Director of Central Intelligence
George J. Tenet
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
"Worldwide Threat 2001: National Security in a Changing World"
(as prepared for delivery)
07 February 2001
As I reflect this
year, Mr. Chairman, on the threats to American security, what strikes
me most forcefully is the accelerating pace of change in so many
arenas that affect our nation’s interests. Numerous examples come to
mind: new communications technology that enables the efforts of terrorists
and narcotraffickers as surely as it aids law enforcement and intelligence,
rapid global population growth that will create new strains in parts
of the world least able to cope, the weakening internal bonds in a number
of states whose cohesion can no longer be taken for granted, the breaking
down of old barriers to change in places like the Koreas and Iran, the
accelerating growth in missile capabilities in so many parts of the
world—to name just a few.
Never in my
experience, Mr. Chairman, has American intelligence had to deal with
such a dynamic set of concerns affecting such a broad range of US interests.
Never have we had to deal with such a high quotient of uncertainty.
With so many things on our plate, it is important always to establish
priorities. For me, the highest priority must invariably be on those
things that threaten the lives of Americans or the physical security
of the United States. With that in mind, let me turn first to the challenges
posed by international terrorism.
We have made considerable
progress on terrorism against US interests and facilities, Mr. Chairman,
but it persists. The most dramatic and recent evidence, of course, is
the loss of 17 of our men and women on the USS Cole at the hands of
The threat from
terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving. State sponsored
terrorism appears to have declined over the past five years, but transnational
groups—with decentralized leadership that makes them harder to identify
and disrupt—are emerging. We are seeing fewer centrally controlled operations,
and more acts initiated and executed at lower levels.
Terrorists are also
becoming more operationally adept and more technically sophisticated
in order to defeat counterterrorism measures. For example, as we have
increased security around government and military facilities, terrorists
are seeking out "softer" targets that provide opportunities
for mass casualties. Employing increasingly advanced devices and using
strategies such as simultaneous attacks, the number of people killed
or injured in international terrorist attacks rose dramatically in the
1990s, despite a general decline in the number of incidents. Approximately
one-third of these incidents involved US interests.
Usama bin Ladin
and his global network of lieutenants and associates remain the most
immediate and serious threat. Since 1998, Bin Ladin has declared all
US citizens legitimate targets of attack. As shown by the bombing of
our Embassies in Africa in 1998 and his Millennium plots last year,
he is capable of planning multiple attacks with little or no warning.
is continuing to place emphasis on developing surrogates to carry out
attacks in an effort to avoid detection, blame, and retaliation. As
a result it is often difficult to attribute terrorist incidents to his
group, Al Qa’ida.
Beyond Bin Ladin,
the terrorist threat to Israel and to participants in the Middle East
peace negotiations has increased in the midst of continuing Palestinian-Israeli
violence. Palestinian rejectionists—including HAMAS and the Palestine
Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—have stepped up violent attacks against Israeli
interests since October. The terrorist threat to US interests, because
of our friendship with Israel has also increased.
At the same time,
Islamic militancy is expanding, and the worldwide pool of potential
recruits for terrorist networks is growing. In central Asia, the Middle
East, and South Asia, Islamic terrorist organizations are trying to
attract new recruits, including under the banner of anti-Americanism.
networks have used the explosion in information technology to advance
their capabilities. The same technologies that allow individual consumers
in the United States to search out and buy books in Australia or India
also enable terrorists to raise money, spread their dogma, find recruits,
and plan operations far afield. Some groups are acquiring rudimentary
cyberattack tools. Terrorist groups are actively searching the internet
to acquire information and capabilities for chemical, biological, radiological,
and even nuclear attacks. Many of the 29 officially designated terrorist
organizations have an interest in unconventional weapons, and Usama
bin Ladin in 1998 even declared their acquisition a "religious
and our Allies have scored some important successes against terrorist
groups and their plans, which I would like to discuss with you in closed
session later today. Here, in an open session, let me assure
you that the Intelligence Community has designed a robust counterterrorism
program that has preempted, disrupted, and defeated international terrorists
and their activities. In most instances, we have kept terrorists off-balance,
forcing them to worry about their own security and degrading their ability
to plan and conduct operations.
I would like to
turn now to proliferation. A variety of states and groups continue
to seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver
First, let me discuss
the continuing and growing threat posed to us by ICBMs.
We continue to face
ballistic missile threats from a variety of actors beyond Russia and
China--specifically, North Korea, probably Iran, and possibly
Iraq. In some cases, their programs are the result of indigenous technological
development, and in other cases, they are the beneficiaries of direct
foreign assistance. And while these emerging programs involve far fewer
missiles with less accuracy, yield, survivability, and reliability than
those we faced during the Cold War, they still pose a threat to US interests.
For example, more
than two years ago North Korea tested a space launch vehicle,
the Taepo Dong-1, which it could theoretically convert into an ICBM.
