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tv   Director of National Intelligence Testifies on Worldwide Threats  CSPAN  May 15, 2022 4:10am-5:55am EDT

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>> good morning.
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the committee meets today to receive testimony on the worldwide threats facing the united states and our international partners. i'd like to welcome director of national intelligence, avril haines and director of the intelligence agency lieutenant scott d. berrier. thank you both for joining, us please convey the committee's gratitude to the men and women of the intelligence community for that critical work. we must first start by addressing the illegal war vladimir putin is waging in ukraine. for the past two and a half months, russia's unprovoked
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aggression has inflicted horrific suffering on innocent civilians in ukraine, threatens european security and caused serious consequences for the global economy. and the face of the senseless violence, the ukrainian military has performed tremendously, supported by the united states and the international community. a formidable array of our global allies and partners have joined in solidarity to impose severe sanctions on russia and provide support to ukraine. we cannot overstate the scale and importance of this unity. i want to commend the biden administration and the leaders of the intelligence community for the unprecedented and skillful release of intelligence over the past several months, that expose russia's aggressive intentions and deceitful activities ahead of its invasion of ukraine. intelligence officials are understandably cautious about revealing hard-won insights on adversaries, but the strategy has proven highly effective and strengthening the international
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communities response and creating dilemmas for vladimir putin. this is a great example of competing effectively in the information domain, and i hope we will continue to make use of this creative trade craft. with that in mind, russia strategy in ukraine seems to be evolving. director haines, general berrier, i would ask for your insight if ukraine in the context of the evolving international order, as well as the implications of united states occurred in the european theater going forward. we must also say focused on our long-standing competition with china. in addition to his economic associate political girls, china has studied the united states way of war and focused on offsetting our advantages. beijing has made concerted product progress in this regard and holds its own expansive geostrategic ambitions. as we speak, china is watching how the nations of the world
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respond to russia and considering a potential invasion of taiwan. president xi is scrutinizing putin's playbook in the international response. however, there is a broad consensus that our comparative advantage over china's our network of partners and allies in the region and globally. strengthening that network should be at the center of any strategy for the indo-pacific region and the maturation of the quadrilateral security dialogues, or quad, involved in the united states, japan and indeed australia. it presents a strategic opportunity to present a durable framework. i would ask our witnesses to share with military and non military factors are most likely to impact chinese decision-making, with respect to potential action against taiwan. turning to iran, in the four years since then president trump pulled out of the joint plan of action or the jcpoa iran has made key nuclear
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advances. it is expanded the breakout time from a few weeks to a year, it has in rich uranium to 60% rather than -- agreed to in the agreement. it is hearted its infrastructure and replace damaged equipment with more advanced models. and, while negotiations to return iran to the jcpoa urn the final stages, the final outcome has not yet been determined. beyond its nuclear advances, iran and iranian proxies continue to mount drone attacks in the region, including bases in iraq and syria with u.s. military presence. saudi arabia and also, now, the united arab emirates have also come under attack. director haines, given these current dynamics, i would like your thoughts on how best to de-escalate with iran while leaving space to return to the jcpoa. finally, this year's threat assessment against highlights the challenges posed by environmental degradation from
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climate change. i understand it is the dni's view that climate change will increasingly exacerbate risk to u.s. national security interest, as issues like rising temperatures, poor water governance, pollution, changing precipitation patterns and other climate effects likely lead to an array of human challenges. such as food and water and security and threats to human health. we live in a complex and dangerous global security environment, from russia's aggression in europe to china's influence in the indo-pacific to countless other malign actors around the world. prevailing in this environment will require resolute, forceful strategies. i look forward to our witnesses insights into these issues and i think that we get for their participation. now, let me turn to the ranking member, senator inhofe. >> thank, you chairman. i join you in welcoming our witnesses. when our witnesses testified
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before this committee last year, they provided a dire assessment of the threats to our national security. it's clear and i can't overstate this, the security situation we face today is significantly more dangerous and complex than it has ever been. then it certainly was a year ago. the chinese threat is beyond anything we ever dealt with before. this, year beijing announced a 7.1% defense budget increase. they've had two decades of real growth, with no signs of slowing down, as the chairman alluded to. putin's unprovoked aggression against ukraine shows the danger posed by the nuclear armed russia to our security and those of our allies and international order. iran's behavior continues
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throughout the middle east, terrorist groups like isis and al-qaeda are growing in strength across africa. despite this reality, president biden's budget request is inadequate. it doesn't deliver the real growth our military needs. that is the three to 5% increase that we established some five years ago. and, as i've said before, inflation is now the new sequestration that we consider today, it's making everything we do more difficult. i look forward to hearing from both of you about how our threats have evolved since last year. and how the intelligence community is changing to respond to the national security strategy. thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you very much, senator inhofe. now let us direct our eyes to senator haines. >> thank you very much,
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chairman reid, member inhofe, members of the community. thank you for allowing me to speak he today provide testimony alongside general barrier on the intelligence community's assessment of threats for international security. before i start, i just want to take a moment to publicly thank the men and women of the intelligence community for their extraordinary work to keep us safe. and how privileged i am to be a part of this community of truly talented people, to be given a chance to do something useful and service to my country. and i thank you for support, for your work. broadly speaking, this year's assessment focuses much like last year's assessment on adversaries and competitors, critical transnational threats and conflicts and instability. these categories often overlap. cybercrime, for example, is a transnational threat will also being a threat that emanates from state actors. one of the key challenges of this era is assessing how various threats and trends are likely to intersect, so as to identify where their interactions may result in fundamentally greater risk to
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our interest that one might otherwise expect. or where they introduce new opportunities. in this year's annual threat assessment, it highlight some of these connections as it provides ic baseline of threats to national security. it starts with threats from key state actors, beginning with the peoples republic of china, which remains an unparalleled priority for the intelligence community. and then turns to russia, iran and north korea. all four governments have demonstrated the capability and intend to promote their interests and ways that cut against u.s. and allied interests. the prc is coming closer than ever to being a peer competitor and national security is pushing to a advance norms to its advantage. and it is challenging the united states in multiple arenas. economically, militarily and technologically. china is especially effective at bringing together a coordinated, whole of government approach to demonstrated strength and compel neighbors to acquiesce to its preferences. including its territorial and
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maritime claims, and assertions of sovereignty over taiwan. a key area of focus for the ice's president xi jinping's determination to enter taiwan on their terms. china would prefer forced unification that avoids armed conflict, and it has been stepping up diplomatic, economic and military pressure on the island. for years. to isolate it and weakened confidence in his democratically elected leaders. at the same time, beijing is prepared to use military force if it decides this is necessary. the prc is also engaged in the largest ever nuclear force expansion and arsenal diversification in its history. it is working to match or exceed u.s. capabilities in space and present the broadest, most active and persistent cyber espionage threat to u.s. government and private sector networks. russia, of course, also remains a critical priority. and is a significant focus right now, in light of putin's
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tragic invasion of ukraine in february, which has produced a shock to the geopolitical order with implications for the future that we are only beginning to understand, but are sure to be consequential. the icy, as you know, provided warning of putin's plans, but this is a case where we all wish we had been wrong. russia's failure to overwhelm kyiv has deprive moscow of the quick military victory that originally expected would prevent the united states and nato from being able to provide meaningful military aid to ukraine. the russians met with more resistance from ukraine that they expected, and their own military performance revealed a number of significant internal challenges, forcing them to adjust their initial military objectives, full back from kyiv and focus on the donbas. the next month or two of fighting will be significant, as the russians attempt to reinvigorate their efforts but, even if they are successful, we are not confident that the fight of the donbas will effectively end the war.
