tv Natl Intelligence Director Coats on Threats to U.S. CSPAN September 4, 2018 7:33pm-8:01pm EDT
and public policy center's ed whelan will join us to talk about judge kavanaugh's judicial policy. be sure to watch washington journal five at 7:00 a.m. eastern on wednesday morning. join the discussion. the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals to her visiting all 50 state capitals. the summer the bus left the mainland and traveled by ferry to juneau, alaska and honolulu, hawaii. join us as we feature our 40th bus stop in des moines, iowa. life monday on washington journal with our guest i was senate president charles schneider. >> national intelligence director dan coats discussed threats to the us today including concerns about countries to which he refers to as the big four. russia, china, iran and north korea. this is about 25 minutes. [applause]
>> our mission is to meet intelligence integration and forge an intelligence community that delivers the most insightful, intelligent possible. this is the mission statement of the office of national intelligence. integrating the incredible capabilities of the 17 elements of the us intelligence community and forging seamless collaboration and innovation across intelligence disciplines. human, signal and imagery across air, space, land, sea and fiber domains. leveraging that collaboration to deliver the most decisive intelligence advantage to our national leaders and war fighters. this is the work that everyday yields new insight that protect the americans from cyber terrorist attacks.
answers the toughest questions about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. and helps to get inside the thinking of leaders inside north korea, iran, russia and china to ensure our vital us national security interests are met. leading the incredibly important work is the honorable daniel coats. the director of national intelligence leaves the us intelligence committee and served as a principal intelligence advisor to the president of the united states. dried upon decades of public service in the united states army, as a member of the house of representatives, united states ambassador to germany and two separate chapters of the united states senator, director coates advises the president and the national security council every day on the threat landscape facing the country.
a set of geostrategic challenges that are the most complex the nation has ever faced in decades. it's a particular privilege to be able to introduce the leader that has set the vision for excellence in performance that we all follow. ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming our keynote speaker the director of national intelligence, the honorable daniel coats. [applause] >> good afternoon. we are all coming from a three-day weekend which makes one want to think that we lived in france because they take a three-day weekend every week. i am honored to be asked to speak to you today and i want to thank maria for the generous introduction and for her efforts
in pulling this together. and thank you for organizing this summit and bringing together both government, academia, as well as the private sector to deal with issues that are in many ways given the state of the world. i would love to be able to participate with you in the days ahead as you work through and talk about the issues we are facing and the challenges that we have to reach and the goals we have to reach in order to provide our policymakers with our president policymakers with the information they need to make their decisions. it's a risk, i think, to ask
someone who has served in the united states senate to provide a message to you and we have the privilege of what is recognized on the senate floor to speak and there is no limit to how long we can talk. everywhere i go people think let's hope this is not a filibuster. i do have information i want to convey with you, though. it's interesting i think about my third speech in the united states senate and my speechwriter who went on to become george w. bush's speechwriter so we had great talent. after i walked off the senate floor for the third time i said, how do you think we are doing? hottie think i'm doing, actually is what the question was. he said well, i said i think it's fine but you get near the end and you rush to the finish. why do you do that? i said, oh, yeah.
i just came from the house of representatives we have a five minute limit. at about four minutes and 30 seconds in you think you're about two or three minutes away from the conclusion but you know the person at the speaker's desk has the gavel ready to come do down. the time for the gentleman from indiana has expired. i must be rushing and that still must be in my mind and i haven't totally made the transition here to the senate. he paused, precocious young man he was, and he said i don't think we will have a problem. i said, how is that? he said i think it will be long before you, too, like your colleagues you destroyed will be come so enamored with the sound of your own voice you will have to drag you off the senate floor. there are two ways to respond to something like that.
you can fire a person you just hired or you can start laughing and i started laughing. so, let me begin by saying every year usually in february i go before the congress and before the public to address the worldwide threat assessment. our opportunity -- it is february or so, to share with congress and people the intelligence community's perspective on the threats we face all around the globe. we delivered this year's report in february and it's hard to believe that six months have passed, a little more than that have passed since the delivery and what i would like to do today is provide you with a half-time update of what we assess are the most critical developments over the past six months and then discuss a few
emerging issues that we are currently grappling with and finally what we as a icy must do to be postured for the future. my hope is that this will help guide your discussions at the summit as we look at our ever-changing rule let me start with cyber threats which continues to be my greatest concerns and a top priority. as i have previously public and stated i remain deeply concerned about threats from countries to our midterm elections. the midterms this year, presidential elections in 2020 and beyond. i want to note the cyber threat is not limited to us elections and it's a point that is too often missed in the crush of our 24 hour news cycle. 400 foreign influence efforts online are increasingly being used around the globe.
