are living in complex times and i look forward to your testimony on these issues and thank you for your service. since acorn is now present, and asked the midi to consider the general took her before this committee this last week. be director of the national security service, andander u.s. cyber command
dr. park to be deputy of nonproliferation security of the admin station. is there a motion? >> i so move. >> all in favor, say aye. the a's have it. coats, we appreciate your being here with all of your friends and we would like to .ear from both of you if you can find your statements to five minutes, that will be helpful. we have a lot of questions. mr. chairman, thank you and member read and members of the committee. it is an honor for me to be here today alongside general ashley to represent the men and women of the intelligence community. as you will hear during my remarks, we currently face the
most complex am a volatile and challenging threat environment in modern times. the risk of interstate conflict timee highest since any since the end of the cold war and we have entered a period that can best be described as a race for technological superiority against our adversaries who seek to sow division in the united states and we can u.s. leadership. it is ever more important that we remain vigilant to the range of threats worldwide as we seek to do all we can to provide security to the american people. i'll provide a brief overview of some of the top threats, starting with the functional topics and then moving to reasonable -- regional threats. much of what has been said by the chairman and ranking member will be reaffirmed and reflected in what i say, so i will try to keep this as brief as possible. let me begin, however, with the myer threat which is one of greatest concerns and top
priorities of our office. from u.s. businesses to the federal government, state and local governments, we are under cyber attack. while state actors pose the greatest threat, cyber capabilities worldwide has enabled and emboldened a broader range of actors to pursue their maligned activities against us. likelyss that russia is to continue to pursue even more aggressive cyber attacks with the intent of weakening our alliances. persistent end -- system -- disruptive influence operations will continue in the united states and european allies. as opportunities to undermine democracy and sow discord and undermine our values. actors,ion to russian we will see chinese, iranian and north korean cyber actors continue to build off past successes to improve the scope
and scale of their cyber capabilities. quickly, let me talk about weapons of mass destruction. overall, state efforts to modernize or develop their delivery systems or underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the united states and our allies. north korea will be the most volatile and confrontational of the threats this year and russia will remain the most capable wmd power and is expanding its nuclear weapon capabilities. state and nonstate actors, including the syrian regime and isis possess and have used chemical weapons in syria and iraq, we continue to be concerned about other actors pursuit of biological weapons. my third topic is the ongoing terrorist threat, which spans the secretary and gambit from hezbollah to state-sponsored activities of iran and other
affiliated and nonaffiliated terrorist organizations. u.s. based violent extremists remain the primary and most sunniult to detect terrorist threat in the united states. isis remains a threat in iraq and syria despite territorial losses. it will focus on rebuilding in the region, expanding a global presence and inspiring attacks worldwide. al qaeda will remain a major act as -- actor as it continues intent on attacking the united states and u.s. interests abroad. lebanese has belong with the support of iran will continue to foment regional instability through its involvement in syria and direction to other shia militant groups. let me briefly transition. i know we probably will be talking about commercial space and we need to look to the heavens, as well as the earth in terms of threats to the united states. we can discuss that in morgan --
detail. let me know russia and china have been expanding their space-based reconnaissance communications and navigation systems and both countries seek to reduce u.s. and allied military effectiveness and perceptions of u.s. military advantage in space. chairman, ranking member, both of you touched on the various regional issues. we saw the news this morning relative to north korea, hope springs eternal, but we need to learn a lot more relative to these talks and we will continue collection possible relative to the situation that exists in north korea. we will be talking about that will, i want to note china increasingly seek to expand its regional influence and shape
outcomes globally. it will take a firm stance on its regional claims and attempt to use its one belt one road initiative to reach geostrategic regions across eurasia and the pacific. in south asia and afghanistan, we expect the picture to modestly deteriorate in the willg year and kabul continue to bear the brunt of taliban insurgency. afghan national security forces -- with coalition support, probably will maintain control of most major population centers. complicating the afghan situation is our assessment that pakistan-based militant groups continue to take advantage of their safe haven to conduct attacks, including against u.s. interests. we assess to russia, president putin will continue to apply a certain foreign policies to shape outcomes beyond russia's borders while
constraining his domestic opposition in the run-up to next month's presidential election. we also assess that putin will resort to more authoritarian tactics to ming control amid challenges to his rule. perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 28 teen u.s. midterm elections as a potential target. we continue to see russian activities designed to exacerbate social and political fissures in the united states. in the next year, russia will continue to use propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesman -- sympathetic spokesmen and other means of influence to try to build on its wide range of disruptive operations. we expect russian influence efforts to continue in other locations, as well. for example, we assess russian aggression in the ukraine will persist, even as we seek to bols -- bolster ukraine's ability to protect itself.
let me turn to the final plan -- regional plan that i plan to talk about today, the middle east and north africa. this region will be character rides by political turmoil, economic fragility and civil and proxy wars in the coming year. iran will become the most prom -- will remain the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism and adversary in the middle east. its provocative and assertive behavior increases the potential for escalatory actions especially in iraq, syria, and yemen that threatens u.s. forces and allies in the region. turkey is seeking to thwart ambitions in the middle east in the ongoing kurdish incursion is complicating counter isis activities in the region and increases the risk of u.s. sources located in the area. syria will face continued unrest and fighting throughout 2018 with spikes in violence occurring as damascus attempts to recapture urban areas as we are now witnessing.
i will pass over in the interest of time our assessments on iraq, the situation in yemen, and some other complex -- conflicts. let me note that the conflicts around the world today have displaced more people sings world war ii and these present major social and humanitarian challenges. finally, just let me add one additional thought to our nation that i would like to present. it is deeply concerning that our increasingly fractious political process, particularly with respect to federal spending, is threatening our ability to properly defend our nation. the failure to address our long-term fiscal situation has increased the national debt to as you know over $20 trillion and growing. our continued plunge into debt is unsustainable and represents a dire future threat to our economy and to our national security. from a national security perspective, it was then former chairman joint chiefs mike mullin who first identified the
national debt as the greatest threat to our national security. since then, he has been joined by numerous respected national security leaders of both parties, including our current defense secretary, jim mattis. i believe it's vitally important for all of us to recognize the need to address this challenge and to take action as soon as possible before a fiscal crisis occurs that truly undermines our ability to ensure our national security. with that, i will turn this over to general ashley and then we will be ready for his remarks and we will be ready to take your questions. ashley: chairman inhofe, thank you for the opportunity to provide the defense intelligence agency's and assessment of a global security environment and address the threats confronting the nation. my statement for the record details a range of challenges competitors, threats, foreign military capabilities and
transnational terrorist networks. in my opening remarks, i would -- north korea is a critical threat to the united states and our allies in northeast asia. kim jong-un has pressed his nation down a path to develop deliver themns and with ballistic missiles that can reach south korea, japan, guam and the united states. a rapidnstituted missile development and flight testing program that has over the last two years brought north korea closer to its goals. moreover, north korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in september of last year. a much larger seismic signature than other tests. hasurrently, pyongyang invested in conventional systems and training designed to increase the threat to south korea. north korea's nuclear and
missile testing has deepened the regime's isolation. while the united nations have imposed additional sanctions, kim shows no interest in walking away from his nuclear or ballistic missile programs. additional missile launches are near certainty and further nuclear tests are possible as pyongyang seeks to refine its weapons design and reliability. china. in 2017, china armed forces continued implanting sweeping organizational reforms to enhance the ability of the people's liberation army to conduct joint operations, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the chinese mainland. planse military moderation -- modernization plan includes strikes against adler terry -- adversary forces.
china is leveraging its growing power to assert sovereignty claims over features in the east, the south china sea's and the china india border region. asian's military modernization program is expanding in concert with an intent to invest in a range of missions beyond china's periphery. 's increasingly lethal joint force will be capable of holding u.s. and allied forces at risk rater distances from the chinese mainland. : russia views the united states as the primary threat to its national security and its geopolitical ambitions. the kremlin seeks to establish a sphere of influence over former soviet union states, prevent ofther eastward expansion nato and assure that no major international issues are addressed without russia's input or add it -- at its expense. strategic nuclear
force as a foundation of russia's national security and sees modernized general-purpose and nonstrategic nuclear forces as critical for many of its conventional military threats. russia's aggressive actions abroad over the past several its military interventions in syria and ukraine, have boosted russia's confidence and its military and increase moscow's geopolitical profile. --hanistan, in southeastern south asia last year, afghan security forces protected major population centers and denied the taliban strategic gains while combating isis as well as al qaeda. the security forces will build on their incremental success by developing defensive capabilities while the alabama will threaten afghan stability, undermine public confidence by conducting intermittent, high-profile attacks in urban areas, increasing influence in rural terrain, threatening
district centers and challenging locations. iran remains the primary nationstate challenger. it continues to improve its conventional capabilities to adversaries and defendants its homeland. it has the region's largest listed military arsenal that can strike targets throughout the region up to 6000 kilometers from their borders. following the joint action inive plan of 2016, the international atomic agency continues to report that uranium not enriched beyond allowable levels and maintains limits and allows monitoring of nuclear fuels. it is committed to modernizing
its military, building capacity of partners, and building a desire into the economic system. competitors are developing and using cyberspace to increase operational reach into military and civilian systems. exporting our honorable at ease and exploiting our defense. terrorism -- isis suffered significant setbacks in 2017. territorial losses in iraq and syria and counterterrorism operations against isis's global network has impeded sustainability. dispersing. are creating clandestine nine networks to preserve core capabilities while isis capabilities have been degraded in numerous countries.
it remains a significant threat and inspires more tax than any other operation. isis also remains a significant threat to the u.s. finally, advanced technological threats -- our competitors are working to develop more advanced technology which poses increased threats. developments in hypersonic swell provide the ability to strike targets more quickly and at .reater tech supercomputers, artificial intelligence and enabling new military capabilities. prioritizingre research in quantum computing which can supply the means to build secure communication systems and eventually break encryption over rhythms. overview, andf look forward to questions. >> thank you. excellent opening statements.
