tv National Intelligence Director Discusses Challenges CSPAN October 16, 2021 2:47am-3:47am EDT
also deputy white house counsel in the obama administration. to introduce our very distinguished guest, we are truly delighted to have with us avril haynes, director of national intelligence. she is the first woman director of national intelligence and the first woman to lead the u.s. intelligence community.
haynes has also held a number of other leadership positions in national security, including principal deputy national security advisor and deputy director of the central intelligence agency. she got her start in national security as a lawyer, and she got her law degree from georgetown law, as did jen o'connor, so they are well represented here. she served as a lawyer in the state department, and on the hill, and in the national security council, where i had the pleasure of working with her. and she is also a distinguished former member of the standing committee on law and national security. i could go on about avril haines.
she has a really interesting back story, but i won't take time away from the conversation. i will close by saying what anyone who has met avril haines knows, that in addition to being an extraordinarily talented -- who has met avril haynes knows, in addition to being an extraordinarily talented public servant, she is a generous person who devotes a lot of time and talent to helping people navigate the national intelligence field. i can't think of a better person to have for the conversation we are having today. i am looking forward to the conversation. jennifer: thank you, mary. good afternoon, dni haynes.
thank you for taking time from your busy schedule. we are so pleased to have you. i went to start with a question about a recent visit you took. a couple weeks ago, you went to florida and visited with the florida international university students there. so many colleges would love to have you and i understand this is your first college visit as dni. how did it go, and what were you hoping to accomplish? director haynes: absolutely. before i get started, can i say how wonderful it is to get to be with you, jennifer? and mary was my favorite boss. i work for her at the national security council when she was legal advisor. i was her deputy. it was an extraordinary privilege. honestly, i can't think of two women better suited to guide women in national security that the two of you. just remarkable.
it is just a piece of the larger community that i feel like we have a great honor to be part of in national security law, both women and men, extraordinary people across the board. things i learned out of that time are critical to anything i have done right since, so i appreciate that. but also, for women in national security, and with the aba has done in that space in the project you are running jennifer, very important over the years, all the people who have contributed to this, holly and others, it is so important to have these moments where you can be part of that community and just be able to talk to each other about the challenges that you face and opportunities you are looking at, and how you think about the law and professional career. i know i've benefited and or
enormously from other mentors in the course of my career and am grateful that you are doing this. i am honored to be here, frankly thinking i should be interviewing the two of you instead of the other way around. but anyway, on florida, it was a very conscious selection. a few things, one is that the university i went to is a center of academic excellence for the intelligence community, among a series of universities that have that position in a network we have been developing. it has also brought us a wealth of students who have been interested in the intelligence community, who have gone out in a series of different spaces within our intelligence community and have been part of programs that are run their that have an opportunity to interact with people who work with us, some in the intelligence
community, some of them former, some of them folks who worked in the military and worked with us, a series of different people. and i have been impressed by the talent and extraordinary folks there. but it was also a signal because it was, among other things, a mostly hispanic student body. it has remarkable diversity in the student body generally, and i am absolutely committed to see the intelligence community become more diverse, and inclusive in our work. i know that you think about these things and have worked on these issues as well, along with groups that are with us, but for me, it is a mission issue. we will be better as an intelligence community into our work more effectively if we are a diverse community. that is true for a variety of
reasons, not the least of which is the fact that if you are going to try to understand the world, having a diverse community is going to be more effective. but it is also about the fact that, from my perspective, i believe government institutions in particular have a responsibility to reflect america. i have so often seen how ringing different perspectives to the table changes the conversation in ways that allow us to reveal decisions maybe we didn't even realize we were making, or issues we are overlooking. it is a critical aspect of understanding why you want folks with different perspectives, experiences and knowledge sitting at your table. certainly in my career, i have seen how much a different that makes and i really believe that is important, to reflect america to serve america, innocence. it is another piece of the puzzle and finally, in addition to the ethical and legal pieces that are there, i want to work
in a diverse and inclusive environment. and i suspect other talented folks will want work in an inclusive environment. that is important and something i have been interested in seeing as i have come back into the intelligence community, how much consensus there is within the leadership of different components in the intelligence community as to the importance of having a diverse workforce. this is something we need to focus on. the people in our community are our future and that is a piece of venturing they are the future we want them to be. it was a long answer to a short question, sorry, but i had a great time and met some extraordinary people there. and i am looking forward to having other opportunities to visit universities around the country. jennifer: sounds like it was great. i know you are focused on diversity, and that includes diversity of background but also diversity of perspectives.