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reassess president putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in ukraine, during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the donbas. we assess that putin's strategic goals have probably not changed, suggesting he regards the decision in late march to refocus forces on the donbas as only a temporary shift to regain the initiative after the russian military's failure to capture kyiv. in his current near term military objections are to capture the 20 blasts in luhansk and donetsk with a buffer zone, encircled forces from the north to the south of the donbas. in order to crash the most capable and well equipped ukrainian forces who are fighting to hold the line of the east, consolidate the control of the land bridge russia has established from crimea to the donbas, occupy kherson and the water source for crimea, to the north. we also see indications that the russian military wants to extend the land bridge to transit east rhea. while the russian forces may be
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capable of achieving many of these near term girls in the coming months, we believe they will not be able to expand control over a land bridge that extends to transmit syria and odessa without launching some form of mobilization. it is increasingly unlikely that they will be able to have control over both oblast and the buffers and a desire in the coming weeks. but putin most likely also judges that russia has a greater ability and willingness to endure challenges than his adversaries. and he is probably counting on u.s. and eu resolve to weaken as energy prices gets worse. moreover, as both russia and ukraine believe they can continue to make progress militarily we do not see a viable negotiating path moving forward, at least in the short term. the answer nature of the battle, which is developing into a war of attrition combined with the reality that putin faces a mismatch between his ambitions and russia's current conventional military capabilities, likely meets the next few months could see as
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moving along a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory. at the very least, we believe the dichotomy will usher in a period of more ad hoc decision-making in russia. both with respect to the domestic adjustments required to sustain this push, as well as the military conflict with ukraine and the. west the current trend increases the likelihood that president putin will turn to more drastic means, including imposing martial law, reorient-ing industrial production, or potentially escalatory military productions to free up the resources needed to have chief his objectives as the conflict drags on, or if he proceeds that russia is losing in ukraine. the most likely flash points for escalation in the coming weeks are around increasing russian attempts to interject russian security assistance. retaliation for sanctions or threats to the regime at home. we believe that moscow continues to use nuclear residents to deter the united
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states in the west from increasing aid to the ukraine or have extended western goals in the conflict. if putin proceeds that the united states is ignoring his threats he may have to signal to washington the support to ukraine by authorizing another large nuclear exercise. that involves another dispersal of strategic submarines. we otherwise continue to believe that president putin would probably only authorize the use of nuclear weapons if he perceived and existential threat to the russian state or regime. but, we will be remain vigilant in monitoring every aspect of russia's strategic nuclear forces. with tensions this high there is always an enhanced potential for miscalculation, unintended escalation, which we hope our intelligence can help to mitigate. beyond its invasion of ukraine, moscow presents serious cyber threat, a key space competitor and one of the serious foreign influence threats to the united states. using its intelligence services, proxies, and tools the russian
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government pursues not only its own interests but also to divide western alliances, undermine u.s. political standing, amplify discord within the united states, and influence u.s. voters and decision-making. to finish with, our state actor facts. the iranian regime continues to threaten the u.s. interest as it erodes the u.s. interest in the middle east, and project power in neighboring states. and, it minimize's threats to stability. meanwhile, kim jong-un continues to extend and enhanced pyongyang's nuclear capabilities targeting the united states and its allies, periodically using progressive and disciple as-ing actions to reshape the security environment in his favor. and, to restate its status quo as a de facto nuclear power. they continue to focus on a number of global and transnational threats including health security, transnational organized crime, technology, is climate, migration, and terrorism. i raise these because they
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posed challenges of a fundamentally different nature to our fashion national security than those proposed by the actions of nation states, even powerful and like china and russia. we look at the russia ukraine war and can imagine outcomes to resolve the crisis, and the steps needed to get there even though they are unpalatable and difficult. similarly we view the array of challenges and can discuss what is required, how we think about trade-offs. but, transnational issues are more complex, require significant and sustained multilateral effort. and, we can discuss ways of managing but they all impose a set of choices that have more difficulties to untangle and more sacrifice to bring about meaningful change. this reflects not only the interconnected nature of the problems but also the significant impact and increasingly powered non state actors have on the outcomes and the reality of some countries that are key to mitigating threats posed by nation states. they are also the ones we will be asking to do more in the trans national space. for example, the lingering
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effects of the covid-19 pandemic is putting a strain on governments and societies, fueling humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition. low income countries with high debt face particularly challenging recoveries, now exacerbated in some cases by increasing food insecurity caused by the russia-ukraine crisis. these things will spur migration around the world including on our southern border. the economic impact is that many poor and middle income countries back in years in terms of economic development and is encouraging some of latin america, and asia for quick economic security equip assistance from china and russia. we see the same complex mix of interlocking challenges stemming from the shut of climate change. which is exacerbating risks in u.s. national security aspect across the board. it is particularly interesting with environmental degradation and global health challenges. terrorism, of course, remains a persistent threat u.s. threats abroad and at home. the implications of the problem
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are evolving. in african, for example, terrorist groups are gaining strength and the overlap between them and smuggling networks has undermined security, has resulted in countries turning to russian entities to help manage these problems. global net transnational criminal organizations continue to pose a direct threat to the united states through the trafficking of lethal, illicit drugs. massive threat, including cybercrime. human trafficking, financial crimes, and money laundering schemes. particularly the threat from illicit drugs is at historic levels with more than 100,000 american drug overdose deaths for the first time annually. driven mainly by a robust supply of synthetic opioids from mexican transnational criminal organizations. in short, the interconnected global security department is marked by the specter of conflict, while transnational threats to all nations and actors compete not only for attention but also for finite
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resources. finally, the assessment turns to conflicts and instability, highlighting a series of regional challenges of importance the united states. iterative violence between israel and iran and conflicts in other areas including africa, asia, and the middle east have the potential to escalate or thread. they feel humanitarian crises and threaten u.s. persons. africa, for example, as in six regular transfers of power from 2020 and will probably see new bouts of conflict in the coming year, as the region becomes increasingly strained by a volatile mixture of democratic backsliding, intercommunal violence, and the continued threat of cross border terrorism. finally, most important of all we are focused on our workforces and their families. we continue to contribute to the government wide experts to see the causes of anomalous health influences and make sure that afflicted individuals see the quality care they need. the safety and the well-being of our workforce is our highest priority and we are grateful to members of this committee as support to our shoes.