>> stingray. it was disturbing to see this. it is having -- it is a intimidating our allies. reclaiming land. this was land that was never there is. they are creating land without any legal authority to do so. it is obvious this would be done for military purposes because that is what they have on these islands. notches 10,000 runways but missiles and the rest. dangerous, as we
look at it and see the affected is having on our allies there. and china's producing at least in addition to their increase in spending, at least a dozen warships per year. developing long-range missile systems and fifth-generation fighters. after seeing increases in defense spending, this is what is going on right now. that ismajor thing having an effect of challenging us in the united states as the lead the freed world. so director coats, let's start with you. what you think they're doing out there specifically in that part of the china sea? building that aggressive of a fortress out there? what is the reasoning? i think it has
been very clear over the past three years the china is willing to take pretty extraordinary means in terms of expanding its influence, not only over the region as you suggested in south china sea but throughout the globe. one belt, one road program for learned -- ive would clarify the actual number but a report was recently on classified conversion that china would spend about a trillion dollars and 68 different nations establishing its geostrategic positioning that is not only and for trade purposes but also for military facilities. south china sea's is one of the areas they started on early and -- we have not paid much
attention to the but as you said, several thousand runways. notches to bring tourists over to enjoy the beaches but also to establish military presence of they are definitely expanding regional and global influence. spending an extraordinary amount of money on that as well as upgrading their military. general lashley noted this in his remarks. power.become a world that is their goal. their goal is a goal of intimidation because that is what is happening. with our allies there, there is a fear that they have. looking at usare in looking at china wondering which one decided. what you think? director coats: i have traveled to asia and spoken with countries that are our allies
and one to be our allies but they fear the influence of china. they provide a credit, a lot of loans that are very attractive. nations that do not have those resources to build roads, build facilities. and it is for all the line purpose. -- purpose. statement that was made, the opening statement. our president, back when kim jong-un made that threatening statements about what he was going to do with his nuclear button. people were critical of our president but he was saying something that came from the reality in terms of the power he has as president of the united states. in the work. it was a matter of hours that they contacted south korea and said we're going to join you in the winter olympics. we watched the affected had on people.
i agree that hope springs internal -- eternal. there is no doubt kim jong-un is going to be a changed person. i think the news last night that he is actually made a response to the message sent and that he is ready to negotiate, ready to stop his nuclear activity and testing, do you share my somewhat optimistic view of what happened, general? optimismot share your right now. we will see how this plays out. >> we were right that down and see who is right and who is wrong. >> thank you. director coats, i always appreciate your candor and honesty as our colleague and friend. today you started off by citing ciber is one of your primary concerns, especially russian
encroaching on our elections. live asked members of our intelligence committee what is being done and we have not heard much. it begs the question, what are we doing? do your knowledge, are you aware of a formal meeting of the and a sweet in which -- i've the nsc in which this was discussed and a way to counter malign activity was presented? are you aware of anything like that? director coats: there are ongoing discussions among a number of our agencies. the department of homeland security, the department of department, state in others relative to the cyber threat. our office recently met with three of the most pertinent agencies. and also with others to talk
about the effective ciber on the upcoming elections by the as well as the impact of that. it is a whole of government approach. i've discussed it with the president of the united states. he said, i assume you are doing your job. if you need for me to direct you to do it, do it. that is since we had our with a cc. on the -- so it is a concern. the white house is engaged and has been. bob joyce and others have been leading the effort. it is a current discussion underway about how we best address not only defense but how do we look at ways to respond to that to prevent us from being vulnerable to attacks. onagain, i will just comment
discussions. i think there ongoing. it is a plan of action and direction. somewhere in that is ultimately the president. that is the nature of his office, the nature of our constitution. director coats: i would agree with that but working with congress much of the time in my last term here at the senate was trying to identify legislative regarding critical infrastructure and putting a cyber plan in place. i think this is something the whole of government has to work with congress on what we would provide. >> it has to be. if we're at the top going to get anything done. let me change the subject for a moment. i had the opportunity of visiting u.s. forces. the disconcerting
discoveries as we do not have an ambassador in south korea. we do not have an ambassador in jordan or somalia. criticalroops and equities and other countries. does it disturb you that we do the state department engaged? >> as the former ambassador i would like to see ambassadors get nominated and confirmed, but that is really a question for secretary tillerson and the state department to address. there has been ongoing discussions on that but i do not knowledge inght terms of decision-making. >> thank you. general lashley, you point out that the chinese are investing a huge amount of money and quantum computing and if this technology
is realized, it would be revolutionary and i say that emphatically in terms of encryption, in terms of vessels,ng underwater etc. new -- underwater vessels, etc. >> i cannot speak to where we are as a nation and where we are investing. >> are you making the depth, the scope of this investment clear to your colleagues that do have the responsibility to inform leaders of all we should be doing? >> we are. ask to my very much. >> thank you. thanks gentlemen, first of all let me thank you for your service to our country. director coats, i am curious.
you indicated you have had good conversations and direct conversations with the white house regarding cyber security and so forth. do you believe this country clearhas appropriate and policy with regard to cyber warfare? director coats: no. i think it is a work in process and needs to be in process. i believe there is real concern that we take action because we are seeing the results of our adversaries using cyber to degrade any number of things here in the united states. so i think putting the plan together, as i said, needs to be a whole of government effort to get his various agencies in various forms of not only government or private institutions and companies and businesses, financial, etc. being threatened with this. and it amounts to a very significant threat to the united
states. >> you made very clear that seriousness of the cyber threat. for the last several years, the national defense authorization act has directed there should be a policy established. have you seen progress made over the last several years with regard to the creation of that policy and who is setting it up? >> as i said, it is a whole of government effort. the white house is involved as well as agencies. specific answer to your question, i do not think the progress has been made quick enough to put us in a position where we have a firm policy and understanding. not only ourselves but what our adversaries know relative to how we are going to deal with this. it is a dicey issue. we know the capabilities and have been on the losing end of some of those capabilities of other cyber actors.
starting with potential takenation for actions from an offensive response. they have to be weighed. in the context of all of that, our critical infrastructure, which a number of efforts are underway to protect that infrastructure but we still have it from a policy standpoint branchfrom the executive or other branch on how we are to support those defenses. the question of response i think that's really beats to be discussed, because there are pros and cons of how we should do that. i have personally been an asocate of playing offense well as defense. i think we've done a pretty good job of defense. we do not have an offensive plan of thee to be the policy united states. >> i had the opportunity of serving as the chair of the
cyber subcommittee for this committee and along with senator nelson, who is my ranking member. we have to the basic conclusion aat you have -- this is critical and most certainly a primary source of threats to the united states now and in the future. we are also concerned that while the whole of government is working on it, we do not have an appropriate policy in place today and it should be, as you have suggested, a primary point to be reckoned with. i would also agree with your assessment. i think the science board for the department of defense has made it very clear that for the next 10 years with regard to cyber attacks, our defensive capabilities will not match the offensive capabilities of our competitors. requiring that deterrence be enhanced on our part. i am very pleased to hear you feel the semi and i hope the message gets across. that has got to be a part of our
cyber policy now and in the future. thank you for that. let me ask one more quick question. with regard to space, buried on page 13 of your items that have to do with the threats in space and the threats to our capabilities to use space -- do you think there is a disconnect between our policy with regard to our capabilities in space and what our competitors are doing to utilizer ability what has now become acceptable technical capabilities? gps and so forth? are they in a position right now to basically shut down our use of space in a time of war? ?r near-war >> our assessment has been we hold a significant advantage and . our assessment also says there stations, particularly china and russia that seek to
catch up with us. i would turn to general lashley general to the -- ashley relative to the military protection. trying to maintain that advantage we currently have. >> doesn't interfere with strategy when you look at russia or china, they understand the dependency we have on space and so they are developing capabilities to counter that -- an attack tack satellite or jamming from the ground. so they are looking at a layered approach to deny us that capability because they realize how integral it is for us. >> thank you. in the development stage at this point. >> thank you mr. chairman.
