'Global Intelligence Challenges 2005', Director of Central Intelligence Porter J. Goss March 2 on Terrorism and Proliferation, February 16, 2005
Global Intelligence Challenges 2005: Meeting Long-Term Challenges with a Long-Term Strategy
Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence Porter J. Goss Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
16 February 2005 (as prepared for delivery)
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice Chairman, Members of the Committee.
It is my honor to meet with you today to discuss the challenges I see facing America and its interests in the months ahead. These challenges literally span the globe. My intention is to tell you what I believe are the greatest challenges we face today and those where our service as intelligence professionals is needed most on behalf of the US taxpayer.
We need to make tough decisions about which haystacks deserve to be scrutinized for the needles that can hurt us most. And we know in this information age that there are endless haystacks everywhere. I do want to make several things clear:
With respect to the CIA, I want to tell you that my first few months as Director have served only to confirm what I and Members of Congress have known about CIA for years. It is a special place--an organization of dedicated, patriotic people. In addition to taking a thorough, hard look at our own capabilities, we are working to define CIA's place in the restructured Intelligence Community--a community that will be led by a new Director of National Intelligence--to make the maximum possible contribution to American security at home and abroad. The CIA is and will remain the flagship agency, in my view. And each of the other 14 elements in the community will continue to make their unique contributions as well.
Now, I turn to threats. I will not attempt to cover everything
that could go wrong in the year ahead. We must, and do, concentrate
our efforts, experience and expertise on the challenges that are
most pressing: defeating terrorism; protecting the homeland;
stopping proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and drugs;
and fostering stability, freedom and peace in the most troubled
regions of the world. Accordingly, my comments today will focus on
these duties. I know well from my 30 years in public service that
you and your colleagues have an important responsibility with these
open sessions to get information to the American people. But I also
know all too well that as we are broadcasting to America, enemies
are also tuning in. In open session I feel I must be very prudent
in my remarks as DCI.
Mr. Chairman, defeating terrorism must remain one of our intelligence community's core objectives, as widely dispersed terrorist networks will present one of the most serious challenges to US national security interests at home and abroad in the coming year. In the past year, aggressive measures by our intelligence, law enforcement, defense and homeland security communities, along with our key international partners have dealt serious blows to al-Qa'ida and others. Despite these successes, however, the terrorist threat to the US in the Homeland and abroad endures.
We know from experience that al-Qa'ida is a patient, persistent, imaginative, adaptive and dangerous opponent. But it is vulnerable and we and other allies have hit it hard.
Our pursuit of al-Qa'ida and its most senior leaders, including Bin Ladin and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri is intense. However, their capture alone would not be enough to eliminate the terrorist threat to the US Homeland or US interests overseas. Often influenced by al-Qa'ida's ideology, members of a broader movement have an ability to plan and conduct operations. We saw this last March in the railway attacks in Madrid conducted by local Sunni extremists. Other regional groups--connected to al-Qa'ida or acting on their own--also continue to pose a significant threat.
Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit
new anti-US jihadists.
Other terrorist groups spanning the globe also pose persistent and serious threats to US and Western interests.
Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan, once the safe haven for Usama bin Ladin, has started on the road to recovery after decades of instability and civil war. Hamid Karzai's election to the presidency was a major milestone. Elections for a new National Assembly and local district councils--tentatively scheduled for this spring--will complete the process of electing representatives.
President Karzai still faces a low-level insurgency aimed at destabilizing the country, raising the cost of reconstruction and ultimately forcing Coalition forces to leave.
Low voter turnout in some Sunni areas and the post-election resumption of insurgent attacks--most against Iraqi civilian and security forces--indicate that the insurgency achieved at least some of its election-day goals and remains a serious threat to creating a stable representative government in Iraq.
Self-determination for the Iraqi people will largely depend on the ability of Iraqi forces to provide security. Iraq's most capable security units have become more effective in recent months, contributing to several major operations and helping to put an Iraqi face on security operations. Insurgents are determined to discourage new recruits and undermine the effectiveness of existing Iraqi security forces.