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thank you for the opportunity presented assessments and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much madam director. >> chairman reid, ranking member and off and distinguished members of the committee, it is a privilege to testify as part of the assessment of u.s. threats to national security. on behalf of the defense intelligence agency i want to express how much we support appreciate your support and partnership, thank you. we fill a unique and -- by providing these things to our war fighters, defend splinters, policy makers, and the acquisition community. we examine conflict across all war fighting domains to assess foreign capabilities and understand our adversaries intent. dia is dedicated professionals in partnership with our intelligence community colleagues, allies, and foreign partners, deliver timely and relevant intelligence on threatens and challenges facing our nation. we have a highly resilient workforce that has overcome difficult challenges posed by
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the pandemic. today my goal is to convey diaz insights to you and the american public of the evolving threat environment as we understand it. as i look at the global landscape today i want to begin with russia and its invasion of ukraine, which is now in its third month. russian military capabilities have been used to violate the sovereignty and independence of ukraine. they pose an existential threat to u.s. national security and that of our allies. the invasion has demonstrated russia's intent to overturn the u.s.-led, rules based, post cold war international order, expanded control over the former soviet union, and reclaim what it regards as its rightful position on the world stage. moscow's underestimation of ukraine's resistance, russia's substantial battlefield losses, and russian resolve to support ukraine, has undermines moscow 's assault on kyiv and approved prospects that ukraine can successfully defend its sovereignty. no things remain stalled as we
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focus on the battle in the donbas. ty challenge. beijing has long viewed the united states as a strategic competitor. china is capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system. the pla, which is already filled itself with sophisticated weapons to enhance -- and is an incredible peer
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competitor in the region. china's current nuclear force of expansion's historic, the united states faces military and intelligence threats from competitors, particularly russia and china, who have at our developing new capabilities intended to contest, limit, or exceed u.s. military advantage. state and non state actors are selectively putting these can belittles into play globally and originally. they also spend all war fighting domains. maritime, land, air, electronic, cyberspace, information, and space. they include more lethal, ballistic, and cruise missiles, growing nuclear stockpiles, modernize conventional forces, and a number of measures. that includes the use of foreign proxies, information manipulation, cyberattacks, and economic coercion. strategic competitors and other challenges are increasing military pressure on neighboring states. russia is invading ukraine, china is threatening taiwan, and iran through its proxies
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threatens neighbors in the middle east and u.s. forces. while also enriching uranium to new levels. north korea continues to threaten south korea, japan, and the united states with nuclear capable ballistic missiles of increased range and les ellidy. trans nationally, the terror threat will also persist and we need to understand more about the lessons learned from supporting military and intelligence operations in afghanistan and the middle east. turning back to my own organization. i take the, health, safety and well-being of my workforce very, very seriously. we remain actively engaged in investigating anomalous health incidents. my agency has the process and procedures in place to quickly respond to reports from employees or their families who believe that they have been impacted by h i-. we are also partnering with other members in these events. i am honored to lead the dia. i hope this e helps congress
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and our nation to understand the threats that we face from foreign adversaries and competitors. i look forward to your questions and thank you for your continued support. >> thank, you general, let me remind my colleagues that the inclusion of this opens mission there will be a classified session. they witnesses may differ some responses to that classified session. director hands, your description of the unfolding in ukraine suggests it is moving to a battle of attrition over a long term. and that the objectives of the russians are to destroy the ukrainian forces, and also disrupt the international coalition through economic pressures. gasoline prices, and other factors we are witnessing. that leads us or at least me to the question of how effective our economic sanctions. what more can we do to bring pressure to the people of
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russia so that they are less supportive of this ever? >> thank you, chairman. from my perspective the economic sanctions and the export controls have had pretty significant impact on russia. and, among the indicators that one might look at are the fact that we are seeing approximately 20% inflation in russia. we expect that their gdp will fall about 10% or possibly more over the course of the year. we have seen not only the sanctions enacted by the united states and europe. and other partners around the world, having these impacts. but also, the private sector taking action on its own to remove itself. the fact that production services and companies pull themselves out, will have an
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impact on russia's capacity to produce, that is a major revenue source for russia. we have seen other indicators of, essentially, the private sector impact on these areas. on the export controls we are seeing how things like export controls on semiconductors and so on are affecting their defense industry. i think that is a significant impact in time will tell us we move. forward >> are you sensing that any popular unease, perhaps, in terms of these economic factors that could translate into a political resistance to the regime? katie >> well, i know many of us saw the protests that erupted after the invasion. and then the crackdown that occurred essentially in russia, including passing laws that would provide for a very
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significant punishments in the event that one protested on these issues. so, we've seen those reduced actually and when we've looked at, effectively, polling and so on that indicates where it is that the russian people are, what we see is the majority of the majority of russian people continue to support the special merit to the operation. it's hard, frankly, for information to get into, russia to the russian people. they have a particular perspective they're being fed by the government of this period. >> thank you. general berrier, what do you believe the chinese are taking away from their clothes hurt any of the russian activities in crimea? not crimea, ukraine, excuse me. >> senator, i think the chinese are going to watch this very carefully. it's going to take some time for them to sort out all elements of diplomatic information, military and
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economic, that has occurred with this crisis. i think they're thinking about future operations, probably, against taiwan and how difficult that might be. they're also probably thinking about the scrutiny that they would come under, should they entertain thoughts or operations like that. >> thank you. final question, director haines. i think you indicated in your testimony that cyber interference in elections is a distinct possibility. is that something that your agency or other agencies are following and taking preemptive steps? >> yes, absolutely, senator. we are well positioned to, essentially, monitor for the potential of election influence. including efforts through cyber. >> one other final final question, are you surprised
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that the russians have not used cyber attacks against third parties or against the united states directly up to this point? i think that was a concern we all had, from the beginning of this operation. >> yeah, i think what we've seen is the russians have obviously attack ukraine. and we've attributed a variety of attacks to them in that context, including, for example, destructive wiper attacks against ukrainian government websites. ddos attacks against their financial industry. they also were engaged in attacks intended to get that command and control communications in ukraine during the invasion. that attack had an outsized impact. in other words, we assess that they intended to focus in on ukrainian command and control but ultimately they ended up affecting a much broader set of
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v sat, essentially. very small terminals outside of ukraine, including in europe. and yet, we have not seen the level of attacks, to your point, that we expected. and we have a variety of different theories as to why that might be the case. including the fact that we think they may have determined that the collateral impact of such attacks would be challenging for them in the context of ukraine. also, that they may not have wished to, essentially, sacrifice potential access and collection opportunities in those scenarios. and then, in terms of attacks against the united states, i think they have had a long-standing concern about the potential for escalation in cyber, vis-à-vis the united states. that doesn't mean they want to tack at some point. but it has been interesting to see that they haven't during this period. >> thank you very much.
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senator inhofe, please. >> thank you, mister chairman. for both of you. the lack of an independent intelligence communities significantly worsened putin's decision-making in ukraine. what do you think president with xi in china is learning about his intelligence communities? both of you. >> thank you. senator inhofe, i think it's a really interesting question. i'd prefer to answer it perhaps in close session, will that be all right, sir? >> that's fine. do you have any comments to make? >> senator, i will take the dni's lead on that. >> i suspected that. thank you. tag -- has offered iran sanction relief in response to the 2015 iran nuclear agreement. general barrier, would you expect iran to spend at least
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some of the sanctions relief on its terrorist proxies and missile programs? do you agree that if the irgc has additional money that they would increase their targeting of americans and our allies? could today increase that targeting? >> yes, senator. they could increase targeting against our partners in the region as well as u.s. forces of they have the funding. >> appreciate that very much, thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you, senator inhofe. let me recognize senator shaheen. >> thank you both for your testimony this morning. i returned a few weeks ago from the western balkans with senator tillis and senator murphy. we visited serbia, bosnia herzegovina and kosovo. and one of the things we heard in that region was a great deal of concern about russian
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meddling and the potential, particularly in bosnia, for that to further destabilize the country. are you all following what's going on in that part of europe? and are you equally concerned? >> should i start? thank you, senator shaheen. i'll start and handed over to my colleague, as well. but yes, we are concerned about this. this is sonic we've been working with nato on a particular to try and help them be more resilient in this context. and both information and cyber issues are obviously at stake. but i think managing how it is that russia develops and what kinds of activities they engage in worldwide during this crisis and beyond will be a critical aspect of our work moving forward. >> can i just, before you begin, general. can i just ask you to speak to nato and you four in bosnia?