and not just for elections. this threat, more than any other demonstrates the interconnectedness of our world now being connected is not a bad thing but it does draws closer in many ways and provides opportunities for us that we never could have imagined. even less than a decade ago. but, this interconnectedness also, as you know, has a downside. weaponization of cyber tools in the relatively lack of global guard rules and guardrails in the cyber domain significantly increases the risk that a discrete act will have enormous, strategic applications. in addition our interconnectedness is it easier for our adversaries to use disruptive information operations to so discordant and to undermine our democracy and
values. as we have seen with a foreign influence efforts by russia and others. here is the good news. every kind of cyber operation malicious or not leave the trail. our analysts and investigators use this information along with knowledge of previous events and tools and methods of known malicious actors to attempt to trace these operations back to their sources. this persistence on our part has enabled us to identify and publicly attribute response ability for numerous cyber attacks in foreign influence efforts and prepare for the response necessary to address this challenge. i would like you to be rest assured that we are not standing idly by and every day we are collecting in integrating intelligence and analyzing the
intent of our adversaries. our mission is to seek the truth and then speak the truth providing warning and sharing our analytic and technical expertise is needed for our federal partners to support state and local officials and to engage with the private sector. in light of the events of the past six months i also want to reiterate our concern with the issues of weapons of mass destruction. obviously a lot has been said about the sequences of a nuclear attack capability leverage. today however i want to focus on chemical and biological weapons in february during my ata testimony we assessed that state efforts to modernize, develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems or their underlying technology
constitutes a major national security threat. shortly after my test with a very the world witnessed the use of chemical weapons in syria and the united kingdom. the attack in syria killed dozens of civilians hiding from pro- regime in our farm argument in the attack in the united kingdom was the first known instance of this type of military grade nerve agent used in any kind of attack. in both cases the international committee and intelligence community supported efforts by this administration and our allies to respond in unprecedented ways. relevant tip to biological weapons, we are closely monitoring the department of biological weapons in the arena of biotechnology. we know some states such as
north korea have a long-standing interest in developing new or more potent agents and we expect the interest in this field to grow. taken together these developments signify an important and concerning evolution and the nature of the threat landscape. we, intelligence community must continue to be vigilant in our effort to counter this and other debts. let me address key developments from what we call the big four. russia, china, iran and north korea. with respect to russia the recently reelected president putin is facing growing economic stagnation, sanctions and unpopularity which makes it more likely for him to focus blame on foreign adversaries starting with the united states. russia continues to use a variety of tools in ukraine,
military pressure, assassinations, political influence campaigns and cyber warfare to keep the government off-balance as ukraine prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019. russia's activities are also expanding in the middle east in the arctic, north africa and latin america which demonstrates its broader ambition. and as we have recently witnessed moscow is placing greater emphasis on the relationship in beijing which it sees as a fellow offertory and. it shares its goal of pushing back against the us influence around the world. we will be watching is trying to participate this year and russia's interannual military exercise. it starts next week. it will be one of the largest exercises involving participants
from both countries and signals a growing level of cooperation between the two. relative to china under president xi china continues to pursue an ever more active foreign-policy aimed at protecting and advancing china's expanding range of interest in the international stage. china seeks to carve out a special role for itself as a great power within the existing global order and to reshape anyways the maximize benefits to itself. we are gaining a greater appreciation for an understanding china's greatest admission outside of its immediate neighborhood. this is evident in their activity in africa, latin america, middle east and increasingly in the arena of space. remains focused on using overseas infrastructure, construction and project financing under developing road
initiative to increase its economic and political influence and possibly to extend the military reach. but the impact of china's rise is most felt in asia where china is a vitally important economic partner for its neighbors, as well as a potential security threat. in the south china sea china seeks to achieve effective control over its waters and ultimately to compel southeast asian claimants. to acquiesce to china's claims. even so, china's influence in the form of financial leveraging and the structure is going elsewhere again including the continent of africa, latin america and the middle east. of course, we are all aware of chinese continuing efforts to the use of cyber to exploit innovation, to exploit other activities that bolster their
economy and their military assets. i ran. i ran leaders are struggling to contain a deepening economic crisis which is fueled popular protest over recent months. even the sanctions that are scheduled to take effect on november 4 but at the same time and despite its declining economic conditions iran has recently engaged in provocative operational activities in euro europe, while continuing its effort to consolidate influence in syria, iraq and yemen. earlier this summer authorities across europe including germany, belgium and france, arrested iranian operatives who were in the late stages of preparing a plot to disrupt a rally in paris. iran continues to support a network of several thousand
shiite foreign fighters it's recruited to preserve the asad regime. iran's activity in syria have exacerbated concern about the long-term trajectory of iranian influence in the region and prompted israeli airstrikes against select iranian positions within syria. continued iranian efforts to move advanced weapon systems into syria to bolster iran's and hezbollah's military capabilities to heighten the potential for conflict. meanwhile, in iraq, iran support for the popular shiite militants remains the primary threat to us personnel, as well as that's to iraq is political stability. we assess the set will increase as a threat from isis received but that is not in it does not go away. especially given the growing tension in the region and calls from some iranian backed groups for the us to withdraw.