>> thank you. thank you both for being here. director coats, it is always nice to see you back in the senate. i want to make sure i understood what you said to senator reid. i understood when you raised the concerns about needing to respond to what russia is doing potentialre with the election coming up in 2018 that what you heard from the president was that you should do whatever you need it to to support that. did i understand that correctly? >> my response was in the question that was asked relative to cyber. the direction to go forward on cyber. not, in my opinion i did not understand it to be said in the context of the russian influence on the elections. exit you have not heard anything
the white house -- >> so you have not heard anything than from the white house with weponding to the claim that are furred from a number of intelligence officials that of said there is currently interference going on from russia in our upcoming election cycle for 2018. in june of not had any direction from the white house or the administration to respond to that, zac correct? director coats: i would not put it in that context. there is concern about the ongoing effort of russians to interfere with our elections. the white house is well aware of that, as we all are. asked tohave been address this. abouting that i talked also included our working with ,tate and local officials
election officials, relative to protections to put in. our job is to do the warnings. our job is to do the collective information. do the assessment. provide the warnings. to interrupt,at but that is a direct contradiction of what we heard from admiral rogers. he said he is not heard from anyone in the administration of the white house about taking any action to respond to what russia is doing to interfere in our elections. it sounds to me you are saying something different. director coats: the nsa which admiral rogers directs is one component. dhs has taken the lead on this. the white house has been engaged in the department of defense, other agencies have been engaged on this. >> can you tell this committee to respond?g done
is that something you can tell so thatis open hearing i can reassure my constituents that we are in fact trying to address this? director coats: much of what is being done or is being examined to be done would fall in the classified area. i would be happy to address it in a classified session. >> mr. chairman, would urge you and the ranking member to hold a classified briefing for this committee so we can hear firsthand what is being done to respond. let me ask you, general ashley, to change the subject of a little bit will stop last week before his state of the nation and his state of the nation speech, general putin -- president clinton bragged about anywherehat can strike in the united states or -- aboutent putin bragged
weapons that can strike anywhere in the united states. state of the union and context, obviously an election year is coming up and it was for consumption of a domestic audience. but i will say we are aware of the systems he spoke about. they are in a research and development phase. any further discussion we would have to go to classified session. >> i hope we will have the opportunity to hear about that in a classified session. that got a lot of attention in the united states and a lot of concern. when you talked about the threat from weapons of mass destruction, you talked about sarin gas in syria but there was no mention made of chlorine gas attacks in syria which we know are happening almost regularly now. is that something we have also considered a weapon of mass destruction? how are we responding to that?
>> we do consider that as weapon of mass destruction. probably more use of chlorine gas then sarin gas. we are discussing this recent attack. we do not have full information yet. each side is blaming the other. we do not have the assessment made yet. we are very concerned. as you saw the president's this is something under serious discussion as we speak but again, something that needs to be discussed in the cause might session. >> i do remember the president's response last year and that is why i raised it. given the serious humanitarian conditions that are happening in syria, for us to allow those weapons of mass destruction of chemical attacks to continue i
think goes against all humanitarian assessment of what we should be doing. >> i could not agree more. >> thank you mr. chair. director coats, general ashley, good to see you again. thank you for your service. director coats, would like to start with you. in your opening statement, you know that u.s. allies and uncertainty about the willingness and capably of the united states to maintain its international commitments may drive them to consider reorienting their policies. particularly regarding trade. the president's decision on imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, believe that it is important we consider any national security implications that this might have. the national defense strategy states that the u.s. needs to
current alliances and foster new partnerships in order to combat threats around the globe. from your perspective, what message do you think this terror would say to our allies? how ourexplain relationships with other countries canadian our national aid our efforts -- can national security efforts? coats: what we see around the world obviously needs to be looked at in the context of who is on our side and who are our adversaries and how we can better maintain relations with our allies in order to address these. general mattis talked about we're trying to address some of by working with allies. obviously, trade is one of many together.at ties
there are pros and cons. the president's announcement recently has not been finalized. it was done in the context of national security and the concern that certain types of materials like steel land aluminum -- and aluminum are important for national security purposes. not to be relying on foreign entities, even some that we might call adversaries now but might not be later. our job in the intelligence community is to assess things after a of happened or are about to happen and try to provide information to our policymakers so they can make determinations on the policy so i really am not in the position to discuss willy on trade but the ic
provide everything we can to -- not influence, excuse me -- to provide policymakers with what they need to make those decisions. aren't -- >> thank you. is the shangri-la dialogue or the munich conference, not only do we talk about national defense but we trade,em to talk about especially in the pacific. we chairman just stated that return from an overseas trip couple weeks ago and often times many of those partners really do emphasize the need to remain strong trade partners because where there is an absence of u.s. trade, often we see china stepping into close those gaps. obviously, i'm a strong supporter of our trade relationships. general coats and ashley as well, from that the
experience we took away was we had the opportunity to talk about the challenges we face on the korean peninsula. we have seen where north korea has been able to garner support through illicit trade. an example is we know north korea has exported ballistic missile technology to countries like iran and syria. can you talk about how the intelligence community can help aid and restrict that flow of illicit materials overseas. proliferation of weapons of mass destruction very seriously and try to track that to the best of our ability. we know the history of north anda transfers for cash other reasons. it is particularly critical now as we deal with a serious situation with north korea. workarounds,
sanctions that have been proposed by the north koreans to achieve essentially revenue to support their military. it is something we take very seriously. it is a very high priority. ashley, is that something for the military community where we are able to work with partner nations to share information to stop the trade? think you need i to sensitize all of the nations that would be in that supply chain as to where that risk may lie and how they can interdict that. some of the technology has dual use. some of the chips are not protected. when you start moving things from a maritime respective, we see more aggressive behavior on how to catch ships. those kind of aggressive actions will serve our interest in trying to interdict that.
all the nations involved in potentialons, the ribbon of commodities, anything tied into the development of a missile or all of the components you would use to build that would be something we would share across all of those nations and defense partners. >> very good. thank you gentleman very much. and thank you mr. chairman thank you both for your long and distinguished service to our nation. director coats, have you read the indictment against 13 individuals and three russian entities that was recently returned by special counsel? >> i've read a summary but not all the details. >> would you agree with me that russia committed an act of war against the united states by interfering in our past election is detailed graphically and dramatically by that indictment? , it is notescribe it
a conventional war. it is a war of influence. itselfact, russia described it as informational warfare. it is the obligation of the congress to determine whether or not something is an active war against the united states. it,hatever way you describe and i would call it an active war, is continuing, is it not? what ir coats: that is said in my opening message, yes. >> and yet you have not and directed to do to russia with evident west, right? director coats: the president wrecks me to do my job and my job is to do the intelligence. >> but he has never given you orders to take any specific action to deter or retaliate against russia or its act of one our country? director coats: there are some issues we could discuss and classified session but i cannot do that here. i'd you are talking to the american people here who have
been told russia attacked our nation. can you assure the american people that the president told you to take effective he turned action -- effective deterrent action? coats: "scoffing -- ] -- the president told me to -- >> i apologize for interrupting, he never told you to counter, deter, retaliate, take any plann, or devise any against russia? director coats: these are issues to discuss in a classified relative to this. >> i think the american people deserve to know whether in fact the president directed his top intelligence officials to effectively counter this
continuing active war on our country. may,e shift questions if i i am sure you are aware of both public and private information that at least four countries discussed how to influence and manipulate certain officials of the administration. director coats: i have seen that leak, yes. >> they discussed how to manipulate jared kushner through his business arrangements, his financial difficulties, his lack of policy experience. that you aree us taking effective action to protect our national security against that manipulation? director coats: we are doing every thing we can to protect united states citizens from harm from abroad including what you have just described.
once again, we provide the intelligence and provide information to our policy makers to how tocisions as go forward. >> jared kushner never -- no longer has access to toxic or classified information but he continues to have access to secret information, correct? director coats: he is a temporary security clarets as do others. general kelly has taken the position that we need to shorten that list. it is in process right now. these decisions are made by the fbi. these clearances are cleared by the fbi -- >> isn't his continuing access to that information a threat to our national security? general coats: i do not believe it is a threat to our national security, no i do not. under general kelly's direction, temporarybeen a security to some types of information but not to highly
classified information. , senator grassley and i have written to both the white house and the director of fbi --ing for a full exclamation explanation of the continuing security processes because i continue to believe, speaking only for myself, that it continues to be defective. i hope you will cooperate in that review. director coats: we certainly will cooperate. drugs can you assure as you will take action in the event that any foreign government seeks to manipulate a member of the white house staff? director coats: well, once again i want to make clear that taking action is a policy decision. to power. truth truth to those who make this policy decisions. to the extent that that
community can participate in those actions, that has to be formulate through policy. >> but you will make recommendation? director coats: we are very much part of these discussions, yes. >> thank you. senator fischer: welcome gentlemen. if we could gear this back to worldwide threats that we are facing is a country. i know in the recently released nuclear posture review, you stated that russia mistakenly assesses that the threat of nuclear escalation or actual first you -- use of weapons would serve to deescalate in terms favorable to russia. that is commonly referred to as an escalade to de-escalate strategy. russian government and particular has disputed this assessment and denied that russia has such a strategy. general, would ask you -- do you
agree with the assessment that the escalate to de-escalate strategy reflects russian doctrine? >> that has been part of their doctrine for some time. >> i know we cannot discuss in atat detail how you arrived that conclusion, but a general is it fair to say that this strategy is reflected in their military exercises, statements of senior leaders, in developments of military capabilities? >> overarching in terms of what they think of when they think in terms of their nuclear triad. that is integral to their deterrence strategy. it is the same kind of triad we have. when you talk about nonstrategic weapons, it is de-escalate to escalade or escalate to nominate or escalation termination. the strategy is you create a strategic pause where you back
into talks within the context. where i see them using this would be a situation where moscow saw their national vital interest, actually russia proper was at risk. >> in the ncr, it does state or aa limited first use limited first use could paralyze the united states and nato. that the russians believe that would happen and it would end the conflict on terms favorable to russia. do believe that statement? like that would be the desired outcome. >> both of your opening statements discuss the increasing nuclear capabilities of russia as well as china. do you agree with the npr assessment that since 2010, global threats have worsened in general terms and with specific
respect to nuclear threats? >> i would agree. yes. >> in your statement, for the record, you assess the kim "attempted to reinvigorate north korea's conventional military." we have focused extensively on weaponsrea's nuclear development by can you please elaborate on north korea and have they invested in modernization of their conventional forces well? >> yes. a lot of that is focused on the old equipment they have in terms of modernization. integrated to existing weapons that are part of that inventory. i think the big change we've seen from his father to kim jong-un knows the rigor of -- is the rigor of training. kim jong-un has taken that
readiness aspect very seriously will stop they do not have the capability that could reunite the peninsula, but there is theificant capability over 30th parallel in terms of what they could do with their conventional weapons. >> do believe the regime has impacted north korea's effort to modernize conventional military? >> it is starting to have an impact. or ina general sense specific areas where they are looking at that modernization? >> i think the modernization in a classified session on specifics we have seen there is an impact. element of north korea's conventional force do you believe poses the greatest risk not to just our forces but to south korea? sheer number of artillery
pieces and ballistic missile's that could be fired as an initial salvos. on the evening of february 7, the u.s. forces repelled an attack in syria. do you believe these russian mercenary groups are acting under the direction of or in coordination with the russian government? ori cannot speak to whether not that particular action was executed with the knowledge. what i know now is unclassified level. >> if i could follow up later with you on these. >> just ma'am. >> thank you. want the members to be aware we have two votes coming 11:00. it will be the intention of senator reid and myself to work through this.
