Skip to main content

tv   Intelligence Agency Leaders Testify on Global Threats Before Senate Armed...  CSPAN  May 2, 2021 9:37pm-10:55pm EDT

9:37 pm
c-span's "washington journal" every day taking your calls live on the air on the news of the day and discussing policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, a look at the week ahead at the white house with an associated white house press reporter and we talk about childcare and other proposals in the biden plan with hannah matthews of the center for law and social policy. then a discussion of efforts to share it u.s. vaccine supply with the rest of the world with some heart of the one campaign. watching c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 easter monday morning and join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] announcer: monday, the house oversight and reform committee
9:38 pm
holds a hearing on government accountability and transparency. what's that live beginning at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. announcer: national intelligence officials testify on global threats facing the u.s., including russia's nuclear buildup and the growing threat of climate change. this is about one hour and 15 minutes.
9:39 pm
good morning. before i turn to our witnesses today, i would like to give my colleagues a preview of what is ahead of the committee when we return from the recess. because of the uncertainty of the timing of the president's budget submission, the committee has made a difficult decision to delay the markup of the ndaa until july in consultation with senator emhoff. the secretary of defense, chairman milley, will testify in june. that leaves may to focus on hearings. we have 23 nominations or intent
9:40 pm
to nominate. getting these nominees confirmed as quickly as possible will require many hearings, including possible full-committee hearings on wednesday. so i ask everyone to be as patient and cooperative as possible while we reform this very necessary oversight duty. one other note breaking a bit from -- at least the tradition of the last several months, i would like to take a moment to thank leah brewer, the committee nominations and hearings clerk who has been the main force behind ensuring this committee has kept operating through covid. she has mastered the technology of the hybrid hearing. indeed, she's the only one who has. and she has rounded us up off the floor countless times to vote civilian and military nominations out of committee. she's an unsung hero.
9:41 pm
i want to say how thankful we are. now turning to the hearing. the committee will receive testimony from avril haines and director of the defense intelligence agency lieutenant general scott berrier on the worldwide threats facing the united states and our international partners. it is important for the congress and the american people to hear from the leaders of our intelligence community and i want to thank you both for being here. i would also like to take the opportunity to thank the men and women under your leadership for their dedication and service to the country. this year's annual threat assessment of the director of national intelligence highlights the complexity of the current threat environment. the report finds that the united states and its partners face, quote, a diverse array of threats that are playing out amidst the global destruction involving from the covid-19 pandemic and against the backdrop of great power competition, disruptive effects
9:42 pm
and a change in climate. an increasing number of nonstate actors and rapidly evolving technology. the interconnected nature of these threats will drive how we resource and transform our tools and national power, not only military but also diplomatic, economic and informational. to respond to these complex security challenges, we need to do all of these things. the united states and its democratic allies and partners are increasingly challenged by states and nonstate actors that do not accept the international norms that have underpinned our security and help keep the peace for decades. a recent report published by the director of national intelligence sought to project global trends over the next 20 years and found that accelerating shifts in military power, demographics, economic growth, environmental conditions and technology as well as hardening divisions over governance models are likely to further ratchet up competition
9:43 pm
against china. it is against the background that the department of defense has identified china as the pacing threat for the united states military. we must avoid contributing to a perception that china is ten feet tall. i hope our witnesses will describe the challenges facing china, including demographic, economic and governmental and how the united states and our extensive network of allies and partners can best take advantage of them in the current coming here's. russia is utilizing a whole-of-government approach to accelerate competition and advance its interests, notably via disinformation campaigns, assassination attempts, espionage, and the use of mercenary groups in numerous countries around the world. i hope our witnesses will help us more fully understand the extent of russia's maligned actions as well as areas where our partners and allies would benefit from greater u.s. support as they work to bolster
9:44 pm
their capacity to resist such threats. the regimes will continue to demand attention and resources from the intelligence committee and i'm interested in understanding how the intelligence community views the threat posed by iran, including the nuclear program and destabilizing activities in the region. how those actions may constrain the biden administration's diplomatic efforts. i hope our witnesses will frame the challenges we're facing from kim jong-un, what we may expect in the way of provocative actions and how we may affect a change in the behavior of that regime. as we heard from commanders last week, the threat posed by violent extremist groups persists. while president biden has announced a transition of forces out of afghanistan by september 11th, 2021, we must maintain the capability to continue to grade al qaeda, isis and other
9:45 pm
terrorist groups and prevent attacks on the homeland. i'm interested to hearing from the witnesses as to what measures would be most effectively used to contain these threats from these groups. turning briefly to the cyberthreats we face, hardly a week passes between revelations of serious breaches by our adversaries and criminals between federal, state and local institutions and private sector enterprises. while they involve theft of information, they show the potential of attacks by our adversaries on a larger scare. and i hope our witnesses will share their concerns about these threats. once again, let me thank you for being here this morning. i look forward to your testimony. i will -- before i turn it over to ranking member emhoff, there will be an informal classified briefing following this session in the office of senate security
9:46 pm
sb-217. ranking member? >> thank you, mr. chairman. since its release in 2018, the committee's top priority has been ensuring that we implement the national defense strategy and if we're serious about the security of the united states, we need the resources to make this nds happen. the president's budget request does not meet this standard. it doesn't even keep up with inflation. our top military commanders have told us in recent weeks that the threats to the united states are growing at an alarming rate to cut the defense budget in the midst of these challenges is not just misguided, it's dangerous. over the past several years, this committee has been repeatedly warned of the pace and the scope of russia and china. just last week, the commander of the u.s. strike command told this committee that russia has
9:47 pm
completed over 80% of its nuclear force modernization. they've been busy. he also stated that china has reached inflection point where it is accelerating its nuclear and modernization efforts and will reach operational parity with the united states in the 2030s. at the same time, china's modernization of its conventional forces is accelerating at a startling pace. they are outpacing us in developing critical technologies like hyper sonics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing. most americans believe that we had the best of everything. that took hold after the second world war. that was pretty true. but it's not true now. for a long time, that was the case. now it's not. at the same time, china's military ambitions are global.