and i wanted to ask you a question i hear from a lot of young people who are interested in getting international security law, what is the path i should get on, what kinds of experiences should i get, what kinds of organizations should i work for? and having that kind of variety gives you a different experience and perspective. you have worked in a number of different agencies in the executive and legislative branches and outside government. what advice do you have about the particular experience is to try to have for places to try to work, in order to have the kind of perspective you are talking about wanting to bring into the icy and government -- the ic and government? director haynes: great question. i have been blessed by working at a series of different institutions and i found it to be really valuable to me. in other words, i think i have
been able to do my job more effectively as a consequence of having experience in different places and understanding the equities they were likely to be focused on and how i could make an argument more effectively to them, what i thought was in the best interest of the government generally, also the institution i sat in. and having worked in the legislative and executive branches at the judicial branch, i felt every one of them had a different character, a different key focus of areas, and ways in which they would argue their position. and even the law differs. it is an interesting thing to learn that in the executive branch, we have one position about how to interpret a provision of the constitution whereas in the legislative branch, they might have a slightly different position, long-held, there is a dispute and you begin to understand why there is that spewed and the institutional equities that lead
to that interpretation. and that makes it easier to navigate in order to understand how it is you're going to be thinking about these issues and how you advisor client about the risks of them taking one position or another. somebody is going to be ticked off, there likely response and so on. and i found that to be true as well within the executive branch. i had a lot of opportunities to work in different institutions, state department, white house, the intelligence community in different spaces, the cia -- all this taught me something. to answer your question more directly, i do think it is useful to try different parts of the government. obviously, there is no perfect way to approach this and you may side there are different things for the professional career you are pursuing that are of more interest or less interest, but even just getting out of the institution you want to be income let's say, for your career, is useful because you'd
get a different perspective of it from another place. you get a feel for what is the caricature of the state department or what is the caricature of the ic, and how you can contest that when you need to under certain circumstances. you also get a chance to make friends and understand better the networks available to you when you need to get something done. and that is critical working in government, and a variety of other institutions i have working outside government. but when i have thought about my own career, and i sometimes ask people about this as a way to think about things, i have often tried to think about the skills i have had an opportunity to work on as a lawyer or policymaker or intelligence officer, whatever it might be? what are the skills i feel like i am not as great at?
there are a lot of them, and whether the job i am looking at next might help me with some of those. i have thought about the different perspectives i might learn about substance. so, if you are interested in weapons of mass destruction that, you may want to work in an office that works on the regions you think are going to be the most interesting to that issue set, to get that other substantive knowledge in order to bring it together with what it is you are doing. and third is the institutional piece we have been discussing, which i think is useful, and i have found in my own experience from a legal perspective, i did think that working in different branches was really interesting to understand the different approaches to the law. i also found that working in an international organization was totally fascinating and a
completely different perspective. and because i had an interest in international law, it helped me, much like working in the legislative branch helped me be better at executive branch work, working at an international organization helped me be better in a u.s. government position. because i had a better understanding of some of the challenges those international organizations face, both the limitations and also the opportunities for how you can work with them to further the positions you are focused on. so, all the things i found to be worthwhile to at least think about for whatever particular professional career you are interested in. jennifer: thank you. on the diversity aspect, you're a woman in a field that has been largely male for a long time, and that is changing. and sometimes when you are the only woman in the room, some
people find that uncomfortable. i am wondering if you can't tell us about those experiences and what skills and qualities you draw on to be successful in those circumstances. avril haynes yeah, i would -- director haynes: i would be interested in your thoughts as well on this, jennifer. there are couple things i have learned and i have no idea whether they would apply to other people, but there are some people that just react to you for reasons that have nothing to do with you personally. whether it is because you are a woman and they make assumptions about you, or for other reasons, there are so many in some respects.