>> you and others have testified it is in fact the russia's continuing its efforts to interfere with our elections. last weekdgers testified he had no specific authority to counter these efforts. both of you pointed out that homeland security is the lead counter the russian efforts to interfere with elections. i understand the department of homeland security is working with the state election people to ensure infrastructure will to hacking byble russians, but who is responsible to counter the use of social media by russians to conduct what they call informational
warfare question mark is is also department of homeland security responsibility? >> this is more of a whole of dhs toent effort for play a primary role. other agencies are involved. this is an ongoing process in terms of how we put together a strategy and policy to deal with this and counter this. aware of thes well need to do this. as i did say, one coherent strategy worked between the executive and commercial branch. -- congressional branch. >> who is in charge here? who is the lead entity to bring everybody together? a lot of entities. somebody has to take the lead.
of 120 in the context mayan dollars the state department was given specifically to deal with the russian interference. they have not spent a dime. should the state department be the lead agency to come up with all whole of government approach russia's continuing interference, noting also that 2018 elections are right around the corner. why do we not have a whole of government strategy already in place? general coats: it is an losses. the white house is actively engaged. this is a high priority. they are working through that through the national security committee. topic we understand has to be addressed. influences continuing
by the russians. onlynt to be not defensively ready, we are working with states and local election officials. i do not have a specific answer to your specific question which is which agency or individual person is taking the lead. >> to it think there should be a lead agency. >> i think that is a decision that has to be made by the president and white house. and what is being undertaken as we go forward will probably lead to that. we do have a cyber command through the military. you just confirmed the new incoming director. >> i hate to interrupt you but i am running out of time.
i think the conclusion is this is not a top priority for the present. you are doing your very best but i've a question for you regarding the most recent reports that south korean officials are saying that north korea's willing to begin negotiating with the united andes on denuclearization they are planning a summit between the two leaders. what are your thoughts on the perceived willingness to negotiate nuclear capabilities. what do you believe should be the u.s. role as these discussions continue? >> we will know a lot more in a few days as our envoys come back and give us details of what was discussed. i happen to have a long history here in a previous life of democratic and republican administrations trying to reach agreement with north korea on the nuclear
question. all efforts have failed. , while hem jong-un is is unpredictable, he is also very calculating. views possession of nuclear weapons as essential to his well-being as well as the well-being of his nation. he has repeated that statement over and over. all efforts in the past have failed and have simply bought north korea time to achieve what they want to achieve. i'm quite skeptical about all of this. not all administrative officials have been developed. springs eternal
and we have drawn a very clear line. north korea has to agree to not possess nuclear capability. until that happens, we cannot have an agreement with them. that is our position. we will see what happens. maybe this is a breakthrough. i seriously doubt it. hope springs eternal. >> thank you mr. chairman. director coats, thank you for being here. we are glad you are where you are. general ashley, when you marked down that list of skeptical versus optimistic put me on your and i get the check mark. i want to go back. when we have this discussion about a neck of war, i am pretty sure -- i am relatively new to this but i believe that is an article one power.
people should be talking about taking the steps congress takes based on the information presented, to put their money where their mouth is in terms of declaring war. i do have a question about russia. it has to do with the nature of the threat and what we do not know. when we talk about conventional weapon systems, we talk about standoff. we have a better understanding of what we need to engage in say theater, let's cyber theater. when we talk about in the war in cyberspace, do we have any earthly idea of what the nature of the threats are to our canrsaries to the point you go to a fight and know it would not be a fair fight? generalat regard, as developments of , we are welles
aware of the threats. have to start thinking about threats as we look up into space as well as threats here on earth. and use the same kind of principles that we used to assess what is happening here. space warfare could be a major issue for us. >> when you have in the past, you would view the action of a hostile nation, it was easy to identify exactly what they did. then you could determine how to respond. that one of the challenges we are trying to sort through the fact patterns to know exactly who was involved and then to know exactly how to respond. is that a way to characterize it? from a defense department perspective, part of what you are alluding to is attribution. when you get into things like
cyber, attribution becomes more problematic. your initial question was, do we have a pretty good capability will stop we have a pretty good capability. it is global. one thing about cyber, it is not founded. a previous question about capabilities, when you look at that character of war that is changing and that technology, you have the ability to reach weapons. with cyber is a global weapon system. the nature of character of war, have thisny longer lining up in the border and coming across. the line of which you declare hostilities is extremely blurred. if you are to ask russia and china, do you think you are at some form of conflict with the u.s., think behind closed doors the answer would be yes. it is hard to definitively say what constitutes an article of war when you are in the gray
zone. >> i want to ask you as we move and wearkup on the nda are looking at resources we need -- i will ask the question and you answer. what more should we be looking at? is there anything you see considering what is helpful or not helpful? what more should we be thinking about? general ashley, it has to do we are doing with our allies, how you would engage in various areas and written testimony. how you would gauge the health of the relationship and our nato partners and what more do we need to do. give them a scorecard. >> let me go with the partners question first. the secretary of defense laid out key lines of effort. he said we have to be more lethal and efficient in terms of
governance and effectiveness. one of the three key lines of effort was partners. he is an appreciation for we cannot do this by ourselves. our successes or is been integral to leveraging partners. they will bring insights, capabilities, capacity we do not have. one of the things we have to take a hard look at is in terms of intelligence sharing. how do we better integrate? the way we should look at some thatese problems is what problem is. if you have a problem in south africa or northern africa, then maybe it is not a flyby solution. maybe there are seven nations that can contribute to that. the intel sharing and opening that aperture is an area we need lowe ponde and
integrating partners is essential to our success. >> let me address the nato situation. we see nato as recovering. ussr dissolves, what is the role for nato? thanks to vladimir putin, we have gotten a wake-up call. the russian bear came out of hibernation and was hungry and started grabbing countries like crimea. crimea.ke now the fighting in ukraine, the issues and georgia. russia is not back in business. they have a ways to go but the trend is right. it is disappointing that the country i was a bust or two, the country most capable of providing strength and resources to nato, germany is not living up to its weight and with the election that just took place it
does not point to any additional move in the right direction. having said that, there are a number of nations, particularly ordered nations that are upping their game. there are exercises taking place. i have a grandson who is an airborne ranger who is been in over on theses border nations of europe and russia. intelligence division has been over to brussels twice on that. it is providing significant coordination and integration of intelligence that nato had not had before. they are upping their game. they see the threat coming. they want to be prepared. we are moving in the right .irection relative to nato >> thank you. director coats, with regards to cyber i fear that the phrase
"whole of government approach" has become a catchall for "it is someone else's job." we hear this over and over again. a substitute for action and it is not a substitute for real cyber doctrine, something that could really achieve deterrence. when can we expect an actual cyber plan from this administration? give youoats: i cannot a specific date. we will continue to supply as much intelligence we can gather to policymakers. >> i would love to hear somebody say "the buck stops here" instead of "whole of government approach." what if you done to create a sense of urgency in the white house? general coats: i have daily and weekly interactions with the white house and we discuss any number of issues. it is clearly an issue for the
national security to see. and for the nsc at the white others.d for so, there are ongoing discussions and it is part of the whole range of threats we face. as i earlier said, there has not leadyet a formulation of a agency that would work with the congress on legislative action and putting a policy of place relative to that. there are complicated issues here. >> we're running out of time. last week, i asked admiral rodgers if our response to russian cyber attacks has been adequate enough to change their behavior. he said we had failed to change their calculus and that their behavior has not changed. do you agree with this assessment? general coats: i agree with
that. i asked you agree it is possible to change someone's behavior, specifically someone like vladimir putin without imposing some kind of cost on them for their action? general coats: i believe that. >> how should we impose those costs on russia? general coats: that is the question. how do you assess the retaliation and impact and what it might lead to? i think that is the >> this body passed a law nearly unanimously that required that the president's ancient individuals with financial ties to russia and their sectors. wait sanctions by certifying that they have reduced the attacks by the united states. but give you told me the intelligence community is seen -- still seeing activity up to the 2018 elections. -- 2016 elections.
