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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 15, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EDT

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in a similar vein, i, too, have reached that to my counterpart in egypt. the general. i sense a positive -- for one thing, he is another army college graduate. he has a longstanding relationship with the united states army. -- military, and i sense a positive trend for a respected military. while i spoke with the previous chief, and our relationship with egypt transcends individuals. before taking your questions, allow me to offer a few thoughts on my recent and upcoming travels. i was in silicon valley recently for about a week to discuss and -- to discuss vulnerabilities and opportunities in cyber with
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industry leaders. this is a domain without borders or buffer zones where public, private collaboration is the only to safeguard our nation's critical infrastructure. they agreed, we all agreed on the need to share threat information at network speed. and i would like to see a return in congress to push legislation that does at least this. i would also like to mention our olympic athletes, 16 of which in the london games were active military men and women. i had a chance to walk through the arlington cemetery with our basketball men and women. all of our athletes displayed a driving force of will, courage, and endurance to win. two weeks from now, it will be our fault offical -- it will be our official delegation to be paralympics. many of those athletes are wounded warriors. i share with every american a great deal of pride with that.
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on that ending note, i look forward to your questions. >> could you provide a little more detail on some of the added actions that will be taken on the ongoing attacks? including intelligence. i am wondering, considering the numbers of these smaller teams and parties. is the intention to add intelligence to those small teams? how would be practically done? also, are there any other practical things that you are looking at in order to protect the troops, such as expanding the guardian angel across all the services? is it really possible to do this with the cost of doing business? when you're up against an
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insurgency like this? >> first of all, you will hear us talk about these incidents more as insider attacks. rather than green on blue. it understates the effect that this is having a on the ansf itself. they are suffering from the same trend that we're suffering. secondly, i would never become contend that there is not more that we can do. i would never characterize this as the cost of doing business. as the secretary mentioned, there is, as always, and there are far more story is about a positive relationship than there is about this particular insight attack -- in cyber attack -- insider attack trend. but it is one that we have to be focused on. for example, in one of the recent green-on-blues, it was a special operations forces lieutenant and a sergeant who came to the aid of their
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american counterparts and lost their lives in the process of coming to the raid. so this is not a case where is -- coming to their aid. this is not a case where you chalk it up to the cost of doing business. so a couple of other things. we should all be encouraged by the message by president karzai condemning it. when afghans hear it from their leadership, it resonates, i think, more. secondly, general allan is convening a conference of all of his wounded stars and senior -- from all of his one-stars and senior advisers. this is the topic of that conference. more important probably is a the afghan security ministers are having a summit to talk about
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what they can do on their side. the secretary mentioned that john has convened an acronym called jcft and it will look at -- jcat, and it will look at the recruiting process, filing promptly, where did the men who committed -- what are the indicators that we missed? and finally, we are adding -- and we will learn something from that. we are also adding counterintelligence expertise, both inside of our own staff. i really expect them to be part of the security forces team and i would expect them to have a more robust capability. at a battalion level and above. and so true are the afghans. we are adding internal counterintelligence to them. and, you know, unknown but important, they discharged hundreds of soldiers who did indicate that tsome of these young men had the capability of being radicalized, either by traveling back and forth to pakistan, by literature, by music, and so forth.
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there are indicators that we track. >> the pentagon report in this program said that most of these -- mr. secretary, there was a pentagon report in the spring and said most of these incidents had to do more with personal grudges. basically, maybe americans disrespecting afghans that led to bloodshed. that there was very little taliban in frustration. you mentioned the taliban. are we seeing a change now where there's more taliban infiltration into these incidents? >> in talking with john allen, it is clear that there is no one source that is producing these kinds of attacks. some of it are individuals who, for some reason, are upset and they take it out. we have seen that here in the united states often times.
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secondly, there is a self- radicalization that sometimes takes place within it. -- so a person may not be a suddenly radicalized with incentives for that type of thing. we have seen some of that take place in some of these attacks. and then others have some taliban ties. it is difficult to draw any kind of conclusion as to just exactly whether this is kind of a pattern, a broad pattern appeared from everybody that i -- a broad pattern. as a matter of fact, from everybody that i have talked to at this point, these seem to be incidents that a taking place that are oftentimes caused by different backgrounds of the individuals involved.
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>> you mentioned the pakistan and afghan relationship. i am with afghan television. [inaudible] what is the u.s. reaction? why is the u.s. not able to show a strong reaction to pakistan? >> it is very important that we do everything possible to try to get pakistan to take the right steps on their side of the border. the reality is that the communication and the relationship has gone better. general allan is meeting with -- general allen is meeting with general karani on a regular basis.
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we have been able to make progress with regards to other areas of assistance. one area where we are making particular progress is in trying to develop better cross border operations so that both the pakistanis and the united states and afghans are all working on the global areas to identify terrorists who are creating terrorist coming across from afghanistan and then have some cross-border incidents across the way. with general allen is open to do -- is hoping to do is that the pakistanis can help the united states identify the terrorists on the afghan side of identify some of the terrorists on the pakistani side of the border. so there can be better coordination to try to do with -- to deal with these kinds of cross border incidents. >> yes? >> on syria, we have word now that many of the 48 iranian men
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who were captured earlier this month by the syrian army in damascus are in fact irtc members. what information do you have on this? how -- what were they doing there? how deep does iranian involvement run in this conflict? >> without having specific information about the individuals involved in this particular situation, it is obvious to both general dempsey and i that iran is playing a larger role in syria in many ways. not only in terms of the irtc, but in terms of assistance, training. there is now an indication that they're trying to develop and train a militia within syria. to be able to fight on behalf of the regime.
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so we are seeing a growing presence by iran. and that is of deep concern to us, that that is taking place. we do not think that iran ought to be playing that role at this moment in time. it is dangerous and is adding to the killing that is going on in syria. and it tries to bolster a regime that we think will to millie will come down -- that we think will ultimately come down. all it is going to wind up doing, frankly, is to prolong the misery of the syrian people, so, i guess, our hope is that iran thinks better of how much they do want to get involved. but in any event, we have to make sure that iran does not exercise that kind of influence
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in syria and try to determine the future of the syrian people. the syrian people ought to determine their future, not iran. >> the militia you mentioned, to follow up on that, sir, are these iranian fighters you're talking about? have the iranians picked up arms or are they training? >> from what we have seen, a lot of it is training and a lot of it is assistance. they are training this militia, buti believe that the militia is made up of syrians. >> it is translated into the army of the people. this is similar to what they did in iraq. >> mr. secretary, you talk about seeing a larger role played by iran. have either of you seen evidence of al qaeda?
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>> there have been reports that al qaeda is present, but not aligned with the opposition. al qaeda is opportunistic. they are trying to find inroads into syria, but not aligned with the opposition in the way that the iranian influences are aligning themselves with the regime. >> you may statement about secretary clinton that, in a post-assad era, you don't want to see a repeat of what happened in iraq in terms of the military being dismantled. there publicly or are you specifically talking to anyone in syria or the opposition? i don't mean you personally, but the u.s. >> i am not. but, obviously, one of the
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focuses for secretary clinton is to try to determine what a post-assad syria will look like and what steps need to be taken. there are a number of concerns that we have in that situation. how do we maintain security of the chemical biological weapons that are being stored there and ensure that they remain secure and don't fall into the wrong hands? how do we develop a process to ensure that the different segments of the opposition can come together and be able to organize in some kind of transitional government? how are we able to deal with some of the other groups that are now, like al qaeda, their involvement, how do we do with them? how do we deal with hezbollah in this process? there are a number of questions
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that need to be addressed in that kind of situation. i think there is a strong diplomatic effort to try to determine what that would look like. >> and direct you as active in trying to do this. >> i think the u.s. is working with our allies to determine which steps we will be taking. >> can i talk with you about military assessments on both sides of this area of conflict? for the regime, there are forces, troops, equipment. what is your assessment? are they reaching the end? can they maintain spare parts and logistics? do you believe that they have an anti-air capability? potentially of heavy weapons?
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your assessment on the spot. >> on the kids -- on the condition of the syrian army, it has been fighting now for 18 months or so. that kind of pace. we are expecting that they're having -- you know, sanctions and other pressures -- they're having supply problems, morale problems, the kind of wear and tear that would come from being in a fight for as long as they have. and i believe that iran is to take some of the pressure off of the syrian military. you may have seen the prime minister, who left syria, is now calling on syria to do the honorable thing. i think that would be an outcome that we would support. on the other side, there was a report this weekend of the mig- 23.
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we don't know how it was shot down. the indicator was that it had a failure of some kind convicted not appear to be mechanical. but it could have been shot down with a small arms fire. it did have surfaced-air missile capability. they did capture one tank that was prominently displayed in the news, but beyond that, we have seen no indication that anyone has armed them with heavy weaponry. although, we're certainly alert to that possibility and wouldn't be surprised by it. >> given what secretary clinton said over the weekend, are you now looking again at the notion of having a no-fly zone or safe haven for new working groups? or are you absolutely convinced that a no-fly zone is no feet? -- not feasible?
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>> i will let him -- >> militarily, i explore options with partners, especially in these kinds of incidents. we have been in discussion with jordanians and the turks. they are both interested mostly in the effects that could spill from syria in to their countries. both have examined the possibility of a safe haven. but a safe haven would probably have some kind of no-fly zone. we are not planning anything unilaterally. >> as we both indicated, obviously, we plan for a number of contingencies and we have planned for a number of contingencies there. right now, with regards to syria, we are focused on three areas. number one, humanitarianwe provide about 81 million and we continue to work with turkey and jordan to do what we can to provide further assistance to do
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with the refugees picked -- to deal with the refugees. secondly, cbw sides continue to be a serious concern and we continue to monitor those sites, working with turkey and jordan. we have been in discussions to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure that those sites are secure and maintain so that those weapons don't fall into the wrong hands. opposition. we are providing non-legal aid to the opposition. other gulf countries are providing more aggressive assistance to the opposition, as well. but our goal is to -- non- lethal aid to the opposition. as far as the no-fly zone, that is not an issue to us. >> there has been an uptick in
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publicity on speculation thaton august 1, you said we need every option and every effort before it undertaking military action. then it was written that time is dwindling. what is your view here? is israel closer than ever before to taking unilateral strikes against iran? and what is your general thinking about the effectiveness of those types of strikes undertaken by a nation without stealthier craft bore bumper-busting type of weaponry? >> i have said this before. i don't believe they have made a decision as to whether or not they will attack iran at this time.
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obviously, they are independent. they are a sovereign country. they will make decisions on what they think is in their best national security interest good but i don't think they have made that decision at this time. with regards to the issue of where they are at from a diplomatic point of view, the reality is that we still think there is room to continue to negotiate. the additional sanctions have been put in place. they are beginning to have an additional impact on top of the other sanctions that have been placed there. strongly unified in opposition to iran developing any kind of nuclear weapon. and we're working together both on the diplomatic side as well as on the economic side to apply sanctions. i think the effort is one that the united states and the international community will
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continue to press. as i said and i will continue to repeat, the prime minister of israel said the same thing. military -- any kind of military action ought to be the last alternative, not the first. >> but they say that the window is almost shut. they are ready to strike. >> obviously, israel has to respond to that question. >> militarily, my assistant -- my assessment has not changed. i went to make it clear. i'm not privy to their planning. my assessment is based on their all of their capabilities. but characterization's say they could delay but not destroyed
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iran's nuclear capabilities. >> but that -- >> i have not changed my assessment. >> thank you. i am from venezuela. the venezuelan government has been very outspoken, highlighting its support of the soaring yen -- support of the syrian and iranian governments. i would like to know if you have any comments on that? thank you. >> we don't agree with a lot that venezuela does and we would obviously not agree with their approach to syria as well. i guess venezuela will have to make its own decisions as to what governments that want to support or not support. >> have pakistan -- [inaudible]
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are you aware of their nuclear capability, that pakistan is, according to a report last week, extending their nuclear weapons because of terrorists inside pakistan? and secondly, tomorrow, also, it is 65 years of independence. independents, 65 years. >> one of the things i have always tried to stress in that region is the importance of india and pakistan working together to deal with the issues that they confront.
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we will never have real stability in that region without india and pakistan, and for that matter afghanistan, working together in trying to do with common threats, particularly those threats from terrorism. i really do believe, when i talk to the pakistanis, i always stress the fact that we should have common cause which refers to confronting terrorists in order confronting terrorism. terrorists -- to confronting terrorists. terrorists are a real danger to their country. a lot of pakistanis have died as a result of terrorism.
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members of their military have died as a result of terrorism and it is important for them to against that threat. in particular, it is important because they are a nuclear power and the great danger we always fear is that, if terrorism is not controlled in their country, that their nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands. >> [inaudible] in washington -- i am sorry. in washington, if you met with him, and, mr. secretary, other -- >> i did not. he was here when i was a broad. >> as i was. general kayani, but the chief of army staff, and recognizing the independent states, he gave a speech that i would incurred due to take a -- that i would encourage you to take a look at. >> as general dempsey said, the
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war and conflict has been going on for 17-18 months. do you think that, number one, america has done enough? to bring this regime to an end? and, number two, is there reason in the future -- are you confident that you have enough firepower? >> with respect to that last question, there is no question in my mind that we have positioned a significant force in the middle east to deal with any kind of contingency. at this time. we are prepared to respond to whatever the president of the united states asks us to do. with regard to syria, we are not standing still.
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there is a very strong diplomatic effort that secretary clinton is involved in, working with turkey, working with jordan, working with our allies, to try to continue to pressure on syria. there are a number of sanctions that have been brought against syria, economic sanctions that have had an impact. at the same time, we're working on the humanitarian assistance. we're trying to secure the cbw. and we are trying to provide assistance to the opposition. i think the reality is that it is having an impact on assad. it is having an effect on the regime. we are seeing increasing defections. we are seeing problems with their military. i think that it is a matter of time. of bringing assad down.
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but it will take continuing pressure. it would be helpful if the russians and the chinese were a part of that effort. but, if they are not, we believe that the international community is maintaining enough unity on this issue that they can continue to bring strong pressure on the syrian regime to bring it down and to give syria back to the syrian people. >> you said we're working on securing the cbw. what do you mean? >> we are monitoring those sites and keeping an eye on them and continuing to develop plans with the adjoining countries to ensure that they will always be secure. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> former deputy secretary of
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state richard armitage is part of the discussion tomorrow on u.s. relations with japan. we will have live coverage from the center for strategic and international studies on c- span.2 and at 8:45 a.m. >> i was getting out of the army and with the wall street journal. >> he talks about his various jobs as a journalist, his views on extravagant spending overseas, and his criticism of the u.s. budget primary. >> they build a facility for the band. that is about 40 people. it has got separate rooms for everybody. to spend $4 million on an elementary school. >> more with columnist walter pincus on c-span's "q&a."
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>> next, as part of this year's aspen security forum, the homeland security and other officials discussed domestic terrorism. among the speakers, the former fbi and cia director, william webster, who officially released the report on the 2009 fort hood shootings. this is one hour. >> good morning, everybody. i am the president of the mccormick foundation based in chicago, and i have the great privilege of introducing this amazing panel that is going to be discussing law-enforcement agencies at all different levels and the work that they do to keep our country safe, and what an amazing panel is.
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i will be beginning from left them right. the vice president for target corp., heading a team of professionals to protect all of the people and customers and business reputation of target globally. next, our to johnson is the executive director of the chiefs of police. he has 21,000 bosses and over 100 countries. he also served as the principal secretary of analysis at the department of homeland security, the director of national intelligence. sean joyce recently named deputy director of the fbi, and prior to this role, he oversaw the counter-terrorism, counterintelligence weapons of
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mass destruction and other programs. next, timothy williams is the director of interpol washington. he represents the attorney- general and the united states and all interpol-related activity. prior to this, he served on the u.s. marshals service, where he oversaw the nationwide surveillance operations. and the honorable william webster, who is a former judge for the eighth circuit. he is a former director of the cia, making him the only american to s served in both of those agencies, and he is currently chair of the homeland security council for the department of security. are moderators, as most of you know, is a former white house
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correspondent with bloomberg news and now works as a counter- terrorism correspondent for npr. in addition to that, an award winning author, and i commend you. so let me turn it over to you. turn it over to you. >> thank you very much. [applause] thank you for coming here this morning. what we are going to do rigid or is unusual about this panel is it offers a real spectrum about people who get involved with terrorism cases. very often have trouble figuring out where they are in the process of investigating the case. this is a rare opportunity where we can get an idea of what is going on step by step by step. at every case is the same, but this will give you an idea. we thought the best way to do this would be to use specific example. some cases may not get involved
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with the specific example, but they can give us a good hypothetical idea of what they would have done in a particular case. how many of you know the new york subway case? let me give you a tiny synopsis so that you will understand what it is we are talking about. this case happened back in 2009. at the time the fbi thought it was the most serious case in the united states since 9/11. the reason was, an afghan native who actually used to have one of those cards from new york city, went to afghanistan and pakistan and basically wanted to fight with the taliban. instead he added that getting recruited by al qaeda because he
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had a clean at passport and was able to get in and out of the united states. what makes this different from all the other people you talk about is he actually built a viable bomb. he tested one in denver. he was able to make the detonator. i have steady bonds a lot. apparently that is the hardest part to do. he made the bomb with here by boiling it down to a particular ratio. he went to a big hair salon outlets in denver and bought massive amounts of hair dye. so much that even the guy at the counter said, what are you doing with all of this year die? for the purposes of our panel having set that up, let's assume that he is a thrifty guy. instead of going to this owlet he went to target and bought a
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lot of hair dye. let's assume for the argument that a clerk at target said, wow, that is a lot of hair dye. he reported it. in what would happen. >> some quick context because i am the private sector representatives here today. i represent a fortune 500 company with corporate security department. we actually do a lot with law enforcement. we have capabilities with our own corporation. i think this case is a good illustration of how it could come to pass. we would have offered him a red card so he gets 5% off on his purchase. >> i gave you a set up, did i not? >> in all seriousness, we do have a working relationship
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often with the law enforcement community a local and national levels. target has embarked program where we purposely developed it. these relationships enable us to become aware of information they might need feedback on. in a case like this, we might find out from a local law enforcement center or from the fbi out of the sea on her --, be on the lookout for. he there at headquarters are out on the field we would begin surveying day tab because we will track inventory data. we can pull video from around the country. both inside the store and outside. we actually can go out to our peers and other retailers and ask them if they have seen such behavior, too. it is not just within the target environment. if we trip that wire, we can pick up the phone and call law enforcement and notify them.