This missile would be capable of delivering a small biological or chemical
weapon to the United States, although with significant targeting inaccuracies.
Moreover, North Korea has retained the ability to test its follow-on
Taepo Dong-2 missile, which could deliver a nuclear-sized payload
to the United States.
has one of the largest and most capable ballistic missile programs
in the Middle East. Its public statements suggest that it plans
to develop longer-range rockets for use in a space-launch program,
but Tehran could follow the North Korean pattern and test an ICBM
capable of delivering a light payload to the United States in the
next few years.
- And given
the likelihood that Iraq continues its missile development
work, we think that it too could develop an ICBM capability sometime
in the next decade assuming it received foreign assistance.
As worrying as the
ICBM threat will be, Mr. Chairman, the threat to US interests and forces
from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles is here and now. The
proliferation of MRBMs—driven largely though not exclusively by North
Korean No Dong sales—is altering strategic balances in the Middle East
and Asia. These missiles include Iran’s Shahab-3, Pakistan’s Ghauri
and the Indian Agni II.
Mr. Chairman, I
cannot underestimate the catalytic role that foreign assistance has
played in advancing these missile and WMD programs, shortening their
development times and aiding production. The three major suppliers of
missile or WMD-related technologies continue to be Russia, China,
and North Korea. Again, many details of their activities need to
remain classified, but let me quickly summarize the areas of our greatest
defense and nuclear industries are still strapped for funds, and Moscow
looks to them to acquire badly needed foreign exchange through exports.
We remain concerned about the proliferation implications of such sales
in several areas.
entities last year continued to supply a variety of ballistic missile-related
goods and technical know-how to countries such as Iran, India, China,
and Libya. Indeed, the transfer of ballistic missile technology
from Russia to Iran was substantial last year, and in our judgment
will continue to accelerate Iranian efforts to develop new missiles
and to become self-sufficient in production.
also remained a key supplier for a variety of civilian Iranian nuclear
programs, which could be used to advance its weapons programs
entities are a significant source of dual-use biotechnology,
chemicals, production technology, and equipment for Iran.
Russian biological and chemical expertise is sought by Iranians
and others seeking information and training on BW and CW-agent production
technical assistance to foreign countries also has been significant
over the years. Chinese help has enabled Pakistan to move rapidly toward
serial production of solid-propellant missiles. In addition to Pakistan,
firms in China provided missile-related items, raw materials, or other
help to several countries of proliferation concern, including Iran,
North Korea, and Libya.
Last November, the
Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement that committed China not
to assist other countries in the development of ballistic missiles that
can be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Based on what we know about
China’s past proliferation behavior, Mr. Chairman, we are watching and
analyzing carefully for any sign that Chinese entities may be acting
against that commitment. We are worried, for example, that Pakistan’s
continued development of the two-stage Shaheen-II MRBM will require
additional Chinese assistance.
On the nuclear
front, Chinese entities have provided extensive support in the past
to Pakistan’s safeguarded and unsafeguarded nuclear programs. In May
1996, Beijing pledged that it would not provide assistance to unsafeguarded
nuclear facilities in Pakistan; we cannot yet be certain, however, that
contacts have ended. With regard to Iran, China confirmed that work
associated with two nuclear projects would continue until the projects
were completed. Again, as with Russian help, our concern is that Iran
could use the expertise and technology it gets—even if the cooperation
appears civilian—for its weapons program.
With regard to North
Korea, our main concern is P’yongyang’s continued exports of ballistic
missile-related equipment and missile components, materials, and technical
expertise. North Korean customers are countries in the Middle East,
South Asia, and North Africa. P’yongyang attaches a high priority to
the development and sale of ballistic missiles, equipment, and related
technology because these sales are a major source of hard currency.
Mr. Chairman, the
missile and WMD proliferation problem continues to change in ways that
make it harder to monitor and control, increasing the risk of substantial
surprise. Among these developments are greater proficiency in the use
of denial and deception and the growing availability of dual-use technologies—not
just for missiles, but for chemical and biological agents as well. There
is also great potential of "secondary proliferation" from
maturing state-sponsored programs such as those in Pakistan,
Iran, and India. Add to this group the private companies, scientists,
and engineers in Russia, China, and India who may be increasing their
involvement in these activities, taking advantage of weak or unenforceable
national export controls and the growing availability of technologies.
These trends have continued and, in some cases, have accelerated over
the past year.
Mr. Chairman, I
want to reemphasize the concerns I raised last year about our nation’s
vulnerability to attacks on our critical information infrastructure.
No country in the world rivals the US in its reliance, dependence, and
dominance of information systems. The great advantage we derive from
this also presents us with unique vulnerabilities.
computer-based information operations could provide our adversaries
with an asymmetric response to US military superiority by giving
them the potential to degrade or circumvent our advantage in conventional
on our military, economic, or telecommunications infrastructure
can be launched from anywhere in the world, and they can be used
to transport the problems of a distant conflict directly to America’s
- Likewise, our
adversaries well understand US strategic dependence on access to
space. Operations to disrupt, degrade, or defeat US space assets
will be attractive options for those seeking to counter US strategic
military superiority. Moreover, we know that foreign countries are
interested in or experimenting with a variety of technologies that
could be used to develop counterspace capabilities.