and something i have come to feel is, first of all, it is useful to talk about this with other people that you work with sometimes. both women and men, i have found. and sometimes, that is because you need to check their judgment. was it because i said something stupid or was it because they were just reacting to me as a woman? just trying to parse that for yourself tends to be a challenging thing as you are through things. and that is useful my think, to get a feel for how other people have experienced a person or event with colleagues you trust and like. but another part of it that i have picked up on is that it is rare that there reaction, if it is a particularly strong one or
if you feel you are hitting a wall or not being listened to, it is rare that it has anything to do with you. it is much more likely, and sometimes it is just somebody has a bad day, but it is much more likely it has something to do with that person and not you. and if you keep that in mind, if you don't take it personally and you actually power through and try to do the best job that you can and accept that there are going to be some challenges that you can't overcome, there are many that you can over time, then you tend to serve yourself well in those circumstances. and i have found a number of places where i have done a thought exercise for myself, i have no idea if it would work for others, but you have somebody who seems to have that kind of reaction to women and i pretend they are like an uncle in my family or something like that. because part of the challenges
making sure that you don't stop listening to them, that you don't lose respect for them, and in many respects, that is very easy to do when you are being treated a particular way that you think has nothing to do with you and do you sort of say, wise this acceptable? it is not. but the reality is, you still have to deal with those folks sometimes. and i think learning to figure out how it is you can do that while still getting the best out of them is really important. and over time, i have found a lot of the time, you can break through personally in a way that changes the dynamic, that allows things to go forward. that shouldn't affect how you define yourself or how you are perceiving yourself, because that is another aspect of this that is challenging. you can't begin to accept the way people are sometimes viewing you, you have to surprise them, make sure you maintain who you
are in those circumstances. but it is critical that you also recognize that a lot of people are not perfect, myself included. i will do stupid exalt the time and make a tremendous number of mistakes. and what i want to keep on doing is be ultimately proud of the work i did at the time, and that i brought my best to the table, that i worked to try to get to the best answer, that i listened to everybody i need to listen to and i am ultimately moving forward on that basis. those kinds of things, that tends to be among the most challenging. it is a lot easier to talk about then it is to do, and i have not always succeeded, except trying to manage it in the way that i would like to but i really think recognizing that how other people are sometimes treating you is not about you and more about them. and if you can do your best to
be as generous as possible under the circumstances and just focus on the work, it often works well. another thing that i have learned by going through so many institutions and jobs -- it is very different in different places. the same government, even the same institution, you can be in one office, and two offices in one institution, they can be very heavily male-dominated or it is a different issue with diversity, some other majority dominated the space and yet in one office, the culture can be phenomenal and in the other it can be very challenging. recognizing that your experience is not what every other woman or person's experience is, that is important. because sometimes they will express concerns you may not have, but may be totally reasonable for them.
and you need to be aware of that and make space for that in many respects, and recognize that ultimately, once you end up in management positions, it is really the women who are going to be listening to this, hopefully, from a legal perspective. you have to make space for the people coming up underneath you and create a culture end up is for that allows them to be who they need to be. and that changes over time. i am astonished and inspired by young women in the intelligence community. they are absolutely incredible. they are having different experiences than i had. they are approaching it in a different way, and i want to facilitate what makes sense for them and not just remember what i needed to. it is critical for us to grow and keep listening to each generation as it moves through these experiences. jennifer: that resonates so much
with my own experience. let me shift and as he went other background question. another interesting party or background is that you bridge legal and policy roles, you were illegal but -- you were a legal advisor and now you are a policymaker. you have advice for either side of that coin, either the lawyer advising a policymaker or a policymaker, since you have seen it from both sides of the relationship? director haynes: it is a fascinating area. i have spent so much time thinking about it. one thing i have felt is that if we don't spend enough time teaching people how to be effective in meetings, we spent so much of our time in government in meetings, it is an incredible aspect of our jobs.