Mr. Chairman, I will now turn to the worldwide challenge of proliferation. Last year started with promise as Libya had just renounced its WMD programs, North Korea was engaged in negotiations with regional states on its nuclear weapons program, and Iran was showing greater signs of openness regarding its nuclear program after concealing activity for nearly a decade. Let me start with Libya, a good news story, and one that reflects the patient perseverance with which the Intelligence Community can tackle a tough intelligence problem.
In 2004 Tripoli followed through with a range of steps to disarm itself of WMD and ballistic missiles.
The US continues to work with Libya to clarify some discrepancies in the declaration.
On 10 February 2005, Pyongyang announced it was suspending participation in the six-party talks underway since 2003, declared it had nuclear weapons, and affirmed it would seek to increase its nuclear arsenal. The North had been pushing for a freeze on its plutonium program in exchange for significant benefits, rather than committing to the full dismantlement that we and are our partners sought.
North Korea continues to develop, produce, deploy, and sell ballistic missiles of increasing range and sophistication, augmenting Pyongyang's large operational force of Scud and No Dong class missiles. North Korea could resume flight-testing at any time, including of longer-range missiles, such as the Taepo Dong-2 system. We assess the TD-2 is capable of reaching the United States with a nuclear-weapon-sized payload.
We believe North Korea has active CW and BW programs and probably has chemical and possibly biological weapons ready for use.
In early February, the spokesman of Iran's Supreme Council for National Security publicly announced that Iran would never scrap its nuclear program. This came in the midst of negotiations with EU-3 members (Britain, Germany and France) seeking objective guarantees from Tehran that it will not use nuclear technology for nuclear weapons.
In parallel, Iran continues its pursuit of long-range ballistic missiles, such as an improved version of its 1,300 km range Shahab-3 MRBM, to add to the hundreds of short-range SCUD missiles it already has.
Even since 9/11, Tehran continues to support terrorist groups in the region, such as Hizballah, and could encourage increased attacks in Israel and the Palestinian Territories to derail progress toward peace.
Beijing's military modernization and military buildup is tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait. Improved Chinese capabilities threaten US forces in the region.
Taiwan continues to promote constitutional reform and other attempts to strengthen local identity. Beijing judges these moves to be a "timeline for independence". If Beijing decides that Taiwan is taking steps toward permanent separation that exceed Beijing's tolerance, we believe China is prepared to respond with various levels of force.
China is increasingly confident and active on the international stage, trying to ensure it has a voice on major international issues, secure access to natural resources, and counter what it sees as US efforts to contain or encircle China.
New leadership under President Hu Jintao is facing an array of domestic challenges in 2005, such as the potential for a resurgence in inflation, increased dependence on exports, growing economic inequalities, increased awareness of individual rights, and popular expectations for the new leadership.
The attitudes and actions of the so-called "siloviki"--the ex-KGB men that Putin has placed in positions of authority throughout the Russian government--may be critical determinants of the course Putin will pursue in the year ahead.
Budget increases will help Russia create a professional military by replacing conscripts with volunteer servicemen and focus on maintaining, modernizing and extending the operational life of its strategic weapons systems, including its nuclear missile force.
POTENTIAL AREAS FOR INSTABILITY
Mr. Chairman, in the MIDDLE EAST, the election of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, nevertheless, marks an important step and Abbas has made it clear that negotiating a peace deal with Israel is a high priority. There nevertheless are hurdles ahead.
In AFRICA, chronic instability will continue to hamper counterterrorism efforts and pose heavy humanitarian and peacekeeping burdens.
In LATIN AMERICA, the region is entering a major electoral cycle in 2006, when Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela hold presidential elections. Several key countries in the hemisphere are potential flashpoints in 2005.
In SOUTHEAST ASIA, three countries bear close watching.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, http://www.cia.gov.
© 2003 The Acronym Institute.