you said i think of the united states was under attack. why hasn't the human knighted states found anyone to section. >> as you probably seen, 13 individuals have been named. out acretary is bringing list of sanctions on those who have been complicit in this. you're talking about the 13 individuals indicted by the special counsel? >> correct. this goes the that to others that i don't know what names are on the list. we provided intelligence information to the department of treasury for this determination, and i'm told it is coming soon. you are asked to provide analysis to support the treasury department's decision. in -- decision? know is we have been
engaged in providing intelligence on the subject of continuously -- >> when they made their initial decision of release of names, they did not choose to sanction any individuals at that time. where you asked to provide analysis for them to come up with that decision? back andd have to go double check whether this was just part of a regular, ongoing provision of provision of information or whether this was a specific ask. i would be happy to get back to you on that. >> i would like that. we talk a lot about sanctions against north korea. it seems -- it seems like there should be a direction for this. >> thank you gentlemen for your appearance today. says weonal strategy return a great power competition. terrorism remains serious, but becomehreats
catastrophic, primarily when they are supported by a nationstate in one way or another. there are two great powers in the world, but i want to turn -- turn to a rogue nation. north korea. and follow-up on some of the conversation we have had. , we are still ascertaining what has happened. is it your understanding that any talks between north korea on the one hand and south korea and united states on the other hand, would be talks without any concessions made to north korea? >> my current understanding is no concessions -- that topic was not raise. >> part of the problem with north korea that we had and where we have gotten is in the past two or three decades we ran concessions just to tip them to
sit down and talk to us. it is one thing to talk with an adversary, we did that with the soviet union. is a different thing to bribe them. they should not play charlie brown to the lucy on the football. >> there has been a football, but there has been a lot of misses. >> some people talk about the possibility of deterring north korea just like we deterred the soviet union. that makes and assume -- assumption that -- makes an assumption. the new york times cited the of. and experts are expected exporting materials to be used as chemical weapons and missiles that could deliver those weapons. do you care to comment on those reports? >> in the past, there has been transfer historically between north korea and syria, relative to what's currently going on, we
would have to discuss that in classified session. >> perhaps we will do that. that sounds like the kind of thing that north korea would do, doesn't it, given their history? >> given their history, it sounds like it. >> and that makes them somewhat different from the soviet union. the soviet union of course had a nuclear arsenal that could destroy the american way of life, but rarely transferred weapons of mass destruction to rogue nations like syria, correct? >> i'm not sure i have enough information to say yes or no on that. -- that's, >> risky to transfer nuclear, chemical, biological technology if you care for the preservation, long term preservation of your regime, but given the economic and diplomatic situation north korea faces, i think it makes them somewhat different from the soviet union in the cold war. general ashley, let's turn to
a brief comment you made i think in exchange with senator fisher about the indirect fire systems that north korea has on or near the dmz. sometimes the north korean leadership say they could turn seoul into is it a lake of fire? is that what they call it? >> not sure. it would be significant amount of casualties. >> something like that. you also mention that a lot of north korea's military weapons are soviet air systems. do we know what percentage of those mortar rockets and artillery systems in north korea's arsenal are soviet air systems, which means by definition at this point at least 27 years old? >> i would say the majority of them are. we can give you an exact breakdown. >> of that percentage, do we know how many, what percentage
of those are well maintained by my understanding is the level of maintenance is pretty good on the systems. now, there's going to be a degree of atrophy over time, but our expectations, the systems will work. >> what about the availability of the parts and ammunition that the systems need? >> that becomes more problematic in terms of amount of ammunition and supply parts. >> because those are not widely available on the international arms market? >> correct. >> and finally, they need well trained crews to fire them. do we've sesment have assessment of the training at the crew level, how they can operate the systems? >> we watch their winter and training exercises, they're showing a level of discipline and expertise. i don't know that i can take it down to the crew level, i will get back to the comment i made earlier that kim jong-un, far different from his father in the level of rigor they applied to training regime to make sure crews are ready. >> when you pile up all of those estimates on top of each other,
though, there's some question about the overall effectiveness of north korea's indirect fire systems, probably a little less than what the north korean leader suggested it might be, but still a grave threat to south korea and to american troops on the peninsula, is that right? >> still a great threat. >> what's the quality of north korean air defenses against u.s. aircraft? >> so let me take that into closed session. that's a little more complicated answer. >> okay. thank you.
appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chair, thanks to the two witnesses. i want to applaud your prepared testimonies. i know you have to summarize briefly at the top of this hearing, but both of the prepared sets of testimony are very strong. in particular, i noticed both of you focused upon protracted conflicts, environmental challenges, et cetera, leading to migration and displacement and the security challenges caused by the placement. general ashley, you indicate as of october, 2017, protracted conflicts and sectarian violence increased global displacement at the highest levels on record according to united nations. i will come back to that in a second. director coats, you have a strong section on environment and climate change, page 16 and 17 of written testimonies that are important. i have been disappointed with some of the environmental agencies in the administration for not acknowledging that, scrubbing websites, not talking about it. but you're very straightforward about the challenges that are presented in our security environment in this section. i encourage my colleagues to take a look. here's a worry that i have. would you agree with me that the title of the hearing is worldwide threats. would you agree one of the best ways we deal with worldwide threats is stronger alliances, more allies? >> i agree with that. >> general? >> i agree. >> there seem to be a number of areas in which we are isolating
ourselves from allies. it could be the failure to nominate ambassadors. senator reid talked about that. it could be proposals to reduce dramatically budget of state department and usaid. that's on-going. it could be pulling out of the united states of international accords, whether it is pulling out of the paris accord, stepping back from u.n. compact on global migration, threatening to step out of an iran deal, threatening to pull out of a korean trade deal, threatening to pull out of nafta, starting tariffs which could suggest trade wars with allies. even tweets about allies and adversaries, even our own diplomats.
i wore very, very much about an isolationist attitude, if one of our immune system strengths dealing with worldwide threats is strengthening alliances, i am very nervous about this. let me ask you about two things that concern me. first, since you both focus on displacement and refugee charges, director coats you in your own testimony near the end talked about this as a significant phenomenon, whether it is war, violence, natural disasters, weather events, droughts, corruption, causing migrations of population, we have seen the challenges that syrian migrants have compounded in europe, for example. in december, the u.s. announced alone among nations was going to pull out of the u.n. compact on global migration, which was a voluntary agreement by nations in the u.n., unanimous agreement in september of 2016 to sit down and start to talk about new best practices for dealing with migrants and refugees. completely voluntary.
no incursion into the sovereignability of any nation to make their own immigration decisions, but the trump administration announced in early december the u.s. was pulling out of the discussions, citing citing sovereignty as a reason, which was nonsek wi tur since the idea was no nation gave up the sovereign ability to do anything, but we would have a dialogue how to deal with this significant security threat you each identify in your written and oral testimony, director coats. why is it a good idea for the united states to pull out of a global discussion about the way to deal with the human displacement problem you each identify in your testimony? >> senator, i'm not familiar with that particular decision, why that decision was made. in a larger sense, relative to
what you were talking about, it's easy to look at the way we have conventionally done things, also easy to see they haven't always worked. i think we've seen potential up sides to some decisions that have been made that have caused nations that we have either been adversaries oral ice allies to change their position. look at nato. the criticism that came to the president for criticizing nato has resulted in the fact that many nations have come in line and agreed and said look, yeah, you're right. we haven't held to our commitments, we haven't treated nato as something that is necessary. there are a number of nations that now have changed their position on that. relative to trade, other benefits that come from decisions that have been positive, so just going back to
the conventional, let's always do it the way we've always done it really hasn't worked very well. >> i want to comment on this and i have one question for the record. i get that, questioning existing institutions, could they be better. that's one thing. this was an initiative just being started. there was no history. there was no bad action. it was a decision by every nation in the world to meet beginning in mexico in december of 2017 to talk about the human displacement problem that you each testified to is achieving real gravitas and significance and the world needs to figure out how to deal with it. the u.s. decided they didn't want to be at the table for the first discussion. it wasn't a critique of what was done, it was unilateral decision the u.s. would be nonparticipant. i can't see how that benefits the united states or the world given your own testimony about the seriousness of the problem. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you for the role you're serving. general, thank you for your service. see if i can go over some highlights. north korea, is it still the policy of the united states to deny the north korean regime the ability to hit america with a nuclear icbm? >> true. >> is that true, general? agree with that?
