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U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO COMBAT TERRORISM

TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 1999

U.S. SENATE,

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Washington, DC.

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:00 a.m. in room SH-216, Senator John Warner (chairman) presiding.

Committee members present: Senators Warner (presiding), Thurmond, Smith, Roberts, Allard, Hutchinson, Sessions, Robb, and Reed.

Committee staff members present: Romie L. Brownlee, staff director; Judith A. Ansley, deputy staff director; and Todd L. Payne, special assistant.

Professional staff members present: Edward H. Edens, IV, George W. Lauffer, Paul M. Longsworth, Joseph T. Sixeas, Cord A. Sterling, Eric H. Thoemmes, and Lani Kass.

Minority staff members present: David S. Lyles, minority staff director; Richard D. DeBobes, minority counsel; Madelyn R. Creedon, minority counsel; and Richard W. Fieldhouse, professional staff member.

Staff assistant present: Shawn H. Edwards.

Committee members' assistants present: John H. Miller, assistant to Senator Thurmond; Walter E. (Skip) Fischer, assistant to Senator McCain; John F. Luddy, II, assistant to Senator Smith; George M. Bernier III, assistant to Senator Santorum; Patrick McCartan, assistant to Senator Snowe; Robert Alan McCurry, assistant to Senator Roberts; Michael Ralsky, assistant to Senator Hutchinson; Arch Galloway, assistant to Senator Sessions; Menda S. Fife, assistant to Senator Kennedy; Ike Puzon and Deborah Buonassisi, assistants to Senator Cleland; and Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN WARNER,

CHAIRMAN

Chairman WARNER. Good morning, everybody. We apologize for not getting started on schedule, but we were having a hearing next door with Mr. Clarke, who is the President's designee on the National Security Council staff to work the coordination of the problem we are addressing today, that is terrorism, and we just had to finish up that hearing.

The committee meets this morning to receive testimony on our policies and programs to combat the problem of terrorism. Our witnesses, the Honorable John Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense,

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and General Joseph Ralston, United States Air Force, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, are at the forefront of ongoing efforts to protect our troops and citizens both at home and abroad from the menace of terrorist violence, and I welcome you.

I am going to put my statement in the record so we can get under way.

I will in the course of my comments refer to some of the things that concern me a great deal about this. So unless you have a few comments, I am just going to put mine in the record and we can get under way. Senator Robb.

[The prepared statement of Senator Warner follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN WARNER

The Armed Services Committee meets this morning to receive testimony on our policies and programs to combat the scourge of terrorism. Our witnesses-the Honorable John J. Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and General Joseph W. Ralston, United States Air Force, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff-are at the forefront of ongoing efforts to protect our troops and our citizens, both at home and abroad, from the menace of terrorist violence. Gentlemen, I commend you for your service to the Nation and look forward to your testimony. I note that we have just received testimony in executive session from Mr. Richard A. Clarke, Special Assistant to the President and National Coordinator For Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism.

United States counterterrorism policy has been remarkably consistent over the past 15 years. It involves the orchestration of a host of military, economic, diplomatic, intelligence, and law enforcement instruments, to achieve three basic objectives:

Protect our people, facilities and interests;
Deter and preempt terrorist attacks;

If deterrence fails, manage the consequences of disaster.

There is much to be said for consistency. Yet, this Senator's concern is that our policy has not evolved fast enough to stay abreast of a dynamic threat-let alone anticipate and preempt it. Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. What is new, however, is the arsenal of weapons—particularly weapons of mass destruction—now potentially available to terrorist groups. Thus, the modern tools of the terrorist trade may no longer be "just" machine guns and truck bombs. The new death machine might well spring from chemical formulae, laboratory vials, or cyber codes. These new tools create a real opportunity for a handful of zealots to wreak havoc on a scale that hitherto only armies could attain.

I believe that the United States is vulnerable to this type of warfare. Indeed, since Desert Storm demonstrated to all the consequences of a head-on collision with the world's last remaining super-power, it has become increasingly more likely that opponents will select indirect, asymmetric means to threaten our interests and values. Terrorism is a clear and present danger to our citizens, troops and interests. Terrorists will continue to escalate their attacks in order to call attention to whatever misguided cause they are pursuing. They need to make each event more spectacular-and more horrific-than its predecessor. For the terrorists, the world is a stage upon which they perform their hideous acts. If the terrorists' objective is to maximize U.S. casualties and sow panic, their next attack might well involve a chemical or biological agents.

I must tell you, I worry. I worry that for all the rhetoric old and new-for all the organizational reshuffles and tax-payers' dollars spent and newly requested, we remain woefully unprepared for what is becoming the Nation's most urgent security challenge.

Currently, some 40 Federal Departments and Agencies-as well as local governments and volunteer organizations in virtually every state in the Union-are engaged in the anti-terrorism effort. The Federal Response Plan is thicker than a phone book... There is even a National Blueprint for Domestic Preparedness, prepared by the U.S. Attorney General.