and i have lots of views about that. i think there is something almost unethical about not saying what you think in a meeting. that is an important aspect of our work. if you have a seat at the table, you are often representing other people and you need to make sure you are doing your best to represent their work. but you are also the person sitting at the table. so if you don't say what you think, who else is going to say it? it is critical to bring everything you can in those moments. another aspect of it is understanding what is your role at the table, and this gets to the question you are asking about the legal policy piece, but also for the intelligence community, intelligence officers, another roulette the table that is different from policymaker or legal. in each of these roles, thinking about what is appropriate and what is not is important, even though i believe that under certain circumstances, you need
to break those appropriate roles. here is what i mean. i remember somebody saying to me once, they put it in the context of the president because it was somebody who was working with the president, and it is true and a lot of circumstances -- if the president asks your opinion and wants to know it, you should tell them. you are in the room, you should give it to them. i believe that to some extent. but i believe there are actually limitations to that, and here is how i think about it. as a lawyer, you are at the table to provide the legal view, you are not there to provide policy or intelligence analysis. and there are a lot of reasons why it is critical for you to understand that role represent that at the table. part of it is, you are representing, if you're the department of defense, you come
to the table and bring the department of defense's general counsel's view to the table, and you have those people behind you. i had that context when i was legal advisor at nsc or was trying to represent perspectives in different agencies and departments. so, you have a responsibility and the system, generally the process that has been set up, i think has been set up with that in mind, that you have a lawyer at the table who is going to bring those perspectives so you can incorporate them into the decision-making that is being conducted. and that is true for the policymaker and for the intelligence officer. each plays a role in that sense. they are bringing forward what their offices at work on, and their best view in these areas. and for the intelligence community, there is a norms tradecraft that goes into analytic work. when i put in achy judgment the
intelligence community has come forward with, this is not something somebody just decided that morning. there is a lot of work that goes into -- ok, we have a basis for that judgment, we have done our tradecraft, we have thought about it, we have a certain level of confidence we are associating with that judgment, so it is hopefully more reliable, something policymakers understand, and in that context, they are able to base their decision making on those issues. another piece of it is that you are in a position in which you are providing to that decision-making process the best advice on those issues. so, if you are representing the military at the table, you are assumed to have an understanding of what it means to achieve certain military objectives and to provide your best advice on our capacity to do so.
if you turn to the diplomat in the room and you ask them, what is there military advice, that is a circumstance in which it is appropriate for the diplomat to say, i am simply not quantified, i don't have the experience military advisor here has. that is not my roland is not something i should be providing advice on and i don't want to provide information that would ultimately bias the discussion in a way that is unhelpful or unacceptable. similarly, from an intelligence perspective, there are certain things i am not going to provide the military advice at the table , similarly. that is a piece of it. and there is another reason that is true particularly for lawyers. i have thought about this as a lawyer and had mentors that thought about this, which is that your credibility is at stake based on what you are
providing advice on. as a lawyer, if you weigh in on the policy discussion, people will assume that your legal advice is tied to your policy views to some extent. it is almost like when you recuse yourself. even if there is not an actual conflict, you may do so because there is simply an appearance of conflict, there is essentially a point at which people will simply not trust that your objective on an issue. that is true for intelligence officers as well. you're sitting at the table and providing judgments and if you are perceived as having a policy perspective, there is less trust in your analytic perspective on an issue, if you are any fact siding with one side of the discussion or another. that is a reason why you want to temper your interest in providing additional
perspectives at the table. i certainly thought that was important in all these roles, but i do think there is a moment at which you are asked your thoughts on something, it may be an ethical issue, it may be something where you feel as if there is a moment in which you are being asked your personal view on an issue that is less about expertise and more about, what do you think is the right answer? and i think in those moments, leaders sometimes want those perspectives from the people that work for them. it is important to put them out there. it is challenging in many respects, because actually saying what you think is so much harder than you realize. you get into these situations that you have to do it in a way, always trying to be kind but also trying to be direct and honest about why it is you think that, what your view is, because you are almost always disagreeing with somebody who frequently you respect and care
about and think is also taking a candid and reasonable view in a situation. all of those are critical to thinking through this. and the final thing i will say about the lawyer versus policymaker dynamic, and i am sure you have gone through this, but often, policymakers will not want to make a decision, and just give it to the lawyers. that is not ok. [laughter] very frustrating. it can be a duck on something. it is important for policymakers to say as much as they can -- it is not that you should always take a decision on every issue that is put before you commit because there are moments when a decision is not right or there is more information to be gathered as part of the context, or you are not ready.