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as you know, the authorization for u4 its going to end this fall in bosnia, and there is concern about russia's willingness to allow that to continue. so, what are we doing to ensure that the troops are not taken out of bosnia and a void left that provides a vacuum for instability? >> senator, i think that is a policy question. i would refer to the department of defense. and senator, to the earlier portion of your question, i believe this is a key component of strategic competition. this is where i think, with our partners and allies and certainly nato, we have to be able to identify that sort of malign activity and expose it and help our partners and future partners be aware of it and do more to counter it.
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but yes, we are aware of it. >> thank you. well, i would say that that policy decision needs to be viewed very closely by everybody. so that we don't wind up with a vacuum there, that were not able to address. i want to go to what is still happening with isis. because, as you both know, we have thousands of isis family members who are still being held in camps in northern syria. they are posing a persistent challenge, not only humanitarian, but as a potential for be breeding grounds for terrorists. so, are we watching closely what is going on there? and what are we doing to try to address what's happening in those camps? >> from the perspective of the department of defense and dni, we are watching closely what is happening in those camps. what's happened since the break in.
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really, with our saying calm partners, trying to monitor isis capability as it develops overtime and what's happening with those families and how they're moving. this is a problem where we partner with sand calm and the national counterterrorism center, it's a huge focus for everybody. >> do we have a strategy for how to deal with it? we >> have an intelligence collection strategy to monitor it. >> we are seeing the taliban in afghanistan remain egg on everything they said they would do post troop withdrawal but. obviously, one of those is continue their leadership with al-qaeda and other terrorist groups in afghanistan. how concerned are you that we might see terrorist activity spread out of afghanistan to the rest of the world? senator, i am more compared
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about acus isis-k in afghanistan and the fact that they have had successful and catastrophic attacks within afghanistan that does not portend well for the future. al-qaeda has had some problems with three of leadership, to a degree i think the taliban have held to their word about not allowing al-qaeda to rejuvenate so far. it is something that we watch very carefully. >> and there was an election in the philippines yesterday. the winner of that election it is not likely to have as positive a view towards the united states, are you concerned that that is going to have an impact on how china is going to view activity in the philippines? do we expect there might be any spillover in terms of illegal
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substances from the philippines now that they are no longer doing their extra legal killing of people. suspected of being drug king pins. >> i think it is early in the process with the elected marcos to determine whether he will be anti or pro u.s.. we would like to have the philippines as a key intelligence partner in the region. i think there is a lot of effort in the region shady that. we will wait to see what percolates of all of this in our elation ship. i will end it there. >> thank you, thank you chairman. >> thank you, senator shaheen, senator fischer. >> welcome to our panel today, last week the undersecretary of research and engineering stated, quote, sir tangent competitors of the united states are rapidly developing their nuclear arsenal in new and
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novel ways, with the clear intent of increasing their reliance on these weapons in their security strategies, and quote. director haines, do you agree with that statement? >> yes. >> general, do you? >> yes. >> throughout the war in ukraine putin and other russian leaders have overtly threatened nuclear use, including russian state tv airing and animated video showing the british isles being completely destroyed by a nuclear attack. general, in the united states we view nuclear weapons particularly as tools of deterrence. do you think what we are seeing shows indicates that russian leadership has tools of nuclear happens as tools of coercion and intimidation? >> yes, i believe the view them as tools of coercion and intimidation. >> thank you.
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also, the defense intelligence engine sees 2021 report on china's military power states, quote, the accelerating pace of the new color expansion may enable the prc to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. the prc likely has to have at least 1000 warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and size the d.o.d. projected in 2020. i know what you say is limited in this setting, but is it your assessment that china's nuclear forces will stop expanding when it reaches that point of 1000? >> it is my assessment that they would continue to develop the weapons they have. >> director hands, that view shared by the rest of the intelligence committee? that china's arsenal will
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continue to grow past that point in time? >> our assessment basically says that china will continue to, essentially, expand their nuclear arsenal and diversification for a point of time. it is unclear how long that will leave. >> but you anticipate it will continue past the one hand thousand warheads that we have looked at in the past? >> i think for us to get into numbers we should go into close session. >> thank you. general, as the statement notes china's nuclear expansion is more rapid and larger than previous assessments projected. admiral richard noted, quote, when i first testified here we were questioning whether or not china would be able to double that stockpile by the end of the decade. they are actually very close to doing it on my watch, and quote. what are the implications of
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the fact that this thread is of all factor than we anticipated? how should we factor that into our assessment? >> senator, we can get into much more detail in the close section but i would say from a strategic competition perspective and nuclear deterrence, this makes it much more challenging for us to defend. when you factor in russian nuclear capability with chinese capability, i think it is a problem for strategic command and the department. >> thank you. also, general, if we can move to a different theater now. if isis and al-qaeda are able to operate in afghanistan without consistent or effective pressure, how long does the intelligence community assess it will take for either organization to reconstitute their external attack capabilities? >> we assess isis as probably a
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year or longer, and longer for al-qaeda. >> last october we heard as a committee that we could see isis-k generate the capabilities in 6 to 12 months. in march we heard from general mackenzie that the capability might be 12 to 18 months. so, i look forward to hearing more about how and why these intelligence estimates have shifted forward. i think that is important for this committee to know and it is important to understand when we look at the age dramatic reduction we have seen in our intelligence collection in the region since our withdrawal. thank you. thank you mister chairman. >> thank you senator fischer. >> thank you so much for your testimony, i want to talk a little bit about advanced persistent threats. i want to know what type of support you are providing,
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critical infrastructure providers to deal with atp's. i am specifically concerned if this war on ukraine does escalate, that they will come to an american businesses unimpressed ructions. i know this is generally the job of cisa but in your communication with infrastructure providers what is the biggest need they have shared with you? are there any additional authorities that will be helpful to support critical infrastructure survivors in securing their networks to? >> thank you, senator, i know this is been a major issue of focus for you and you have supported some of the things that have been done in new york with reserves in this area, which have been very effective. i know the general has been looking at expanding that around the states in different ways. we have quite obviously heightened awareness of cyber threats to critical infrastructure.
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it has been a driving force behind a number of cyber defense measures that we have taken in the intelligence community to support cisa, the fbi, and others in doing their work. one is lowering threshold for reporting. we have asked network owners to lower their threshold for reporting suspicious activity. that is critical for us to identify what the threat is. another is making more information publicly available. we are increasing the amount of information that we released to the private sector. well to combat the rise in cybercrime and in our abilities to cross the industry for russian cyberattacks, for example. something we have been trying to get out to do more briefings on and help industry get ready for things. so, they can take action that would make them more resilient in these circumstances. this includes some close held releases so as to dampen malicious cyber actors warning before mitigation can be put into place.
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another has been our significant outreach to the private sector, dhs partners held 90 engagements with more than 10,000 partners. even on the russia peace. and includes sharing preventative measures to help these partners mitigate vulnerabilities. another has been facilitating teams on networks. we have also asked company owners to actively hunt for russian techniques, essentially, on their networks and to possess facilitate to provide vulnerabilities and indicators of compromise on the companies that works. those are just some of the things that are focused on helping on the infrastructure piece. thank you. >> thank you director, do you need any of the national things >> so, to help with that? we've asked for resources on fire fy 23 budget that are designed to help with this effort. so, absolutely, in that sense. we haven't identified particular authorities that we mean, but i will tell you that we will come to you if we do. thank you. >> thank you.