>> yes, sir. >> denial then is different than containment. we have rejected the idea of giving them the capability and trying to contain it. is that true? >> yes. >> and the reason is, if they get a bunch of capability, are likely to sell or share it, we have seen history of that, is that accurate? >> yes. >> let's move to follow-up, as a last resort, military action is on the table. >> it is on the table. >> iran. when it comes to the iranian involvement in syria, aligned with russia, do you believe we have sufficient strategy to contain the russian, iranian threat in syria? >> we're certainly working on one, it is of constant discussion in terms of how we see that problem. it clearly is a major issue that needs to be addressed. >> i want to congratulate you on the fight against isis.
you have done a great job. results are on the ground. the sooner you come up with counter iran strategy in syria and other places, the better. i just got back from a trip to israel. i was informed by the idf that basically there are thousands of missiles and rockets in southern lebanon pointed at israel. do you have any reason to doubt that in the hands of hezbollah? >> no reason to doubt that. response to the previous question, there's a strategy in place relative to the iranian engagements throughout this difficult part of the world and what iran has been doing. >> maybe in a different setting we can talk about that. >> happy to do that. >> i'll just be honest with you, director coats, i got back from israel and jordan it is not bearing fruit. do you agree with the idea that united nations interim force in lebanon failed when it comes to protecting israel's interest in southern lebanon? >> i agree with that. >> you agree with that? >> i don't think that's my place to make that assessment. >> fair enough.
so israel told us, our delegation, they need more ammunition and backing from the united states if they have to go into southern lebanon because the hezbollah rockets and missiles are integrated within apartment complexes, schools, and hospitals. they have made civilian targets in play. does that make sense to you, can you confirm that? given the sources of it, obviously we like to talk about that in detail in a closed session. but yes. publicly, that has been predicted. -- has been pretty clear. >> i want the committee to know, it is a matter of time before israel has to act. they're making missile guided inside lebanon. couldn't do it without iran. the iranian nuclear agreement, is it still the belief of the president we need a new deal? >> yes. >> one of the concerns is the sunset clause? >> that's correct. >> under the sunset clause, mere passage of time, iran can enrich and reprocess without
limitation, is that correct? >> i believe that's correct. >> general ashley, i think the policy of the united states is -- says that any time they get within the year breakout, we should reimpose sanctions. do you understand that to be the president's position? >> i understand at the point they construct to reenrich 3.67, it would take about a year to put a weapon together. >> i totally support the president's belief we need a better deal replacing the sunset clause with something better. do you agree, director coats? >> that's a reasonable assumption. >> they're going to respond in kind. as to russian interference in the election, i have legislation that sets up a 9/11 style commission where people from private sector can come forward to give recommendations about how to help with infrastructure.
could you send that to me and give me feedback? >> i would be happy to do that. >> how likely the 2018 election is going to be compromised by russia? >> we have not seen evidence of a robust effort yet on the part of russia, but their malign activities -- >> if the past is any indication of the future, highly likely, would you agree? >> highly likely they'll be doing something, we don't know how much and when and where. >> do you agree, general? >> senator, i agree. >> we have a policy of mutual assured destruction, if we are attacked by nuclear weapons, we will wipe out the country who attacked us. do we have anything like that in the cyber arena? >> not to my knowledge. >> do you think we would be well served to let countries know, you attack america through cyberspace at your own peril? >> well, i think that message has already been delivered but
if it hasn't, it needs to. >> thank you. >> senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses for your testimony and your service. general ashley, what is your definition of political warfare. when you hear that term, how would you define it? >> more in the information domain, that it is really i hate to use the cut of the whole of government, but it is information that is targeted toward the populous at large, and if you look in the context since we talked about russia, they have a thing that's in their doctrine, in there since the '60s, reflexive control. what they do is use a level of influence to try to take you down a path to make a decision you think is your own. so that is nothing new. but as we look at it in context of what's involved the last
couple of years, it's a ubiquitous way to deliver messages. that's been their strategy since back in the 1960s. >> so basically many of the things we've been talking about here could easily be defined as political warfare. would you agree that we are engaged with an adversary using political warfare against the united states? >> i don't have a doctrinal term. i can say it is warfare in the context of warfare. it is information confrontation in terms of how the russians look at it. >> at least in the context of the term political warfare, it is consistent with that? >> senator peters, could i interrupt a moment? senator wither. >> in the context of that? >> i have to look for the exact definition of what political warfare constitutes, which i can't tell you what that is.
>> that's fine. i was recently reading a report from brookings institution and i found emerging threats section in the report particularly interesting. i want to read it and get comments about emerging threats. they write in the report the future of political warfare is in the digital domain. the influence tools used by moscow against the west are still fairly basic. they rely exploiting human vulnerabilities and social media ecosystem, lack of awareness from public and media and policy makers. in three to five year term, however, these tools will become more advanced and difficult to detect, in particular technological advancements in artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities will open opportunities for malicious actors to undermine democracies more covertly and effectively than what we've seen so far. in addition, increasingly sophisticated cyber tools tested primarily by russia in eastern europe have effected western
systems and attack on western -- an attack on western systems seems inevitable. that is the end of quote. general what do you make of that , statement? >> want to say there's validity to the statement. at attribution could be more difficulty. at the same time, what we have seen transpire in europe, you had the level of influence that the russians tried in a number of elections, whether chechnya, france, germany, other nations, norway, because of the levyheavy -- because of the heavy-handed , it eliminated what they were doing, they became more suspect. the more we talk about it in the public domain, the more people may question information they see that's out there. they may question whether or not it is true, or if it eliminated what they were doing, they became more suspect.
>> the more we talk about it in the public domain, the more people may question information they see that's out there. they may request whether or i think there's an ai application. mineta piece of that, it came into the public domain and we talked about that. >> my final question is a lot of this misinformation and tools that are being used and will be exploited in increasing fashion in the future are able to use big data, weaponization of big data. how do you approach that concept, what are you doing in regards to that. first off, do you believe that's a significant threat, weaponization of big data? >> i think it is a threat. >> part of that threat is to engage our social media platforms, facebook, twitter, other types of platforms that are engaged in that? is the intelligence community to
to both of you, is the intelligence community engaged in conversations with these platforms, understanding we need to probably cooperate if we're going to be able to forge this threat? general, you first, is that necessary? i was going to let the director take that. >> so let me take the context of big data in terms of our understanding. as we start seeing what's changing in the character war, you have speed of decision. so there's all of these disparate things. on the military side, it is being able to see indications of warning, being able to see faint signals of conflict that may be coming your way, and so to take all of that disaggregated information and agogregate it in a way you can see trends, indication, warning, and gives the analyst time to think about what he or she is seeing, for us, that's kind of one of the big applications for big data in terms of the environment.
>> i am out of time. thank you. >> senator mccaskill. >> thank you so much. thanks for the indulgence of my colleagues, i haven't voted, they're letting me do this out of turn so i can vote. -- so i can try to make a couple of points. i like the analogy of the bear coming out of hibernation. i think it is an accurate description of what's going on with putin and russia. as you describe it, the bear is out of hibernation, grabbing countries. i would add to that, attacking democracies. would you agree? >> i would agree. >> okay. but we're not hunting bears, the united states. and by and large because the commander in chief doesn't appear to be interested in hunting bears, which is very frustrating for all of us, whether it comes to sanctions or whether it comes to direct action. russia is not feeling the might of the united states of america. and admiral rogers was clear last week that he is not being kmanld kmanld commanded to use
the tools he has to go against russia. those bears are now colluding with iran to threaten our best ally in a dangerous neighborhood, and that's israel. i want to get that on the record. i also want to ask you quickly about the security of our supply chain for our weapons systems. this is something that really concerns me and this i direct to both of you. we now know that the requirements of china and russia to review proprietary information of united states companies in return for opening their markets to united states companies could cause real problems down the line. do either of you support that we should require u.s. companies to tell us if russia or china is requiring them to open up their proprietary source code as condition of doing commerce with those two countries?
>> i don't know if that decision has been made. it has some implications that, you know, would bear some legal examination of the issue. you raise the right question. it is a concern. and looking at the supply chain down through, but whether we're in a position now legally or with the authorities to enforce that against various companies, i don't have the answer for that. i don't know, general, on the military supply chain, if you have taken action in that regard. >> i don't know whether we put those laws in place, but from supply chain risk management, the point you bring up is critical and we have to be much more cognizant, less naive about where our technology is coming from, especially on the
acquisition side. you look at the components brought in. so for example, if i have a contract with you for something and you have a subcontract with senator warren, he may represent the labs, but that was not written in the contract you have to preclude that from happening. we are getting smarter on risk management and more on counter intelligence forum to uncover those relationships. >> i would like recommendations from both of you what we can do in ndaa to give you legal tools necessary to require u.s. companies to let us know when they're being required to reveal source code. an important proprietary software that in order to do business with people that are not always our friends and secondly, what we can do to require more transparency with subcontractors for protection of our weapon system supply chains, if both of you could make any recommendations, i think this committee on a bipartisan basis would be interested in giving you whatever tools are necessary for that really desperately needed protection. thank you both.