Mr. Chairman, we
are in a race with technology itself. We are creating relations with
the private sector and academia to help us keep pace with ever-changing
technology. Last year I established the Information Operations Center
within CIA to bring together our best and brightest to ensure that we
had a strategy for dealing with the cyber threat.
Along with partners
in the Departments of Justice, Energy, and Defense we will work diligently
to protect critical US information assets. Let me also say that we must
view our space systems and capabilities as part of the same critical
infrastructure that needs protection.
Mr. Chairman, drug
traffickers are also making themselves more capable and efficient. The
growing diversification of trafficking organizations—with smaller groups
interacting with one another to transfer cocaine from source to market—and
the diversification of routes and methods pose major challenges for
our counterdrug programs. Changing production patterns and the development
of new markets will make further headway against the drug trade difficult.
and Peru continue to supply all of the cocaine consumed worldwide including
in the United States. Colombia is the linchpin of the global cocaine
industry as it is home to the largest coca-growing, coca-processing,
and trafficking operations in the world. With regard to heroin, nearly
all of the world's opium production is concentrated in Afghanistan
and Burma. Production in Afghanistan has been exploding, accounting
for 72 percent of illicit global opium production in 2000.
The drug threat
is increasingly intertwined with other threats. For example, the Taliban
regime in Afghanistan, which allows Bin Ladin and other terrorists to
operate on its territory, encourages and profits from the drug trade.
Some Islamic extremists view drug trafficking as a weapon against the
West and a source of revenue to fund their operations.
No country has been
more vulnerable to the ramifications of the drug trade than Colombia.
President Pastrana is using the additional resources available to him
under Plan Colombia to launch a major antidrug effort that features
measures to curb expanding coca cultivation. He is also cooperating
with the US on other important bilateral counternarcotics initiatives,
such as extradition.
A key impediment
to President Pastrana’s progress on drugs is the challenge from Colombia’s
largest insurgent group—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or
FARC—which earns millions of dollars from taxation and other involvement
in the drug trade. Founded more than 35 years ago as a ragtag movement
committed to land reform, the FARC has developed into a well-funded,
capable fighting force known more for its brutal tactics than its Marxist-Leninist-influenced
The FARC vehemently
opposes Plan Colombia for obvious reasons. It has gone so far as to
threaten to walk away from the peace process with Bogota to protest
the Plan. It appears prepared to oppose Plan activities with force.
The FARC could, for example, push back on Pastrana by stepping up attacks
against spray and interdiction operations. US involvement is also a
key FARC worry. Indeed, in early October FARC leaders declared that
US soldiers located in combat areas are legitimate "military targets."
The country’s other
major insurgent group, the National Liberation Army or ELN, is also
contributing to mounting instability. Together with the FARC, the ELN
has stepped up its attacks on Colombia’s economic infrastructure. This
has soured the country’s investment climate and complicated government
efforts to promote economic recovery, following a major recession in
1999. Moreover, the insurgent violence has fueled the rapid growth of
illegal paramilitary groups, which are increasingly vying with the FARC
and ELN for control over drug-growing zones and other strategic areas
of rural Colombia. Like the FARC, the paramilitaries rely heavily on
narcotics revenue and have intensified their attacks against noncombatants
in recent months. Paramilitary massacres and insurgent kidnappings are
likely to increase this year, as both groups move to strengthen their
financial positions and expand their areas of influence.
As for Mexico, Mr.
Chairman, President Fox is also trying to attack the power of Mexican
drug traffickers, whose activities had made Mexico a transit point for
cocaine shipments into the US and a source of heroin and methamphetamine
for the US drug market. He faces great challenges in doing so and has
simultaneously launched high-profile initiatives to strengthen rule
of law and reduce government corruption, including among Mexican law
THE MIDDLE EAST
Mr. Chairman, I
would like to turn now to the Middle East. We are all aware of the violence
between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the uncertainty it has
cast on the prospects for a near-term peace agreement. So let me take
this time to look at the less obvious trends in the region—such as population
pressures, growing public access to information, and the limited prospects
for economic development—that will have a profound effect on the future
of the Middle East.
The recent popular
demonstrations in several Arab countries—including Egypt, Saudi Arabia,
Oman, and Jordan—in support of the Palestinian intifada demonstrate
the changing nature of activism of the Arab street. In
many places in the Arab world, Mr. Chairman, average citizens are becoming
increasingly restive and getting louder. Recent events show that the
right catalyst—such as the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence—can
move people to act. Through access to the Internet and other means of
communication, a restive public is increasingly capable of taking action
without any identifiable leadership or organizational structure.