9:48 pm
they are building bases and deploying advanced capabilities in places like africa and -- what they call, quote, a number -- the number one global power competition. as china accelerates military capability, putin has not been dormant as we've seen with the buildup of forces around ukraine and all of his forces there. we need to understand that chinese aggression, russian intimidation, as well as the seriousness of our other threats we face around the world. i look forward to the testimony and i have two really critical questions i'll be asking our witnesses, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator imhofe. this is a hybrid hearing.
9:49 pm
we will follow seniority. standard five-minute questioning round is in effect and would ask people to keep their eyes on the clock. finally, to allow everyone to participate fully, would ask all colleagues to please mute your microphone if you are not speaking. let me begin with director haines. >> thank you very much. chairman reed, ranking member imhofe, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to offer the 2021 assessment of worldwide threats to u.s. national security. on behalf of the entire intelligence community but particularly those elements that sit within the department of defense, i want to express to you how much we appreciate your support and your partnership. i would like to take advantage of this moment to thank the men and women of the intelligence's community, their efforts rarely receive public accolades because of the nature of their work. but they help to keep us safe,
9:50 pm
often a great personal sacrifice, and we remain committed to providing them with the resources our mission requires and the support we owe them. it's my honor to serve alongside these dedicated officers and leaders, including general berrier and to represent their work to you. our goal today is to convey to you and the public we serve and protect the threat environment as we perceive it and to do our best to answer the questions about the challenges we face. i will highlight a few points and provide context in my opening statement for a more detailed threat picture, i refer you to the annual threat assessment we issued earlier this month. broadly speaking, the intelligence community is focused on traditional categories of issues that we've been discussing for years, adversaries and competitors, criminal transnational threats and conflicts in instability. i'll summarize our views on these, but i want to take note of the shifting landscape we see today and the implications that it has for our work. the trends underlying these
9:51 pm
issues are increasing the pace, complexity and impact of these threats in ways that require us to evolve. in coming years, as reflected in our report that was just discussed, we assess that the world will face more intense and cascading global challenges ranging from disease to climate change to disruptions from new technological and financial crisis. as we note in that report, these challenges will repeatedly test the resilience and adaptability of states. this looming between existing and future challenges and the ability of institutions and systems to respond is likely to grow and produce greater contestation at every level. for the intelligence community, this insight compels us to broaden our definition of national security, to develop new expertise into our work,
9:52 pm
deepen and strengthen our partnerships and learn to focus on the long-term strategic threats while simultaneously addressing the urgent crises. in short, at no point has it been more important to invest in our norms, institutions, workforce and the integration of our work and we need to pull together as a society and promote resilience and innovation. as we evolve, you will see our efforts to more effectively integrate longer term destabilizing trends into our daily work thereby promoting strategic foresight and a deeper understanding of the threats we face which we hope will help the policy community prioritize their work to address the issues that we seek to present. against this backdrop, we describe an array of threats that we face this year. i'll begin with china and move russia, iran and north korean.
9:53 pm
china is a near-peer competitor pushing to revise global norms in ways that favor the chinese system. they're demonstrating their growing strength and compel regional neighbors to acquiesce in areas. it also has substantial cyber capabilities that if deployed at a minimum can cause localized temporary disruptions to critical infrastructure inside the united states. and while china poses a challenge to the u.s. role in global affairs, it's worth noting that its economic, environmental and demographic vulnerabilities all threaten to complicate the way they desire to get to that. moscow will continue to employ a variety of tactics to undermine u.s. influence and erode western alliances. russia does not want a conflict
9:54 pm
with the united states. officials have believed that washington is seeking to weaken russia and they will use a range of tools to seek their objectives. it will also employ new weapons and cyber capabilities to threaten the united states and its allies and seeks to use malign influence campaigns including in the context of u.s. elections to undermine our global standing sew discord and influence u.s. decision-making. they're becoming increasingly adept at leveraging its technological prowess in order to force the united states to accommodate to its interests. teheran is seeking to project power in neighboring states, deflect international power and minimize threats to region stability. iraq will be a key battleground for iranian influence in the coming year, but tehran will also continue to pursue a permanent military presence in syria, destabilize yemen and
9:55 pm
threaten israel. for its part, north korea may take destabilizing actions to reshape its environment and drive wedges between the united states and its allies. these efforts could include the resumption of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile testing in the future. the assessment focuses on key issues that intersect with the state actor threats that i outlined starting with covid-19. the effects of the pandemic will continue to strain governments and societies over the coming year, fueling economic crises, political unrest and geopolitical competition as countries such as russia and china try to build influence and demand concessions from other governments. countries with high debts face challenging recovering while others will turn inward and be distracted by other challenges. the critical impact of the pandemic has served to highlight
9:56 pm