>> thank you, senator mccaskill. director coats. senator mccaskill made a statement, you agreed, then made another one, i suspect maybe you didn't agree with that one but you were not asked if you agree. let me see if we can expand. last week, the u.s. government approved selling anti-tank missiles and launchers to ukraine. the javelins represent the lethal aid ukraine has been calling for from the united states since russia's illegal annexation of crimea. in that sense we're fighting the bear in that regard, isn't that correct? the general has more
knowledge of the impact of javelin missiles and weapons sent to ukraine, but yes, that is a push back. >> in that sense, we're engaging the bear? >> i think what we're showing also is good faith measure toward our partner in ukraine as well. >> i think one of the most strategic acts in the next few months or years is that russia demonstrably lose in ukraine. do you agree? >> that is a strategic objective, yes. sen. wicker: and also our national defense strategy now states that for long term security competitions, our competition with china and russia are foremost priority for department of defense. is that correct? >> sir, that is correct. senator wicker: and so in that case, i won't ask you, i would just observe, we're engaging the
bear in doing so in our very strategy. general ashley, you were not quite as optimistic as senator inhofe when this hearing first began when he asked you about north korea. i expect that might be because you've seen this movie before, is that correct? >> senator, that's correct. sen. wicker: would you care to expound on why exactly you don't share much optimism about the announcement yesterday from kim jong-un? >> yes, sir. staying at the unclassified level, everything i have seen, everything that reinforced my opinion and assessment, albeit there's opaqueness to decision
making of kim jong-un, i have aen nothing to take me down path to think that he's about ready to make a hard right turn. but that possibility is there. but i've seen nothing to tell me that there's sincerity in talks that are about ready to kickoff. senator wicker: should we dismiss it out of hand or would your advice to the president of the united states be to follow-up with caution? >> follow-up up with caution, you engage. senator wicker: ok. now let me ask one other thing. there was a rand study that came out in december and we've had classified briefings that followed up on that, a public study. and basically it was very startling what they said. they said that under plausible scenarios, the united states could actually lose the next war. they listed several reasons for this. one being that when we have to
fight a war, we have to fight it so far from home. but also they said that our adversaries are catching up with us in technology. did you have a chance to look at that rand study? >> senator, i have not, but i will. sen. wicker: ok. director coats, have you looked at that study? >> i have not, but we have seen a great deal of intelligence relative to the technological capabilities now available to nations which didn't have those capabilities before. there is a competition. and there is a race. and the world is changing. conventional warfare probably changed when we prevailed in desert storm. no country will line up tanks or infantry against us given our capabilities demonstrated there. type ofseen a lot of
threats and use of technology to achieve the threats. so it is a different kind of warfare that we're engaged in, and i think we are fully aware of that thanks to the congress. the budget has been increased significantly to make up for stuff that was pretty static in the past administration. sen. wicker: that's true, yes. and i think we're going to follow-up on the 23rd of this month with an omnibus. but let me get back to you. understanding general ashley that you haven't yet read the report, it was stunning i think to many americans that a report could say we could conceivably , under plausible conditions lose the next war. what do you say to someone who would make that flat statement? >> so i have to look at the context of the assessment. is it one particular war, multiple wars, holding, deterring.
i do agree with everything that director coats says in terms of closing the gaps in capabilities. our opponents are going to come at us in an asymmetric way, the technology gap is closing and the fact that we have global commitments, it's hard to posture yourself around the globe. you always have that time distance where you have to move or may be out of position when a conflict starts. sen. wicker: general, thank you very much. i'm going to ask you to take this as a question. we'll insert it at this point in the record. would you look at the report, itd rand came out about the 4th of january or actually i think it came out in december. look at that and give us a brief response. >> yes, sir. sen. wicker: to the allegations, top line allegations made. senator king. senator king: thank you, mr.
chairman. first, director coats, i want to compliment you and members of your community that you represent on the report that you have supplied to us. it is succinct, clear, troubling in some places, which is what good intelligence will always be peered -- always be. particularly on page 16 is an extraordinary statement about the effect of climate change on national security. the impacts of the long term trends toward warming climate, more air pollution, water scarce -- water scarcity likely to to fuel discontent and possibly upheaval through 2018. he goes on to talk what the risk of humanitarian disasters, conflict, water and food shortage, population, migration, labor shortfalls, price shocks, power outages, and possibility of abrupt climate change. the notes indicate the current extinction rate 100 to 1,000 times the natural extinction rate.
i just want to point that out. this is clearly as your report indicates, a serious issue of national security. is it not? >> it is an issue but always has been an issue. what happens to the environment, floods, hurricanes, etc. we're seeing some intensity of that. sen. king: this isn't talking about general environmental conditions, this is talking about the past 115 years, reading from your report, have been the warmest period in the history of modern civilization. past few years, the warmest years on record. -- goes ons on state to state. i would hope you have people prepared this brief the secretary of the epa because i think this information is important, it's important to national security. we often talk about risk of climate change in the context of environmentalism, but according to your analysis, it is also an
issue that effects national security, will increase migration patterns, conflict, famine and the like, which is often how wars start. another part of the report on page seven talks about iran and the iran nuclear agreement and there's an interesting phrase that says iran's implementation of jcpoa extended the time iran needs to produce material for a nuclear weapon from a few months to a year, provided iran continues to adhere to the deal's major provisions. is it the judgment of intelligence community that iran has thus far adhered to the deal's major provisions? >> yes, the judgment is that there's no material breach of the agreement. sen. king: and the jcpoa, reading from your report, enhanced transparency of iran's nuclear activities, mainly by
fostering improved access to those nuclear facilities for iaea, and the authorities under the additional protocol. so if the iran agreement were ab ragated, we lose that to the iran nuclear enterprise, is that correct? >> we built a number of capacities relative to that. even since the agreement. so to say lose that i don't think would be accurate. sen. king: diminish? >> potentially could diminish. sen. king: i think you can do better than that. it would diminish, would it not? aea would certainly not have the access that they currently have? >> no, they may not. on the other hand, we have provided other means and we have significantly upped our game in terms of verification procedures. sen. king: in your assessment on page 18, you talk about china.
again interesting language. it talks about china's security interests with regard to the south china sea, east china sea and taiwan. it uses the language -- i am sorry, it uses the language of national security in those regards. sovereignty claims east china sea, south china sea and taiwan, but then talks about efforts aimed at fulfilling the belt and road initiative to expand china's economic reach and political influence. my question is what is the intelligence community's assessment of what china wants? does china want, are they moving toward military aggression and enlargement of territory or looking more towards political and economic influence in the region? >> it appears to be the latter.
while china is modernizing its military, increasing its spending, most of it appears to be done for deterrence purpose, rather than aggressive purpose. they have clearly had a strategy of using credit and loans to countries around the world, particularly in strategic places and then combining it with some military capacity. south china sea, their new base, we see that. china is seeking i think to become a world power with great influence on a global basis and they're using a number of techniques that are far more than just the typical typical military land grab that we see more likely with russia rather than china. sen. king: thank you, sir.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator king. senator sullivan. senator sullivan: thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, good to see you again. thanks for your wonderful service. want to just comment, i saw my colleague senator kaine make comments on some of his concerns, particularly as relates to alliances and how we're focusing on those or not. i think it is a good point, i agree with him on it. one thing he actually didn't mention is the unprecedented delay of the confirmation of many of the people the president has put forward in terms of the national security foreign policy area, so you don't have to comment on that, but i certainly wish if we're talking about challenges that we can agree to expeditiously move some of these nominees as opposed to delay , delay, delay. i wanted to ask about china with regard to -- there's been a lot of press recently about some of
these, i don't know if you call institutes in but the united states and how the dollar diplomacy in top universities in the u.s. is starting to have an impact, people are wondering what these confucius institutes are up to. first of all, director coats, do you think china would allow for the equivalent? let's say we have the u.s. government putting forward james madison institutes or alexander hamilton institutes about freedom, liberty, rule of law on chinese campuses, do you think china would allow that? >> we certainly don't have any assessment i could give you, given china's control over what is done in china through its institutions, both public and likely it would be a harder hurdle to cross.
senator sullivan: probably very unlikely. >> probably very unlikely. senator sullivan: have you looked at these confucius institutes, have you looked at what these are on some top campuses are trying to achieve, what their goals are? are they actually spying on chinese students in university? do we know what's going on? there's a number of articles in the last few months on these. >> there's significant interest in this. we have some studies going on, some investigations going on relative to what china is doing and what the intent is, how much is linked to the chinese government policies, rather than just students wanting to come to get a good education here, so we take that very seriously. this is part of the effort. sen. sullivan: it would be good to see the reports and brief congress on it. i think there's a lot of us on both sides of the aisle interested in that. you had a lot of questions on
north korea. let me be more specific. i would like to get a sense of your confidence in the intelligence estimates with regard to the critical issue of north korea's capabilities for long range nuclear missiles that can hit all of the continental united states or just western states, or i have a particular interest in noncontiguous states, alaska and hawaii. what are your estimates right now of kim jong-un's ability to range all three of those geographic areas in our country? >> we know china tested the ability with icbms, they have the power to reach all parts of the united states. we know they have tested a high yield nuclear device. we assess they will continue to do these testings.