Mr. Chairman, balanced
against an energized street is a new generation of leaders, such
as Bashar al Asad in Syria. These new leaders will have their mettle
tested both by populations demanding change and by entrenched bureaucracies
willing to fight hard to maintain the status quo.
challenge for these leaders are the persistent economic problems throughout
the region that prevent them from providing adequately for the economic
welfare of many of their citizens. The region’s legacy of statist economic
policies and an inadequate investment climate in most countries present
big obstacles. Over the past 25 years, Middle Eastern economies have
averaged only 2.8 percent GDP growth—far less than Asia and only slightly
more than sub-Saharan Africa. The region has accounted for a steadily
shrinking share of world GDP, trade, and foreign direct investment since
the mid-1970s, and real wages and labor productivity today are about
the same as 30 years ago. As the region falls behind in competitive
terms, governments will find it hard over the next 5 to 10 years to
maintain levels of state sector employment and government services that
have been key elements of their strategy for domestic stability.
Adding to this is
the challenge of demographics. Many of the countries of the Middle
East still have population growth rates among the highest in the world,
significantly exceeding 3 percent—compare that with 0.85 percent in
the United States and 0.2 percent in Japan. Job markets will be severely
challenged to create openings for the large mass of young people entering
the labor force each year.
of Jordanians, for example, are unemployed, and annual economic
growth is well below the level needed to absorb some 60,000 new
labor market entrants each year.
- In Egypt
the disproportionately young population adds 600,000 new job applicants
a year in a country where unemployment is already near 20 percent.
Mr. Chairman, the
inability of traditional sources of income such as oil, foreign aid,
and worker remittances to fund an increasingly costly system of subsidies,
education, health care, and housing for rapidly growing populations
has motivated governments to implement economic reforms. The question
is whether these reforms will go far enough for the long term. Reform
thus far has been deliberately gradual and slow, to avoid making harsh
economic choices that could lead to short term spikes in high unemployment.
will soon face the dilemma of choosing between a path of gradual reform
that is unlikely to close the region’s widening gap with the rest of
the world, and the path of comprehensive change that risks fueling independent
political activity. Choosing the former risks building tension among
a younger, poorer, and more politically assertive population.
Mr. Chairman, in
Iraq Saddam Hussein has grown more confident in his ability to
hold on to his power. He maintains a tight handle on internal unrest,
despite the erosion of his overall military capabilities. Saddam’s confidence
has been buoyed by his success in quieting the Shia insurgency in the
south, which last year had reached a level unprecedented since the domestic
uprising in 1991. Through brutal suppression, Saddam’s multilayered
security apparatus has continued to enforce his authority and cultivate
a domestic image of invincibility.
High oil prices
and Saddam’s use of the oil-for-food program have helped him manage
domestic pressure. The program has helped meet the basic food and medicine
needs of the population. High oil prices buttressed by substantial illicit
oil revenues have helped Saddam ensure the loyalty of the regime’s security
apparatus operating and the few thousand politically important tribal
and family groups loyal.
There are still
constraints on Saddam’s power. His economic infrastructure is in long-term
decline, and his ability to project power outside Iraq’s borders is
severely limited, largely because of the effectiveness and enforcement
of the No-Fly Zones. His military is roughly half the size it was during
the Gulf War and remains under a tight arms embargo. He has trouble
efficiently moving forces and supplies—a direct result of sanctions.
These difficulties were demonstrated most recently by his deployment
of troops to western Iraq last fall, which were hindered by a shortage
of spare parts and transport capability.
Despite these problems,
we are likely to see greater assertiveness—largely on the diplomatic
front—over the next year. Saddam already senses improved prospects for
better relations with other Arab states. One of his key goals is to
sidestep the 10-year-old economic sanctions regime by making violations
a routine occurrence for which he pays no penalty.
Saddam has had some
success in ending Iraq’s international isolation. Since August, nearly
40 aircraft have flown to Baghdad without obtaining UN approval, further
widening fissures in the UN air embargo. Moreover, several countries
have begun to upgrade their diplomatic relations with Iraq. The number
of Iraqi diplomatic missions abroad are approaching pre-Gulf War levels,
and among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, only Kuwait and
Saudi Arabia have not reestablished ties.
Our most serious
concern with Saddam Hussein must be the likelihood that he will seek
a renewed WMD capability both for credibility and because every other
strong regime in the region either has it or is pursuing it. For example,
the Iraqis have rebuilt key portions of their chemical production infrastructure
for industrial and commercial use. The plants he is rebuilding were
used to make chemical weapons precursors before the Gulf War and their
capacity exceeds Iraq’s needs to satisfy its civilian requirements.
- We have
similar concerns about other dual-use research, development, and
production in the biological weapons and ballistic missile fields;
indeed, Saddam has rebuilt several critical missile production complexes.