there are all kinds of reasons why it may be important not to make a decision, but i do think it is important to be as direct as you can, and to help lawyers really focus on the thing you are actually interested in doing and make sure that you are dealing with that. on the other side of it, as a lawyer, i hated it when policymakers -- this would happen at retirement ceremonies or celebrations where someone was like, this lawyer was great because they were a yes lawyer. and i'm like, what does that mean? [laughter] that is a terrible thing to say about them. you have to be able to accept it when your lawyer says no, from our perspective, that is not legal. but rarely are things that cut and dried. it is more likely that you are in a situation where the lawyer is saying, look, here is what is legal and here is what is not
legal. there is a lot of gray space in between. here is where you are taking increasing risk. the risk right be litigation or some other type of risk, professional disagreement or a variety of other things, and those are things to be considered. that is a great lawyer. a great lawyer, in my view, helps you understand the landscape in which you are operating and really helped you to understand among other things , what the implications are of your decision beyond the particular decision you are taking, which is so challenging to do in those moments. because you often have a group of folks in front of you who are looking to make a decision about a particular crisis or whatever you are focused on, and they are focused on the best outcome in the context of that decision, as well they should be in many respects. but part of what the lawyer is able to tell you is, here is what we have always done, here
is the line we have not crossed and here is why. the implications of that for future decisions and how the government operates institutionally or in a variety of other areas, often this will not be strict legal rules, but they will be important to understanding the implications of your decision. i had the blessing of having wonderful lawyers when i am either in positions like i am now or in policy positions. our general counsel is spectacular and has also had opportunities to be in other institutions, like dod and the department of justice. in my view, he is always value added at every meeting and so is his office, which is made up of spectacular lawyers. i could not be prouder sitting next to them and getting their advice and every circumstance.
it is more obviously focusing on what you have to do, but i haven't found that a problem because i am constantly learning and need to focus on what i am supposed to be doing. i am very lucky in that respect. jennifer: people have lawyers for you. you are very lucky. let me ask about what you have learned in your experience at dni. how about surprises? what is the most surprising thing you encountered in your new job? director haynes: i am so bad at this question. not so much the surprise, but every morning, one of the most fun things about the job is reading the president's daily brief. it is fun because it is filled with happiness and joy -- it is not fun because it is filled with happiness and joy, but it
is remarkable what the intelligence community produces every day for the presidents, and for his senior advisers, the military, policymakers, folks across government and the national security enterprise. and it is always, there is an aspect to it that is surprising, sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not so good ways. but there are many different -- special today that we are focused on the -- on in the context of national security. everybody comments on the fact that our definition of national security has gotten bigger over the last several years and increasingly, a variety of different types of expertise are critical to our work. and i get to see that on a daily basis. it is really extraordinary the different types of expertise that are called upon to actually understand the challenges we are facing, whether it is in technology, in the context of climate, a whole range of
things, resources, water, a wide range. and it is part of why we need to recruit in such an extraordinary way in order to bring talent of every type and expertise into the intelligence community. but it also keeps things absolutely fascinating and intellectually, when you are learning new things, you feel more alive. and that is a great part of what the intelligence community has to offer. so please, apply, if that is not obvious, to the intelligence community. jennifer: that is a great answer that i did not expect. how about hurdles? have you encountered any hurdles or roadblocks in your new job? director haynes: yeah, there are a lot of challenges for the future. one thing i found really
interesting coming -- i spend a lot of time on the budget, learning a tremendous amount about the budget. it is one of the big pieces of my job, and trying to be a steward of resources, but also think through a vision for the future of the intelligence community with senior leaders who are managing various elements within the intelligence community. and there are a lot of them. there are 17 besides odni, which is the 18th. we get together as we are formulating the annual budget, right after i got the job, to think through our priorities, how we are going to talk about the budget to congress and others, and focus it in a way that matches what we think is most important for the future of the intelligence community. what i found was most interesting was that everybody puts china at the top of the
list. we call it an unparalleled opportunity, all kinds of ways to talk about it and it stretches across a range of issues for us. the reality is, the main things everybody agrees on were structural issues. priorities people identified were recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce, that is at the top of the list and is a critical priority. another one was essentially investing in science and technology to maintain a competitive edge. and there is lots of ways you can think about that in the context of our work, whether it is focused on science and technology for us to do our mission more effectively, or in the context of understanding science and technology more effectively in order to do effective collection, analysis, and revealing in a sense where we are as compared to the rest
of the world in these matters, or in the context of thinking through how we bring to bear science and technology on a range of issues, including resilience for critical infrastructure and other pieces of the puzzle. that was another big piece for us. a third was partnerships, partnerships not just with the private sector, which a lot of folks focus on and is a critical issue for us and when we spend a lot of time on my and i feel like it has been a perennial issue. anybody that has been in government has been saying for a long time, we need to improve our public-private partnerships. it is increasingly true and we still remain challenged in many spaces on that issue. but it is also partnerships with other parts of the government, state and local, tribal entities across the country. it is also about partnerships with partners and allies around the world.