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>> would you call local law enforcement or the fbi? >> it deepens and the situation and what is being asked for us to do. most often than not it is at a local level. >> a uncall the local police. seeing as you now -- so you would call the local police. the phone call comes into the local police. let's just say there is another aspect. it comes into the local police. then what happens? cox there is 18,000 law- enforcement agencies in the country. target has an excellent working relationship and many other organizations and companies throughout the country. the other good news is law enforcement is part of the security enterprise, the
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national intelligence enterprise. they know the communities. they know when criminal activity is afoot. if they got the call from a target store employee, they will be armed with information. it will have been socialized to what counter-terrorism is about the acquisition of material. the hydrogen peroxide is part of the material. under that set of circumstances, i am quite confident one of two things will have occurred. they would have called the fusion center directly or they would have called to expand on that. if they want the national network affusion center route, there would have called the fusion center once again because of the efforts of ina, the fbi, they have the connectivity, both classified and unclassified level to receive the documents and to receive the products
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that an inmate from the intelligence community overseas about how the devices are made, what the components of the go into them. they also would be informed as it relates to what to look for. a good analyst said would know that could be terrorist related. they will notify the jttf. it has happened in not only these incidents but over the past three years. unfortunately there has been an uptick in domestic base to incidents. the relationship is very good. it does not stop there. it gets to the intelligence community. the only people not sitting on this side is the cia for the intelligence community to get it up to them and conversely, a lot of affirmation passes down. that is basically what will happen. relationships and the passing of the information. >> of the police chief of
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denver is a little bit worried about what he has heard from target. he called the head of the field office in denver and says, i have this problem. and what happens? >> make sure you don't tell him, i do not have a white shirt on. the fbi can dress down occasionally. we do a lot of things. people have to remember, we are just like you out there. we are trying to balance civil rights and civil liberties. what we do each and every time is the least intrusiveness. depending upon what the threat is, if you are talking about somebody coming in and purchasing hydrogen peroxide, then there are certain activities that we do -- checking open source records whether they have a prior
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record. signage their numbers are affiliated with anyone else who may have an open investigation. also doing checks with the other members of the intelligence community. >> would you check to see if they travel to pakistan or afghanistan? >> absolutely. when people talk about the fbi's jttf, it is our jttf. on every single jtf since 2001 we went from 35 to 104. there are members of the nsa, the cia, state police, local police, you make it. they are members of the task force. we cannot do it without them. i think we got a lot smarter involving the private sector. i do not think we pay less attention to the before and bringing them into -- i do not think we paid enough attention to bringing them in before.
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>> us talk about interpol. for the sake of making it easy to go down the line. here is something you tell me about interpol before we had this session. interpol is not like jason bourne, which i thought it was. i thought there were people crashing through windows. i thought you could do the jason bourne stuff. can you explain a little better what interpol as? >> absolutely. i think interpol is -- there is a lot of confusion about interpol. basically the u. and of police. it is made up of the national police agency's. in the united states it is a little more complicated. it is very important. i think a lot of this forum has been on the classified side and how information has been shared
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and better between the fbi and military cia. i remember charlie allen saying many times, the real intelligence gatherers are the police on the streets and people making arrests every day that will flip the individual into cooperating on a case and tell the fbi and others on their case. i think there is some real creative people a in the audience. people that believe sharing information and working together, they have been supportive of interpol. police intelligence, two countries and national police agencies. back when a lot people in this room, it does not this way. when we were younger, and lot of things were done by fax. technology has made interpol more relevant.
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we have the lost stolen travel document with interval -- with interpol. >> would he have popped up on the interpol database? >> if the fbi wanted him on there. >> he would not have in that case because -- for a red notice, that is an arrest warrant recognized by interpol members. there are other blue-chip notices and other neck -- mechanisms. he specifically -- we were tipped off. he would have been in the databases they have. >> the way they basically found was the interception of an e- mail.
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they did not have someone who said something. what was interesting about the case is that he created tatt, an explosive, from this hair dye. then he drove across the country from denver to new york. and the fbi was concerned that he decided not to fly. so maybe there was something in the car they were worried about. i do not know if you know this or not the my understanding was on his cross-country journey, he was talking very fast. he got pulled over several times by police and getting tickets for dropping so fast. this was again this coordination think we're talking about. the people who pull them over, did they know why he was being pulled over? but it is my understanding he was intentionally pulled over to collect information in cooperation with the fbi.
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if it was a happenchance pullover and he was speeding, those troopers are well informed as it relates to seeing a wire. i'm quite confident they are well-informed to report that information to the nationwide suspicious activity reporting initiative or to the jttf. >> let's say hypothetically that they did not know. the mechanism that exists as soon as a case is developed, that person is to -- goes into the known and suspected terrorist file. any police officer out there is going to know when they stop and individual. then he has a contact number to come back to. >> the fact they stop him a couple of times and gave him a couple of tickets, that is one of my favorite parts. i am out of new york and there
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was another aspect that maybe you can answer. he has this explosive in the suitcase in the trunk of his car and he is pulled over by law enforcement and a search is car and they miss the explosives. how did that happen? [laughter] >> they are all looking at me. >> in all of these cases, we are all organizations and human beings. so the new -- they knew. they made the stop and it did not find it. there were a couple of aubrey -- of other bombs. there are bumps in every case. they knew and they did their best but it was difficult to detect.
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in fairness to the police officers, they were not try to make it obvious. that was some of the direction that was given. it was later found, as you know. in this type of case, it was very fast moving. when we initially found out, around september 6 or seventh, to his arrest, it ended up being the 18th. so you can imagine very quickly the number of techniques. one of the things as how the fbi has changed and director smaller and others have really -- director muller and others have really transformed the agency. we are looking at it as an intelligence collection. it was not to put him in jail. we want to find out everything we can about him. who is the connected with? who are his facilitators? what is he trying to do?
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at the same time working with the department of justice, they are with us from day 0. we want to preserve the ability to disrupt them, possibly prosecuting them and putting them in jail. that is the biggest thing. people do not recognize -- field intelligence groups, it is about being intelligent and attractive base. i think we have been extremely successful doing that. >> if i may, being in law enforcement for 32 years, you do miss things unfortunately. but the system worked here in this case. not only did that information in record speed get into the hands of jim davis, the sac in denver, and then share with the chief dan oates but also commissioner kelly. i saw commissioner kelly earlier here today.
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that would not have happened on the 9/11 -- september 10th of 2001. but it is now. demint -- the information is being passed. people are aware. it is a total good news story progresses it is. . >> this is a nice way to go to you and talk about the coordination. you have been involved the fbi for a long time. you heard the story. can you talk a little bit about how this is working together? >> most of the time, it worked very well. occasionally it does not. that is when we hear the call failure of imagination. in today's world, that is what people are doing. looking out in advance, projecting what could happen and what would we do about it in
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what you recognize it? -- and would you recognize it? it is what we do with the lucky break that matters. in today's world of technological advances, we are still behind the curve somewhat. sometimes our system did not follow up and to the way we would like them to. but we are working on it. that is important, too. >> i wanted to say one other thing about this case. from every reporter's perspective. we are good at listening to voices. the way that i knew this was a very serious case with the tightness in everybody's voice when i was asking questions, whether in the intelligence community or the fbi. you could tell this was a serious case. and it was fast moving. i think that is the reason why you could tell it was such a serious case. a wanted to move on a little bit of talk about a domestic case
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and go down the line and talk about how it would be difficult -- if it were domestic. the was a young man who was at texas tech and he came to the united states, he is saudi, he came under a student visa. at the end of last month, he was found guilty of trying to produce a weapon of mass destruction. they found chemical and precursors and things in his apartment near some town in texas. i cannot remember where. lovick. [laughter] let's see if i can recover from that one. >> i am not answering any more
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questions. [laughter] >> he was going to build a bomb and one of the targets he thought about was president bush's home. this was found in an accidental way. he had these chemicals shipped to his apartment. the dax dropped them off at the local carrier. the local carrier happened to look at the address and solve all these chemicals were going to residents. the local carrier had a rule that it would not ship these things to a residence. it could only be to a business or a school. this is an example private- sector stepping in. i do not know if you want to talk about that. >> just briefly. the fact that it would be the
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same for the private sector. homegrown, we are more dependent on citizens of the private sector. he will not ship communications -- you will not ship made it -- these points are not happening. i look at it as citizens that before doing their duty, seeing suspicious behavior and reporting it to the right people. >> the chemical company called local police -- the shipping company called local police? >> possibly or the jttf. the missing piece here would be the intelligence community. the intelligence community is a great role in informing on tactics and procedures, whether it be domestic base or foreign base. for law enforcement, it would not be handled any differently
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it would get the receipt of the reporting whether it be from a target or a shipper chemical local law enforcement. they will be informed to notify the fusion center. the one thing i did not mention is the value added of what the fusion center has as it relates to the information sets. whether or not it is a blotter or active investigation or deconfliction. when there is an act against -- investigation against the target, if you put that individual's name, it will identify that person is already under investigation by another agency. to think about what a local officer trouper encounters each day, whether domestic. the opportunity they have to review that. that is important as it relates to the value added coming out of
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the fusion center. you used the word lokke to read in my career -- the word luck. in my career, people say you were really lucky. no, you are not lucky. it is based in your training, out there stopping cars. but has nothing to do with that. it is the system. that's it -- that shipping company having the processes in place or the general public sang something is not right here. at that has been there much too long. and knowing to call local law enforcement and local law enforcement -- knowing to call the jttf. sometimes a lot of these chemicals are also used to manufacture narcotics. that also helps out the dea. so those relationships, it is not only benefiting ct but general crime.
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>> there were two companies involved. there was the carolina biological supply that contacted rre in greensboro than conaway trucking in texas that contacted the police department there. >> he was already on the radar screens by the time the -- >> they happen within a day of each other. we were also tip of -- tipped off from another foreign agency. we talk about these layers, that is what works. we talked about general adult -- general alexander and his folks are doing. then you have what dhs is doing on the borders of hardening the target. then another layer. then appear with the jttf -- then the bureau with the jttf.
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it is other agency help you, would he have shown -- showed up on interpol? >> it depends if the agency contacted interpol. >> it is possible. most of the countries in the interpol do not have a classified system. they do not have the complex communications systems we do. the only way they can communicate is through interpol sometimes. or to the attache in that country. >> the legal attache. >> will coordinate that with the fbi. there are eight divisions in interpol. one of domestic counter- terrorism division. we have that connection. those leads, and -- those leads come in and it is close
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coordination. >> when you hear these case studies and you hear how everybody is working together, how different is this from the fbi you know? >> it was not that different. i heard last night something that up and -- i should address. there was a time when it was thought the fbi was all take and no give. when i came on board in 1978, the ex agents society was having a convention and they wanted to do something for the fbi decide the integrity statute they donated. they had a quotation on the wall from dead girl over and asked me to select one. the quotes ran heavily on law and order and defensive type
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comments. the one i selected became truly i think the spirit of the fbi. if you ever go there in the courtyard, you will see in large letters -- the key to effective law enforcement is cooperation at all levels of government and with the support and understanding of the american people. i think that is the direction in which we are going. after september 11, the problem of need to know shifted to need to share. at the the fbi got into that spirit as it became an effective law enforcement but intel is averaging -- but intelligencve gathering. we talk about first responders. state and local have to be there when the problem arises or when
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the first explosion occurs. if they are engaged in a community oriented policing as i hope most of them are these days, the chances are the public will be as equally responsive and identify suspicious activities. they will do as we have been encouraging to do -- see something, say something. that is very important to our welfare and safety today. i think the american people are responding. through these combinations of relationships with the american people and with the local law enforcement and issues and sharing of experience and the ability to transmit that information not only accurately but quickly improperly out that to the field where it can be of value is one of the most remarkable changes i have seen in the last 30 years. >> anybody have something to add to that? but i want to recognize judge
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webb. it is an honor to be up here with him. >> i am often asked why the private sector charges involve a public safety our counter- terrorism. as citizens of this country, we have a duty. we might have different skills sets for expertise but we have the same mission -- to protect this country. the simple way i look at it is if i'm walking to my house and my neighbor's house is on fire, i do not just keep walking because i'm not a fireman. i do something. i think that is where the private sector could be part of that do something also, whether it is citizens or businesses. we have to look at them as a partner in this and a force multiplier. i go back to 9/11. i was in minneapolis when that
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occurred. we were in disarray like most of us in this room. but what i find most fascinating is that morning, flight 93, the first group to act against those acting against us were citizens. i think we have to keep that in the forefront of all things we do, whether it is in the business sector, or private citizens. it is part of what makes this country what it is. >> and acted only hours after it first happened? what they got intelligence -- >> they got intelligence as they did it and it took down the bad guys before the u.s. government knew what was going on. [applause] >> i almost want to end it there. if we could shift gears a bit. we were supposed to talk about
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what more can be done to keep the home and safe. in particular, the threat is changing. there seems to be a new threat emanating from iraq with al qaeda and iraq also leader saying he wanted to target the u.s. which is new. there is still a threat in yemen. if we could go down the line quickly, could you talk about what you think can be done to keep all lance zipper as the threat is safer -- keep the homeland safer as the threat is changing? >> with the private sector has brought to the table paul 9/11 is resiliency. we have done much to deal with what can we do as a business to protect our people, to recover
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businesses, help our communities? my team was with fema nearby in colorado springs looking at what else the to do in the public sector. we do this about tornadoes and natural disasters but it is the same impact with the terrorist act. what is often missing from the public side is because the view is not on my watch. our view is if it does happen, what can we do to get this country back up and running, our businesses up and running, our communities? it is along the lines of the british business as usual. that is the model we study. ira terrorism. that is what i think the private sector is much better at today than it ever was. it helps supplement government efforts. >> i think we are at a very critical part.
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over 10 years after september 11 as relates to the economy, the economy is declining. there has been a significant amount of layoff for local, state, tribal law enforcement. my agency had the high watermark of about 5000. they are at about 43 hunter right now. couple that with the grants and how they have been cut dramatically. it cannot be done at the expense of national security. all the progress that has been made and the need to not that back on where we have been headed, we need to keep moving forward. strength and the processes. a lot of this ibased on trust and personal relationships that have developed. in need to be institutionalized. -- it neesd to be institutionalized. there are a lot of high level folks here. i did not know what dod and the iec did until i spent about four
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and a half years within the intelligence community, most recently with an ina. i was thoroughly impressed about the analysts, the amount of time and work and effort they put into it and also i know that the ice and dod recognize and appreciate what they have here domestically. that needs to continue to grow and be enhanced. it is not -- it is also cyber and what is happening with the gangs and narcotics and the threat that you have spoken about. keep that information coming and recognize that law enforcement is very mature, they know how to do things. they know how to investigate. they can be trusted. they have clearances. they now know how to store it. so trust that and build that trust and institutionalize it. >> you are trying to do something in a environment of
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shrinking resources. how do you protect the homeland better when you have less resources? >> like all of my counterparts, we look for a patient sees. ways to do things better. we look for ways to do things differently. we live to leverage other agencies, the private sector more effectively. i think we -- we are all living in a fascinating time. there are so many things going on around the world and it does affect the united states. we have to remember that. i think that red has become much more -- the threat has become much more difficult, much more diversified to detect. they did a phenomenal job desecrating al qaeda but the threat has changed and evolved.