Turning now to Iraq’s
neighbor: events of the past year have been discouraging for positive
change in Iran. Several years of reformist gains in national elections
and a strong populist current for political change all threaten the
political and economic privileges that authoritarian interests have
enjoyed for years under the Islamic Republic—and they have begun to
push back hard against the reformers.
Prospects for near-term
political reform are now fading. Opponents of reform have not only muzzled
the open press, they have also arrested prominent activists and blunted
the legislature’s powers. Over the Summer, Supreme Leader Khamenei ordered
the new legislature not to ease press restrictions, a key reformist
pursuit. This signaled the narrow borders within which he would allow
the legislature to operate.
The reformist movement
is still young, however, and it reflects on the deep sentiments of the
Iranian people. Although frustrated and in part muzzled, the reformers
have persisted in their demands for change. And the Iranian people will
have another opportunity to demonstrate their support for reform in
the presidential election scheduled for June. Although Khatami has not
announced his candidacy, and has voiced frustration with the limitations
placed on his office, opinion polls published in Iran show him to remain
by far the most popular potential candidate for president.
The short-term gains
made by shutting down the proreform press and prosecuting some of its
most outspoken members is not a formula for long-term success. A strategy
of suppressing the demands of the new generation coming of age risks
a political explosion down the road. Some advocates of the status quo
are beginning to recognize this danger as more conservatives—to include
Khamenei—have endorsed the principle, if not the substance, of reform.
Despite Iran’s uncertain
domestic prospects, Mr. Chairman, it is clear that Khatami’s appeal
and promise of reform thus far, as well as the changing world economy,
have contributed to a run of successes for Iran in the foreign arena
over the past year. Some Western ambassadors have returned to Tehran,
and Iranian relations with EU countries and Saudi Arabia are at their
highest point since the revolution in 1979. Higher oil prices, meanwhile,
have temporarily eased the government’s need to address difficult and
politically controversial economic problems. They have also taken more
of the sting out of US sanctions. Iran’s desire to end its isolation
has not resulted in a decline in its willingness to use terrorism to
pursue strategic foreign policy agendas—Tehran, in fact, has increased
its support to terrorist groups opposed to the peace process over the
past two years.
I would like to
shift gears to North Korea. P’yongyang’s bold diplomatic outreach
to the international community and engagement with South Korea reflect
a significant change in strategy. This strategy is designed to assure
the continued survival of Kim Chong-il’s regime by ending P’yongyang’s
political isolation and fixing the North’s failing economy by attracting
more aid. We do not know how far Kim will go in opening the North, but
I can report to you that we have not yet seen a significant diminution
of the threat from the North to American and South Korean interests.
believes that a strong military, capable of projecting power in the
region, is an essential element of national power. P’yongyang’s declared
"military first" policy requires massive investment in the
armed forces, even at the expense of other national objectives. North
Korea maintains the world’s fifth largest armed forces consisting of
over one million active-duty personnel, with another five million reserves.
While Allied forces still have the qualitative edge, the North Korean
military appears for now to have halted its near-decade-long slide in
military capabilities. In addition to the North’s longer-range missile
threat to us, P’yongyang is also expanding its short and medium range
missile inventory, putting our Allies at greater risk.
On the economic
front, there are few signs of real systemic domestic reform. Kim has
recently shown interest in practical measures to redress economic problems,
most notably with his trip to Shanghai. To date, however, Kim has only
tinkered with the economic system.
is essential to the recovery of North Korea’s domestic economy. Only
massive food aid deliveries since 1997 have enabled the country to escape
a recurrence of the famine from the middle of the last decade. Industrial
operations remain low. The economy is hampered by an industrial base
that is falling to pieces, as well as shortages of materials and a lack
of new investment. Chronic energy shortages pose the most significant
Aid and investment
from the South bring with them increased foreign influences and outside
information that will contradict propaganda from the regime. Economic
engagement also can spawn expectations for improvement that will outrace
the rebuilding process. The risk for Kim is that if he overestimates
his control of the security services and loses elite support, or if
societal stresses reach a critical point, his regime and personal grip
on power could be weakened. As with other authoritarian regimes, sudden,
radical change remains a real possibility in North Korea.
Mr. Chairman, let
me now turn to China, whose drive for recognition as a Great Power is
one of the toughest challenges we face. Beijing’s goal of becoming a
key world player and especially more powerful in East Asia has come
sharply into focus. It is pursuing these goals through an ambitious
economic reform agenda, military modernization, and a complex web of
initiatives aimed at expanding China’s international influence—especially
relative to the United States.
view solid relations with Washington as vital to achieving their ambitions.
It is a two-edged sword for them, Mr. Chairman. China’s development
remains heavily reliant on access to Western markets and technology.
But they also view Washington as their primary obstacle because they
perceive the US as bent on keeping China from becoming a great power.