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director haines and general barrier, i saw that the annual threat assessment notes that advances in dual use technology could, quote, enable development of novel biological weapons that complicate detection treatment, and of quote. i've advocated for a one house security approach where we incorporate people across multiple disciplines, including the intelligence committee, to increase our bio defense and prevent the next pandemic. in the context of ongoing biological threats, how would you suggest we developed a multi disciplinary approach like this? where can we prepare and prevent both naturally occurring diseases, but also deliberate threats? >> i can start on this. i'm very passionate about this issue, i completely agree with you. i think we have, not in the intelligence community, been able to work with other parts of, for example, federal government even in the scientific community, within
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the federal government as effectively as we need to. we have been developing mechanisms in the intelligence community to do so more, we're working more with the national laps and we ever have before. we're working more with hhs, cdc, others. to make sure we're also supporting their work and we can understand some of the issues that they see as critical. critical to our work. so, that's been a big piece of our effort in the intelligence community, within the national counter proliferation center we have been doing a major effort on, essentially, working with global health. and we actually now have a new national intelligence manager that works on these issues specifically. and is hoping to support that kind of outreach on this, i'd be happy to give you a brief at some point and more detail if that's useful. >> thank you. >> senator, for di, i think about partnership. partnership between the department of intelligence, the counterintelligence as well as
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-- the goal for and steal my is to provide warnings on these, pandemics on passionate better this. well i think it's an area that's going to expand in the coming months and years as we look for to, this and i look forward to engaging you, perhaps that gi, on this topic. >> thank you. thank, you mister chairman. >> senator cotton, please. >> general, what's your assessment on the fighting between russia and ukraine in eastern and southern ukraine today? >> senator, i think i would characterize it as the russians aren't winning and the ukrainians aren't winning. we're at a bit of a stalemate here. and what has been the most interesting evolution, for me, and watching how the russian forces have missed a step is really the lack of a non commissioned officer court. when i think about small unit tactics and how this is unfolded between ukraine and russia, i think the n c accord is a big part of this. the ukrainians have that about right. >> who faces greater risk from
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a stalemate, russia or ukraine? >> i think we have to take a wait and see approach on how this evolves and what is in the decision calculus for putin and his generals, as this unfolds. >> and a stalemate, to be clear, does not mean an armistice or piece. it means continued by inconsistent fighting where both sides are losing personnel, equipment, weapons and vehicles. right? >> i think it's attrition warfare. it depends how well the ukrainians can maintain with they have going on with weapons and ammunition and how the russians decide to deal with that. either through mobilization or not, and decide to go with what they have in the theater right now. >> which side do you think, at this point, is more capable of generating additional combat power in the forum of trying to motivate troops, russia or ukraine? >> ukraine.
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>> even though it's one third the size of russia? >> yes. >> why do you say that? >> because i think the ukrainians have it right, in terms of grit and how they face the defense of their nation. i'm not sure that russian soldiers, from the far flung military districts, really understand that. >> fighting to defend one's own home from a war of aggression is a highly motivating factor, isn't it? >> yes, it is. >> and russians probably are not terribly motivated to be the next wave of recruits into vladimir putin's war of aggression? >> i would say, not based on what we've seen. >> if that's the case, and the stalemate, as you call, it continues not just for weeks but for months, which side you think faces a greater possibility of a decisive break out? the russians, with their ill trained an unmotivated troops
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or that ukrainians with their supremely motivated troops? >> senator, i think, right now, with the stalemate as it stands, if russia doesn't declare war and mobilize, the stalemate is going to last for a while. and i don't see a break out on either side. if they do mobilize, and they do declare war, that will bring thousands of more soldiers to the fight. and even though they may not be as well trained incompetent, they will still bring a mass and a lot more ammunition. >> what are the prospects of a catastrophic collapse of morale and will among russian forces? >> remains to be seen. i think the russians still are a learning organization. if appropriate lessons could be applied with leadership, you might see that turn around. >> do you know the current count on how many generals have been killed in ukraine, on russia side? >> i think the numbers between
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eight and ten. >> you know how many generals we lost in 20 years of war in iraq and afghanistan? >> not many. >> and those we lost where happenstance, right? the bad guys got a lucky shot at a convoy or a helicopter? >> yes. >> does the fact that russia is losing all these generals and, as you pointed out, they have no trained and ceo corps, suggest to you that these generals are having to go forward to ensure their orders are executed in a way that general barrier would have to go forward if he was in a combat command? because he could count on the captains and lieutenants in the sergeant barriers to execute his orders? >> yes. >> sounds to me like the balance of forces here are moving more decisively in ukraine's factor, and will continue to overtime. as long as we continue to support them with the arms and the intelligence that they need.
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>> we'll lead forces that are motivated and have what they need can do a lot. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator cotton. senator blumenthal, please. >> thanks. thank you mister chairman, i want to pursue senator cotton's line of questioning if i may. in my exchange with the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, several weeks ago, i commented that our approach to ukraine seemed somewhat schizophrenic. we say we want ukraine to win, but we're afraid of what putin may do if he loses. i have urged, since 2014, that we provide more lethal weapons to ukraine. when i visited ukraine recently,
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with some of my colleagues on a bipartisan trip, one of them asked presidents alinsky, are you fearful about the russian prospect of invasion? it was a number of weeks before the invasion. he, said the russians invaded us in 2014. we have been fighting them since then. and, in my view, the implication is that we have failed over a period of years, under different administrations, to provide ukraine with the arms that it needs to counter and deter. i increased russian aggression, there. so, my question to you is, do you agree that we should increase the kind of military aid, as well as humanitarian assistance and economic sanctions, that we have been providing by orders of magnitude that will enable
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ukraine to win? and when you also agree that, if we simply provide more of that kind of aid, tanks, artillery, armed personnel carriers, even planes, stinger and javelin missiles, all of the arms that ukraine needs to fight legally and defensively, that putin may engage in sword rattling and threats and implications of what he might do? but enabling ukraine to win ought to be our objective. let me ask you first, general. senator, in your statement it really gets at national level decision-making and what our policy should be in terms of
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army and ukraine. my role is to keep an eye on the conflict and provide information to decision-makers, so that they can make those kind of decisions. in terms of what putin might do to escalate, i think the best we might do rather than describing with those escalatory measures would be, would be to understand what they might do and be ready for indications and warning to indicate decision-makers that that was occurring or about to occur. i take an intelligence perspective of the conflict and leave the policy to decision-makers. >> do you, and i will ask miss haines the same, i think there is a serious immediate prospect that putin would engage in the use of tackler putting nuclear weaponry? >> right now we do not see that, i think that is a huge warning issue for us and something we are very focused on. >> miss haines?
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>> thank you senator, i think on the first part of your question, as the general said we are trying to provide the intelligence to help policy makers like you make the decision, among the questions that come up in that discussion are whether or not ukraine can absorb additional assistance, and how much of it. that is very hard for us to tell, we have more insight on the russian side than we do on the ukrainian side. that is obviously something for the defense department to work through as we go through this. me we get asked this question of whether or not certain actions will escalate things with russia. that really gets to the second part of your question. obviously, we are in a position as you have identified where we
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are supporting ukraine's, but we do not want to ultimately end up in world war iii. we do not want to have a situation where actors are using nuclear weapons. our view is, as the general indicated, that there is not an imminent potential to use nuclear weapons. we perceive that, as i indicated in my statement, as something he has unlikely to do unless there is effectively an existential threat to his regime and russia, from his perspective. we do think that that could be the case in the event that he perceives that he is losing the war in ukraine. and, that nato, in effect is either intervening or event to intervene in that context. which would obviously contribute to the perceptive that he is about to you lose the war in ukraine. there are a lot of things he would do in the context of escalation before he would get to a nuclear weapon.