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it is becoming more difficult which goes to really the next point. i think the dni realizes the importance of the domestic intelligence architecture. i think for many years, we ignore that. he is really taking an active role in that and figuring out how these agencies fit together. he recently designated 12 of the fbi offices as dni reps domestically. that is part of the efficiency i was talking about. how to the coordinate activities -- how do we coordinate activities and do them with less? >> to echo everyone's comments, partnership is a crucial thing. everybody talks about a partnership but i want to echo the judge. after september 11, i was in new york. i got a call, got together with a group of people to work on a
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mixed agency. he did not care if it was f.b.i.. he wanted people to get things in -- done quickly. >> that is special agent in charge. >> i am sorry. i worry that we have come so far along in sharing information but i think as we get further away from september 11, i did not want to get back. i believe that sometimes the system the way agencies have compete -- to compete for funds especially when resources are shrinking, it has a negative affect. it does not encourage sharing of information. we are supporting everybody. when agencies have to battle for resources, that makes it very difficult. it would also affect them and pulling off of task forces like interpol with the need to be
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because the resources they have to prioritize where there are -- where people are going to go. that is my concern going forward. >> judge webster, where do you think we need to go? we need to do as john says, to get better at all of the things we are doing right. to anticipate what our problems may be and to have the no more failures ever imagination. we hope we can anticipate it. the importance of having the support and understanding of the american people is something we do keep it until our minds but we have to work hard at it. in our country, there is something different. we believe that we must do the
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work that the american people expect of us and the way that the constitution demands of us. sometimes that is tough. we have a lot of things we could do that might theoretically produce an answer, create a confession, do something else to wage a war but the important thing is that we behave in a way that earns the trust of the american people and in the end is far more affected than law enforcement and intelligence principled than some of the other extreme measures that will take place until other countries. that is the challenge we face in the future. to not forget who we are and what we are. to be better at what we are and what we do than anyone else in protecting in keeping save the people in this country. >> i was hoping we could open it up to questions now.
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the gentleman here. >> i want to thank all of you for your service and agree with the spirit of cooperation you gentlemen are promoting. no single agency department has all the tools needed. going forward, we have some great tools that the place since september 11. we track large sums of money that travel throughout the financial system. we track chemicals now better than we do before. how to attract 6000 rounds of ammunition purchased on the internet as we saw recently? >> i should have asked that question. look at everybody looking at you judge.
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>> there is no tracking, no national database of weaponry or bullets. i'm not going to give an opinion or get in trouble with those 18,000 sheets in the country. suffice to say, at a state level, they do a good job as a relate to cataloging weapons at purchasing and things of that nature. but there is no national system. that is why -- firearms are a dealer distributor. it is public. what is suspicious activity. what constitutes suspicious activity? law enforcement, they know all about that. they are held accountable to it.
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there is no notion of doing that. they are too busy going from complete to complaint and if somebody may, there are significant consequences to that. law enforcement take that very importantly. sorry for digressing. >> you talk about some policy issues which obviously some of us did not want to comment on because of our positions but it gets down to the internet. i wish i had mentioned it before. technology. we all are up in a generation where the computer was introduced to us in some part -- point of our lives. it started at the very beginning. we need to do a better job with technology, principal. we have got to get better at doing that. we have to be able to detect the
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good and evil. it will be good -- through advanced technology. >> there is some weapons chasing internationally led by atf. there is some international domestic. there are some on weapons that are used in crimes overseas to track them. >> director, you may be one of the few people who can express an opinion about this. do you think there should be a way to track huge amounts of ammunition at purchase all at once? >> consistent with what i said before about the rights of american citizens and others in our country, i think that the problem we identified particularly in the fort hood massacre, i cannot discuss it because that is part of the portions of the report, except
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to say that this capacity to gather data is huge. and massive. the problem is making sure that it can be sorted, filed an available and disseminated. in an effective way. >> and seen in time. >> yes, i absolutely. the more we collect, the more challenging the issue of identifying something unusual and acting on it. >> those of you who do not know, debt webster released a report looking at the fort hood shooting -- judge webster released a report looking at the four parachuting. it came out last week. what was the most surprising thing in putting together the report to you that you can tell us? >> probably what i just said
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what i think the surprising thing to me was that the system that was designed with a joint task forcing by bringing in agents from other departments to have responsibilities to guide and help result in -- there were to field offices with different views. one trekking in very bad guy in yemen, passing to another field office with the discretion to do with it what they wanted about an american soldier and officer communicating with one of these very bad guys. the and nurture that occurred because of differences about what to do about it -- the inertia that occurred because of differences about what to do
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about it. not a clear policy at the time about how to resolve that this agreement. in a way that might have anticipated an opportunity to prevent or head off a bad thing. that was the surprise to me. the joint task force system was supposed to enhance our capabilities and not create in our shop. but it was not the fault of the task force officer. he made mistakes but it was not the fault of the other individuals. it was the lack of a clear policy which made sure you could resolve the problem quickly. in other words, taken upstairs. >> and judge webster and his folks did a fantastic job on that report. i have read it several times. we made mistakes, there is no
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question about that what we try to do is learn from those mistakes. he made 18 recommendations. i believe they were all adopted. and we are going to get better. >> question and terms of the evolving threats. u.s. officials recorded last week that the bulgarian suicide bombing had all the hallmarks of a hezbollah aspiration -- operation. how concerned is the bureau right now that hezbollah operatives and to the united states may be taking on expanded roles going into legal operations like this? are you taking any steps to monitor it?
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>> yes and yes. without question, not only bulgaria but if you recall the plot to kill the u.s. saudi ambassador. the related to the iodc in proxy with iran and hezbollah. speaking from open source and other things, there is a change in the threat without question. we are looking at at that and are in talks with that. >> how about the lady in the striped in the back? >> there are two conflicting dialogues i see in the press right now. one is the sea something, do something or something, report
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it. the citizens are on the front lines. and we understand our neighborhoods best and therefore we can be good judges of what is unusual. on the other hand, even though there is an increased concern for a homeland radicalization, there seems to be an effort to make sure there is no bias and therefore to downplay homegrown radicalization. how to you balance those two? >> do you think your downplaying radicalization? >> i think there are a couple of things going on here. i am not sure what you meant when you used the term biased. i think we are much like a
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neighborhood watch and everyone else -- like everyone else, we are looking for behaviors that are not normal. as far as homegrown extremism, i think everyone appear is well aware of the current threat that exists. we meet on a monthly basis on combating violent extremism related to the homeland. and in other ways. what are other ways and techniques we can stop that before it even begins? before they go through that complete radicalization process and move into mobilization? on the bias side, i cannot think there is bias. when you notice something, you try to report it. it goes to the program level, what the local police for sheriff or who ever is
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responsible. >> i think what i am referring to was there is a reluctance to identify the fact that there might be a religious theology that serves as the basis for the radicalization and in certain circles, there seems to be a reluctance to identify the use of a religion in the radicalization process. >> i would say if you look over the centuries, radicalization is not limited to, i think you are referring to is mom, it is not just as long. christianity has had its share of that extremism. whatever you want to call that. this is the greatest country in
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the world. it is those elements with and religion that adopt and etiology that is not really the religion. it is extremism. there is no bias there. anyone who is doing that, i did not care what religion you are practicing, if you are talking about killing and murdering people, we will get you. >> this is a very small group of the muslim population. we tend to make sweeping generalizations about islam and we should not. there are a lot of muslims in this country who are as horrified as non muslims. >> from state and local perspective, it is based on a criminal predicate. you are targeting an individual who is reasonably suspicious or probable cause or reasonable indicative of criminal activity.
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did you take it where it goes. after you complete that trouble, there could be something that led to that person doing what they did. i think that it's it. >> we have time for one last question. >> question about major hassan. the gaps seem to be -- why didn't they involve the military? they had clear communication with the sheik in yemen. this was just recent. i did not understand what they did not alert the military. >> i can answer that question.
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the task force member who opposed scoreboard was from the military. >> they had argument that it would affect his career but of course there were methods by which an interview could have occurred. the defense department was aware of him and was aware of both good reports and not so good reports about him. there was no leptin to let the defense department about it -- there was no reluctance to let the defense department know about it. was right after 9/11, one of the big things that concerned everyone is people not talking to each other. but we have seen at least in these two cases is that while
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this might not be a perfect system, it is, a long way in 10 years. if you could thank >> now more from this year aspen security forum. this is an hour. >> we are going to get started now. this next panel will focus on the white house's role in counter-terrorism. moderating is michael crowley, a senior correspondent for times. he writes about washington, the obama administration and
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national security issues. he wrote about foreign-policy for the new republic. he has also written for new york magazine, gq, slate, d the new york times magazine. his major articles in recent years have included profile of a white house counter-terrorism ief john brennan, former defense secretary robert gates, and efforts to combat the risk of nuclear terrorism. michael. >>hank you. i am going to briefly introduce our panelists. ken to my left spent two tickets in federal law enforcement and homeland security, including general counsel to the fbi and chief of staff to robert mona. as the united stat attorney d that the first assistant attorney general for national security. he became homeland security adviser to george bush in 2008. juan was that the assistant to the president for combating terrorism from 2005 until 2009. he served as assistant secretary
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of treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes where he led the global hunt for saddam hussein's assets. quinten is one of the country's top experts on muslim communities, and radicalization. he has been senior director for community partnerships on the white house's national security staff, focus on building partnerships between the federal government and local communities, including partnerships to counter violent extremism. he served at the white house's senior director for global engagement. he said it is lyme -- islan in cairo. ken, y don't i start with you? an open-ended question. we talked in the last couple of days about so many different parts of the federal government with responsibilities for counter-terrorism. the white house is the hub of
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the wheel. have you ordinate and absorb the information -- how do you coordinate and absorb the information and action? can you talk about the managerial challenge of that in your role? what is the best role for the white house that straddles the balance between being overwhelmed by all the external apparatus but also not micromanaging it at the same me? >> good question. it brings the discussion we are going to have here today. in terms of the best balance, i think we explore that three different situations. we will go through various unbearable to get to what we think is the best balance. the issue that our parliament is made of a number of different departments and agencies, --
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that our government is made up of a number of different departments and agencies. in counter-terrorism, it depends on contributions from each of these departments and agencies. how does the white house which ultimately has to make the critical decisions get that input, get the consensus among the cabinet officers and translate that into decisions? and operational policy? in terms of policy, the concept put it into place when i was -- in 1947 when you have a council comprised of cabinet officers to get together and make basil -- and make recommendations to the president. that functions right -- quite well. the question is how does that concept work when you have operational decisions that need
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be made? and decisions that need minute by minute decision making? they have to be made at the highest law will by the president. that is the gray area. that is with the balance constaly need to do recalibrate it. -- that is where the balance is and it compton the need to be read calibrated. -- and it constantly needs to be recalibrated. there are a variety of considerations that go into that. you do not want to nuclear terror -- cabinet officers -- want to neuter your cabinet officers. counter-terrorism is one of the primary concerns of the country. the president needs to take an active role and the critical
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decisions about policy and operations. he needs to be at the table. that is the cost of balance. the short answer is there are some decisions, like the osama bin laden rate. you ne a president to say go. other decisions are lower down and you have to decide case by case. >> do you have a sense of how the obama administration is handling that talented not drawing the president in too deeply but making sure he is there at the right time for the key decisions? >> i can speak from my experience and give an assessment of what i am doing. i think ken has it right. there is an inherent dynamic tension within the white house between the classic role which is to set strategy and policy and ensure coordination among all the elements of the government that have a role and
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then the flip side which is how deeply do you get involved in operations? that is the balance that is constantly being drawn on each d every case. no cases like another. the ubl rate and now the famous photo with all the principles facing the screen watching is emblatic of the fact that that was essentially driven this is in making process -- decision making process. it is the quintessential white house involvement inhe case. we were going through a strategic stretch review and a core element of that review for two years was not just what will our strategy be and how the we do with the ideology but who was in charge? i remember secretary rums felt coming to the meeting saying on whom depend the robe?
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who is in charge of counter terrorism. the complicated issues the government has to deal with that affect multiple departments, the answer is the president. it is only at the white house at diplomatic authority sets. law enforcement authorities said. intelligence collection. in a way, it is not an easy answer because it creates a dynamic tension of whether the whe house becomes operational. it is inherent in this complicad issues. it is not just the work of the fbi but health and man services. it is only at the white house record intact. >> give us a one minute summary
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of what it is you do. a lot of people might not be familiar with it. the macon talk about how it fits into the larger picture here. >> be set at a new office at the white house and is to help the department effectively collaborate with the private sector has decided. and the tools and capabilities that lie outside the government. dealing with complex issues, we need to make sure we are working acro sectors leveraging the expertise in a collaborative way to maximize the impact. to those inside and outside government, it is not easy to read we have all sorts of rules and regulations that could make a very challenging.
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our job right now is to make sure we start to move those obstacles. we apply that partnership model to include human trafficking encountering violent extremism. it might be interesting to talk out how -- what this tells us about thinking about counter- terrorism, particularly at the white house. this is a field that took a while to get off the ground. can you talk about how it has matured over the past few years and what it says about long-term thinking about what counter- terrorism is a the white house? >> juan and i worked together. it would be interesting to hear his view on this but for me, post 9/11, it was a lot of data gathering and trying to connect the dots and figure out the
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threat. it was a bit on the preventative side, figure out how we stop people from becoming terrorists in the first place. at the burial push on that happened after 7/7, the attacks on the transit system in london. the president have a visceral reaction of what is happened? we had a couple individuals who were to drinking citizens of the u.k. who just killed their fellow citizens. on the analytic side, thais when programs in terms of assessing how people are radicalize to place, how you build programs to counter violent extremism been over the last five to 12 years,hat has become programming into actual action. >> i know someone who was talked a lot about the muslim community, john brennan.
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he puts a high priori on it. he is the white house counter- terrorism adviser. i thought we might talk about what that job looks like right now and what he is doing. what strikes me in looking at how the white house operates right now is his extreme close to the president. not just physical proximity. but it is clearly have a great relationship. the president has a lot of trust in him. he also has a broad portfolio which began talks about. can he talk about how that role has evolved and how you see it working right now and whether it is working well? >> those positions, adviser to the president's, national
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security adviser, their role evolved and changes depending on the person and situation and what the president wants. kissinger and nixon driving form policy for a number of years when he was national security adviser. john has earned the trust. he is a true professional. 30 years in the intelligence committee. the man has tremendous experience on intelligence matters and counter-terrorism matters. he is the driver for those issues. the question is can he -- you have not only counter-terrorism but you also have homeland security. port security, pandemic flu and
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critical infrastructure protecon at all of these issues that relate to hardening of the homeland and protecting against threats, but the man made a natural, that is an area of intense focus since 9/11 and katrina. that portfolio is under john. when we were in palce, the president established the homeland security council adviser and our staff. that's exist as a mter of law but john -- you have all that in the same staff as those focusing on foreign policy in africa and that kind of thing. that made sense because of the overlap between the homeland security adviser in national security advisers paul -- portfolio. the way we handled it -- juan vo me.eported to hadley and
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they all for that for good reason. but it means john is handling the whole raft of issues, all of which are critical. when hurricane happens, you have to drop everything to deal with that. that is tough for one person. >> is itoo much? >> in some ways it is. it is too much for one person. ken have to do with it before him. these are
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>> we just saw for example, john standing next to the representative and presenting for the citizens. and that's a challenge, because john is incredibly effective, and havi a white house engaged is important. but it has the character to what ken mentioned earlier, to diminish others in the government. because if you have foreign officials knows it's the white hous that makes the decision. only the white house that they deal with, and there is a real tough balance there. you want to be effective. you want to be out there and working well with the president, and for the president. but the reality is you have to balance that with not to being
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too operational and too in the entirety of the government. >> right, and there isn upside and john is a de facto to yemen, he's visited the country eight times. and for a region where the overwhelm top issue is counterterrorism and to have someone take that lead role. >> couldn't agree more and john worked with the yemen and working with saudi arabia, and we did a lot of wor on counterterrorism financing. and she helped lead and was the voice fr president bush. you are right and in regimes and countries that are used of high-level head of state, head of state communication to get it done that, is effective. it starts to be problematic if
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it's a pervasive situation that it works. that's a challenge that the white house will have. >> quintan, can you talk about an effective system, and have you seen a relationship get stronger as they have been through crises together? can you offer reflection from the inside of that. >> i do, and john is absolutely amazing, and i don't say that just because i work with him. and i emphasize that john doesn't operate alone. he's brought in amazing senior directors across components of the national security staff to help him think through the various issues. and john is the first to point to people and give them the credit. they are amazing patriots and
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specialists on the wealth of issues that john covers. >> and on the issue that you work on, as i mentioned, it seems he'sut a public emphasis on that. do you feel he gets it? and do you feel like you have real ability to do what you need to do as a result of that? >> john, again, he's had so much experience on not just al-qaeda related issues and the middle east. speaks arabic, and when he speaks to muslim audiences, h creates that empathetic link with the islamic. and for me to drive the counterterrorism agenda, it's useful to have someone that is incredible efficiency in the topic. you don't have to worry about
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getting them up to speed. it's about pushing the envelope and getting the programs running. >> yeah, i remember in the interview and going to the desert and going to the tents and roasting goats and sing songs all night. he knows the culture of the region, and that must be a real asset. the president is clearly the most interesting figure here. and we should talk about the presidential role in counterteorism. it seems from the outside to have been growing and growing. and in particular the first thing that comes to mind is the discussion is president obama's role in what is called the killist. approving specific targets for drone strikes. and use that as a case study and to talk about how engaged the president should be.