Perhaps the toughest
issue between Beijing and Washington remains Taiwan. While Beijing has
stopped its saber rattling—reducing the immediate tensions—the unprecedented
developments on Taiwan have complicated cross-strait relations. The
election last March of President Chen ushered in a divided government
with highly polarized views on relations with Beijing. Profound mutual
distrust makes it difficult to restart the on-again off-again bilateral
political dialogue. In the longer term, Mr. Chairman, cross-strait relations
can be even more volatile because of Beijing’s military modernization
program. China’s military buildup is also aimed at deterring US intervention
in support of Taiwan.
Russian arms are
a key component of this buildup. Arms sales are only one element of
a burgeoning Sino-Russian relationship. Moscow and Beijing plan to sign
a "friendship treaty" later this year, highlighting common
interests and willingness to cooperate diplomatically against US policies
that they see as unfriendly to their interests—especially NMD.
On China’s domestic
scene, the Chinese Communist leadership wants to protect its legitimacy
and authority against any and all domestic challenges. Over the next
few years, however, Chinese leaders will have to manage a difficult
balancing act between the requirements of reform and the requirements
of staying in power.
regard their ability to sustain economic prosperity as the key to remaining
in power; for that reason, they are eager to join the WTO. Beijing views
WTO accession as a lever to accelerate domestic economic reform, a catalyst
for greater foreign investment, and a way to force Chinese state-owned
enterprises to compete more effectively with foreign companies.
But Beijing may
slow the pace of WTO-related reforms if the leadership perceives a rise
in social unrest that could threaten regime stability. Chinese leaders
already see disturbing trends in this regard. Their crackdown on Falungong,
underground Christians, and other spiritual and religious groups reflects
growing alarm about challenges to the Party’s legitimacy.
All of these challenges
will test the unity of the leadership in Beijing during a critical period
in the succession process. The 16th Communist Party Congress
next year will be an extremely important event, as it will portend a
large-scale transfer of authority to the next generation of Communist
Chinese leaders. The political jockeying has already begun, and Chinese
leaders will view every domestic and foreign policy decision they face
through the prism of the succession contest.
Mr. Chairman, yet
another state driving for recognition as a Great Power is Russia. Let
me be perfectly candid. There can be little doubt that President Putin
wants to restore some aspects of the Soviet past—status as a great power,
strong central authority, and a stable and predictable society—sometimes
at the expense of neighboring states or the civil rights of individual
Russians. For example,
has begun to reconstitute the upper house of the parliament, with
an eye to depriving regional governors of their ex officio membership
by 2002. He also created a system of seven "super districts"
where Presidential "plenipotentiaries" now oversee the
governors within their districts.
- He has moved
forcefully against Russian independent media including one of Russia’s
most prominent oligarchs, Vladimir Gusinskiy, pressing him to give
up his independent television station and thereby minimize critical
Moscow also may
be resurrecting the Soviet-era zero-sum approach to foreign policy.
As I noted earlier, Moscow continues to value arms and technology sales
as a major source of funds. It increasingly is using them as a tool
to improve ties to its regional partners China, India, and Iran. Moscow
also sees these relationships as a way to limit US influence globally.
At the same time Putin is making efforts to check US influence in the
other former Soviet states and reestablish Russia as the premier power
in the region. He has increased pressure on his neighbors to pay their
energy debts, is dragging his feet on treaty-mandated withdrawals of
forces from Moldova, and is using a range of pressure tactics against
Putin has also increased
funding for the military, although years of increases would be needed
to deal with the backlog of problems that built up in the armed forces
under Yeltsin. The war in Chechnya is eroding morale and thus the effectiveness
of the military. Despite its overwhelming force, Moscow is in a military
stalemate with the rebels, facing constant guerrilla attacks. An end
does not appear close. There are thousands of Russian casualties in
Chechnya, and Russian forces have been cited for their brutality to
the civilian population. Increasingly, the Russian public disapproves
of the war. Because Putin rode into office on a wave of popular support,
resolution of the conflict is an issue of personal prestige for him.
Recently, Putin transferred command in Chechnya to the Federal Security
Service, demonstrating his affinity for the intelligence services from
which he came.
Soviet nostalgia, he knows Russia must embrace markets and integrate
into the global economy and that he needs foreigners to invest. Plus,
public expectations are rising. Putin is avoiding hard policy decisions
because Russia enjoyed an economic upturn last year, buoyed by high
oil prices and a cheap ruble. But Putin cannot count on these trends
to last permanently. He must take on several key challenges if Russia
is to sustain economic growth and political stability over the longer
debt restructuring, for example, he will face harsh choices through
2003. Russia will owe nearly $48 billion spread over the next three
and foreign investment is crucial to sustained growth. Moscow recently
announced that capital flight last year increased to $25 billion.