Clearly, there is a lot going on throughout the government. There is also growing awareness of the terrorist threat. But being aware is not the same as being prepared. Readiness measures taken in any one sector simply direct the terrorists to look for new vulnerabilities—witness the surprise bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We cannot simply prepare to refight the last war.

In 1996, we authorized the Weapons of Mass Destruction Domestic Preparedness and Response Initiative, as part of the fiscal year 1997 Defense Authorization Bill, with the aim of applying DODs expertise in response to domestic incidents involving the use of WMD. For fiscal year 2000, $162.6 million is requested for this initiative. DOD spends more than $4 billion annually on force protection, and such anti- and counterterrorism efforts as law enforcement (e.g., military police), RDT&E, and counterintelligence. Additionally, the President has announced a $10 billion initiative to combat terrorism. Reportedly, $2 billion is earmarked for DOD. In the earlier session with Mr. Clarke, we discussed some of the details of this initiative. We are looking forward to hearing more specifics as to the DOD portion.

On the policy front, the President has taken a variety of steps to centralize the effort, beginning with the appointment of a National Coordinator for Security, National Infrastructure and Counterterrorism. Earlier this year, the Secretary of Defense announced plans to set up a permanent Joint Task Force (JTF) headed by a general officer and subordinated to the United States Atlantic Command (UŠACOM), to coordinate the military's response to chemical and biological attacks on US territory. It is my understanding that JTF-Civil Support is still a "work in progress," with decisions expected in the July-August time-frame. There is speculation that this could eventually evolve into a separate Commander-in-Chief (CINC), who would be tasked with "homeland defense" and "civil response."

Clearly, a lot of honest work is being done and billions of taxpayers' dollars are being spent on efforts to combat terrorism. With this in mind, I would like to receive your testimony on both current and planned policies and programs to combat terrorism-particularly the Defense Department's share of the President's $10 billion initiative. I am most interested in the role the Department of Defense will play-both independently and in conjunction with the interagency. I look forward to your candid assessment as to what has been done, what's being done, and-most especiallywhat remains to be done.

STATEMENT OF SENATOR CHARLES S. ROBB

Senator ROBB. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I will follow your lead in that case and submit my opening statement for the record.

I agree that it was an important hearing that we have just concluded, and we have already apologized to our distinguished guests this morning for being a little tardy in getting this part of the hearing under way. But it follows on very nicely from what we had in closed session, and I too look forward to hearing from our wit

nesses.

[The prepared statement of Senator Robb follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR CHARLES S. ROBB

I want to join you Mr. Chairman in welcoming to our witnesses and I want to commend you for holding this hearing on the important issue of "combating terrorism."

In his testimony before this Committee on February 2, Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, told us that "Americans increasingly are the favored targets" of international terrorist attacks. He also highlighted the serious prospect of terrorist use of chemical or biological weapons. General Patrick Hughes, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in that same hearing, echoed those comments, stating "The terrorist threat to the U.S. will likely grow as disgruntled groups and individuals focus on America as the prominent symbol of 'what they believe is wrong in the world" and "The potential for terrorists to use WMD will increase over time, with chemical, biological, and radiological agents the most likely choice."

The terrorist bombings of the Office of Program Management, Saudi Arabian National Guard in November 1995, of Khobar Towers in Dhahran in June 1996, and of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 bear witness to the targeting of Americans.

The terrorist bombings of the New York World Trade Center in February 1993 and of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 serve notice that international (and, sadly, domestic) terrorists will not confine their activities to locations outside our borders.

The use of a chemical nerve agent in the cult attack in the Tokyo subway system and the revelation that the World Trade Center bombers sought, but thankfully failed, to release a chemical agent along with the explosive device, bear out Director

Tenet's and General Hughes, warning that terrorists will seek to use weapons of mass destruction.

The increasing occurrence of illegal incursions into government, including the "Department of Defense," and "corporate computers" raises the specter of an increasing threat of cyberterrorism.

In view of these ominous developments, there is a critical need for the United States to address the problem both here and abroad. This is a complicated problem, which cuts across a number of agencies of the Executive Branch. Earlier today, in a closed session, we heard from Richard Clarke, the Special Assistant to the President and National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism.

In this hearing, we will receive testimony on the Department of Defense's policies and programs and the Department's role and activities in the "national" effort to "combat" terrorism.

The Department of Defense does have a role in combating terrorism. First and foremost, DOD must do everything possible to "protect" the men and women in our armed forces and its civilian employees. The Pentagon must also be prepared to use "military force" to preempt or respond to terrorists. Most importantly, the “defense intelligence community" must contribute to our knowledge relating to the movements, activities, and intentions of international terrorists and those states that provide active or passive support to them. Finally, DOD has unique resources and capabilities that enable it to provide important support to the other agencies that have the lead in dealing with terrorism.

But we do have some concerns about the role and activities of the Department of Defense.

• We want to ensure that the Department's unique resources and capabilities do not result in its being assigned functions that pose an "excessive burden" on the Department and that distract it from its primary mission of fighting and winning our Nation's wars.