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and some s maybe too much involvement. that we might not want the president to take that level. start on a more general level, talk about the way that the systs reach the president's desk. is it a good system now? do you guys have a sense that other windows of government and he's not asked to make too many decisions too frequently. do you think it's working well at this moment? >> i will start with that one, and like the relationship with the security advisor, it develops with that role. after 9/11, president bush was his declarian call to the country and to prevent the next
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9/11. he poured himself into that and had a briefing every morning. and the director of the f.b.i. in his office for four or five years. and that was because he was informed about the threat and what we were doing to meet that threat and what is bubbling a that time. and he did to enforce action, he knew when the attorney general came back and told people that president is on this issue and this threat, that, that forced action. and recognized it was important in the years after 9/11 trying to rebuild this infrastructure. and we are doing better against al-qaeda than back then. the point is there is different agendas than the one making the
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decision. and the same token, you want the president to make that decision. as for covert action. he's got to make that decision. you don't want the president to make that decision and get counterterrorism 101 before that. you want them sitting in the room with officials on a regular basis, and observing this to have contacts making these decisions. i was glad to hear what matt olsen was talking about with the weekly meetings. it's very important for the president to be fully up to speed and engaged to make these decisions. >> what was your reaction to the stories like it, such bracing some less for the officials in this room but for average americans embracing involvement in the life and death
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situations. >> i won't speak to the specifics of the story but ken highghts the situation. there is a danger of having a white hse or president serving as the final arbritor on all key decisions. b it becom rutinized that the preside is using the authority through the cabinet and legislation to the relevant chain of command. the military to the chain of defense has the ability to execute certain targets. and cia has the authority to delegate to the prident. and so on down the line to the cabinet.
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there isomething healthy about delegating the standard dimensions of operation. and the concentration for the house to ensure not only is that being done well, but what gets to the president is what needs to get to the president. but you are not overwhelming the president with day-to-day decisions. one thing that should be added to the tension and not forgotten is the political tension around thedecisions. each and every decision revolves around counterterrorism could be relevant or explosive. depending if the operation doesn't go well or an oversight. and that's a tendency for the white house to pull the decision up to be careful of how it's executed. and part of political pressure and media tension and the white
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house has to resist that temptation. to suck everything in and make all the decisions. >> right and as we saw in the case, the circumstances of the interrogation became very politically explosive for weeks. >> exactly. >> and there was some evidence in polling that it played a role in scott brown's victory in massachusetts. in that special election there was a concern about terrorism that people contributed to that. that was an excellent point. >> can i commentn that, there was the discussion in the agencies of what to do. but a bit failure not to have the policies and procedures in place and understood beforehand. so when you captured this guy and he entered. it wasn't just business as usual. everyone understood what their
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responsibilities what needed to be kicked up to the staff or the president. i aribute that to less than perfect stratigizing on the front end as what a terrorism that arrive on the shore. >> don't forget the element of leadership, and it's important for the bureaucracy of those seeking the counterterrorism, he will make the tough decisions. he's strong. that's the laden decision, and knew he had that decision. because the president was decisive. and that image of a decisive leader that, is willing to take the tough decisions and that prevades the bureaucracy.
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and sends a strong message and encourages people to have an opinion. >> that's a good point. >> i won't ask you to assist to the target list of the president. and clear you don't want to go there. and having mentioned about drones and your perspective on the drone campaign and the counterterrorism operation generally. and what the blow-back effect we may see. and how does that affect your work particularly in the issue of drones. and we may have seen in the cases and the drone campaign was cited as a factor to kill americans. our drones a significant problem when it comes to the challenge of counter radicalization? how much do you think about that? how much do you think about
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that? >> al-qaeda is looking to tap into anger against the united states. they will take absolutely any issue that they think plays into a narrative of war with islam. and whether this issue or someone that effects another area. they are trying to wrap it up. and when al-qaeda is trying to radicalize and these issues, sometimes the are making stuff up. and not always a political issue they are going after. and in 2002 it was open and in london and u.k., there was a group outside of tubestop and they were handing out pamphlets of images of babies that were dead. it would make you sick to your
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stomach, and on the top it read, this is what americans a doing in iraq. i looked at the images and obviously the americns were not doing this in iraq. and i asked where this coming from, it was images of the chemical attack of osama bin laden by the kurks. and they are creative of pulling these issues and threading tm into that single narrative. >> sigh -- i think i want to come back to the topic you raised of the president's public role. i know you are not communication professionals per se. but there was a really interesting conversation in one of the panels yesterday about the question of resilience. and the psychology of the country. whether americans are still
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fully braced for what is likely to come. we had a fairly fortunate reign in the last years, but we know we will get hit again. have you thought about the evolution of the way that the two presidents since 9/11 have talked about successful terr terrorism attacks. and what the white balance is? whether we found it? whther we are still working towards it? what is appropriate andhat is not being said that needs to be said. ken, y want to try that. >> yeah, if you look at 9/11, and first you had president bush and his message was one of clarity and strength. we will stand up to the bad guys and find them and bring justice to them. and that was appropriate for the
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time. the american people were reeling after seeing 3,000 of our country people killed. and iconic buildings before our eyes. and we wanted strength and resolve. and with a lot of values at stake. privacy and security and everything in between. and you can't capture that in a sound byte. which is what you need to feel the accomplishment of the people. and how much can you say not to defend our partners this way and privacy rights this way. and allou have to do but messaging wise you have to think about that. we have seen the strong messagin right after 9/11. and as time went by, we went past the first years of 9/11 and more talk about the nuances.
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i think the messaging in this administration is not that different from the last. the president made it clear in his first speech in the archives we are at war with al-qaeda. and their affiliates. so they a taking their gloves off like the bush administration did messaging wise. >> but the war on terror has largely been retired. >> they are not using that term, and it had its place. but that seemed to suggest to eople that were not adversaries but maybe were because of religion. but one of the changes we did see message wise after 9/11 was outreach to the muslim wod. and that started after 9/11 when president bush went out and there was a focused effort on
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that after president obama came in. that helped with the muslim world and with the outreach to the foreign partners in general. and that messaging is important even though the policies have changed that much. >> did you have a reaction that the president didn't come back. he was in hawai'i the day of the christmas-day bombing, and not making a show of it. didn't come back from vacation and brendon was there with a tie. and in hawai'i and in a full suit. what did you think of that? and again it seems to me there is some effort to lower the temperature a bit in the way we talk about these things. does that make sense? >> i actually like that quite a bit. that the president wasn't jumping because al-qaeda said boo. i think that's very important in preserving the dignity of the presidency and the sense of
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american power. we are not going to let these terrorists around the world dictate where the president travels. the key thing is that we respond appropriately. i have no qualms with that at all. and i think it's appropriate. and looking back to president bush's term. he would often say to us, look, it's our job to worry about the worse-case scenarios and the threats. and we started every day reviewing the threats and end the night reviewing the threats. and he said it's not the job of the citizenry but our job, and not to grandize the enemy. or to give them motivation. i will giv you one example where there was quite poignant. this was the rescue of the three hostages in columbia.
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and a daring operation, and i would ask them to put on top of the list to get at the americans and other hostages the president was central to some of that decision making. but he didn't appear at the airport when the hostages returned and had a quiet ceremony. and part of that was not to give the fork and the hostage takers the gratitude of knowing the issues and the suffering they caused was reaching the heights of the white house. he did that quietly. and i think that's important. one quick point on resilience. i think it's hard for the president to talk about it, the olitical costs are so high, look, we are going to get hit. i appreciate secretary talking about this, and that's the kind
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of conversation that has to come from the ground up. from the ground up you will change the political discourse. and it's the state and local authorities that will have to deal with the fall out and resilience. and to see something and say something, that strategy needs to be evolved down. the mayors and the police chiefs have to be the face of that as the president or homeland security. >> quintan, how significant is the phrase of what you do. and from the government, when john brendan sends a speech, does that get noticed and trickled down? >> absolutely, i think that the president was the first state of the union speech to speak to the muslim americans. and their role in helping to
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keep the country safe. their cooperation with law enforcement to disruptlots in the united states. and taking up ken's point. the shift away from the war on terror, which is this broad n neblis concept. and that allowed us to focus some of our relationships, in particular with muslim communities around the world on non-terrorist relationships. ecause it shows we have diverse relationships. and concerned about the same challenges. i think that in turn has given us entry to a lot of conversations we can have about an array of issues that we previously struggled to have.
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>> the war on terrorism is interesting, it's a good iustration of 9/11. it was a crisis and we reacted strongly. and there is fine-tuning to be done along the way, and that happens over time. and the war on terror is a good illustration. there was a reason for that term, what do we do to mobilize this, and what happened in world war ii taking on the two greatest powers in the world and destroying them. because there was a war. the war on drugs, take on the drugs. that terminology has force in it. it had real values the years after 9/11. and it can be moderated. it's a good example and why would you use that term. and there was a reason initially
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and now outlived the usefulness. >> can i b a contrarian on this, i think that the war on terrorism is valuable. and it was a nebsh type of tactic, and not just channeling the power. but saying in the 21s century we can no longer accept the notion that there is legitimacy to terror. that there is any cause that allows a group or individual to allow violence to civilians for whatever purpose. that was driving the war on terror. and one challenge as we think through post-10 years and bin laden and 9/11, what are we
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battling. but terrorism is still out there and comes in different forms. and raises legal and policy questions. i agree that constraining the language helps. but it does a disservice of what is the future, and what is relevant for now and beyond. i am not sure that the war on terror works nor that the warra al-qaeda describes it either. >> can you talk about progress, and what we are confronting when you look at counter radc radicalization in this country, and there is concern of lone wolf phenomena that will get worse. do you see signs that make you feel hopeful that we are getting
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our arms around it? or a random thing to have limited ability to control specfic to the work you are doing, give us a sense of how hopeful. hopefully you have an optimistic view of this. >> i think we have made a lot of progress in the last years in particular. speaking back to the issue of the white house's role and all of this. we were stitching together departments and agencies that each could tackle this from a different perspective. a lot of departmts and agencies had not thought about their implications of counterterrorism, such as the extremism. and that is something that the white house helped drive in the partners, that "a," they had a ro to play. and that we were not asking them
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to take their nonsecurity-related programs and securityize them. that was one change on our end. we developed a strategy that was released last august. and a 22-page plan that laid out actions and these are implemented. and our recognition is that a lot of this work has to be done by communities themselves. radicalization takes place at local levels. we don't see where al-qaeda sends out a message and people come in groves. it tends to be in local locations with community leaders and law enforcement and they have expertise in relationships. and a better capability to work with people on the ground. and another positive sign is
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watching law enforcement in particular stepping up and taking on this mission in an exceptional way. and our role is how to support them. and in al-qaeda you have increasing mobilization by the muslim community itself. one challenge in europe was a prominent state of the nile that anything was happening in the communities. and this made it challenging for the governments to figure how to tackle this. if the cmunity is targeted b the recruiters and doesn't feel like any sort of problem. we have seen examples of muslim-american leaders taking on it themselves. and then coming to governent, we want ur help. it's no longer a process that we are driving this alone from the federal government. we are seeing increasing signs where the community themselves are getting active. and then reaching out to us to work with you in a manner.
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>> that is encouraging. one topic we can spend the entire panel on. and i want to touch on it briefly. juan, it seems that the white house is kind of muttling through the legal authority for the counterterrorism actio now. jane harmon said, and i hope i am quoting her correctly. that the authorization of militaryorce past 9/11 is the basis for what we are doing. and for term is that is short term framework. and now expanded across the world in north africa a has a relationship to the original text. the white house is trying to struggle with this. can you talk about that challenge, and do you think it's
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time for congress to provide explicit guidance? >> jane is right here. >> did i get it right? >> michael, it's a great question, the debate about whether or not you need authorization to update is important. the 2001 program is the christmas tree that we dangle all the things we do for the war on terror. the right of self-defense to retain and interrogate and to target our killers. but that was a document that was driven by 9/11. it was a reaction to 9/11, and the perpetrators of 9/11 and al-qaeda. and it's long overdue beyond the lens of al-qaeda.
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but an open-odds debate about what is our contention policy for the long term. they have asked for a tribunal for a head. and that's a serious question, do we target this to these leaders, and perhaps we should. but we haven't had that debate. the changing nature of the threat itself, you have a different al-qaeda. and hesbollah and the debate. i would challenge the president in may, 2009, pledged to go t congress to deal with long term terrorism. it hasn't happened.
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the responsibility on the hill to d this? i think realistically it won't happen this term. but it's a serious debate of what we are facing and the threats. >> there is a panel tomorrow that looks at the legal issues. people can dive deeper then. why don't we take some questions. >> richard from the united nations. very interested to hear about the country's extremism initiatives. so many things you can do in so many parts of the world. how do you set your priorities and measure the impact? >> that's a really good question, and there has been an evolution in the way we approached this issue. in the early days when we started working on count counterterrorism and it was
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regional and counter messaging. and some problematics of development and other capabilities and tools. but over time we realized that the threat of violent radicalizati radicalization, we saw hospots where you had people engaged in recruit amement and he had a wi known case with people going into spain and to fight into iraq. >> and eastern libya. >> eastern libya as well. the advantage for us, we have moved to a much more surgical nuance approach. once we identity a hot-spot radicalization, we move to that community. we understan who are the key
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motivators and the violators and the radicalization that pears. and those leading where they are able to plan whole government resources to target those specific locations. with just about every tool that we have. it's no longer one intlligence agency doing it. it's state department with doe and department of education appropriate, and what we are finding now is that the impact is more robust. when you focus on a much tighter area, it's easier to know your impact and to control for other factors that may have sething do with the radicalization process. >> josh from the national
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security initiative. it seems with drone strikes and more military emphasis on the war on terrorism, still years after 9/11, one that we are missing is an international law component. i think there is frustration with law enforcement and there is no mechanism overseas for arresting terrorists through the law enforcement community. i wondered what you thought about that. and part of obama's signing of t the radicalization act. >> i wuld disagree, and we have fought in iraq. but i would disagree. i think that if sean joyce were back in here from the f.b.i., he
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would talk about the robust international relationships they have built. and not just the f.b.i. but the department of homeland security are not just relationships but posted abroad. the idea of pushing borders out have lead to key ports of exit and entry. so i don't agree. and you see what is interesting of the threats and tied with west africa. and the al-qaeda gro tied to drug trafficking. you have agencies like the dea getting invold internationally. and if you look, and josh you know this, over the past two years dea has done remarkable work in bringing justice in new york taliban traffickers, luring them out of new york and other places. and including victor booth.