the importance of public health to national security. a change in climate will continue to fuel disease outbreaks, threaten food and water security and humanitarian crises. warmer weather can generate in addition to driving conflicts over scarce natural resources. the changing climate conflict and economic depravation will drive populations from their homes, heightening humanitarian needs and increasing the risk of upheavel. the scourge of drugs and crimes will continue to take its tolls. groups and organizations will continue to drive threat streams while being used by adversaries employing cyber tools to steal
9:57 pm
from u.s. businesses. emerging and disruptive technologies as well as the proliferation and permeation of technology in all aspects of our lives pose challenges. and cyber capabilities are intertwined with threats from our infrastructure to foreign threats against our democracy. and we need, as many of you have stressed to us, to focus on the competition in critical technical areas such as high performance computing, micro electronics, bio technology, artificial intelligence, fiber optics and materials. with regard to global terrorism, isis and al qaeda remain to be the biggest threats, they act inside the united states but pressure has broadly degraded their capabilities. lone actors in broad cells with motivations pose a threat. we see the threat manifest
9:58 pm
itself in individuals inspired by al qaeda and isis and those stemming from other influences such as racial bias and anti-government sentiment, which we refer to as domestic violence extremism or dve. and these extremists see themselves as part of a broader global movement and a number of other countries are experiening a rise in dve. they consider white motivated violent extremists to be the fastest growing terrorist threat they face. and regional conflicts fuel crises, threaten u.s. persons and interests, the fighting in afghanistan, iraq and syria has a direct implication for u.s. forces while tensions between
9:59 pm
u.s., pakistan remain a problem. the foreign powers in libya and conflicts in other areas, including africa and the middle east, have the potential to escalate and spread. and asia has upheavels, latin america's contested protests are likely to continue to produce volatility while africa will continue to see ongoing marginalization of communities and contentious elections. we face an array of threats whose potential for raising cascading crises offers enormous opportunities but at the same time it multiplies our challenges calling us to greater vigilance as we seek to protect our interests, invest in our institutions and people who will be the only and best answer to addressing these challenges.
10:00 pm
investing in our workforce means taking care of our people and we are doing so. the intelligence community is focused on the retro grade that occurs when we withdraw from afghanistan to provide the best intelligence as they bring our forces home in a safe, orderly and deliberate way and taking care of our people also means investigating the source of health incidents that have affected our personnel and caring for those affected. we appreciate the support that many of you have shown for our personnel as with everything else we work on around the globe and we look forward to answering your questions about these and other worldwide threats. thank you. >> thank you. general, please. >> good morning, chairman reed, ranking member inhofe and committee members. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the threats facing this nation in the support to the national defense strategy. the nature and scope of the national security environment which we operate is largely shaped by strategic competition. the continuous push and pull among the united states, china
10:01 pm
and russia for global strength and influence. dia's cad ray of remarkable personnel works to provide the integrated defense intelligence picture providing the u.s., along with our allies, a decision advantage across all war-fighting domains and geographic boundaries. their capabilities include more lethal ballistic and cruise missiles, growing nuclear stockpiles and gray zone measures such as unconventional forces, foreign proxies, cyber attacks, economic coercion, adds vances in materials, high power computing. the evolving threat from the covid-19 pandemic has also had major implications for our national security. china and russia are using
10:02 pm
covid-19 circumstances to conduct information warfare aimed at undermining western governments attacking coalitions and compelling economic and political outcomes in their favor. china remains the long-term strategic competitor to the united states. it poses a major security challenge. beijing views the international environment and its ties to washington as increasingly adversarial. it uses multiple approaches, including diplomatic, economic, espionage, and the military to achieve its strategic games. china continues its decades long military monitorization to build a lethal force that will almost certainly be able to hold u.s. and allied forces at greater risk and distances from the chinese mainland. the russian military is a threat to the united states. russia has a growing ability to project power with missiles and its military leaders are incorporating lessons from
10:03 pm
russia's involvement to syria into training and exercises. moscow investment in conventional forces, strategic forces and enhancement of strategic deterrent places the u.s. homeland at risk. russia seeks to dominate through whole of state efforts. both china and russia consider space integral to winning wars and have reorganized their militaries to integrate space operations and counterspace capabilities. in addition to these two state actors, north korea also poses a serious challenge to the united states and our allies. pyeongchang did not abandon as it included diplomatic engagement to soften sanctions. it has tested dozens of missiles, including three new short range ballistic missiles and a sea launch. in the middle east, iran is the primary challenger to the u.s. interest because of its
10:04 pm
sophisticated capabilities, and networks and willingness to use force against u.s. and partner forces. iran's security strategy aims to ensure clarity of continental rule, secure dominant power status and achieve economic prosperity. in south asia, violence in afghanistan remains elevated as peace negotiations have flowed since the initiation in late 2020. talks are unlikely to result in cease-fires or violence reduction while the taliban applies military pressure on the afghan government. at the same time the threat from terrorist organizations exist. isis remains the pre-eminent group. it is expanding its african presence and rebuilding the ability for attacks against the west.