Putin will need to demonstrate his seriousness about reducing corruption
and pushing ahead with corporate tax reform and measures to protect
Mr. Chairman, the
Caucasus and Central Asia are parts of the world that have the potential
to become more volatile as they become more important to the United
States. The strategic location of the Caucasus and Central Asia—squeezed
between Russia, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and China—make the stability
of these countries critical to the future of Eurasia. Here corruption,
poverty, and other social ills are providing fertile ground for Islamic
extremism, terrorist networking, and drug and weapons trafficking that
will have impact in Russia, Europe, and beyond. Central Asian leaders,
seeking to fend off threats to their security from terrorists and drug
traffickers, are looking increasingly to the West for support.
- We are
becoming increasingly concerned about the activities of the Islamic
Movement of Uzbekistan, an extremist insurgent and terrorist group
whose annual incursions into Uzbekistan have become bloodier and
more significant every year.
In addition, US
companies have a significant stake in Caspian energy development. As
you know, the United States supports the construction of pipelines that
will bring the Caspian’s energy resources to Western markets. One oil
pipeline is expected to pass through both Georgia and Azerbaijan. Western
companies are pursuing the construction of a gas pipeline under the
Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan through Azerbaijan and Georgia en route
to Turkey. Although many of the leaders in the region through which
the pipelines will flow view the United States as a friend, regime stability
there remains fragile.
Mr. Chairman, let
me now turn to another important region: the Balkans. It is an open
question when Balkan states will be able to stand on their own. The
Balkans continue to be fraught with turmoil, and the coming year promises
was a victory for the Serbian people and the United States. America
was a strong force in helping to depose this indicted war criminal who
was a major obstacle to progress. Milosevic’s fall through election
and popular rebellion gives Serbia and what is left of Yugoslavia a
chance to remake its politics and to begin to recover. It also means
that Serbia can be reintegrated into Europe.
will have a hard time cleaning up the mess he left. Milosevic, his family,
and cronies stole much of what had value, ran down industries, and wasted
whatever resources were left. From the ashes, newly elected President
Vojislav Kostunica is trying to create a legal, transparent, and effective
government. Meanwhile, the Serbian economy has contracted 50 percent
Mr. Chairman, Kostunica
will also face problems holding his country together. Montenegro’s drive
for independence presents a simmering crisis. Montenegrin President
Djukanovic remains committed to negotiating a new, decentralized relationship
with Belgrade. Events in the rest of Yugoslavia will have impact on
Kosovo as well. Ethnic Albanians from across the political spectrum
in Kosovo still insist on independence.
There are signs
that Kosovo’s troubles are spilling over into southern Serbia where
both ethnic Albanians and Serbs live in close proximity. Most ethnic
Albanians in this region seek only greater civil rights within Serbia,
but militants are fighting to join the region to an independent Kosovo.
This is a dangerous flashpoint, Mr. Chairman, with the potential for
escalation. In short, Mr. Chairman, we are still not at the point where
we look confidently ahead to a Balkans without violence.
With regard to
Bosnia, none of the three formerly warring factions—Muslims, Serbs,
or Croats—wants to begin fighting again. Refugee returns continued at
a brisk pace last year as in 1999, the most encouraging development
since the end of the war. Disarmament of the warring factions has been
generally successful, and positive developments in Croatia and Serbia
have removed some sources of earlier nationalist sentiment. But there
has been little progress in achieving a common vision of a unified,
multiethnic Bosnia capable of standing on its own.
At this point, Mr.
Chairman, let me draw your attention to the potentially destabilizing
competition in South Asia. I must report that relations between
India and Pakistan remain volatile, making the risk of war between the
two nuclear-armed adversaries unacceptably high. The military balance
in which India enjoys advantages over Pakistan in most areas of conventional
defense preparedness remains the same. This includes a decisive advantage
in fighter aircraft, almost twice as many men under arms, and a much
larger economy to support defense expenditures. As a result, Pakistan
relies heavily on its nuclear weapons for deterrence. Their deep-seated
rivalry, frequent artillery exchanges in Kashmir, and short flight times
for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and aircraft all contribute to
an unstable nuclear deterrence.
If any issue has
the potential to bring both sides to full-scale war, it is Kashmir.
Kashmir is at the center of the dispute between the two countries. Nuclear
deterrence and the likelihood that a conventional war would bog down
both sides argue against a decision to go to war. But both sides seem
quite willing to take risks over Kashmir in particular, and this—along
with their deep animosity and distrust—could lead to decisions that
The two states narrowly
averted a full-scale war in Kashmir in 1999. The conflict that did occur
undermined a fledgling peace process begun by the two prime ministers.
Now, for the first time since then, the two sides are finally taking
tentative steps to reduce tension. Recent statements by Indian and Pakistani
leaders have left the door open for high-level talks. And just last
week [2 Feb 2001], Vajpayee and Musharraf conversed by phone perhaps
for the first time ever, to discuss the earthquake disaster.
The process is fragile,
however. Neither side has yet agreed to direct, unconditional talks.