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i would disagree wh the premise, i think theres robust information sharing. how you deal with long-term information for dangerous terrorists. for whom you don't have evidence in any court, that's the real co co condundrum and the problem of the administration of dealing with these long-term threats. >> hi, david, i worked with ken and juan in the bush white house. there are many issues that are urgent. some of them are very impoant. some of them are not important at all in the grand scheme of ings. but those nonimportant, urgent
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issues can assume an enormous amount of staff time and energy. ken and juan, as you look back on your time, what encouragement do you have to members the government to maximize and being strategic. and focusing on what really matters and not getting distracted from the overall ability to serve the president and the american people effectively. thank you. >> you put your finger on an interesting point, because you lived it and saw it. david is homeland security council, evything of homeland security came through him. and someone to calibrate as a bureaucratic anywhere. you are trying to calibrate of the urgent things that you have to deal with then and there. and there are long-term strategic problems that need to be made. and the danger is those get
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drowned out because you are dealing with the fires. and the second issue, this is where you are going, dave, you dohe bureaucratic churn. and i think of a couple of examples. for instance, dealing with the bio-treat. in the bush administration we spent a lot of time to deal with the bio-threat of weapo of mass destruction. it was a real concern. the graham mission has banged that drum. because we were not prepared to deal with that. and because it wasn't intermediate and nothing on the horiz horizon, it took a while to get that action. if there is one answer and as
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security advisory or president, you make sure you have good people around you. because that security advisor will get pulled away on the crisis de jure, and you need someone to mind the shop. >> real quickly. >> i think trust in the professionals in the departments and agencies who are charged with the issues that are critical. there is another example, it's a category of activities that you are not sure if it's important until you run it through. and the white house can't ignore it. the best example i one i was personally involved in, october 2005. and a detector goes off, and the problem was that the department of energy had just put in the monitor. we didn't have the full syem in place. we didn't have the cameras or the tracking system, and didn't
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know what the heck caused it. and for two weeks straight out of the white house, we were coordinating the efforts of the infrastructure to figure out what caused that alarm. we had riddled it down to 17 ships and five ships and two of them were headed to new york. we had no idea what was on it, and no idea if it was real or not. and at the end of the day it was scrap metal. but we didn't know until we boarded all ships and it took two weeks of our time nonstop. >> quickly. >> as a vietnam vet, going back to a president picking targets, everyone is familiar with president johnson picking targets in vietnam. now the critique is that he
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missed the big picture. and now we have president obama picking targets in satir and spending time on kill lists. and no surge put forward by the administration, it had a military surge. but not political surge to bring this watch to a reasonable conclusion. do you have comments on president obama's involvement in the kill list? >> i don't know about his involvement or noninvolvement on the kill list. but to your point what is the administration doing to try to bring this war to an end. by use of drone attacks they are having that impact. because of everything that has been done since 9/11 and including the drones recently. >> and one closing thought on
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the future of countertrorism, do did youeel there is an increasing side of your work, the nonconetic side of it. is that more of the future of this field? >> i hope so, i think it's tied through the success of the mechanisms and the means. and back to a point that juan was imitating. and the sides is important of the groups we aare facing domestically and abroad is prone to ange. if you talk to the law enforcements about the extremism types that are concerned about. it's violent supremacy groups and targing law enforcement. we try to make sure that it's a broad approach to different threats. >> tha>> good morning.
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welcome to the heritage foundation. we welcome those who join us on these occasions on our website. we're pleased to welcome those joining us via c-span this morning. we ask everyone to make sure that your cell phones have been turned off. we will post the program on our heritage website within 24 hours.
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our internet viewers are always welcome to send questions throughout our proceedings. the mailing us at our speaker today is steven bucci. he focuses on special operations and cybersecurity as well as defense support to civil authorities. he served america for three decades as a top pentagon official, has led special forces in the ponds to east africa and the persian gulf, and assumed duties as a military assistant to donald rumsfeld. upon retirement he continued at the pentagon. prior to joining us, he was a lead consultant to ibm on
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cybersecurity policy. please join me in welcoming steve bucci. steve? [applause] >> i want to thank everyone for being here today on a rainy day in washington, and to discuss the cherry topic of when the next catastrophe strikes. unfortunately, we always face that. there is always fun to be a next the event that will occur, and the only thing we can do is see how well we are prepared. this is by the way the first of the event we will have this week for our homeland security 2012 week. this is an excellent vehicle to keep off that serious up panels.
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the speakers are going to speak for about 10 minutes apiece and the order -- we will start with admiral johnson and then go to paul stockton and wrap up with jim carafano. i will introduce each of them first and turned them loose. if they start to go too much over 10 minutes, i will jump up and they will realize there is something afoot. otherwise i will stay in my seat and enjoy their comments. normally when you do these it gets tough to introduce people, but with this group it is pretty easy for me. beginning with vice admiral harvey johnson jr.. admiral johnson is one of my heroes. he spent 35 years in the united states coast guard, and coasties are some of my favorites.
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they are amazing to work with because they are oriented on getting the job done. admiral johnson is an example of that. in addition to his 35 years in the coast guard, he spent three very busy years as a deputy administrator and chief operating officer of fema. i like to say he is one of the people who put the m, the management, back into feet when it came to disasters because he did that. i know that because i was usually on the other side of him in the middle of hurricanes and wildfires, figuring out how dod would support his efforts. in addition, admiral johnson has been the commander of the coast guard pacific area. he was the assistant commandant for operations capability and for operational plans and policy. he is a go-to guy.
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he did that for many years. he is working as the vice president for abe systems -- for bae systems. he is very excited to come back to have a discussion about something that he poured so much of his life into, which is supporting his country at risk. next we will have the man responsible right now for these things, the hon. paul stockton, who is the assistant secretary of defense for home led the 30fense and america's affairs. he owns -- security affairs. he owns security defense, and he is responsible for all homeland defense activities for dod, which includes support of civil
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authorities cannot domestic crisis management, and he deals with all the countries in the western hemisphere from a policy standpoint. he actually established his bonafides by working at the naval postgraduate school for a long time. i was the benefit of the program that he established out there. i got to teach out there several times. it set the standard for homeland security education in our country, and has catered to chiefs of police, chiefs of fire departments, people on the ground dealing with those issues. it is a wonderful program, and they still talk very fondly about you out there. assistant secretary stockton is a coat-editor of homeland security, a graduate text in the
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subject, and is on the board of homeland security affairs. he is the guy in the seat today for the department of defense dealing with the issues. lastly, we will wrap up with my boss and my classmates from the united states military academy, jim carafano. he is presently the acting director of the katherine and shelby davis institute for international studies. he is a career army officer who ended his career -- wrapped up his career as the speechwriter for the chief of staff of the armory -- army and was the executive editor for "joined forces quarterly." he is one of the most energetic thinkers i have worked with. i get emails from every day --
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from him every day of the week. he is an ideal guide to wrap up the formal presentations because of his breath of thought. with that, i will ask admiral johnson to begin and we will go 10 minutes apiece with each of them, and then we would do questions, and i will remind you, if i do not hear a question mark at the end of the second sentence, i will ask you to stop because we have a bunch of folks we would like to answer. we will start right now. admiral? >> thank you, steve. . as we pull the levers of power and policies in washington if it results in the outcomes that affects citizens. many of them never would expect they would be the recipient of federal support.
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on september 1, to designate, a hurricane is headed right to new orleans. it was almost a replicants of katrina. a category four storm. if you recall, the biggest element of disaster is there is no evacuation. but with the mayor, the streets of new orleans were a ghost town before the hurricane arrived. there were several million people evacuated on their own, but there is always a group that needs assistance. there were 35,000 people who needed assistance to get out of new orleans at the time. 5000 of those were evacuated by air, and they went to cities like knoxville, louisville, and how could we bring in enough
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airplanes into the airport and get these people out? it was only done by transcom, who did an amazing job to fight excess aircraft. the number of aircraft waiting for some assignment today is almost zero. at the other end of the state, where it is more difficult to evacuate by ambulance, there were 66 patients who were critical care patients. doctors were making life or death decisions. might they died by the process of a decoration? i was on the phone with a general, plugged into a commander on the deck in louisiana, past the point in which the wind was heard in the back, waiting for the last ambulance derived, and they were met by critical care transport
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teams. 10 of those teams evacuated 66, a small number, but every one of them survived. very well they could have died if they had stayed in the hospital and lost power and care. 12 days later, a hurricane season, and we were at hurricane ike, a category four was headed for houston. talk about a complex catastrophe. had it that a hurricane stayed on its depicted track, and gone up the houston ship channel, that could have had a devastating effects on the economy for a long time. that hurricane john to -- jogged to the right.
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the island was almost inaccessible, and where there was little management of the evacuation, they were on it like white on rice. the government was dissipated, operating out of a hotel, and accessible, and how would they take the first steps to recover galveston island? fortunately, in our discussions, the uss nassau, an amphibious class ship, departed hampton roads under the prospect of the hurricane striking gavin -- galveston island. on september 18, the mayor arrived back in galveston and rode in on the nassau. if came in with two helicopters, when thousand sailors, and they
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provided medical care, something thousand meals, and they were credited with reopening the airport and port which they had done. the recovery of galveston island would have been extended for an enormous number of days if they had not been able to get the airport or ports open. those are two examples within 12 days of each other of something that took a long time to coordinate. it was true learning lessons with katrina where we were able to engage policy formulations, and gauge leaders. -- engage leaders. both secretaries involved, secretary chertoff, fema, a number of players were involved. it is months and years in advance that planned the policies, to do the exercises, to develop the capabilities to
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respond to those disasters. there were mission assignments, and it took weeks to conclude. we had assignments developed after katrina where we had gone through both the dhs and dod policy approval system so forces could be activated, much more quickly. when we met out in the corridor, physics will not allow that nor will the activation of forces. it takes time to get a ship from hampton roads to galveston, time to activate air rescue teams, but in a short amount of time, we were able to put forces in place quickly. weather is a national disaster or some complex catastrophe that we will talk about in a couple of minutes, the nation relies on dod support of dhs.
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fema is an agency with a huge check book, not with a lot of capability, and when disaster approaches, it is the expectation we can reach across the river to the pentagon and find those forces in place. there are no other agencies in the in thedhs and dod who do any sort of hide-consequence event planning with a capital p. no one takes a look at what these scenarios might be or to allocate resources that can respond. we seriously exercise those plans and learn lessons. no one has the level of readiness we see in dhs than dod. when the rubber hits the road, it comes back to very few agencies that are capable of responding.
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northeast did inhalation of dod capability -- any reductions of dod capability --what kind of time delay? what kind of capacities? i am concerned to see sequestration that might hamper the operations that we have come to expect from the department of defense and dhs. thank you. >> thank you. thanks to the heritage foundation for hosting this discussion. thanks to my colleagues at the table, and thanks to the women and men serving on the front lines to preserve our security. i want to talk to you about the understanding we have now of the problems. what would constitute a complex catastrophe, building on your argument here.
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i got a big wake-up call thanks to fema in the national level of the -- national level 11 exercise. it was built around a scenario of a 7.7 seismic event, an earthquake occurring along the new madrid fault, just as occurred in 1812 and just as could occur and any moment today. that scenario would have produced destruction on a scale that would differ from hurricane katrina in two important dimensions. on a quantitative swale, it would have many more casualties. over a much wider geographic area that occurred in that terrible catastrophe of katrina. any quantitative scale, much greater devastation. there is a second dimension that
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i believe is more important, and that is a qualitative difference between hurricane katrina the national 11 exercise. in 11, other partners determined that a seismic event of that scale would produce a long-term loss of power, and loss of electric power for weeks to months over a multistate region. katrina, much less disruptive in that regard. in le11, imagine the loss of electric power over a multistate region from weeks to months. gas stations will not work because every gas pump runs on electricity. water is gone to be in short supply. in memphis, the offer is 300 feet below the service of the city.
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electricity brings that water so citizens can drink it, and so firefighters have fresh water to put out the raging urban wildfires that would be created from conflagration due to burst gas pipes. we would have a situation that looked much more challenging even than the terrible tragedy of katrina. that he is the problems that we're looking at, and let me thank you, jim, for the analysis he provided, looking at the lessons learned from fukushima, for understanding the radiological and aren't in which we might have to operate and the difficulties that posed for providing support to civil authorities. dod will always be in support of civil authorities in these activities. the challenge is how can we better positioned to do so? there are two activities we have to strengthen that prepared us,
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under the leadership of secretary of defense panetta. the first i would talk about is getting ready for the devastating effects of such an event before it occurs and building resilience against it. especially in this realm of failing critical infrastructure. in the scenario and other some areas we can imagine, including a cyber attack that took down the functioning of the electric power grid or a similar event, anything that will create a large-scale failure of infrastructure, our responsibility in the department of defense is to ensure that we can still execute the core missions of the department that the president assigns to us, even if critical infrastructure goes down that we do not own, because the electric grid is owned by the private sector. the challenge we have is assuring mission assurance in the department of defense. we have a new strategy to do so
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that takes into account the need to build resilience not only within dod installations and facilities critical to executing our missions, but also understanding that dod depends on all the private sector's critical and researcher, that allows the investor base to function, to get to work, to serve the nation. we need to not only continue to strengthen its insurance, but look far beyond facilities and partner together with dhs, department of energy, all the lead federal agencies, and especially partner with industry to build resilience in the electric power grid and prepare against the cast keating failure of critical infrastructure that would
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undermine the responsibility we have in the department to execute our core missions the matter what. second initiative we have under way is -- is not a question but if a complex catastrophe will start, the question is when. we need to continue to improve our business practices, our capacity to provide support to civil authorities when the call comes. it is a core responsibility of the department of defense, to provide support to civil authorities when we get requests that come in. that is the commitment we take seriously. the secretary recently approved a new initiative that is going to enable us to bring all dod capabilities to bear in support of civil authorities, from all
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components of the total force, so that we can be faster and more effective in meeting the life-saving and life sustaining requirements that we are going to get from fema or whichever federal agency is giving us those requirements. in the past, we have not been able to utilize the title 10 research, even though they have terrific engineering and medical capabilities. we have not done enough to imagine how the skills of our regular infantry personnel might be able to apply in extremis when american lives are at stake. we have a range of initiatives that the commands will be leading out to figure out how to take advantage of the total force to save lives when a complex catastrophe strikes. we look to all of you for assistance in this effort. we reached out to fema, to all
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our partners, because we will always be in support, but to be able to partner together under fema's leadership which industry, with faith-based organizations, which everybody who will partner together to save lives, let's figure out how to continue to improve that today so when the inevitable happens we will be better prepared. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. mr. carafano? >> i think a legitimate question is what are we talk -- why are was talking about this, because i do not know anybody else in washington that is discussing this. we could not think of a clever way to tie into the olympics or something. ironically, if you are paying attention to the news, there has been lots of news this summer that would say that this is actually something we ought to be talking about. one example i often point to is
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this such croatian -- is this situation where 600 million people in india lost power, which in india is not a big deal. large portions of that population are not dependent on power. 600 million people inconvenience. if we had an outage on that scale in united states, population, 300 million, it would be a complete catastrophe because unlike india, the population is totally dependent on the electrical power. the irony here is when you think about large capacities, modern societies with all these interlocking systems would be much more fragile and much more at risk in large scale
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catastrophes and societies that are more basic. ironically, that is not what the evidence shows. the studies i have looked at, to the logic gate sophisticated, -- technologically sophisticated, are actually more resilience. why is that? it is because they are developed, because they have these enormous capacities, they do rebound much more quickly in many ways. that was validated by the reports we did looking at the responses to disaster in japan, which, if you scale that to something equivalent in the united states, it would really be something much bigger than a katrina or a hurricane and a tsunami simultaneously. japan was pretty resilient. when you have deprivation or a
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large-scale failure in a highly developed society, it is your fault, cuss the capacity is there to recover, and what we saw in katrina and what we saw in many ways in the shortfall from the japanese response, it is the failure to use the capacity you have in an efficient manner that makes the difference. that is where this subject becomes so vitally important, because the military capacity that you can bring into a large scale contingency makes that difference in terms of efficiency and the speed of recovery. in many cases, like katrina, you would recover any we, but it would take longer and there would be more casualties. to get back in the game faster, the military is one of the few things you could throw at the society which allows you to ratchet back much more quickly, and we saw that in katrina.
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-- in fukushima. in the respects, with maybe some technical capabilities in the weapons of mass destruction, radiological and chemical issues, there's nothing that you could have their in the civilian capacity that could not bring the same thing to the table. when you look at -- of the worst things he can do in a disaster that to help survivors is to send in people to help survivors, because those people are competitors for food and -- if you are here to help, you have to be able to help. whether you are a faith based organization or fema, three characteristics of a good helper. there are always the same.