10:05 pm
transnational racially and ethically motivated violent extremists operate across borders and attract recruits and spread ideology online. the united states will face advanced persistent and sophisticated cyber attacks from an array of state and nonstate actors. probing and exploration of military and intelligence networks, efforts to coerce or personnel and monitor movement and attempts to steal weapons technology are all threats. today's environment reflects rapid, significant technological change and challenges in every operating domain. i am committed to ensuring the position to meet the challenges through the efforts in such areas as modernization of the top network, and the intelligence community. and creating a data environment that will enhance and enrich how
10:06 pm
we provide foundational military intelligence to war fighters and decision makers. your support of the enterprise enables us to provide an integrated defense intelligence picture which gives the nation and our allies a decision advantage. i am privileged and proud to lead dia and its outstanding workforce, thank you for the opportunity to testify and i along with the director look forward to your questions. >> thank you, general. let me direct a question to both the director and the general. there has been a public debate about our commitment to taiwan. right now we maintain -- we maintain the practice of strategic ambiguity. there are others that urge us to take explicit action in a case of any chinese demands against taiwan. starting with director haines.
10:07 pm
how would you evaluate china and taiwan's reaction to a change in our policy by adopting explicit commitments? >> thank you, chairman. from our perspective, if we were to see a u.s. shift from strategic ambiguity as you identified it to a clarity over willingness to intervene in a taiwan contingency, the chinese would find this destabilizing. it would solidify perceptions that the u.s. is bent on con training china's rise through force and cause beijing to aggressively undermine the u.s. worldwide. that would be our reaction. >> and the aggression in taiwan would that anticipate a surge towards further separation from china? >> i think that's possible. i would say that already taiwan
10:08 pm
is hardening to some extent towards independence as they're watching what happened in hong kong. and i think that is an increasing challenge. >> thank you. general, your comments, please? >> chairman, we understand that is a goal for xi to unify taiwan with china. we don't know that he's actually made a decision on how or when to do that. we have seen an increase in pla activity on the sea and in the airspace around taiwan over the last year, with everything going on in china right now, and i'm thinking hong kong, tibett, these are the key core issues we have to deal with as we watch china. >> just a follow-up. some have suggested, i think admiral davidson suggested there was a critical time frame
10:09 pm
between now and 2030 in terms of taiwan. six years. because his interpretation, as i recall, was after that demographic issues, economic issues start playing a more predominant role in chinese policies. so is there any sense director haines of a timing issue here or a period of vulnerability? >> i think maybe we can discuss this further in closed session. >> i'd be happy to. thank you. director haines, again, in your testimony in your confirmation hearing you indicated the support for foreign malign influence response center, which would be a whole of government effort. where are we on that regard? what status can you give us? >> thank you, chairman. so we have begun to try to
10:10 pm
establish a essentially an outline of what this would look like. been working with the intelligence community more broadly to make sure that what we do at the office of the director of national intelligence isn't sort of a redundancy of what's already being done in different components but rather is an opportunity to coordinate work across the community, provide coordinated assessments to policy makers and provide expertise that might be valuable, again, across the community where it may be filling gaps that certain components don't have, things along those lines. but we are moving towards that, if you would like further information on that we can give it to you as we're forming it effectively. >> thank you. there's been some discussion about a social media data threat analysis center since social media is playing a role -- critical role in everything we do, it seems. any thoughts on the possibility of standing something like that
10:11 pm
up? >> thank you. i think -- i'm not aware of a plan to do that more generally. that may be the case in other departments and agencies. i would say that we would expect that open source information would be a critical aspect of what we would, you know, essentially analyze in the context of a foreign maligned influence center and we have open source centers across the community that work on the issues. >> thank you. my time is expiring, general. but i want to commend dia for taking the lead in integrating artificial intelligence and other techniques into our intelligence gathering and we'll have an opportunity in a closed session to discuss those issues. thank you very much. senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i said in my opening statement, the -- we have been repeatedly warned in this committee about what russia and china are doing in terms of
10:12 pm
their nuclear modernization and what we haven't been doing the last many years. last week the strike commander talked about over 80% of the nuclear force that russia has actually excelled and china has reached what they call the infection point. so general, a recent report by the independent institute for defense analyzes concluded that neither china, russia, nor north korea would view the united states adoption of a no first use policy on nuclear weapons as credible. they just wouldn't believe us. as a result the united states adoption of a no first use nuclear policy would likely have little or no impact on their nuclear ambitions or policy, but what it would do is significantly undermine the confidence of our allies in the united states security
10:13 pm
guarantee. so i'd ask you, general berrier, first of all, do you agree with this assessment? and then, do you know of any organization, any intelligence assessment that you're aware of that would contradict these conclusions? >> i'm not aware of any current intelligence that has been produced lately that discusses that topic. i believe that the russians and chinese evaluate their own deterrent capabilities and look at threats broadly across the globe and make decisions about their nuclear force the same way we do. >> and in your personal opinion? >> my opinion is that any statement we make probably would not have a significant impact on how they view their force. >> thank you very much. now on -- the committee heard last week that china views
10:14 pm
africa as a key power projection platform for its military. up until about three or four years ago, china didn't do anything outside of its own limits now they got busy, i've been down there, i've flown over the area, i know what they're doing down there. it's aggressively pursuing a naval base on the west coast of africa that would give china an enduring military presence in the atlantic. and general townsend called this his number one global power competition concern. do you agree with general townsend that china views africa as a key platform for its military? >> i believe the chinese, in order to safeguard their belt road initiative will place military forces where they see they need that kind of
10:15 pm
capability. africa is one of those places they have done that. the interesting thing about the way they look at africa is this long-term develop mental approach, which will allow them, over a long period, to put more forces there. i do agree with general townsend but in the extent that africa is one area where competition plays out, it also plays out in latin and south america and wherever they extend their markets you'll find that activity. >> that activity, staying with africa, talking about east and west africa, their activities. this is something that has not -- something that's fairly new, and i would agree with your comments on that as well as general townsend. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. let me recognize senator jaheen. >> thank you both for your testimony this morning and your good work. director haines i would like to given with you, i'm sure you saw