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and also, that he would be likely to engage in some signaling beyond what he has done thus far before doing so. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> on behalf of the chairman, senator blackburn? >> thank you mister chairman, and thank you very much to each of you for being here today. miss haines, i want to come to you. we have talked a lot about ukraine and russia this morning, and i appreciate your frankness in this. but, let me ask you about wagner and the proxies. what you are seeing not only in ukraine but also what you are seeing when it comes to libya, other areas, and the aggressiveness of the use of the proxies. >> thank you, senator, we can probably go into more detail in closed session.
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but, i can say more generally that we do see wagner being used in effect in ukraine. we see that is something. >> and how about africa? >> yes, absolutely, it has been historically present in africa and is a more recent event in the current crisis where russia deployed them effectively in ukraine. >> okay, all right, general barry or did you have anything you wanted to add on that? >> senator, we track them in different places now when we get into the close session we will talk about wagner operations in ukraine. sorry. >> okay, that is helpful. by the way, thank you for the china map. i will say this, i think we could have a picture of the globe.
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we can say that is where china is seeking to be aggressive. it is something that is not lost on me. that they are anxious right now to expand their reach. but, let's talk about the i a. is the dia collaborating with our allies and partners to counter beijing's cyber espionage operations? >> senator, we are, we are closely collaborating with our partners in this case. in this case our australian and new zealand partners, along with the partners at the national security agency. there is a security good effort to understand these efforts emanating from china. we are working that very closely, we can provide more details enclosed. >> can you provide us with some
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of the lessons learned from the russia ukraine conflict that helped to inform some of this work? >> cyber activity? >> yes, sir. >> i think the key there would be information operations, disinformation operations, the level of effectiveness or ineffectiveness on the russian side, and then the level of effectiveness on the ukrainian side. when i compare and contrast information operations i think the ukrainians have been much more successful in the informations operations in space. russians have had some success with cyber activities in the ukraine, i think the prc and she are looking at all of that as they unwind this conflict and learn lessons from it. >> and, miss haines, how is the intelligence community utilizing a i? and, machine learning as they look at applications, look at
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how beijing is continuing to move forward? how are you preference-ing some of the new technologies that can help us in this effort? >> thank you, senator, so, we are using artificial intelligence and machine learning across the board for our missions. just to give you an example of the kind of things we are able to do with it, i think it has been extraordinary in terms of helping us with analysis, being able to focus and on certain data sets that we are able to, effectively, manipulate more easily and without as many human resources, effectively, to identify patterns. we are able to use that, and have analysts that are educated. experts will take that
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information and use it in their analysis in different ways. we have something called an artificial intelligence unity project, that is really looking across the intelligence community and different applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. trying to leverage those so that we can actually allow other elements to build off of the work that is being done by another element that they may not have thought of before. and also, doing it at a cheaper cost and salon. there is a variety of ways in which we are doing it. it is hard to talk about it in an unclassified way, but this is a major area of effort and investment. we can provide you with more details if that is useful. >> thank you, my time is expired. i will come to you for a written response on the recent article that quoted a senior intel source referencing the uptick in al-shabaab activity. so, thank you very much. >> on behalf of the, senator
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warren. >> thank you, senator king. it is paramount to our national security that we kept our most sensitive secrets properly protected and classified. particularly when protecting sources and methods. but, i am very concerned about the levels of overclassification and pseudo-classification that we are seeing across the federal government. everyone understands the need to protect information about our most sensitive capabilities from our enemies. but, our classification system has spiral out of control. when it means, for example, that our own four star generals cannot share information with their fellow three stars. it is hard to see how that level of classification is making america safer. so, overclassification also reduces public scrutiny of important issues. it can hamper accountability. director hands, you lead the
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intelligence community, you have years of experience in these matters. do you think that overclassification is a national security problem? >> i do, senator, i have stated this explicitly and i do think it is a challenge. as long as i have been in government there have been blue ribbon commissions that have looked at this, said there is significant overclassification. this is a challenge, as you indicate, from a democratic perspective but also a national security perspective. if we cannot share information as easily as we might otherwise if it was very appropriately classified, that obviously affects our capacity to work on these issues. it is a very challenging issue, as i know you know well. in other words, there are technical aspects to it. >> let's talk about that just a little bit, i want to say, i agree with you. overclassification has been a problem across administrations. the obama administration put out two different executive orders aimed at improving
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classification and information sharing. but, that was more than a decade ago, and obviously the problem persists. so, let me ask this a different way. director haines, would you support the administration releasing a new executive order on classification practices, to ensure that we are protecting national security information while keeping our commitments to open government? >> without knowing exactly what it would say, it is hard for me to say i would support an executive order on the subject. i am constantly looking for additional ways in which i might help address this issue. there are a number of ways we are investing in the intelligence community on this issue. >> i appreciate that, i'm not asking you to sign a blank check. but, you are the president's principal adviser on
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intelligence matters, would you be supportive if the president wanted to take that step? >> i am supportive as the president wants to take steps within his authority and appropriate policies to do so in that sense, yes i would be. until then let me ask this from one more perspective, during the ukraine crisis. we have seen that a well functioning de classification system can be incredibly powerful. they work by the biden administration to expose what the intelligence committee knew about putin's plans, seriously hurt russia's credibility and strengthened our response to an illegal and immoral war. my understanding is that it took reshuffling of resources to make that happen. i applaud that, but we need more of it. the most recent numbers that i have seen is we spend 18 billion dollars protecting the classification system, and only
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about 102 million, do the math fast in your head, about 5% of that number on the classification efforts. that ratio feels off in a democracy. so, with that in mind, director hands are there any lessons learned from ukraine about how we can expedite the classification when there is a compelling reason to do so? >> i think there are lessons to be learned from ukraine. it will be easier to talk about this in closed session but i think there is some value that we could discuss in close session on those issues. i do think it is helpful to help other people understand the value of ensuring where class viking things at the correct level and declassification can support foreign policy. i think that is also the good. >> good, in the democracy we
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have an accountability to be accountable to the public. when we keep secrets from americans there needs to be a compelling public interest in doing so. into many cases it seems that public officials err on the side of secrecy, because the information could be embarrassing. or, even worse, just because it is easier not to be accountable to the american people. so, i urge all of our agencies to address this problem and i look forward to working with you on it. thank you. >> on behalf of the chairman, senator -- >> thank you, senator. good morning, director hands in your best assessment does russian intelligence closely monitor our secretary of defense? >> i think russian intelligence tries very closely to monitor all of our senior leaders. >> thank you, so you believe that when he or they said that russia weekends and the u.s.