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what is accountability. you have to be able to know where everybody is. you have to be able to control and know they will do the right thing. as a big deal. the second one the sustainability. when you send somebody else to help, you do not want to be taking food away from the survivors to feed the responder. as we saw in katrina, we cannot put the survivors and the hotel rooms because these responders have the hotel rooms. who is paying, who will take care of that. these are things we really struggle with what we look at volunteer response. normally -- one of the great things about military responders, those are three questions you can forget about. they will have accountability. it will sustain themselves. it is a package of resources
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that in terms of technical skill you can throw at a large scale problem. it is not for all problems. i think we all agree this is something the military will walk in and take over. in terms of helping a modern society to jump-start back to where it was, at this is one of the most important aspects to can bring to the table. i think it is a very important discussion always to have a we talk about prepared this and resiliency. this is a report done for us by paul's predecessors -- predecessors. we ask paul to go through, and i
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think he did a great susman evaluating where we are today. he raises some concerns that i think are valid. he has recommendations that i think are important. why a think it is is important to have this discussion, where do we go in the future, that will be dependent on the defense budget and what it is. there is a significant lesson from vietnam. one lesson is, regardless of what you think about whether we should have gone to iraq, afghanistan, everybody regardless of what side of the debate there are on, they would have thought we would have done the counterinsurgency mission better at the beginning. in a large part that did that happen. after vietnam will let that declining budgets in the 1970's, having really struggled with flooding the counterinsurgency in vietnam and
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figuring out how to do that, we said we will not do that again. we purge the experience, the capability, the training. i know that. we were commissioned in the military. part of the reason we did that was not just because of vietnam and not wanting to do counterinsurgencies again, it was because river going through a hollow force. -- we were going through a hollow force period. the reality was, the u.s. military will always serve its nation in many capacities. you always wind up being a swiss army knife. in said, i want to be the blade and the knife. you will do the other missions whether you want to or not. if you're not prepared for them, he will do them poorly, at least a first until you catch on. we experienced that in iraq and
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afghanistan have been lost a generation of experience. you are facing a. going forward that can be difficult. this is not just talking about the sequester, these are the automatic cuts. it is much as $55 million a year, it is cut across all the programs and everything we get. if you look at the 10-year budget projection, it does look to reclined resources -- declined resources and r&d. it was very difficult and steve can talk to this and so can paul, with the many missions that we have for the defense department today, to get them to remember this is a core mission as well. even though it was stated in the strategy and all the defense reports, when it comes to the end of the day if there are not
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enough resources to go run something will pickup. if history is any exemplar, this mission will get cut. we are not going to have the robustness that we need to do that. you would say, how big of a deal is that? in fairness, before we got into the current unpleasantness i used to ask people, what do you think about the third infantry division. if you think about the third infantry division, between 1930's and 1990's we use them about three times. we use them about one year and a half in world war ii. we use part of it for about one day and a half and the iraq war. we had this division sitting around for almost a century and
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we only use them about three years. nobody ever said, that is not a good investment. people realize to have the military force there because when the nation needs than they need to get it right the first time. we can have catastrophic defense forces. we may not use them a lot. i am telling you, when we have a catastrophe in this country, we will want to get it right the first time. the price of preparedness is maintaining and sustaining the forces when you are not thinking about the problem. i think that is a strategic challenge that this country and whoever the next administration is is going to face in the years ahead. the answer is, we need a robust defense that meets all its missions. if we cherry pick what missions we will need, we know how that
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will end up. >> we will not to the question and answers. if you can prepare. i will exercise my prerogative and answered -- and as the first question. is no fair answering yes or no. the question is, is the nation today ready for the next big at -- catastrophe. i will throw a little extra piece and the. is dhs -- eyed not asking you to pick on dhs, are they ready to face the catastrophe with diminished help? >> i would have to say that after katrina, they are always asked, are you ready for
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another fell in the blank. the answer is always yes. once you give the answer is yes you think, what did i just say? when you think about the total consequences it is enormous. i think at this point in terms of planning and preparedness and relationships between dhs and the department of defense that has just grown in the administration in terms of the capabilities of in the national guard, i think the forces there to make it response whether it is timely, that is a good question. the nature of the response was much broader than a few years ago. states have been heavily impacted by their budget and they're backing to the federal level. i am concerned about a hollow force and a hollow capability to say yes and mean it in terms of
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a large complex catastrophe. my answer is, yes, we are ready today, but i think a lot of the credit for that goes outside of the pentagon. administrate -- fema, the governors of the nation who have led the charge in making sure we have unity an effort between federal and state military forces, that is so important. it is hard to exaggerate the degree that will enable a lifesaving environment like a tramp. i think we are ready today. the credit deserves to be applied to other folks outside of my organization. within the pentagon we are mindful of further progress. with leadership in the initiatives we will press forward very aggressively. >> i would say we are not as
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ready as we should be 10 years after 9/11. i say that not because of things that the in the may have done, i would hope in terms of integrated planning and the local state level, we were a lot further down the road. we have much more ambitious plans in terms of being able to implement the plan across state and federal, that did not go as far as i had hoped it would go. you always show up with what you have. it is a crime and you cannot be as efficient with what you have. i think we lost a lot of the momentum. i think part of it is because the states became -- we did not think about this at the front and, there would be periods when the states would be flushed and the with our interest at this and there would be periods when
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they were not here the water to cover more back on the federal table. we did not plan for a sustained -- a system that would be sustainable in periods when we were throwing money at the problem. we should be a lot further on that we have been carried here is a good example. integrating the reserves and to the response. the debate back and forth between the governors. it is hard to believe it took that long to resolve. shame on us for not being further down the road. my concern is not so much the answer today, but the answers a couple of years from now. what happens if we continue not to make the progress we need to make in terms of the integrated federal and state and local response and we are in an era of diminished are in the resources. that starts to look a lot like
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september 10, 2001 as opposed to where we should be. >> let's start with a gentleman back there. please identify yourself and ask your question. >> thank you for putting the panel together. the cyber attacks can demonstrate about of consequences to align from what you experienced from a hurricane. with those hazards there is more of a defined beginning and end it. we can see it and conceal it. what kind of involvement did d &d have and how does dod address the cyber threat amongst a traditional hazard? >> the department of defense played an important role in support of the department of, and security, which is the federal lead for ensuring that
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businesses get the support they need for protection a critical infrastructure against attacks. it is an important support role that we played. we will welcome an opportunity to extend the support in the future. while i have you, let me thank the entire emergency management community for everything that emergency managers are doing and this nation to help answer the question steve first to give us, to be better prepared. i am looking forward to the convention in seattle. i will be going out to the convention for the national guard association of the united states. when you talk about who deserves praise for strengthening our preparedness, the national guard is at the top of the list. >> thank you. this is directed to paul but
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also perhaps to admiral johnson. catastrophes are not going to stop the national borders. we have potential partners and canada and mexico. where are we in the disaster catastrophe management planning relationships with the governor of mexico and canada? >> you made such an important point in this study that the reality that we have one grid between canada and the united states. we share the eastern connector. and the western powers system is integrated. would you think about building resilience, we need to do more than just within the united states. in north america, it does include canada as well as the united states and a small portion of mexico as well. we need to be prepared for collaborative efforts with
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mexico and with canada. at the very recent permanent joint board of defense between the united states and canada, the president and ceo of the north american energy reliability corp., the umbrella industry organization for dealing with resilience challenges, he was the keynote speaker for taking this on as a featured effort as part of our collaborative work with can and that not only between the two defense establishments but with public safety canada and the department of common security and energy as participants. industry partnerships, voluntary cooperation with industry absolutely vital and this regard. >> i think that is an important point. you cannot really talk about the resiliency unless you are having
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a u.s.-canadian discussion. there really is one grid. that is one. it is not worth having a conversation just talking about the u.s. brig. in many ways cyber is another. to pretend there is a border between the u.s. and canada. the systems are so linked, having a discussion does not make a lot of sense. we are talking about any public health issues, particularly epidemics, a discussion that this i include all three does not make a lot of sense either. those are things we ought to really think about in terms of our response and how we use resiliency much more broadly. the other issue we brought up which i think is an important issue, the capacity to accept
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foreign assistance, which is something we do not think about because we are always helping others and taking assistance. we saw this in japan. there were cultural issues, logistical issues. again, in these modern complex societies and with the enormous capacity, you can bounce back much more quickly. the bounceback is based on the efficiency of your ability to pour resources to solve the problem quickly. foreign assistance in some cases and in a technical sense but in a large catastrophe that could be quantity, if you do not have a system in place before the catastrophe, it is very difficult. this is something that -- we were actually very rigid i always thought highly of the emergency response system in japan. there were some glaring shortfalls, particularly to
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receive a response which i think offered some experience to the united states. i think it is fair to say we have not come as far as we should be able to come in terms of accepting foreign aid, particularly on large-scale issues. that is something that should be done more. have we ever done a major exercise where people come here? >> that was an important component where we were able to exercise that. let me pour some vaseline on the fire here. i think we discovered back then and terms of credential in and ensuring that people conduct urban search and rescue from abroad and the way we can understand, we identified opportunities for progress and we continue to work that now. i think we are better off than we were. this is an area we need to be better than we are. there is an opportunity across the western hemisphere to ensure
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from my perspective the next time the united states, haiti, or some other nation needs substantial assistance from abroad, we built the system and advance to provide for the flow more expeditiously than we have been able to in advance and will be pushing for that at the upcoming conference of the defense ministers of america's in october. >> i echo the comments of secretary stockton and jim. rather than seem to go it alone in terms of focusing on natural disasters but canada and mexico, we have linked up with north, and found our issues are interlinked with their issues and there's were much more daily and continuous between border countries and canada and mexico. i appreciate the question about things coming in. we are awfully proud of our
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deployable forces, our rescue teams and they have gone to haiti and around the world. the teams in japan are pretty sharp. there are other teams around the country -- davis spent time in russia that also have deployable teams. in terms of the fault and the description very accurate in terms of five states for the length of time there would be delivered to aided by the earthquake, part of the plans are to bring in other teams from countries. those issues are not new countries, but they are ones that fit along with the pace of the capabilities. >> thank you. >> my question is primarily directed to secretary stockton, but i am welcome to hear from many other panelists. are we prepared for an emp attack from an adversary or
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from solar storms? what are we doing to the extent to can talk about to address the threat? >> we take those challenges very, very seriously. there are a little bit different. it is different to what you would anticipate from the large scale solar event. the administration has been preparing -- the occurrence of an event could have devastating effects. engineers sometimes disagree about the degree to which the effects would be long-lasting. we need to be prepared for these kinds of destructive effects on the electric power grid. it is another opportunity where from may dod perspective, responsibility is to ensure my department can execute the missions that the president
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assigns to us. either through emp or a solar even, there could be destruction not only through dod electric systems but to the broader critical infrastructure on which we ultimately depend it. it is a big challenge. it is a challenge where federal agencies will need to continue to assist us. and our reach to industry, it again. absolutely vital in this regard. industry is a willing partner in this. a realize this is a challenge. working together a new collaborative mechanisms to build a shared approach to this event so we can assist industry in developing a design basis for the grid of the future. it not only takes into account the traditional start factors, which they are well efficient to handle, but do threat sectors including cyber threats and
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including a better understanding of solar events in emp. >>emp is select electromagnetic pulse, the radiation that could be released from nuclear bursts. if you detonated a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere. instead of a going into the ground it would profligate out. it would be attracted to an antenna. everything from cell towers to satellites to the electrical grid. part of the theory is depending on the location of the weapon and the altitude and the size of it, the range of destruction it could do in terms of knocking out infrastructure and that kind of thing the, they lost things like major pieces of the grid where you would have to replace parts that could take months and years. you could have large portions of
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the population without electrical power for long periods of time. in the natural analogy to that is, we continue to have solar flares. we could have large events we have not seen on the scale since carrington was the astronomer the spotted the ones until the mid-19th century. we have not had one of those since the world has been electrified. we are concerned about that. if you're interested in that, there is work in the national science foundation that put a word out on that. there was a congressional commission on the effects of electromagnetic pulse on u.s. infrastructure. you can find those online. >> people online are listening.
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they go back and see it later. >> then i will use this. >> force secretary stockton, to work for being here. thank you for coming over and participating. with regard to the military's response to support any kind of several event, what are you most afraid of in the military's to respond and do it in an effective way or the public is satisfied with the response? i do not mean in such a of a loss of life, but what kind of event most skiers you? what kind of the event would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you have to look at what our ability as with the military force to respond to that? >> that is an easy one, but i
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would invite my colleagues to dive in. it is precisely the scenario that i described from any hazard. the risk of cascading failure of critical infrastructure in ways that we might not even understand fully until the event occurs, that is what keeps me up that night. the opportunity to strengthen prepare against any event that would evolve -- involves a long- term loss of power. i know that we are working very hard with the defense imagistic agency and our other partners to ensure there is fuel for backup generators to sustain critical operations. if you look around the nation, many emergency operating centers, hospitals, 48 hours or even more of a fuel stored on site.
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a large scale outage of weeks to months, our ability to maintain back of generating capacity is at issue. i think we need to know more about single points of failure where we imagine we have redundancy in systems that actually breaks down. there is a lot of port chester be done here. the gap between where we are today and where i would like to be keeps me up at night. >> i think the nation's psyche is ready for a national disaster. we have been a before. we had 211 different missions over the past decade and the happen every three or four years between 9112005 with katrina, 2000 late -- the 2008. something to come up on that
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kind of a cycle. to think about spaces in the country there was a huge -- usable again. we made a lot of progress. the things people did not expect to occur, but the nation is unprepared and uneducated. it is something we have not had before. i think there would be woefully inadequate to respond to something like that. >> i agree that you have to focus on large scale catastrophic. things that could stop the heartbeat of america. the nation can handle anything the luster than that a pretty good form. these are a couple of thoughts. there is a time factor which is one hour, 72 hours and whatever. if you are critically injured they say you have one hour to get to somebody. for some reason i'm totally critically injured and they are vulnerable in the 72-hour
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window, if they can live past 72 hours, must we're talking weeks and months it will not be a big deal. you have to think about saving lots of lawyers earning on -- early on, you have some type to windows. as wanting to think about. the second thing is legitimacy. we see this again and again in research literature. a lot of the time people do not need help. they can take care of themselves. they need to feel things are going to be ok. there is an issue of legitimacy. if people feel there is a structure there. somebody will come turn the gas station on again. there is a notion about the stress level much, much lower. the fear factor is lower. in many ways people just go and take care of things.
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part of the reason we lost that katrina was not because of the 72-hour problem. it was this perception that nobody was in control and things are falling apart. when he saw the military intervention, in many ways the intervention was less about bringing logistics there than it was saying, somebody is in charge now. i feel better about things. you have the time line issue. the legitimacy issue is very important. we do not what the military to take over. the military is that the answer. you have the capacity to do everything. many of the large complex catastrophes, it would not be enough military assets. having said that, if you can effectively use your military assets under a legitimate political system in which state officials are doing the appropriate job, that also add a
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sense of calm and restore to power that it is very important. but to go on, but they did a whole thing on rigidly ask people pose a perspective on what is a big disaster look like. do you know what they described? they describe what they saw in the movies. a bunch of military people showing up in gas masks and bayonets. scary looking. the reality is, that is not what the military does. that is not what people actually see a large scale disasters. it is not a scene out of the siege or something else. they are happy they are there. they bring normalcy to the environment. they bring their restore to its normal state. it is the legitimacy of the response in addition to the time things are important. when you scale those problems to the large complex catastrophes that would talk about, that is a
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big challenge. that is a huge challenge. it is be difficult for dod to get a ride unless there are resources to do that. we talk about the use of the armed forces and we always talk about the od and we forget there is an armed force in the department of home and security. their assets and capabilities are equally and in many ways more vital and important. we have to worry about atrophy there as well. we're going to decrease the number of national security cutters that we purchase. have to say, the what does that have to do with:security? that may be one of the best command and control assets you can have in an environment. since most large-scale population centers are near water, that is helpful. he may not be able to base an operation on land and you may have to base it on water, these are very critical platforms.
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the fact we're buying a lot less the we are supposed to, that deeply worries me. you have to have the capacity there and ready to go before the kind of things to talk about. otherwise it will look like a new tv show on revolution. they are remaking red dawn. that is an emp attack from the north koreans. >> would each of you be willing to share more about your experience partnership -- partnering with the faith based community? anyone have commentary about assistance? >> we have done a lot of work looking at faith based response. it is very important. if you actually look at the results from katrina and you
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look at the surveys of people that got assistance, the highest-rated assistance they got was from faith based organizations. in part it is because there are people they know. they understand everything else. the other critical role -- this would be important in a large ecocatastrophe -- faith based leaders are very good at collaborative decision making and collaborative things. once you get to the immediate issue of, whether we will all die or not, there is a question of, what will the community look like " come back from this? bet is a very stressful and of a cold and hard thing to work through. the entire town is one of the office of the earth on a tornado. one of the real skills of
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recovery is, the community decided that it is not just about dumping aid. where will we go from here? it is very rarely, let's put everything back the way it was. as collaborative leaders in the community that have a heightened degree of trust, they're very well placed to serve to help people bring stakeholders together to decide where we go from here. >> we focus as an operator. we focus so much of what the responses to any event. when the response is over, it is like falling off of a cliff. but it's a lot less attention, almost no matter where you are. what lasts longer. one of the values of faith based organizations, which we have had from fema, there are there for
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the duration. the resources they bring to bear is right down to the individual americans to really need assistance and have been overwhelmed by many aspects of the disaster. whether it is the bat test kitchens, which are phenomenal, catholic charities, the range of the faith based organizations is phenomenally important. i think the value they bring everyday is a balance. >> i totally concur. i had to convene a meeting disasterema and dod's response folks with some faith based organizations. it is interesting because there were a couple of guys in the room who thought, well, these people will show up for a hurricane.
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if a nuclear bomb was of the will not show up. we explain to them, yes, they will. these organizations, they are there to make sacrifice to help people. they will show up. it is incumbent on the different parts of the government to harness that. you do not want them showing up for the first time when the event occurs. the wastes assets and puts the people at risk. there has to be pre cresses korea's asian. we all have learned of the importance of that sector of the response community. >> and jared brown with congressional research service. this question is for paul. what impact if any at all does the revision of the national response from work, protection
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from work all under presidential policy from marquette on defenses role in the homeland defense? >> it is helpful to us the administration but the integration of all of these lines of efforts including recovery. we knew they were important. we knew where dod could make contributions. reelected overarching policy from work that the white house needed to lead to provide defense support to civil authorities. we benefited from the opportunity to participate until the development of the policies. it is grinned when you are in support to be given the framework within which are going to be able to operate and be able to serve. that is what we have today. it is enormously helpful. >> as the government have
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models so much with the teams and the national football league have and they are preparing to play on sundays, they have a computer system that can go back and analyze every play from their opponents in every situation. the help them prepare a game plan. does our government have a computer modeling bedticks datapoint from past disasters whether they be earthquakes, 9/11, hurricanes. they mashed them to a game plan. >> we have automated many of our processes.