10:16 pm
the report on cnn today that suggests that there were at least two possible incidents on u.s. soil of the directed energy attacks that have created symptoms, sometimes called havana syndrome in a number of our personnel. one of the incidents described here was -- happened on the ellipse in late 2020, and that's very close to the white house. so i'm not going to ask you if that report is correct or not, because i recognize that the -- there has been a real effort to try and keep this information classified. but i do want to ask you about the concern that i have that
10:17 pm
that kind of clamp down on information that's available to congress, that's available to the public has led to leaks and it's not clear whether the information we're get is correct or incorrect. and so, i wonder if you could speak to that and to what more can be done to declassify some of that information, share it with members of congress in a way that allows us to better respond? after all, we have to fund operations and there are a lot of personnel -- not a lot. there are personnel who have been harmed, who we need to make sure get the care and benefits they need. >> thank you, senator. and thank you for your attention on this issue. it's critically important and it's something that i, i know general berrier, i know across the intelligence community frankly leaders are focussed on this issue. on your particular question with
10:18 pm
respect to information, i'd be happy to look at this with you, to be honest. i completely understand getting the information is critical for you to be able to respond to these issues and ensure that you're able to make good decisions. maybe we can talk more about this also in closed session in these questions. and i think our concern obviously with the classification is because we believe that either it's protecting sources or methods and it's critical to national security and ef with to figure that out with you, but you should have access to classified information and we have to figure out if there's a way for you to address these issues. >> again, i would argue that with stories like this, stories that appeared over the last two years, really, and those people who have been affected, who have gone public, that the horse is out of the barn on this. the information is already out there, and i think it behooves us all to make sure that the information that gets out is accurate and that people understand what's happening and
10:19 pm
that there is an effort to respond to that. so i would urge you to consider that. as we're talking about classification, i should also thank your office for providing a declassified assessment of the impact of our withdrawal in afghanistan on the afghan women. that's something that i requested and i appreciated that we got that yesterday -- or the day before. so thank you for doing that. unfortunately it shows that -- or it suggests that there is a real threat that faces women and girls in afghanistan after we withdraw. but i really, in my limited time, i want to go to syria, because one of the real challenges that i believe we're still facing there is the detainee camps that have tens of thousands of people, and some of them in the camp in northeast syria, we know that there are isis leaders who are still
10:20 pm
there, who are raising a whole other generation of potential terrorists. and the -- i understand the courage just did an operation there to try to root out some of the ring leaders. but we also, two years ago, put into the ndaa, a position to create a detainee coordinator to try to help get some of these detainees repatriated to the countries that they came from. no one has been appointed to that position yet. and i believe that continues to be a real threat. and the more we can do in cooperation with our allies in the international community to respond to that, the better we're going to address that potential threat. so i would urge you to take a look at that. and if you could, record back to the committee about what the plan is for that detainee coordinator.
10:21 pm
>> thank you, senator. i suspect that's a detainee coordinator at the department of defense. is that right, ma'am? >> it is. >> i'll work obviously with the secretary of defense and we'll work through -- yeah. >> i'm assuming you all talk to each other, so -- >> we do. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me recognize via web ex, senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general berrier, dia's 2018 report on the global nuclear landscape stated that russia is, quote, updating its war head production complex and is producing what we assess to be hundreds of nuclear war heads each year. the following year, your predecessor stated that, quote, russia claims to be developing new war head designs for strategic systems such as a new high yield earth penetrating war head to attack hardened military
10:22 pm
targets. did these assessments remain valid, and has there been any decrease or reduction in terms of war head design or production activities taking place? >> senator, those assessments remain valid today and i'd be happy to go into more detail in a closed session. >> thank you. also, general ashley stated, quote, the united states believes that russia is probably not adhering to the nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the yield -- or with the zero yield standard. the united states, by contrast, is upholding a zero yield standard. end, quote. he went on to end indicate that china was also not adhering to the same zero yield approach to nuclear testing that the united states observes. does that still remain dia's
10:23 pm
assessment? >> it does, senator. >> director haines, is there anything that you would like to add to this? >> no, ma'am, thank you. >> thank you. general berrier, in your prepared testimony you described chemical and biological threats from russia and north korea in particular but also china. can you broadly characterize chemical and biological threats? are they significant? are there trends that you can share? is the threat increasing or decreasing, for example? >> senator, what i can say in open testimony is that those countries that were mentioned in the assessment do have active programs. we monitor those very, very carefully in a number of sensitive ways and we've seen the russians use some of their latest weapons on individuals recently. so we can go into more detail in a closed session. >> it also notes that china's
10:24 pm
chemical infrastructure and russia's pharmaceutical based agents program can provide those nations with chemical and biological capabilities, can you talk a bit more about the dual use nature of the industrial capability and how that can also support a military capability? >> senator, the dual use nature of some of those technologies to produce pharmaceuticals and chemical and biological weapons are intertwined closely and it's sometimes difficult to discern the true intent behind some of those facilities. beyond that i can go into more detail in a closed session. >> also in your prepared testimony you note that russia has restarted production of long-range missile delivery platforms, that they are fielding ultra quiet cruise missile submarines and investing
10:25 pm
in hypersonic weapons. what's your assessment of russia's long range strike capabilities and is this a desire or strategy that involves holding the homeland at risk below the threshold of nuclear conflict? >> the russians can hold the u.s. homeland at risk below that threshold. they invested in a number of capabilities and weapons that you mentioned and continue to develop the weapons, even in a constrained financial environment in the hydro carbon market at its lower rate continues to challenge their ability to fund their programs. >> director haines, do you have anything to add on these points? >> no, thank you. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator fisher. now i'd like to recognize senator king via web ex.