in yemen, where the humanitarian crises continues to grow iran support to the cooties further escalate the conflict and poses a serious threat for the us partners across the middle east. iran continues to provide support that enables the attacks against to be near the mandeb street and the land-based targets deep inside body arabia in the uae. finally let's look at the topic that's been in the forefront of the news over these last that not six months, north korea. that might testimony to congress and every kim jung-un has suspended strategic weapons, testing and begun a campaign of engagement including his first summit with foreign leaders taking power in 2011. at the singapore summit kim reaffirmed his commitment to complete the new quantization of the korean peninsula.
the ic has long assessed, however, the north korea possesses nuclear weapons and a plastic missile force the friends the united states homeland and its allies in the region. we have also assessed that kim jung-un seized the reference is key to the regime's survival. he uses it as leverage to achieve long-term strategic ambitions. before his declaration in the summit kim have repeatedly stated that he does not intend to negotiate them away. so while north korea offers to work toward denuclearization of the korean peninsula through what calls trust building steps we continue to monitor for concrete signs that they are committed and moving forward on its agreement to denuclearize. in early june prior to the singapore summit north korea destroyed support buildings and
at least the entrances to testing tunnels at its nuclear test site. north korea also began dismantling a missile engine testing and. however, absent mechanisms for on the ground their vacation by inspectors we cannot confirm the north korea has taken any other denuclearization stops at this time. this north korean commitment and i put commitment in parentheses to denuclearize presents a huge and critical challenge to our ic. complete, accurate collection and analysis is essential to achieve our long-standing goals. of course, my comment so far cover only a portion of the issues we are being asked to monitor around the globe. as you know, we've seen another volatile fighting seating hunting season in afghanistan
but we've observed growing tension between israel and its neighbors. we witnessed the extra ordinary humanitarian cost of conflict that are mushrooming as men, women and children attempt to flee violence in syria, burma, yemen, libya and venezuela. before i finish i want to identify four challenges that we believe are going to require more creativity and, in some cases, more ic attention in the coming years. the first challenge is the growing demand for economic intelligence as our analysts are being asked to provide assessments on the impact of specific trade, investment and financial measures targeting foreign entities. secondly, the ic will need to pass yourself to support the growing by this demonstration on transnational organized crime especially the issue of drug trafficking. third, we have entered a new phase in the post- 911 counterterrorism fight.
the diversity of global threats and the resilience of isis and al qaeda are forcing us to create think creatively about our ct posture. the us led coalition and aggressive counterterrorism actions against isis has resulted in the group losing nearly all other territory in both iraq and [inaudible]. but despite these attacks and despite these setbacks isis ability to launch an inter-'s urgency in syria and iraq in the group's ability to carry out terrorist attacks abroad is not significantly diminished. were developing a more efficient intelligence cycle that allows us to take a revolutionary step forward and providing full timely accurate information for our policymakers and diplomats
and war fighters. as you discussed the various facets of our intelligence craft from technology to acquisitions to our workforce, i ask you do so with an eye for the topics. that you explore how we can expand our craft to deliver greater clarity and insight into the intelligence we provide on these topics. we ask this and we seek this, to a compass this because this is the most recent response ability. to see the world as it is and not as we wish it to be. so that we can reduce uncertainty for our policymakers and provide them an advantage as they make difficult decisions on national security challenges. again, i would like to thank the leadership for holding the summit. based on the list of panelists and speakers which includes my
principal deputy sue gordon who will be speaking during next week's classical breakout and your discussions, i expect this your summit will yield valuable insights as we all confront challenges and opportunities in a period of transition, challenge and innovation. now, we've come off a nice rested three-day weekend, at least i hope you enjoyed that. but the threats did not take that pause. the goals and challenges before us do not have a pause also. our mission continues in our mission has to be to seek the truth and to speak the truth as we see it from the world that we
view and for the liberties that we want to protect. thank you very much for the opportunity to kick off this session. i wish you great success. we value will come and what from what you decide and from the issues you determine and address and for what you can pass on to us in terms of how we can better fulfill our mission. i want to thank you for your participation in all of this for the opportunity to speak to you today. thank you. [applause] >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning on day two of brett kavanaugh's coverage hearing the alliance for justices and ethics and
public policy center's ed whelan will join us to talk about judge kavanaugh's judicial philosophy. be sure to watch the fans washington journal light at 7:0y morning. join the discussion. >> both bodies of congress returned today and in the senate the judiciary committee held the first day of what is affected to be a weeklong confirmation hearing for supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. next, we will show you the hearing in its entirety including the protest which kicked off the hearing. ...
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