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we have a global management system absolutely terrific now at allocating resources, which we rely when the catastrophe strikes. we're facing is slightly different situation. although there is some predictable hazards up there like a new matter, we need to make sure we have enormous flexibility. when we are taken by surprise, we have the ability to have capabilities that can be brought to bear no matter what. that is kind of automated prescriptive approach will only get you so far. it is useful for the been the soda vikings as they march to their undefeated super bowl season, but here we need to be prepared for predictable events and also for strategic surprise. >> hope is not a plan, right? >> i think there are two things
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that come to mind. the first is logistics. the fee my approach used to be metal mountain. how much stuff can send someone? it did not matter how much you thought you might need. how much can you send somewhere. we would be competing with other providers. how will over to the censors is to bring the same thing i think the logistic system and fema right now is just phenomenal and how they can coordinate, plant, prepossession the work they do with how to bring that to a disaster. even now when things to build on what we did with fema is rejected the private sector.
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craig has done a phenomenal job of linking with the private sector. how to work together to hasten the response. in the second thing is the modeling we went through. when you think about the evacuating the city of new orleans, it did not happen in a week. that was months of planning. we had a buses and trains and airplanes. how many estimate they have no vehicle and would need assistance. i think we did a good job of modeling that out. i mentioned 33,000 people needed assistance, i think our an initial estimate was 45. the modelling of aircraft and where they can go to and how they can get back in time to pick up another load of people, how far a train can go. all that was done by doing modeling. i think the extent we can forecast goes kind of events we
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do pretty well. what the flood map program in phoenix, with the models look like for the different elevation of search and how far it will go. something more than meets the eye. there is a lot of work that goes into planning for natural disasters. we look at the time for injun talked about. all of that has been planned out in advance. there is more modeling and simulation than you would expect to make is better prepared as a nation. >> >> the closest partnership with the department of home and security, we have been working together with fema and the fema regions to part -- anticipate the kind of challenges that are
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predictable. first of all, in some parts of the nation, there are hazards where we are just waiting for them to happen. the hayward fault in the san francisco area, we have predictable events that we need to be planning together with the mat and the d h s and the coast guard. there is another opportunity for progress we are working very hard. we are looking at large population centers and regardless of what the source of the catastrophe as, we can begin to plan more effectively for a the kind of large scale life saving and life sustaining resources that will be required based on population size and the threats they're going to face.
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let's ensure we can get the lifesaving capabilities there fast. let's go fast, big, and smart. we are working very closely with the secretary and the entire state, federal, and local teams to make that happen. the state national guard to are so closely connected with their communities and our tight with safety public -- public safety organizations. that is how we will make progress anticipating these disasters and why and so grateful to general jacoby for leading the charge. >> i was wondering what kind of challenges exist in sharing of for mission between the federal, state, local, and international level?
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how can industry continue to assist in the sharing efforts? >> right off the bat i would say what i hear a question like that -- not that i am supposing rigid a lot of people expected as just bad. how can we make things better. from my experience and fema, still special affirmation was almost on the leading edge. i do not think we used it before. the access to geospacial information. wild fires, aircraft up and down the california coast with looking into the fire, sending the maps in real time to the fire chief's planning on how to employ their forces until the moment. not tomorrow but right now.
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fema has just expanded that with the technology and the rapid availability of gaea spatial information. the governor has represented that here is almost color coded with the state coordinated office. i think the information is better than most people can expect. there is almost a desire by dod forces to bring it to bear in a disaster. i think we have made leaps and bounds both in declassifying and making available to whoever needs it. it goes on not just on federal channels but for the state very rapidly. >> when the present director -- when he was the director of the gao spatial intelligence agency he established teams that provide data that they make it
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maps out of the pictures. they send a big high speed trailer to the disaster site. they show up and say, we are working for you now. what do you need? this start download a more stuff than anybody can consume. >> fema is not a large organization. it is initially stamped by nga and fema and have access to what is classified and what can make a difference. nothing that extends internationally as well. >> gentleman back there. mark, you will get the last question. >> you touched on the national guard and then the army reserve capabilities. is there any traction on the idea to merge the two components
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to maximize the title 32 capabilities in these events? >> my personal view is there is no need for such a merger. what we need to do is strengthen the procedures that we have to provide for the mobilization of the title 10 reserves for a no notice national hazard. thanks to the leadership of the governors, the 2012 national defense authorization act, finally it has given us the opportunity to access the terrific capabilities of the title 10 reserve for natural disasters. we are paddle to the metal and the department of defense to ensure when the real hurricane season begins, the college football season heats up, we will be able to access the title 10 reserves of in communities where the concerts effectively. as of the challenges we're working on very quickly now to
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meet as opposed to looking at the bigger picture questions that i think might be something to look at in the future. today we can provide better capability through other approaches. >> a lot of people including those at this table helping for a long time to make this possible, one of the lessons learned as harvey can emphasize from katrina is that there was not adequate coordination between state military forces, state national guard's under the control of their governors, and the federal military forces that came at the request of the governor's through fema. we need to do a better job of making sure that the forces can operate in a seamless fashion but still recognize that under the constitution, the governors
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are the commanders in chief of the state military forces. at the same time the president is the commander in chief of federal military forces. how come we provide for unity and ever despite the separateness of the change of command that we still need to maintain? the breakthrough thanks to the governors as to have an officer, a general officer, almost always a national guard officer, who will simultaneously served and both duty status is, federal and state. where two hats. where a state had reporting up the chain of command to governor and simultaneously a federal had up to the president of in his role as commander-in-chief and to provide for the unity of effort to in-state military forces that was noticeably absent in the even so katrina.
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that was so beneficial last year in hurricane irene. >> the constitution authorizes the state to have militias, everybody recognizes the state component of the national guard as the militia of the state. the 27 -- what is the number? the lost count. under 30 states also have additional state defense forces that are volunteers that are organized under the state, equipped by the state and fellow whatever the constitution and laws of this they require. these are another asset which are also i think very important. they have done a survey of the capabilities. some of them are very extraordinary.
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texas is a good example. california is a good example. they provide not just a backstop to the state guard but they also provide capabilities -- nothing there are important pieces of the equation that often gets forgotten on the table. it is something that deserves a lot more attention. >> i cannot think heritage enough for putting this discussion on. it is absolutely essential and we do not talk about enough. there is a conflict. wanted your thoughts on that. the nature of a think tank and the kind of issues that you, jim, and steve are going over in terms of the things we have to be aware of, the priorities we have to set. the human component, the technology component. to a certain extent he represents both an when he did in the public sector and when he does not in the private sector
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and was secretary stockton has to do on a day-to-day basis. how do we pay for it? how do we get our budget in line with tightening and the state level, the private sector, as well as the federal level to make sure the priority stay and focus. are we going towards that's what we can and reacting as harvey was talking about? or is there even any room for protection of in the nature of the budget situation that our country in each state and company is in? cox the answer is easy. congress should enact the president was a budget request. -- president's budget request. >> and mike farrell i and the private sector and i will not talk about the federal budget. -- my role is in the private sector and i will not talk about
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the federal budget. when they mention that my blood that flows -- my blood goes faster. i am concerned about the coast guard. we talk about a response to a disaster, the coastguard is there instantly. they have ships that are the oldest ships in the world in terms of the size of navy. we have ships that were old in 1965 when i graduated. the budget of the coast guard is in peril and i think about that every day. i think that is magnified larger another we spent. that is a service -- as you take notes i hope you will include the coast guard in your thoughts as well. what's that is the armed services worry about the most.
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i think this goes back to my comments about very wealthy nations being much more capable of dealing with large scale disasters. we still have the largest economy. we are a rich, powerful nation. our problems are the policies we put in place. not to put a plug in for heritage, but in competition with other think tanks we did a long-range budget plan. it does not raise taxes. its leaves every class of americans better off than now. balances the budget a denture 10 years. it cuts into the deficit. it is not an idle exercise. the plan was scored by cbo and is legitimate. these are choices that we make. we have done is force people like paul into the worst of possible worlds. have not taken the missions of
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the table. they are going to make suboptimal decisions that will lead somebody short. you cannot just -- the math does not give you there. the kind of problems on the scale we're talking about regardless of how many hours did it all works or the wisdom of our -- if you do not resource the missions of acrylic, they will not get done. we will only be able to resource them adequately if they are larger than the ones regard discussing as far as what we will do to texas country. if a -- what we will do to tax this country. no matter how smart we are or how hard paul works, at the end of the day the nation will come up short. >> i will give you one minute each to make any concluding remarks you want to make.
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>> i yield the balance of my time to the secretary. >> thank you to the heritage foundation for your sustained focus on these issues and for the opportunity to share perspectives looking forward. >> i appreciate the forum. i think this is a vitally important issue. i am glad you and others are here to give focus to it. >> ladies and gentlemen, i think you have seen a lot of candor, openness, and a lot of really important thought to that has gone into the remarks you have heard this morning. paul is the one still sitting in the seat with the tough job. we all left him and his people up. i have to tell you, i worked in that job. there's not a lot of politics. it is about helping america in the most basic way possible and helping our neighbors as well. i would like to ask you to join me in thanking the panel for
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their remarks. [applause] tomorrow at 11:00 in the same room will have another panel with the former secretary of defense, paul mchale and the former deputy commander of northcom and the former director of the national guard purer -- bureau who will be discussing the price every state must pay, the effect of sequestration on the national guard which has been mentioned, the critical piece of our homeland security and homeland defense. we hope you can join us at 11:00 tomorrow. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> we'll bring you another event from the heritage foundation today as they host a seminar about budget cuts. i. . .
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thanks for coming out. we're pleased today to welcome allison mcfar lane. her term runs through june 2013. she currently served on the panel created by the obama administration. in 2006, he published a book about yucca mountain.
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she previous to that was associate professor of environmental science and policy at george it is nice to come down to the press club and chat with you all. i think george mentioned my background is a byologist. i've always been interested in and involved on nuclear issues.
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we developed a strategy for dealing with nuclear waste and disposing of it. >> can you point the mic taurts yourself? >> i'm sorry. is that better? good. and i've also published fairly extensively on nuclear waste and energy issues. let me first tell you that at nuclear regulatory commission, we are very much focused right now on fukushima and the lessons we have learned from fukushima. most recently last tuesday, we had a commission meeting where we learned about the progress of our staff on dealing with these issues and we also heard from interveners both from the industry and from concerned public. we had -- it was a very good session. we had an excellent q & a
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session with the other commissioners. i thought it went very well for those of you who are able to see it. in general, we are working taurts developing actions out of fukushima lessons learned that will enhance the safety of the existing nuclear facilities. and right now, the n.r.c. is in process of working on four current actions that you may be aware of. first of all, to require -- we have issued three orders. the first of those orders requires that reactors have additional portable equipment to ensure that they can continue to operate in the event of loss of offsite power and that additional equipment should be both on site and off site. so those both requirements are there. the second order that was issued had to do with adding additional
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instrumentation to the pool that house the spent nuclear fuel to ensure that we know at all times the water levels in those pools and additional things about what's going on in those pools. the third order has to do with just the boiling watermark one and mark two reactors and that is asking these reactors to either improve or install hardened events to help control heat in the event of an accident. we have also sent a letter asking plants to do seismic and flooding walkdowns so we understand better the seismic and flooding risks at the plants and start working on addressing that. in fact, i understand even prior to the fukushima accident, the reactors were required to update
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their seismic homicide announcement. are actively have been right now by we're also in the process at the nrc of looking a number of what you heard, tier one, and tier 2, potentially activities. we will be working hard on those over the next year as well. the bottom line is that we've got to get this right. we need to ensure that the
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plants are safe in a variety of situations and have learned a lot from what happened at fukushima. want to continue to work on that. in terms of the agencies, let me share some strategy. i've got four in particular i would like to share with you. my number one goal is to continue the nrc's mission especially in light of what happened at fukushima of assuring that the existing fleet of nuclear reactors continues to operate safely. the nrc's mission is to ensure public elan safety and protect the environment and that will be my number one goal. my number two goal is somewhat related to fukushima but also related to my background as a geologist. looking at the intersection of geology and nuclear energy -- i think there a number of issues there -- this is highlighted by the events that fukushima' at fukushima.
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and it was also highlighted to me personally by the experience last year. you may remember where we were august 23 because too experienced an earthquake. if you missed the earthquake, you're lucky. it is interesting to go through that experience. i did not experience that earthquake that i was here. i was out with my son fishing at seneca creek lake in did not know anything had happened. the lake didn't move. nothing. no water sloshing or movement of the ground. by the way, i have been in nepal and have felt earthquakes outside. it had to do with the geology. it reinforced the lesson to me that geology matters.
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it matters where you are during an earthquake, whether you experience any ground shaking. it matters what's beneath you. what niece the path to you. that really matters for nuclear facilities. we have to make sure we get this right. we have to make sure we really understand all the issues and we have to make sure we understand the uncertainties. the size of the earthquake at mineral, va. was not predicted and the size of the earthquake at fukushima was not predicted.
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so, we need to sit down and rethink these issues. we need to ensure that given a variety of situations that nuclear plants will be safe. that helps me segue into my third area of focus for the agency. that would be the back end of the fuel cycle. geology matters with a operating plans but also matters with repository sites and the kind of thing. the back end of the fuel cycle is broader than that. we're nearly out -- we're now dealing with waste company stages. i'm not able to say about a court ruling because it is in active matter but let me just say that we know this is a pressing issue. it is a priority for us that the commission. we are now at the commission level looking at a staff document which is laying out some options for going forward. we will deal with that promptly and we will have a plan to move forward quickly.
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that is where we're going with that. there will be other issues coming up as well. we are paying more attention to issues associated with fuel. my final goal for the agency is to improve communication. an agency like ours, an independent regulator, does not do well with the public and ensure a public will still have public confidence unless we communicate well. my initial impression is a reading nrc documents and some of them are rather opaque. there followed acronyms. these are difficult to figure out. there is no loa- list of acronyms associate with them. when i say loa, nobody knows what i am talking about.
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every time i get an opportunity to talk to the staff, i emphasize this to them that they get important internally and an externally to be more transparent with our communications. i read these documents and i imagine a grandmother lives in nearby nuclear power plant trying to slog through these documents to understand what some of the issues are. i just ran my hand. i think about grandmother is trying to open bottle tops. how do they get the ball clubs open? -- how they get the strength to open the jar? we need the public to have confidence in her work. that is an area of focus for us. there are a number of issues that will come up at plants and we will continue to maintain our focus on that.
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i have been very impressed with the staff at the nrc. they are a strong group of people. i am happy to debate the issue and -- and i am convinced their main goal is also ensuring public safety. i will be happy to entertain your questions. >> if you could please identify yourself -- >> i'm sorry. steven dolly, still. i want to thank you for hosting the chairman for coming today. your predecessor took a broad view of the power particularly in the area of developing the agency budget. you have told a couple of congressional committees that he will strive to improve
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collegiality and things on the specifics. to what degree do hope to involve your fellow commissioners in the development of the agency budget and more generally, will you take a broad view of matters that are administrative and under exclusive control the chairman verses issues that are considered policy and need to be taken to other members of the commission? >> thanks for your question. it is good to see you here. i always see you everywhere. i always see you everywhere. you just show up all the time. i feel very strongly that the commission only operates well it operates as a collegial body might get background is from academia. i see the commission as similar to an academic departments.
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it's a group of peer equals. one of whom has been elected chair. the chair has some more powers and the rest of the faculty but in the end, they are peer equals. that's how i view my colleagues on the commission. let me tell you that before i was sworn in on july 9, i sat down with my fellow commissioners for one hour and had a discussion with them about what their concerns were and what the issues they thought were important for the commission. we are continuing that. we meet on a regular basis and discuss these issues. if there is an issue that is important, i am happy to run up to their offices. that is how i see this working well. my staff has similar direction to work closely with the status of the other commissioners. -- with the staff's of the other commissioners. and we are.
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and i think in terms of other -- i think that's where we want to go. i will leave it there. we're actively working on the budget now. i cannot say much about it but we are working on it together. we are working on it in a collegial way. we are sharing information. >> the gentlemen over here? >> good morning and thank you. going back to one of your goals about improving communication, i was wondering if you personally have had communication with your counterparts in japan? can you tell us what the level of information sharing is with the new york task forces for is their recommendations and findings?