specifics of what you're asking i think is better moved to closed session rather than here. sen. sullivan: the president put forward what i would consider a red line in terms of u.s. policy. i think you in one of your hearings recently agreed with that, that he is saying we're not going to allow the north koreans to have the capability to have an intercontinental ballistic missile that would hit the united states, including my state of alaska, which is a little closer. has north korea crossed that red line yet? >> i don't believe they've crossed that red line yet, but i think that policy is still in place. sen. sullivan: do you think they're going to cross that red line within the year, 2018? >> you know, we do everything we can to assess what kim jong-un is thinking and what the regime might do. but it has been unpredictable as you know. the message has been loud and clear. sen. sullivan: is it likely that
they will cross that red line this year? --i cannot assess that they what would you describe as the red line? talking about their capabilities? sen. sullivan: ability to fire a nuclear missile that can reach any state in america, including alaska and hawaii. >> we know they're pursuing capability. whether they exercise that capability or not, that would cross that red line, we don't know. sen. sullivan: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator sullivan. senator warren. senator warren: thank you, mr. chairman. so the committee on foreign investment in the united states reviews accusations by foreign companies to ensure they don't threaten our national security. and the director of national intelligence investigates the national security risks proposed by proposed foreign investment transactions. so director coats, your threat assessment observed that china and others are using legal ways
to acquire american early stage technologies, and that these foreign acquisitions erode our competitive advantage. so i'd like to explore that just a little bit. general ashley, as head of the defense intelligence agency, you look at foreign acquisitions of u.s. technology through the lens of national security risk to the supply chain for our government and our military. so i want to pick up on this where senator mccaskill left off. given that china and others will continue efforts to acquire our technologies, how well are we identifying emerging technologies that are critical to maintaining our military advantage over our adversaries both in the near future and beyond? >> what i can speak to are technologies are coming out, what we do to go through the supply chain, risk management, counter intelligence, we examine those tied to the department. sen. warren: if i can, general,
let me narrow the question. the question i'm asking is are we doing a good job of identifying all of the critical technologies that are subject to the chinese. that's the first part. you have to know it is within your lens to take a look at. >> i can't speak to totality of everything out there that would be examined. when you talk about how they acquire, some is legal, some is illegal, some of them starting to build their own technology now. sen. warren: i understand that. i'm a little concerned though about our ability to monitor this in advance. i'm very concerned. let me ask this, general ashley. do you believe government investment in basic scientific research is critical to developing those technologies that maintain our military advantage? >> i do. sen. warren: good. you know, i think it is important for us to be proactive in identifying emerging technologies that foreign
adversaries will try to coach -- to poach and continuing research that extends our national security. i want to pick up where another senator left off. one of the tools we have to hold russia accountable as sanctions. congress overwhelmingly passed a sanctionsear passing -- law requiring sanctions on anyone that engages in cyber attacks on behalf of the russians. the trump administration has not imposed these required sanctions, even though russia will continue trying to interfere in our elections. so last week, i asked the nsa director what message it sends to vladimir putin when the trump administration does not implement mandatory sanctions to counter russian cyber attacks. admiral rogers said, i will quote him, "i believe that president putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there's little price to pay here and that therefore i can continue
this activity." he concluded by saying, quote, "clearly what we've done hasn't been enough." director coats, do you agree with admiral rogers? >> i do believe what we have done has not done enough. sanctions are under consideration and secretary of treasury has indicated i think as early as next week he may be listing some of those sanctions, but clearly we have not successfully countered in an offensive way rather than defensive way how to deal with cyber -- sen. warren: you agree we have not done enough. how about admiral rogers' statement when he said i believe president putin has clearly come to the conclusion there's little price to pay here, meaning for russian cyber attacks, and that he can therefore continue this activity? do you agree with the admiral on that? >> i think they have seen some successes.
i don't know to what extent they believe the success they wanted to achieve. i do support what has been discussed relative to transparency and informing the american people. our job in the intelligence community is to inform the american people of this so that they exercise better judgment in terms of what is real news. sen. warren: you think our job is only to inform the american people? i think our job is -- >> i did not say that's our only job. i said that's one of the things we do in the intelligence community. sen. warren: so did you agree with admiral rogers' statement or not? i didn't hear a yes or no. >> i agree there's more we can do and it is under consideration. sen. warren: i don't care if you're democrat or republican, as americans we should be appalled that vladimir putin thinks he gets to play a role in the outcome of our elections. >> i couldn't agree more. sen. warren: good. we need to prevent that from ever happening again.
>> that's why transparency is part of the effort. sen. warren: i am all for transparency but if the trump administration doesn't implement sanctions as required by congress, then we are not using every tool we can to effectively deter russia from undermining our democracy. >> and as i said, secretary mnuchin is going to be announcing those within a week. sen. warren: eventually. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your service. thank you for being here today. director coats, in your written testimony you said, quote, "iran remains the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism, providing financial aid, advanced weapons and tactics, and direction to militant and terrorist groups across the middle east, and cultivating a network of operatives across the globe as a contingency to enable potential terrorist attacks." as you know, as part of the obama nuclear deal, billions of dollars flowed into iran,
including $1.7 billion in unmarked cash delivered in pallets in the dark of of night. in your judgment, has some of those billions of dollars, has some of that money been used to finance terrorist operations? >> likely. senator cruz: what in your judgment is the greatest terrorist threat posed by iran? >> iran has a lot of malign activities going on right now but it seem the latest current threat is support for hezbollah and hezbollah positioning itself against israel. that's turned into a hot spot and iran made this possible for hezbollah to move into syria territory close to israel and arm themselves where it could turn into a major conflict. sen. cruz: in recent weeks we
saw for the first time ever an iranian drone crossing into israeli airspace piloted by iranians. what do you see as the consequences iran now feels strong enough, belligerent enough to be directly leading attacks on israel with iranian weapons by iranians? >> it could have serious conflict. we know israel will be able to tolerate that kind of threat directly on their border so i think it's a situation of significant concern. sen. cruz: and is iran continuing its research of development and testing of icbm technology? >> they continue to develop and test their missiles, they claim
it's not for that purpose but there appears to be violations of u.n. security resolutions relative to what they're doing and that is one of the malign activities we're concerned about. sen. cruz: and the missiles they're testing, they're not nearly -- not merely short-range missiles that might strike israel but they also include icbms that could reach the united states of america? >> i would like general actually to answer. >> so what they have in the inventory are short range ballistic missile and medium range ballistic missiles. they do have a space launch vehicle, the reliability is not there. so today if you ask me does iran have an icbm capability, that do -- they do not. is that aspirational? yes. could they take that space launch vehicle and start working it toward an icbm capability? they could, but that's many years out. sen. cruz: do we see indications of north korea sharing their icbm research and development
with iran? >> from an iranian standpoint and their ballistic missile program, the seed corn of their ballistic missile missile program started in the 1980's in the iran-iraq war. that was the scud technology and where iran wants to be right now is self-sufficient so they want to have the ability not to depend on north korea like they did in the 1980's. so they are self-sufficient in how they're developing their program. sen. cruz: let's shift for a minute to north korea. in january, kim jong-un called for contact, travel and cooperation between north korea and south korea and then yesterday kim jong-un hosted a ten-member delegation of south korean officials in pyongyang , and according to president moon's national security adviser who led the delegation, north korea signaled a " clear intent to pursuit denuclearization and is willing to hold talks with
the u.s." director coates oror -- director coats, do we have any reason to believe that kim jong-un would be willing to give up nuclear weapons? >> he has repeatedly stated that he would not give that up. he sees that as an existential to his machines survival and his own survival. we have seen nothing to indicate otherwise that he would be willing to give up those weapons. sen. cruz: so what do you make of these statements to the contrary? is this simply propaganda? what's your assessment of it? >> well, i think it's too early to make a clear assessment. we need to hear from our interlocutors who will be coming here as well as south koreans to discuss what they have discussed. i spoke earlier about my history here of watching the movie a couple of times before with both a republican and democrat administration, the frustration of getting into talks with north
korea and not succeeding, buying them time to do what they want to do so i have very, very low ,onfidence in what their intent if their intent is for denuclearizing. we have seen no evidence to that decision. sen. cruz: general, do you have a view on this question? >> i agree with the director. everything we've seen leads us down a path that really the preservation of the regime from any kind of external threat is central to that weapons program and the lessons he's taken away from the likes of qaddafi that have given up programs puts him at risk and it was surprising to see that in the paper this morning and we'll see where the talks go. sen. cruz: thank you good >> thank you, senator cruz. let me make a comment about that. i'm glad you brought that up, senator cruz, we talked about this earlier and general ashley and i had a disagreement about this.
let me tell you why i feel a little differently than both of you. i, too, have been here while you've been here, dan, and we've listened to this and seen this movie before and all that but you have to keep in mind that kim jong-un just came off of eight years with someone -- a policy of appeasement from the obama administration, then all of a sudden when the response came on pressing the button and he responded in a very, very straightforward way -- he being our president -- then all of a sudden the phone call went down to south korea, yeah, we want to participate with you in the winter olympics and i was watching this because i was there at the time, not at the winter olympics but i was in the south china sea and i thought, you know, that happening. then, of course, what happened last night is something that is unprecedented and coming forth
in saying under some conditions, he would follow the denuclearization. so i'm a little more optimistic than your hope springs eternal, dan, but i do think and i want to think that this aggressive behavior of our president is going to have a positive effect on him. >> i think we would all like to think that and hope that that's the case. i just think we should two into -- i just think we should go into this eyes wide open and look at the history before we get too excited about this. >> i agree with that. any further comments? we're going to go ahead before someone else comes in and release this crowd. thank you. [laughter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> the president was asked about trade tariffs and north korea during a meeting with the prime minister of sweden, who was in washington tuesday. that is next. the government released a report detailing the high amount of counterfeit goods being sold, we will get an update coming up. and in case you missed it, the director of national intelligence testifies at a global threats hearing. that is later. many white house staff members have not yet received permanent security clearances. intelligence committee will investigate the security clearance process for
government employees. we have a live coverage wednesday at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. economicnounced that advisor gary cohen will resign his position. this was the afternoon that there was testimony about the administration's economic policies. he is expected to face questions about president trump's tariff proposals. live coverage at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. follow both hearings online at c-span.org or with the c-span radio app. on c-span's landmark cases, we explore the 1886 case citysan francisco ordinance discriminating against a chinese laundromat owner. owner -- itat