it is partnerships with academia, and a whole series of entities as we increasingly think through how we are leveraging what we do and what they do to actually have an impact. that was a third piece of the puzzle. a fourth was bringing in expertise for long-range destabilizing issues in day-to-day work, and that has a lot to do with big trends we see. so, climate is a huge one, where we are trying to understand what are the long-term trends and how we bring the science that is behind that into our day-to-day work on intelligence. so, in places where you don't think about it necessarily being part of our analytic work, we want it toebbe -- want it to be. if you think about something like the jcpoa with iran, you want to think about, is their
climate impact? how do we think about that? bringing it into all kinds of things we may not normally focus on, but also other types of expertise, technology expertise, economics, a series of different areas that are critical to our day to day work and sometimes don't look at as effectively in those contexts. and then, resilience was a big piece of it, and cyber is at the top of that list, but so are a lot of other things. what was so interesting to me was the overarching view among heads of components that, if we are going to be effective in addressing the challenges we are facing today, recognizing how increasingly complex they are, how fast the pace is which we are facing them, and how quickly the landscape is changing, we have to build strong institutions that are adaptable
and capable of then moving with that threat. so, that is critical to us actually dealing with what is ahead of us in the future and in many respects, the most important thing i hope to do wireline am here. jennifer: one of the things you were talking about was that the landscape is moving specifically, and the threat environment seems to have changed a lot, not just the past 10 years, but the past three, the past two, it seems to be accelerating. i wonder what you can tell us about your general observations about that, how it is changing and the enhanced role of cyber and the closer connections between foreign and domestic threats in the way the threat environment is shifting. director haynes: it is
interesting. the way you asked the question, i like, because what is more interesting is how it is shifting. threats we have had for a long time, thinking about dprk or weapons of mass destruction, issues that are classic for us in a variety of phases. i would say a couple of things. one is, as you point out even in your question, the line between what is domestic and what is international has largely collapsed in many respects. this is something i think policymakers have talked about, but it is interesting for the intelligence community perspective as to how we manage that. because the intelligence community is institutionally, when you look back, when
actually created the office of the director of national intelligence was essentially 9/11 and the outgrowth of that circumstance. and there was a law that was passed, the rotpa that established both the office of the director of national intelligence and the national intelligence center. one thing it specifically focused on was bringing together the domestic and international intelligence on terrorism and saying, we want the national intelligence center to produce a comprehensive strategy based on domestic and international intelligence that is essentially for the country more generally. this is an aspect of what we are supposed to be doing, trying to understand how it is that we bring a picture to policymakers that brings those two things together. and it is true in tourism and
that is maybe a more obvious thing to people, but it is true in a series of other areas. if you think about election interference or even just foreign maligned influence, you can't tell the story about what is happening internationally and what adversaries or other countries are focused on in trying to influence the united states if you don't actually have the context of, what are they influencing in the united states? what are they saying that they want to influence? what is the impact of that influence? in many specs, we are trying to bring these pictures together to help policymakers see the whole. so much of what is happening in cyber is happening on infrastructure within the united states but because so much of the cyber infrastructure is in the united states. and we rely on it so much, yet
we are concerned about actors from outside the united date. -- united states. one aspect of this is understanding how we do that while at the same time, we recognize there are strict limitations and different sets of laws and frameworks any fact that exist for how it is we collect and treat and disseminate information that we collect on foreigners outside the united states versus u.s. persons in the united states, and that we are managing within the intelligence community a range of operators who are focused on different spaces. the fbi takes the lead within the united states paid the cia's focused externally. so, you have these spaces where you have to bring together the picture, but you also have to maintain the frameworks that separate these pieces, in ways that are both intellectually
understandable, but also that are respectful of civil liberties and privacy and the different protections those have . and thinking that through is a huge piece of what we have to do. it is becoming increasingly complicated in these spaces as we see the interactions between what is domestically challenging to pull apart. that is an area where i would say it is an interesting aspect of how things are shifting. another part of it from my perspective, and it may be won so many of us talk about that it becomes tired, but i see a huge impact in the ic on this, that as we look at increasing globalization, increasing mobilization around the world, the reality is, threats have been really almost any place around the world can quickly become a threat to the united
states. it is not that we are interested in every threat around the world. we have to prioritize, focus on things that are most important to our interest send policy concerns and so on, but whether it is a pandemic or some other aspect, terrorism or threat like that, you realize that things like this can be on your doorstep in a relatively short time. so realizing the things we collect provide the kinds of morning that he's useful for policymakers is a critical part of the job. but increasingly, we recognize partners and allies are really the only way in which we are actually going to be effective in dealing with this. because not only do you want the countries where the threat first hits to be more resilient and effective at addressing it, and working with them to address it where it is so that it doesn't
move outwards, you also need them to establish structures that are durable that help to provide that kind of indication and warning across a range of issues. a big part of this is something the president talks white a bit about, that we are consistently not only going to make sure we are thinking that through, as i mentioned with partners and allies, but we are also trying to provide analysis that helps our policymakers understand not only what we see, but also have other countries, our partners and allies, are perceiving an issue, and how it is being perceived by some that are not our partners and allies, so we can navigate that landscape more effectively. it is another aspect of our work that sometimes is not focused on as much, but is absolutely critical to us being effective in setting up good policymaking decision-making.