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do you share that information with a japanese nuclear tory regular commission? >> right now, i have not yet had any direct communications with any of my colleagues and where in the world. i'm just a few weeks on the job. i know i will be having more communications with my colleagues all over the world, with other nuclear regulators. that will come. our commission hearing last week was webcast and is available, is that correct? yes. it is available for anybody to look at. we have a very active office of international programs that work very closely with our colleagues around the world.
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>> the gentle man right here. >> i am from hearst newspapers. you indicated a preference for dry cask storage on site as opposed to yucca mountain solution for the back end of the fuel. what role do you think the nrc can play in urging operators to move more quickly from cool storage to dry cask storage? >> thank you for your question. let me clarify something. i have always felt, and i think many people in the nuclear industry understand well, we need a repository for high-level nuclear waste.
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let me be clear about that no matter what. every country needs a repository. in the interim, you have some options of how to store your spent nuclear fuel. every actor absolutely requires a spent fuel pool. you cannot have a reactor without one. many reactors find that they use dry casks. i have been impressed with the performance of the dry casks in the recent earthquake. at the nrc, we are one of the tier 3 activities to look more closely at the issues associated with moving more quickly from the spent -- of the spent fuel and to the pools from drying casks and so we will be looking at this issue. >> the gentleman right here?
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>> hello, chairman. your predecessor expressed some concern that the seismic piece of that might go beyond his goal of five years to implement an area that all the recommendations going forward. what is your view on how quickly seismic revaluations are slated to happen? do you think that is happening quickly? i think the seismic evaluations are happening quickly enough. the walkdowns for flooding evaluations are beginning to happen right now so we should have some information fairly soon at the nrc to evaluate. there are other issues -- these
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are the hardened vent issues. this more complicated is to have to wait for a shutdown to evaluate what you can do that is where the five-year period comes from. >> >> that was under way before fukushima. this is absolutely in progress. we should be seeing the results of this very soon. as far as i can tell, it is happening quickly enough. we could push people to move faster. >> i wanted to go back to david's question on the spent fuel. there was some controversy about what the term expedited means. it sounded like you're
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interested in moving more quickly and staff said they thought expedited means anything quicker than what industry had planned. has that met your understanding? >> that's a good question. i think the staff is looking at this and i will be working with them closely to express my concerns about how quickly things should move. we have to wait a little bit until we get through some of the tier one activities which the ongoing activities that i explained in my opening remarks. then moved to these tier 2 and tier 3 activities. that is the current question about the schedule for that. that is something i am working with staff on.
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>> thank you. >> i want to come back to the targets you mentioned about spent fuel. do you think the agency previously did not spend enough time on this? there is the spent fuel issue and the intersection of geology. >> i want to focus more on the intersection of geology and nuclear issues. this is something where i am directing my personal staff to spend some time on it and we will be bringing it up with agency staff as well.
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>> and the nuclear waste? >> i'm not completely aware of the nrc before i got there. the nrc is restricted. we don't make policy. we regulate based on existing policy. we cannot set policy on look here reject nuclear waste disposal. that is the job of congress and the administration. we deal with issues that come to the table. >> over here? >> a was hoping to get your reaction to the milk bone shutdown. what is your perspective on the potential effects of climate change on reactors? do you have concerns about that?
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>> nice to see you. it is not the first time this has occurred as far as i understand. a water outlook gets warm enough to have to shut down for a little while. i have actually asked the staff to look into the issue of what are some of the climate change -- potential climate change impacts coming down the road. one of them is the issue of water sources getting warm. hopefully, we'll have more to tell you on that. >> yes, and there are a number of other issues. >> thank you. >> in terms of the waste
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confidence suspension, how long is that likely to last? it seems like it could be significant. can you give us an idea of how long this will take? >> this is one thing we are actively working on now at the commission. the staff has sent a paper to the commission giving us a number of options on how to go forward and timing and, in general, the commission feels we should work on this as efficiently as possible. we have not settled on an actual number yet. >> it sounds like you have a lot of choices. >> we probably don't have a lot of choices but we have a few.
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>> if no one has a question, i will take an opportunity. >> please identify yourself. >> i'm george. some have said that the nrc is not tough enough and have had numerous lapses because the nrc has not been vigilant enough. you have had the opportunity to see what the operation is like on your blue ribbon commission. chairman yazko appeared to support these kinds of suggestions by suggesting that some of the turmoil on the commission was caused by the fact that other members of the commission were not sufficiently tough on safety. he was supported by some members in congress to support your nomination.
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do you agree with chairman yazko among fellow commissioners? is that criticism not on target? >> thanks for your question, george. i have just been on the job a few weeks. i have some strong initial impressions of the agency. i have been very impressed with the staff and their dedication to safety. they have a willingness to stand up to industry and they believed a situation is not safe. i'm actually quite assured that the agency is completing its mission of protecting public health and safety. they take safety issues very seriously.
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they take their role as regulator is very seriously. the public should be assured that they have the public's best interest in mind. >> chairman azko was mistaken? >> i think the agency is carrying out its job. from what i can tell and i was not here before july 9, from what i can tell so far, i am reassured that the agency is continuing its mission and i intend to encourage them in that direction as much as i can. >> you talked about the importance of communication and communicating what you're doing. is part of that geared towards reversing the perception that the agency has been a victim of oversight.
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>> that ends up being part of the message. that would be fine. if that is the public perception that the agency has been captured -- my impression so far is that is not the case at all. i want to insure that as an agency, we take the public concerns very seriously. that will certainly come out when we have public meetings and public hearings. i want to hear from the public and what their concerns are.
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>> recently you spoke about some agency efforts to address, going back to staff, making sure the agency environment supports staff. kind of an agency environment issue. i just want to know what are some of the things that might come out that the staff can come forward and address issues, bring up issues. >> you know, i'm still learning what some of the recent history of the nrc is. and you know, i'm impressed that some of the agency's values are -- openness, transparency, a collaborative work environment. they are conscious of their own
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safety culture. i think it is interesting when any kind of incident happens at a particular facility, especially if it becomes a long, drawn out incident, they take the time to go through and gather lessons learned and how can we do things differently and do we need to change rules? the agency had no reaction.
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we're focused on the mission and not distracted by events outside. >> thank you again. we're getting to the end of the press conference. i thought i would ask more abstract questions. many members of the house and senate over the years have wanted to see nrc be a bigger supporter of nuclear power. this is nothing new. it has been going on for a long time. when you were first appointed, i thought it was interesting to have a geologist. but don't think there has been another one. >> there hasn't. >> when you have appeared, they ask a lot questions about your qualifications. especially the republicans, to be in this position. 4one applying the had never been to a power plant. can you defend why this is a the time to have a geologist in this
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position of leadership? >> sure. absolutely. that takes me back to my main message. geology clearly matters. if that was not one of the main lessons, i do not know what was. there is a massive earthquake. an earthquake that was not predicted. why was it not predicted? geology is an area of dynamic knowledge. it changed with time. before the 2004 sumatra quake that caused that huge tsunami, seismologists had no understanding but even get a mega quake. we could get their reduction almost zones. now we have that understanding. it is reemphasized by the earthquake that produced the
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tragedy at fukushima. geology certainly matters. in matters that we keep up to date with geologic knowledge because it is always changing. if we are dealing with the back end of the cycle, a geology matters again. let me just say that the nrc is a regulatory body. we protect the public health and safety. we do not make policy. that is congress's job. we do not promote the industry. we regulate the industry. we do not look for solutions to the nuclear waste problem. that is the job of congress. >> will the new focus on geology
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mean that real licensing examination of the facilities like indian points, or some of these issues have post-construction, will it be different now? are you planning to be more rigorous? >> i am not planning any new roles right now. frankly, because all of these plants are required to update their seismic hazard analysis, i think everybody will be at a good place. we have to ensure that it continues in future and that nuclear engineers check in with geologist's every now and then and see how the state of knowledge has changed. >> thank you. >> hello.
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i know you don't make policy for nrc, but you asked a number of questions about the yucca mountain. you said you keep an open mind. i was wondering if you could talk more about what he meant about what you meant on that and what may have changed to cause you to take another look. >> you know, i did most of my research and technical analysis in the early 2000's. i have not read the license applications. i have not read the nrc's technical analysis. i do not know what has changed. that is still to come. i need to spend some time with those documents myself.
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we do not have any issue at yucca mountain. there are no decisions to make. >> a using conditions may have changed or that the research they have advanced and there will be new things that maybe you did not see when you're doing your work? >> i do not know. i know they were going to look at a number of issues that i have been interested in. i just do not know what has changed. i will have to see. >> what is the possibility that real analysis based on the u.s. reanalysis readiness of reactors will react in some of the older ones closing? this is a rough time to be in that business. natural gas is cheap. do you think we will lose some of them?
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>> i cannot venture and guess. i think you can make a lot of adjustments to plants to upgrade seismic stability and flooding stability. you can take measures to make sure that you mitigate the potential risks that are forthcoming. but you really need to -- the important thing is that you need to understand what those risks are carried you need to understand the uncertainty attached to your risk so that you can add enough of a safety margin. they rode out that earthquake very well even though it exceeded the design basest ground motion. it did that because it had additional safety margins. i think we need to ensure that we understand more broadly what the risks are.
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we can make sure that we are prepared to handle them. >> i was wondering a logistic question. i was wondering what other things have you been doing? in order to acquaint yourself with the workings of the agency? >> the areas that i outlined to you are areas that i am particularly interested in seeing the agency dig into more. in edition, it is like drinking -- in addition, i'm -- as i said, it is like drinking from a fire hose.
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i am getting constant briefings and update about a variety of issues. i am also interested in having my staff to dig in deeper some of these areas and see what options are out there. >> you were on the commission. both recommendations have been out. congress hopefully will receive the doe report. i am curious what you think might be in the doe report. also what you think the nrc can do on its part to move forward with blue ribbon recommendations? >> well, as i keep saying, the nrc is a regulator. we do not make policy. they cannot do anything to move forward to move this recommendations forward. i think we produced an excellent
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set of recommendations. i do hope that the administration and congress takes these forward and takes these seriously and helps us solve this problem. because as a regulator, we need guidance and direction. that is what we will follow once we get it. >> i just want to follow a little bit on that one issue, the transfer of dry fuel to wet pools to dry storage. i am sure this is an issue. i am sure you had some views that you came to as a result of that. we see that these were a focus of intense concern. now we have some of the key policy makers. feinstein was very much interested in accelerating this
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movement to dry storage. putting on your regulator hat here in terms of being a charge, and do you agree that this move needs to be speeded up? do you see significant risks in the way these spent fuel pools are being packed and what we see at fukushima that this represents a risk that needs to be addressed? >> yeah, thanks, george. i think you're right. the fukushima accident did highlight the spent fuel pools. the public had no idea prior to the accident. everybody got stuck in their mind the image of the helicopter trying to drop water in the pool. it was quite spectacular.
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clearly this is another one of my areas of emphasis. the back end of the fuel cycle matters. we should be thinking about it all the time. it should not be an afterthought. from my point of view, it has largely been an afterthought. i want to bring a focus to that now. one of the activities is that the nrc is doing another look at this issue of should there be an accelerated transfer of spent fuel from the pools to the dry casks. i am interested in taking a deep dive into that issue and understanding the risks from all points of view. the industry has said well, if you pushed it, there will be more exposures. we have to understand that. we have to understand the full
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range of issues before we can develop a policy and go forward. >> last week at the commission briefing on fukushima some expressed concern that exploring the recommendations beyond the orders could trade off industry resources with activities needed to improve and maintain safety of current plans. one of the representatives of the operator expressed concern that they are getting piled on. you need to learn procedure. there's only so much time on the simulators. what can nrc do with the tier 2 or 3 that can avoid these trade-offs? >> that's a good point, steve.
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we have to make sure that we don't make so many rules that they turn attention away from maintaining the safe operation of plants. that has to be the primary focus. the continue to operate safely and we continue all of our regular work there. at the same time, i think we have learned some lessons from fukushima. we have to strike a careful balance. we have to work closely with the licensees to make sure that we are not overburdening them in one direction or another. at the same time, while helping them work towards instituting some of these changes so that they will operate as safely as possible.
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>> do you have any early thoughts about the role of voluntary industry initiatives as one part of the japanese fixes or in the regulation overall? it was a real point of contention among the previous chairmen. it is fair to say that the agency was a little too dependent on them and the others were too quick to rely on voluntary initiatives. >> thanks. you know, i haven't dealt with any specific voluntary initiatives or voluntary actions yet in my tenure and so i would certainly carefully consider a specific issue that came across my desk, but right now, i haven't so i don't really have much of a comment on that.
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>> i'll take the opportunity again. the attack dogs of the press have gone silent here. again, i want to go back to your experience on the blue ribbon commission. i think you are an unusual chairmen. you come in having had the benefit of a two year review that looked closely at everything nrc is doing, particularly on waste. one of the things that was clear is that we are going to need a repository. everyone is also in agreement that there is not going to be a repository anytime soon.
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as you look at dry storage, is that a completely safe thing? can these fuel rods be put in there for a hundred years or 60 years? i'm trying to go back to what you learned on the blue ribbon commission. should people feel reassured about dry storage if there is no surprises in termses of keeping things in there for many, many decades? >> i think dry storage is safe. i am just trying to think of the numbers. i think the first dry storage cask was licensed in 1984 and 1985. it has already received an additional 40 years. they seem to be operating very well. they are possibly a cold system.
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that makes them simple. that's good. let's go back to the larger issue here. that is ensuring that there is a geologic repository. this is a policy decision that congress and the administration take on. but let me just make one point and that is that there is an operating geologic -- deep geologic repository in the u.s. ok? we're the only country with an operating deep geologic repository for nuclear waste. it is not for high-level waste. we are the only ones in the whole world doing it. we were able to do it. we were able to get it going and work through all the issues that came up.
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this is whip project that is near carlsbad, new mexico. they received over 10,000 shipments of waste materials and it is very popularly supported strongly in the area. i want to provide people assurance that this can happen in the united states because it has. >> the nrc licenses half a dozen dry casks but no reactors. it is not going to stay in the dry casks forever. eventually it has to go somewhere. i imagine it is about how many decades old it can be and you can still put it on a trap. in your role in leading the effort to ensure public health and safety, do you have any advice for congress on how promptly the need to deal with
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this problem? >> you know, i think, you're right, there are actually 10 reactors at nine facilities that are -- have shut down. basically the only thing that is there is the spent fuel. not always in dry casks. in some situations, it is still in the pools. in the end, you need a repository, because as you sketched out the alternative of leaving it there, it is not a suitable alternative. congress needs to set policy working with the administration so that they can provide guidance to the nuclear regulatory commission on how to deal with this material.
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>> what is the level of urgency for that second policy? >> the blue ribbon commission did its work. it is out there. i do not think it should be relegated to the dustbin. i have a personal view on that. >> going back to some of the fukushima recommendations, fairly or unfairly, a lot of the conversation about sort of assessing how those are doing has centered on how long it is going to take to implement them. and also whether not they would be considered adequate protection issues. whether there would be a cost/benefit analysis done.
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that seems reasonable to me. in terms of other potential activities, i think we have to look at them one by one. that is what we are waiting on. that's all i have to say about that. in terms of other potential fukushima activities that the nrc can take up, i think we have to look at them one by one. and that's what we're waiting on and that's what we have to decide how we're going to progress on. we need to move forward on these and give them due consideration before we get into deciding whether cost/benefit analysis or whatever needs to be done.
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>> he faced some criticism because they wanted her to recuse herself from the yucca mountain details. do you see any of the work you have done, you coed ited a book, do you think there is any need to recuse yourself from the issue or is it all far removed? >> there is no yucca mountain issue before us right now. when and if there is, i will consider whether or not i should recuse myself. i will do that in consultation with legal counsel. but at the moment --
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>> thank you. you said a couple of times the priority of maintaining safety at the existing fleet is one that we have discussed a lot, and the importance of seismic issues. what are some of the other big issues outside of the fukushima follow up? a new approach to fire protection and there are ongoing issues with core cooling beyond the fume sheikh sheema recommendations. if you have to pick two or three, what are of most interest to you and you will take a look at? >> plants? >> those in the reactor. those in the office of nuclear reactor regulation. containment, things like
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that. >> there are a variety of issues that are coming forward that are of interest to me. i am interested in some of the current reactors. they are having some trouble. we're trying to understand better some of the issues associated with the steam generators there. these are really complex issues. no obvious solutions immediately. working with the plant in trying to understand some of the issues on the table are of interest to me. >> you talked about geology as a dynamic field of knowledge.
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in terms of environmental oncology, it also seems there is a scenario where research can evolve. nrc asked the national academy of science to do a study on the safety of living around nuclear plants. that study is still in draft form. is that something that is a priority to look at? do you feel that is subtle science and we should be moving on? >> that's interesting. i don't think that is necessarily an area of settled science. there are very few areas of settled a science, speaking as a scientist. the dynamic is all changing. i think we constantly have to update that, especially the environmental and earth environmental and earth sciences.


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