10:26 pm
>> thank you, mr. chairman. director haines, i'd like to ask you a question i ask pretty much every foreign policy leader we have before this committee. what's your analysis of what china's goals are? what does china want? >> thank you, senator. well, obviously i'm not here as a foreign policy analyst but i'm happy to give you a sense of how the analysts perceive it. i think, as a general matter, china sees itself as rising and sees the united states as declining, and is not interested in going to war, but perceives that as a concern, as these trajectories from their perspective pass each other in a sense. and in that context, china believes that the united states is trying to check china's rise.
10:27 pm
and in that context is countering from their perspective, again, what they perceive to be our influence and our efforts in this area. i think, in their perception, they are increasingly perceiving it as a zero sum game and that promotes in a sense their efforts to really push us out in a way. and to be a threat across a range of factors and see us as a threat to them in that context. >> let me change the subject. to what extent, and you mentioned this in your opening testimony and your written statement, expand a bit on climate change as a national security concern. the one i'm particularly concerned about is incipient migration from areas of the world that become, essentially, uninhatable because of drought,
10:28 pm
famine, extreme heat. do you see this as a threat multiplier? a national security concern as well as, of course, an environmental concern? >> i do, absolutely. part of the challenge for us is recognizing that climate change has just enormous impact in every aspect of our lives and in -- with respect to almost every threat that we're facing is figuring out how to actually embed and integrate climate science and analysis across the board of our intelligence community work so we can ensure we're lifting up the places where it's, in fact, having that kind of impact. to your point without question, the impact to the climate is having on migration is something that we've written about within the intelligence community, the trend line that produces, the concerns that that creates. another example is in the context of increased drought and sort of the shifting boundaries
10:29 pm
of dry areas. what you see is that affects agriculture, that inturn creates tension that can drive conflict, for example. that's anothers a pelkt of it. you see increasing floods. that's a challenge for countries around the world. particularly ones that don't have the resilience to react to them in a way that allows them to continue, you know, and can actually promote fractures of society as a consequence over time. there's so many different aspects and dimensions to this challenge and what we've been trying to do is ensure that we can actually bring in that expertise and integrate it effectively and make it available across the community so we can integrate that work with our daily work in effect while also looking at the long term trends that it produces. >> and, of course, historically access to land has been the cause of wars throughout our history. we pivoted, largely, from a
10:30 pm
focus on terrorism to near peer state competition, i understand that, and i think that's appropriate. i'm still concerned about the terrorist threat and the particular one that keeps me up at night is terrorist access through a nuclear device, either through development or being sold one. deterrence wouldn't work with a terrorist organization. talk to me about the role of intelligence in protecting us from the nightmare of a nuclear weapon in the hold of a steamer bound into the port of new york or miami. >> absolutely, senator. i know you know a fair amount about how we work on these issues, particularly given your role on the intelligence committee. i would say that part of the effort in, as you say, the
10:31 pm
rebalance, in effect, recognizing the rides of state-to-state competition is not taking your eye off the ball of non-state actor and transnational threat, including terrorism and that is something we're committed to. in the context of in particular terrorist groups we monitor and try to track them to the best degree we can, it's a diffuse issue as you know, spanning many regions of the globe. we are, in particular, looking for the kinds of weapons they can use that give them, you know, extraordinary capacity to have catastrophic effects and we look to ensure that we understand those networks as best we can, and then provide whatever warning we're capable of providing under the circumstances. i think beyond that we can obviously talk further in closed session. >> thank you. i think the attackers on september 11th, killed 3,000 people they would have killed 3
10:32 pm
million if they could have. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator king. now via web ex, senator cotton, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general berrier you stated in your testimony submitted ahead of this hearing that we previously expected china to double their nuclear stockpile by the end of the decade but both you and admiral richard have now testified before the committee, pla is going to exceed the estimate. why do you think the pla is rapidly building up the arsenal? is it to defend the homeland or to project power globally? >> senator cotton, thank you for the question. broadly speaking china's rise has also included this massive military monitorization. and in this span of capabilities that they have, the nuclear piece has been one component, it has been a priority for them and i think they have racked and stacked that in the things that they think they need to get done
10:33 pm
by 2030 or 2035, so i think they accelerated this as a deterrent, quite honestly. >> why do you state that china's government keeps its nuclear forces in a launch on alert posture and how has that changed? >> i think the chinese military, through their monitorization and training efforts have undergone a lot of exercises where they try to understand what gives them the most viable capability the quickest and this is an evolution of their training and doctrine. >> is china capable of arming its hyper sonic vehicles with nuclear war heads and what risk does that pose to the united states and our interests, if so? >> the answer is yes, and that poses a significant risk. >> can you explain why it poses a significant risk? >> the speed at which those
10:34 pm
weapons travel makes it very, very difficult to track in their entire trajectory. we can go in more detail in a closed session. >> as compared to a traditional ballistic missile? >> correct. >> let's turn to russia. you testified in your written statement that russia now claims to have modernized 80%, including new submarines and bombers, how does the russian icbm force now compare to that of the united states in terms of modernization? >> senator, i'd prefer to discuss that in a closed session. >> okay. have the russians created or fielded a hypersonic vehicle that's capable of matching up to a nuclear war head? >> senator, they're in the process of doing that right now. >> that poses the same risks that china's hypersonic vehicles