Tension can easily flare once winter ends or by New Delhi or Islamabad
maneuvering for an edge in the negotiations. Leadership changes in either
country also could add to tensions.
groups opposed to peace could also stoke problems. India has been trying
to engage selected militants and separatists, but militant groups have
kept up their attacks through India’s most recent cease-fire. In addition,
the Kashmir state government’s decision to conduct local elections—the
first in more than 20 years—will provoke violence from militants who
see the move as designed to cement the status quo.
problems—especially the economy—complicate the situation and further
threaten what maneuvering room Musharraf may have. Musharraf’s domestic
popularity has been threatened by a series of unpopular policies that
he promulgated last year. At the same time, he is being forced to contend
with increasingly active Islamic extremists.
Mr. Chairman, a
word on proliferation. Last year I told you I worried about the proliferation
and development of missiles and weapons of mass destruction in South
Asia. The competition, predictably, extends here as well and there is
no sign that the situation has improved. We still believe there
is a good prospect of another round of nuclear tests. On the missile
front, India decided to test another Agni MRBM last month, reflecting
its determination to improve its nuclear weapons delivery capability.
Pakistan may respond in kind.
The final point
that I would like to discuss today is the growing in potential for state
fragmentation and failure that we have observed this past year.
Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan
obviously falls into this category. The Afghan civil war will continue
into the foreseeable future, leaving the country fragmented and unstable.
The Taliban remains determined to impose its radical form of Islam on
all of Afghanistan, even in the face of resistance from other ethnic
groups and the Shia minority.
Mr. Chairman, what
we have in Afghanistan is a stark example of the potential dangers of
allowing states—even those far from the US—to fail. The chaos here is
providing an incubator for narcotics traffickers and militant Islamic
groups operating in such places as Kashmir, Chechnya, and Central Asia.
Meanwhile the Taliban shows no sign of relinquishing terrorist Usama
Bin Ladin, despite strengthened UN sanctions and prospects that Bin
Ladin’s terrorist operations could lead to retaliatory strikes against
Afghanistan. The Taliban and Bin Ladin have a symbiotic relationship—Bin
Ladin gets safe haven and in return, he gives the Taliban help in fighting
its civil war.
Mr. Chairman, events
of the last few years in Indonesia paint a vivid picture of a
state struggling to regain stability. Last year I described the difficult
political transition that Indonesian President Wahid was trying to manage.
He has managed to stay one step ahead of his opponents, mostly because
they are unable to work together. He has survived several confrontations
with the legislature, but efforts to impeach him on corruption charges
is rampant in Aceh and rising in two other key provinces. Muslim-Christian
violence continues, and resulted in several thousand deaths last year.
The country’s security forces are poorly equipped, and either back away
from challenges or respond too forcefully.
Mr. Chairman, Indonesia’s
problems are worrying neighboring countries that have long considered
it as the pillar of regional stability. Some Southeast Asian leaders
fear a power vacuum in Indonesia would create fertile ground for international
terrorist groups and Islamic activists, drug trafficking, and organized
My final case study,
Mr. Chairman, is Africa, a land of chronic turbulence and crises
that are among the most brutal and intractable in the world. Left behind
by globalization and plagued by ethnic conflicts, several African states
appear to be the first of the wave of failed nations predicted by the
Global Trends 2015 Report.
We are especially
concerned because hotspots often set off chain reactions across the
region. The brutal civil war in Sierra Leone, for example, started as
an offshoot of fighting in Liberia and has now spread into Guinea. These
waves of violent instability bring even worse woes in their wake, including
the ethnically-based killings that are now routine in the wars in Sudan,
Congo (Kinshasa), and Burundi. Coping with this unrest depletes the
scant resources available to the region’s governments for fighting HIV/AIDS
and other epidemics.
One immediate challenge
in Africa, Mr. Chairman, is the protection of US diplomats, military
personnel, citizens, and other interests in the region. Violent unrest
has necessitated a half-dozen evacuations of Embassy employees, other
citizens, and Allied nationals in recent years.
I have spoken at some length about the threats we face to our national
security. It is inevitable given our position as the world’s sole superpower
that we would attract the opposition of those who do not share our vision
or our goals, and those who feel intimidated by our strength. Many of
the threats I’ve outlined are familiar to you. Many of the trends I’ve
described are not new. The complexity, intricacy, and confluence of
these threats, however, is necessitating a fundamental change in the
way we, in the Intelligence Community, do our business. To keep pace
with these challenges:
- We must
aggressively challenge our analytic assumptions, avoid old-think,
and embrace alternate analysis and viewpoints.
- We must
constantly push the envelope on collection beyond the traditional
to exploit new systems and operational opportunities to gain the
intelligence needed by our senior policymakers.
- And we
must continue to stay ahead on the technology and information fronts
by seeking new partnerships with private industry as demonstrated
by our IN-Q-TEL initiative.
Our goal is simple.
It is to ensure that our nation has the intelligence it needs to anticipate
and counter threats I have discussed here today.
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
I would welcome any questions you and your fellow Senators may have
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