We want to ensure that our military's role "within" the United States does not cross the boundary into the enforcement of our Nation's laws.

I hasten to add, however, that the potential use of "weapons of mass destruction" by terrorists within the United States may trigger a "national security" rather than a "law enforcement" response and thus it may be necessary for our "military," in exceptional circumstances, to play the lead role, under the chain of command of the National Command Authorities of the President and the Secretary of Defense, to defend our Nation.

Once again, I want to welcome our witnesses. I look forward to their testimony. Chairman WARNER. Good.

At this time, I insert for the record the prepared statements of Senator Sessions and Senator Kennedy.

[The prepared statement of Senator Sessions follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for holding this important hearing on Counterterrorism and I look forward with equal anticipation to the Emerging Threats and Capability subcommittee hearing Thursday which will delve deeper into this subject.

There have been, as I recall, only a few Senate Committee's that have looked into the administration's handling of Counterterrorism and it's concomitant funding. Senator Judd Gregg and his staff on the Commerce, State, Justice Appropriations subcommittee have looked into the counterterrorism funding requirements of several departments of government, and Senator John Kyl's Judiciary subcommittee on Terrorism and Senator Bob Smith's Strategic subcommittee both met last year to look at various aspects of the counterterrorism program particularly DODs role. These were important discussions into the role of government, and coupled with hearings in the House and those of Senators I may have overlooked-place Congress squarely in the middle of the Counterterrorism debate.

With the realignment of the roles and responsibilities of the Emerging Threats subcommittee and the full committee's involvement in this issue, Mr. Chairman, I see the opportunity to move aggressively with serious inquiry into this issue. I cannot overstate my concern.

My view, on the one hand, is that the American people will not forgive this government or this Congress if we fail to deploy a National Missile Defense system. It's just this simple the people expect to be defended from rogue states, and rogue

individuals. If a missile is fired, they expect, no, Mr. Chairman, they demand, that we destroy that missile in flight, before it reaches United States territory. Equally, Mr. Chairman, the American people will not forgive this government or this Congress if we fail to protect them from an attack by a weapon of mass destruction within our borders. Our people expect that this government, and this Congress will protect our homeland from such attacks. But can it, or more importantly, will it? There is a lot going on in the administration. Almost every Department of government has people involved in developing or executing programs related to some aspect of the WMD crisis. DOD through the Army's Chemical Biological Defense Command, which recently had a name change, is executing its 120 cities program related to training first responders. The Department of Justice is engaged in first responder training and other sorts of training grants for police and fire officials through the office of Justice programs. The Department of Energy has national labs working on detection equipment and I read recently that Secretary Richardson has announced a massive building program at the Nevada Test Center for counterterrorism training which I have asked for a briefing on, but to date have yet to hear from DOE officials. FEMA has great responsibilities outlined in recent Presidential Decision Directives and the Public Health Service may or may not be a substantive player, we shall see.

What I am suggesting Mr. Chairman, is that our Government "seems” to be involved. Certainly, the President's recent announcement to spend $10 billion to fight terrorism shows commitment, but I do not think the plan is sufficient. The mechanisms to fulfill our obligations to the people do not seem too be adequately in place or functioning with a single purpose. Too much of a turf war is going on from what I can tell. With so many departments going in so many directions I wonder what we will get for the taxpayers $10 billion except perhaps broken promises and halfbaked programs that were ill-conceived and poorly executed to boot.

Mr. Chairman, the committees role is simple. We must be aggressive. This committee should take charge of defining our homeland defense priorities. The committee should lead the way in directing the development and implementation of a Homeland Defense architecture or master plan that not only causes departments of government to work in concert with one another, but creates definable standards for training and equipment. Without such direction the funding asked for by the President may well end up failing to meeting the needs of this nation.

As this Committee has lead the way on S. 4 and the National Missile Defense Bill, I think it is well poised to lead. the way on the counterterrorism problem before us. It will certainly not be an easy task. But it will Mr. Chairman be one for which we will forever be proud.

I thank the Chair.

[The prepared statement of Senator Kennedy follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join in welcoming Secretary Hamre and General Ralston, and I look forward to their testimony on the Nation's continuing efforts to combat the ever growing threat of terrorism.

Domestic terrorism and international terrorism are among the serious threats facing the Nation today. Fortunately, President Clinton, with strong bipartisan support in Congress, is taking significant steps to develop strategies to deter, prevent and respond to all aspects of these threats.

I am encouraged by the administration's request for additional funds to support counterterrorism efforts. Clearly, we face a long road ahead in bringing the preparedness of the Nation and its citizens to an adequate level. The Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center bombings have put all of us on notice, and we need to do all we can to reduce the danger.

I am join in welcoming our distinguished witnesses this morning, and I look forward to their testimony.

Chairman WARNER. Mr. Secretary.

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. HAMRE, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Dr. HAMRE. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. We are very honored, frankly, to be invited. This is an enormously important hearing.

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