10:35 pm
if armed with nuclear weapons would, correct? >> yes. >> while we're on the topic of russia. in 2019, general ashley indicated that russia is violating the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty and last year the department of state reported that china may be doing the same. general, do you agree that it's important that we collect against and evaluate and inform our policy makers about our adversaris' adherence to or violation of agreements? >> yes, i do. >> do you assess that russia and china are violating the trust ban treaty? >> senator i would like to take that question for the record and get back to you. >> director haines, do you have an opinion on that? >> thank you, senator. i think -- i don't believe that the comprehensive test ban
10:36 pm
treaty is in force but i, like general berrier, think it would be better to take it for the record and provide you a comprehensive answer. >> thank you both. appreciate your testimony. >> thank you, senator cotton. let me recognize now senator sullivan. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i appreciate the witnesses being here today. director haines, congratulations on your confirmation, general good to see you again, as always. let me begin with kind of a basic question. director, do you track communications between private citizens and known terrorists? >> senator, i think there are
10:37 pm
obviously, parts of the intelligence community that do track communications that may be between terrorists and individual citizens. >> by his own admission as a private citizen former secretary of state, john kerry, communicated several times with the foreign minister of iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. do you know what happened in any of those calls or communications? >> thank you, senator. no, i was not privy to any of those calls. >> maybe in a -- getting communications or read out of those calls from the intelligence community i think would be helpful given the current controversies that are surrounding those communications with one of our biggest enemies and biggest state sponsor of
10:38 pm
terrorism so i'd like to follow-up with the intel community on that. let me ask another question. you and i spoke a lot about, during your confirmation process, the prospects of the united states becoming the world's energy super power again. producing more oil than saudi arabia, more natural gas than russia, more renewables than any other country, all of the above energy. do you believe that status as the world's energy super power, a net exporter now of energy degrades or enhances our national security? >> thank you, senator. i think we did discuss this and if i recall correctly you were looking at this question through the lens of whether or not through our pursuit of renewables and so on that might actually create challenges or change our -- >> no. i had asked and you had answered
10:39 pm
yes that being the world's energy super power helps us. >> absolutely. our natural resources, including our energy piece help us. >> do you agree with that, general? being a net exporter of energy helps the united states' national security and informed policy? >> senator, i don't have an opinion on that. >> these are not hard questions. come on. of course, the answer is yes. >> it's not really related to defense intelligence or threats, so i'm not comfortable answering that question. >> you don't think that whether we're an energy exporter or importer affects threats to the united states? is that what you're saying as the head of dia? >> no, what i'm saying is our area of expertise is foundational military intelligence about the threat that our country faces. i don't study the export of energy. >> okay.
10:40 pm
let me ask this. do you believe being a net importer of energy enhances or degrades chinese national security? director? >> thank you, senator. i, honestly it is not something that i studied deeply but i imagine their export of energy, under certain circumstances is a help and at the same time obviously they'll want to use a fair amount domestically as well and it would depend on the particular circumstances of what it is you're looking at. >> here's a -- an article for the record, mr. chairman, i'd like to submit it. it's from the global times, the communist party mouthpiece. net exporter of oil reminds china of energy disadvantages. so the chinese communist party
10:41 pm
clearly thinks being a net importer of energy creates disadvantages and they mention it here that the united states is a net exporter it helps the united states national security. so the chinese communist party believes that. i hope our intel communities can say that definitively. being a net exporter of energy, all of the above energy, enhances our national security and foreign policy. director you told me that during our confirmation process. i'd like you to definitively state it. we are undertaking policies right now, the biden administration, to restrict the production of american energy, unilaterally. we are importing more russian oil right now than we have ever before. is that good or bad for our national security, from your perspective relative to our relationship with russia? >> with respect, senator, i'm
10:42 pm
not trying to be obtuse, it's just honestly i think it depends on the particular circumstances as a representative of the intelligence community what i try very hard to do is provide you with what analysts assess with respect to particular situations and give you that assessment so that it can help your decision making. if you wish to provide us a question for the record about some aspect of our energy piece and how that affects, you know, foreign actors, by all means we will do our best to answer it. >> okay. i'll do that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator sullivan. senator tubberville, if you're ready. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here today. director haines, you made a statement a few minutes ago that china is looking at us as declining. would you clarify that? >> thank you, senator. just clarify it in the sense
10:43 pm
that -- >> declining. you said china is looking at us as basically a declining nation. could you clarify that? >> sure. leadership has made various public statements that indicate that they see the united states as a declining power. it's obviously not what i believe, but that is their perception. >> thank you. many throw around the stat that u.s. spends more on defense than the next 10 or 12 countries combined. yes or no is that correct, general? >> we spend a lot on defense, senator. >> director haines? thank you. xi jinping, submits power in the ccp, how concern are you that he's surrounded by yes men? does this raise the threat level especially with regard to taiwan? >> i think xi is firmly in
10:44 pm