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will move heaven and earth to arm ukraine, do you believe that is right. they should say that? >> yes, i think the secretary of defense should say that. >> do you believe the russia blames the u.s. intelligence community for helping shoot down a russian plane carrying hundreds of people? >> i'm sorry, can you repeat the question? >> do you believe the russia blames us and our intelligence for shooting down a plane with hundreds of troops on board? >> do you think which plane? >> there is a plane recently, a russian plane, 100 troops. do you think they blame our intelligence agency for that? >> i do not know sir. >> okay. do you think russia blames our u.s. intelligence for a sinking their flagship moscow via? do you think they blame us for that? >> i do not know sir, we have
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not seen a direct report. >> do what extent do you believe that russia believes it is at war with russia is at war with the west and the united states? do they think we're at war with us? >> russia has historically believed there in a conflict with nato and the united states and variety of issues. >> so you believe they are fighting us as well as we are fighting ukraine? correct? >> in a sense, their perception, yes. >> we are arming them, we are talking. okay. general, does united states or ukraine have superiority over the war zone? which one has air superiority? >> senator, i would call that an air standoff right now. the russians can fly a tactical aircraft over the line of troops in a local area, but they cannot expand into western parts of ukraine without coming under i wear of that. >> but ukraine is there more than we are because we are not involved in the airspace? >> we are not involved, yes.
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>> would you say that russia possesses good air defense systems? >> i would say that russia has very credible air defense issues. >> does ukraine have any air defenses? >> ukraine has air defenses, they also have counter battery radars that have them defend themselves against artillery however they see it. >> do you believe anyone in ukraine right now is under serious threat? obviously they are, correct? >> they are, yes. >> we have seen several profile ministers take trips to active war zones, the secretary of state, speaker of the house, the first lady, the secretary of defense, this is for both of you. what is our intelligence community doing to lessen the risk of high-ranking officials. how are we protecting these people going to ukraine? our people, going to ukraine? >> senator, i think that would
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be discussion for the closed session. >> okay. so we can guarantee that the first lady was safe? 100%, correct? i am just asking? >> i would not say that, no. i would not say that. >> thank you. is it your best advice that we do not go to ukraine right now, any of us? any of us in here to? >> senator, i would not say that, i would say with proper planning and coordination that it is possible. >> general, 100%, 100% can we guarantee going into a war zone? our secretary of defense and secretary of state went on a plane. >> senator, we can never guarantee things 100 percent. >> that is kind of the point i am making. we are poking the bear, we are sending and bragging about it. even president biden said today, we have to cut back on this
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pointing about how many generals have been killed. we are part of it. i totally agree with that. i totally agree, we want to help ukraine, we obviously all do. but, we do not want to take that step forward to where we get a lot of our men and women involved in this. it looks to me that we are taking way too many chances of sending people over there for a photo opportunity, rather than doing the right things, which we are doing. we just do not need to step over that pat, thank you for what you are doing. but, i think all of us need to look at that point. there is a point of no return, here, if we crossed that line. if we are on the other side, the same way. if we had somebody helping, had a plane shut down, a ship sank and then bragging about killing generals me. we are walking a tightrope, here. that is just the only point i want to bring up. thank you very much. >> on behalf of the chair,
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senator kelly. >> thank you, mister chairman. director hands, again, looking at your offices 2022 annual threat assessment it is clear there is a lot going on in the world right now. i understand that resources are finite and trade-offs often have to be made. that is in large part what makes your job very challenging. clearly the situation in ukraine is taking up a lot of bandwidth right now. i would presume that indopacom has a significant amount of resources to understand the threat environment. these two things are obviously related. what about other things in the world? in light of the worldwide threats you have articulated today do you feel the intelligence community has the necessary resources in place to
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confidently understand the threat environment in other places, such as afghanistan, northern syria, pakistan, and iran? >> thank you, senator, i think like all good bureaucrats we could spend more money on these issues. there is no question, certainly that is true. but, we are doing our very best as you indicated to ensure that we are not taking our eye off of the ball across the globe on issues that are also of critical importance. along with the ones you have identified. >> thank you, i want to ask you a specific question about the mq-9 reaper drones. the air force has been reluctant to invest in upgrading the platform it proposes to retire in 2035. even as they demand from combat
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commanders for the system remains high. their argument has been that the platform is not survive -able in a china russia scenario. i think it is pretty clear that it would be survival in a russian scenario, now. do you have an opinion on the continued utility of reconnaissance platforms such as the mq-9? particularly as we face increased activity in the so-called gray zone below the threshold of armed combat? >> i have been the beneficiary of mq-9 operations last 20 years. it has done great things. with increasing threats emanating from china and their ability to reach out and touch those kind of things, i totally understand why the air force wants to divest of that platform. the efficacy of that in the coming years in low intensity
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conflicts and counter-terrorism will always be useful in a low air defense environment. but in a high-end environment i do not think it is very survival. >> we have looked at the russian surface to air missile threat environment as high and. turns out, like a lot of things, they one of the war is much different and a 60, 90, or 180 of any conflict. so, i am concerned that not only this platform but sometimes we look at divesting from platforms that could provide incredible utility. further along the timeline. general, i have another question for you here in my last minute, any satellite than on a sat testing. the administration recently announced this. it is a policy i agree with, russia and china do not share
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this goal. nor do they abide by any kind of similar policy. the russians and the chinese, both, after the last decade and a half have performed tests. the russians more recently. the dia's 2022 per force in the space lists orbital degrees in challenge and said that all nations including astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the iss. china also has a space station. given the fact that both the russians and chinese conduct manned space operations, what would be or suspend as to why they continue to put their people in harm's way by conducting these dangerous tests? >> senator, i think they value that capability in space as an advantage over our superior technology to pursue those
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capabilities. whether they would use that is another discussion. >> do you expect them to do more anti satellite tests? >> we have not seen plans they will do that in the near future but as they go through the development processes they will do more tests. >> okay, thank you general. >> thank you, senator kelly, senator -- please >> thank you mister chairman. i would like to continue by thanking both of you for your continued service to our country. director haines, secretary blinken told around's a temps of -- and this month israeli press reported an agent with the iranian revolutionary guards was thwarted from a assassination attempt for on a u.s. general in germany. why is iran apparently so emboldened right now? how can the intelligence community and national
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securities communities at large change this dangerous trend, and deter around from these actions? >> thank you, senator. i think we should really pick this up and close section, i think i went i can say in open session is a fair amount of their motivation in this scenario we assessed to be in relation to soleimani as part of their efforts for revenge to. it is a particularly challenging area to deter them from action in this space. we can discuss more specifics in closed session, thank you, sir. >> very well, director hands, once again the crisis of the united states southern border has literally exploded under this administration. it continues to deteriorate. writers reported that the
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officials at the u.s. homeland security are preparing as high as 9000 arrests today. now, as the economic and political conditions in latin america continue to spike waves on the southern border, how serious does the intelligence community say this is a threat to our country? and also, how and to what degree is the intelligence community shifting resources to adjust to the surge at our southern border? >> thank you, senator, we have set up a migrant crisis cell, a cell that helps to bring together intelligence from across the community to support dhs's efforts. it is looking south of the border at migrant movements that might be coming towards the southern border. so that we can help them prepare for and countered on the border. >> are you in agreement with this estimates that there could be as many as 9000 arrests a day? is that assessment you would concur with? >> sir, i do not look at those