jennifer: i am struck by your answer, the way so many things are shifting and we need new kinds of partnerships and different ways of ringing information together because of the ways certain priorities and threats and such are changing. the intelligence community, borne out of 9/11, very much focused on terrorism work as a mission at the beginning, but the world is shifting and there are many other concerns now that are drawing the ic's attention. how do you turn the community to other priorities and how do you balance it? director haynes: it is a constant issue. i was meeting with my british interlocutor yesterday and we were talking about these issues.
it is not us facing this issue. our allies and partners are too, and part of it is maintaining vigilance on terrorism, which we believe continues to be an issue we have to remain vigilant on, and working through how we do that appropriately. but at the same time, no matter where you put your resources, you are taking on risk. if i look across the intelligence community, we have an almost infinite list of threats and issue that we want to cover and that we are being asked questions about. a big piece of the game is prioritizing. and we have a national priorities intelligence process that is dictated by the policy community, these of the things we think are most important, and we work to ensure we are effectively prioritizing based on their priorities.
and i would say one of the most remarkably bipartisan perspectives that we have is on the challenge of china, and thinking that through. often, this is framed on how we are shifting resources from counterterrorism to china, and are we doing enough to do that? it is challenging from a number of perspectives. the short answer is yes, we are doing that. and i believe we have been doing that for some time, thinking through how it is we allocate our resources effectively against a variety of issues, not just china, but that becomes a two-dimensional caricature of this debate. but i would say that some of the challenges to doing that effectively that are less obvious are as follows. one is, a remarkable number of
folks in the national security community have spent a piece of their career run counterterrorism. and one of the things i have always found with this is that, just like when you learn a new word and suddenly you feel like you are hearing it all the time, when people have spent a lot of time on the middle east and counterterrorism, they are more likely to spot those issues and pull them forward than they are other issues that they are less familiar with. there is a transition within the community, moving from counterterrorism in the middle east being a common feature of almost everybody's career in the senior levels of the intelligence community, now shifting to occupy other spaces. and something i remember seeing when i worked in the cia was how we knew the president wanted more analytic products on asia
and the western hemisphere and yet we kept producing ct, middle east. and part of it was folks naturally go, that is really important, so pull that. another piece of it is, it tends to be the more urgent crisis as opposed to the long-term issue. if you are in the intelligence community, it is more obvious space for you to be pushing analysis. that ends to be pushing analysis. another part of this challenge of shifting is ensuring that you are actually, like with my inbox, like the urgent end up crowding out the important, similarly, you have to invest in the long-term pieces of competition with china as opposed to the immediate threats of counterterrorism. balancing that in the way is part of it.
another part is that, the intelligence community, if you have got a crisis and pitch for attack, that is one of those clear areas where you raise your hand. as a consequence, those pieces get to get written more frequently. when you are looking for things to then put into the book, the fact that those pieces have been written quite a bit, oh, this looks good, they are all kinds of things you don't even realize, our challenges to making some of these shifts in ways that are effective to accomplish the longer-term vision of what you're trying to do. so i have seen already, a shift from when i was last in government to now, and it is something we are continuing to do moving forward. another part we are trying to
focus in on is ensuring we are prioritizing the counterterrorism threat. where is the counterterrorism threat that we invest in and where is the piece of the china challenge will be most focused on, and how do we get the biggest bang for our buck? how do we make sure we are allocating resources in a way that will be most effective? sorry. too long of an answer. >> no problem. i do think that brings us to our close. so thank you, again, for a great discussion. we are so grateful that you joined us today. thank you so much. >> it was such a pleasure to get to see you. thank you so much. it ise on c-span2.