control of the party of the military in every aspect of chinese society. >> we've had several generals tell us that they know for a fact he has yes men around him. does that concern you, though, is that different than has been in the past, other dictators? >> senator, i will take that for the record and come back to you. >> okay. thank you. >> director haines, has north korea taken any concrete steps towards complete, verifiable denuclearization at all that we know of? >> no, sir. >> thank you. you said a few minutes ago there was an impact in climate change in other countries across the world that's causing migration. what countries are those? >> we produced reports from the office of director of national intelligence over, i don't know, i think the last ten years and
10:45 pm
we can make some of those available to you, but what we indicate is that the trend lines are such that over the next several decades, particularly in certain parts of africa you see climate have an impact on essential conditions in those countries in these areas in africa that is likely to promote migration across the continent at pretty increased levels. >> that's been forever, though, right? >> the climate change is actually accelerating that. >> okay. right. okay. it seemed likely, as my colleague senator king said last week, that a cyber attack will be the precursor to the great power conflict. what can the united states do to deter our adversaries from cyber attacks? what's the best thing we can do now? >> i think this is largely a policy question that our policy folks work on, but i think, as a general matter, obviously there
10:46 pm
are a variety of theories of deterrents, part of it is indicating red lines saying if you do this we will do something that will cost you, essentially, as a consequence working with coalition of partners, allies to raise the cost essentially of taking those actions and promoting resilience generally so the effect of their actions are not as damaging as they might otherwise be, a variety of things that could be done to create a framework of deterrence. >> thank you. thank you both. >> thank you, senator. now let me recognize via web ex, senator blackburn. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank our witnesses today for being there. director haines i have a question for you. pardon me. one of the things that we have seen and win of the things that
10:47 pm
we know is the intelligence communitis' periodic reports are helpful when we're trying to quantify reports and prepare for some of these black swan events, which covid-19 is one of those. so what i would like to know, are there resources, collection methods, authorities that would better and more comprehensively support the work of the intel community's ability to exercise some of this foresight? and i ask this question in regard to russia and china, and some of their participation. and also, if there is a way for interagency share on some of these resources and information.
10:48 pm
>> thank you, senator, for the question. i think we are going to be, obviously, submitting a budget and that will indicate the resources we're looking for to promote the work we do in this area. beyond that i think probably best to leave it to the budget if there are particular thoughts you have on things we can do better in this respect, please don't hesitate to let us know, obviously. >> well, i -- this would need to be things that you all say were missing or you need more of. and i appreciate general berrier's statement and i will come to you with this part of the question. when we look at china and russia, and how they have expanded their security ties, and i would be curious to what
10:49 pm
degree do you assess this closest -- closeness between russia and china, and i would add to that iran and north korea and those four comprising a new axis of evil. but in what way do you attribute this to a growing relationship between putin and xi and between the leadership of these countries? and how do you assess these countris' unwillingness to agree to an alliance. >> senator, thank you for that question. we see some cooperation between china and russia and i would say it is opportunistic and transactional. i think neither country would prefer to have a deep military alliance. it provides them flexibility not
10:50 pm
to have that. there probably is some cooperation between all four of the countries you mentioned on some level and we can go into more detail on that in a closed session. i would like to go back to your question about the pandemic. you may know that dia has the national center for medical intelligence this organization we put analysts and scientists together, and we use a variety of methods from open source intelligence to sensitive reporting to try to understand the pandemic and everything that's happened, as well as medical phenomenon going around are the world so that's a jewel in the crown, quite frankly. i think we have the right authorities in place and as the director said we'll look for continued funding for that center. >> okay. let me ask you this, when we talk about russia and china and naval cooperation, how do you see this affecting the endoe
10:51 pm
pacific with russia having added 15 new warships and support vessels to their first lady. >> something we should keep an eye on with our partners. obviously more forces there requires more intelligence surveillance reconnaissance assets to keep an eye on it and we will watch out for additional partnership between pla and russian navy forces. >> i would also, and this may be better for a closed session but to know how you assess russia's geopolitical understanding of or participation in china's belt and road initiative? >> i would be happy to discuss that in closed session. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you senator blackburn. let me recognize via web ex, senator manchin.
10:52 pm
>> senator manchin is obviously having problems communicating. apparently he's not available at this time to web ex his questions. since there are no other members seeking attention, let me say thank you. immediately upon closing the open session we'll retire to closed issues. thank you madame director and general. i will declare the open session adjourned.
10:53 pm
>> c-span's washington journal. everyday we are taking your
10:54 pm
calls live on the air on the news of the day and discussing policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, a look at the week ahead at the white house with white house reporter darlene super bill. we will talk about childcare, education, and labor in the biden american families plan with anna matthews of the center for law and social policy. in a discussion of efforts to share u.s. vaccine supply with the rest of the world. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern monday morning. be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweet. >> on the sunday news program, white house officials and republican senators talked about the status of biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

30 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on