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particular questions. that is within the question of the department of homeland security. >> i am just curious, when you are doing your planning to determine what your needs are, clearly in order for you to do that plan and you have to have an assessment of what the expected flow with be. i am just curious, it is not meant as a gotcha question. >> no, no of course. so we do not assess our needs along the border because we do not have needs along the border. that is the dhs role, is to figure out a going plan for the number of incidents or encounters that they will have on the border. and, for us what we are trying to do is understand what are the drivers, one of the ultimate flows that are likely to occur? we set up intelligence that we can provide some indication and warning of, here is where you are likely to see an increase in the flow. either south, north, or how it is and where it is coming from, ultimately. does that make sense? >> it does, it just catches me
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a little bit by surprise that in our planning, almost certainly you have to have communication with homeland security. i am assuming there is good communication there, and based on what their needs are what you are doing is providing them with additional resources. and, you are also, at the same time, gathering intelligence based on the strong possibility that individuals would try to come in through the southern border. based on that i'm curious. i know we are in a public discussion but it is something that has been talked about publicly. the fact that we have folks from all over the world that are using that as an entryway into the united states, and perfectly you are aware of that >> absolutely. i'm not trying to duck the question or anything. i think we see a very high flow, there's no question. what happens is the department of homeland security, we have
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someone who is a liaison that sits within there spaces that tells us here are the requirements. and they, basically, are looking for indications and warning of you are likely to see a flow along this part of the border, that sort of thing. as opposed to us being able to determine today you're going to see x number of people coming through the southern border as a whole. >> thank you. just one other quick question here, the intelligence community and congress are working to flesh out the foreign maligned centers mission, the budget and size among other issues. but with the 2022 midterms almost here, we're probably a little behind the curve a bit. one of the major roadblock stopping the i see from standing up this intelligence center? >> we've just got appropriations, basically, through the fy 22 budget, which has been great. we are currently building up the farm line center, we
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already have the election threat executive. so, we've been doing work on what the threats might be to our elections. that it now pulled into the far malign info center. we have the budget for up to 12 people in the far foreign malign center and we've asked for funding for fy 23 to expand it by about three people. but also to allow us to access expertise and knowledge that we think is critical. and, really, just to help facilitate with the community is doing across the board on these issues. >> thank you. thank you, mister chairman. my time is expired. >> thank you, senator rounds. senator kaine, please. >> thank you to our witnesses. i want to ask about two items, the first is undersea cables. 95% of global communication relies on a robust undersea cable network, 500,000 miles across the sea floor globally. internet, global banking
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transactions, the swift system, diplomatic cables, encrypted military communications are a few of the myriad applications that rely on this network. to nato commands, the command in germany and in norfolk, are monitoring threats against undersea cables in the atlantic. but the matt vast majority of these cables are controlled by private sector companies. in the u.s., france, spain, japan, china, these companies and contractors who work with them, such as google and amazon, oversee the planning, production, design, deployment and maintenance of the cables. to what extent is the dod and i see looking at integrating and communicating with these private actors, so that we can monitor threats to the cables? >> senator, i'm going to take that one. for action, i'll do a little homework to get your full answer. >> i would like, additionally,
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to know whether china, russia or other malign actors have an organic capability to map our networks. to cut into or tap into them, to listen to military or other government communications. so, i would like a response back to that. here's my second question. unless director haines, unless you have some adolf from the undersea cables. >> thank, you sir. i'd love to do it in closed session, if that's all right. >> i'll look forward to that. >> all right. >> now, a question of the estimates of the strength of other militaries. i think there are a number of estimates that the afghan military would perform much better than they did. and there were a number of estimates that the russian military was much stronger than it has proven to be. so, what are we doing to assess why we overestimated the strength of both of those militaries and recalibrating the way we assess military strength of other nations? >> senator, i'll start.
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we're taking a holistic view of how we do analysis and evaluate foreign militaries. you know, it starts with the relationship we have with our foreign partners. understanding their militaries, understanding their understanding of adversary militaries and working and all source assessment to have granularity inside the capabilities of these militaries. certainly, the a nds f was an issue. certainly, the overestimation of russia capability was an issue. but if you back, up if you look at russia as the growth since the early 2000s, their war in chechnya, there weren't georgia, what they did in ukraine, their operations in syria. then you understand the reforms that they went through. we saw that from the outside. when we did not see, from the inside, was this hallow force lack of and ceo corps, lack of leadership training, lack of affective doctrine. those are the intangibles we've
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got to get our arms around as an intelligence community, to really understand. >> thank you, i yield back. >> thank, you senator cain. senator wicker, please. >> thank, you chairman. let me quote from a prepared statement. beijing appears willing to use military force as long as it considers that unification with taiwan can be negotiated and that the cost of conflict outweighs the benefits. general barrier, i believe the united states should prepare taiwan and send a clear message to beijing that a military invasion would be too costly. i also believe the primary objective of the united states and its allies, with regard to taiwan, should not be so much to repel a chinese attack but to prevent it from ever occurring. so, general, from your
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assessment of china's capabilities and timeline, as well as taiwan's current defensive posture, what needs to be done? what can the united states be doing for or supplying to taiwan, in order to prevent a chinese attack from ever occurring? >> senator, thank you for that question. first, i would say that i believe the prc would rather not do it by force. i believe they would rather do this peacefully overtime. there are some things that we can do with taiwan, i think they're learning some very interesting lessons from the ukrainian conflict. like an important leadership is, how important small unit tactics are, how important and nco core is. and effective training with the right weapon systems, what those systems with the right people would be able to do to thwart that. so, i think that we have to engage with our indopacom partners with the department of defense, the taiwan military and leadership, to help them understand what this conflict has been about, what lessons they can learn and where they
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should be focusing their dollars on defense and their training. >> is their nco core where it should be at this point? >> they have a largely conscript force, i don't personally believe it is where it should be. >> and so, the volunteer part of their armed forces, is that where it should be? the non conscript? >> they have a very short enlistment period. i can provide you additional details in a written response. >> okay. you also have written that the pla navy is the largest navy in the world and has the capability to conduct long ridge precision strikes against land targets from its submarine and surface combatant. you later have written that russia is with fielding its new, quote, ultra quiet submarine, capable of threatening north america from the pacific ocean.
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general, do you assess that china and russia will continue to grow both of their naval fleets and invest in new capabilities? >> yes, i do believe they will both invest in new capabilities and grow their fleets. >> and as the united states on pace to commission and build as many ships as china's building? >> i would refer that question to the secretary of navy and chief of naval operations. >> but, surely, the intelligence community has an assessment of that? >> di has an assessment of russian naval capabilities and chinese pla capabilities. >> it di is familiar with what the plans, the public plans of the navy are at this point? >> broadly. but i think that the navy will make those investment decisions based on how they perceive the threat as well, we'll certainly collaborate with our partners in the navy on any of that. >> let me switch to afghanistan. director haines, you submitted the 2022 office of director of
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national intelligence and you will threat assessment. on afghanistan, the report says that the taliban takeover threatens u.s. interests, the 500,000 afghan refugees could attempt to cross into surrounding countries and almost certainly terrorist groups will establish and expand safe havens from which to plot attacks. so, madam director, given these assessments in your offices and you will threat assessment, would you assess that the chaotic u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan has left the homeland more a susceptible to terrorist attacks? >> thank you, senator. i agreed with what general barrier indicated earlier on about the threat, essentially, that we are seeing from al-qaeda and from isis k. which is to say that we see
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isis-k as the more concerning threat at this point. we do not assess that they currently have the capability to essentially effect external attacks directed from afghanistan, to the united states, at this stage. but they could build that capability overtime, they certainly have the intent to do so. with al-qaeda, we are not seeing as much of a threat. that doesn't mean that it couldn't grow overtime, that's obviously something that we're monitoring during this period. >> general barrier, as the exit from afghanistan left our homeland more vulnerable? >> senator, i would say not
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