Threat 2004: Challenges in a Changing Global
Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence
George J. Tenet
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
24 February 2004
(as prepared for delivery)
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice Chairman, Members of the Committee.
last year I described a national security environment that was
more complex than at any time during my
tenure as Director of Central Intelligence. The world I will discuss
today is equally, if not more, complicated and fraught with dangers
for United States interests, but one that also holds great opportunity
for positive change.
today on terrorism, with a stark bottom-line:
- The al-Qa`ida
leadership structure we charted after September 11 is seriously
the group remains as committed as ever to attacking the US
- But as we continue the battle against al-QA`ida, we must overcome
a movementa global movement infected by al-QA`ida's
- In this
battle we are moving forward in our knowledge of the enemyhis
plans, capabilities, and intentions.
- And what
we've learned continues to validate my deepest concern: that
this enemy remains intent on obtaining, and using, catastrophic
Now let me
tell you about the war we've waged against the al-QA`ida organization
and its leadership.
and intelligence operations by the United States and its allies
degraded the group. Local al-QA`ida
cells are forced to make their own decisions because of disarray
in the central leadership.
on leaders who not only direct terrorist attacks but who carry
the day-to-day tasks that support operations. Over
the past 18 months, we have killed or captured key al-QA`ida leaders
in every significant operational arealogistics, planning,
finance, trainingand have eroded the key pillars of the organization,
such as the leadership in Pakistani urban areas and operational
cells in the al-QA`ida heartland of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The list of
al-QA`ida leaders and associates who will never again threaten
- Khalid Shaykh
Muhammad, al-QA`ida's operations chief and the mastermind of
- Nashiri, the senior operational planner for the Arabian Gulf
- Abu Zubayda, a senior logistics officer and plotter.
- Hasan Ghul, a senior facilitator who was sent to case Iraq
for an expanded al-QA`ida presence there.
- Harithi and al-Makki, the most senior plotters in Yemen, who
were involved in the bombing of the USS Cole.
- Hambali, the senior operational planner in Southeast Asia.
We are creating large and growing gaps in the al-QA`ida hierarchy.
And, unquestionably, bringing these key operators to ground disrupted
plots that would otherwise have killed Americans.
al-QA`ida central continues to lose operational safehavens, and
has gone deep underground. We are hunting him in
some of the most unfriendly regions on earth. We follow every
finances are also being squeezed. This is due in
part to takedowns of key moneymen in the past year, particularly
the Gulf, Southwest Asia, and even Iraq.
And we are
receiving a broad array of help from our coalition partners,
who have been
central to our effort against al-QA`ida.
- Since the 12 May bombings, the Saudi government has shown an
important commitment to fighting al-QA`ida in the Kingdom, and
Saudi officers have paid with their lives.
- Elsewhere in the Arab world, we're receiving valuable cooperation
from Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, the UAE, Oman, and many
Musharraf of Pakistan remains a courageous and indispensable
has become the target of assassins for the help he's
- Partners in Southeast Asian have been instrumental in the roundup
of key regional associates of al-QA`ida.
- Our European partners worked closely together to unravel and
disrupt a continent-wide network of terrorists planning chemical,
biological and conventional attacks in Europe.
So we have
made notable strides. But do not misunderstand me. I
am not suggesting al-QA`ida is defeated. It is not. We are still
at war. This is a learning organization that remains committed
to attacking the United States, its friends and allies.
blows to al-QA`ida's central leadership have transformed the
into a loose collection of regional networks that
operate more autonomously. These regional components have demonstrated
their operational prowess in the past year.
- The sites
of their attacks span the entire reach of al-QA`idaMorocco,
Kenya, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
- And al-QA`ida
seeks to influence the regional networks with operational training,
consultations, and money. Khalid Shaykh
Muhammad sent Hambali $50,000 for operations in Southeast Asia.
not take the fact that these attacks occurred abroad to mean
to the US homeland has waned. As al-QA`ida
and associated groups undertook these attacks overseas, detainees
consistently talk about the importance the group still attaches
to striking the main enemy: the United States. Across the operational
spectrumair, maritime, special weaponswe have time
and again uncovered plots that are chilling.
- On aircraft
plots alone, we have uncovered new plans to recruit pilots
evade new security measures in Southeast Asia,
the Middle East, and Europe.
- Even catastrophic
attacks on the scale of 11 September remain within al-QA`ida's
reach. Make no mistake: these plots are
hatched abroad, but they target US soil or that of our allies.
So far, I have
been talking only about al-QA`ida. But al-QA`ida
is not the limit of terrorist threat worldwide. Al-QA`ida has
infected others with its ideology, which depicts the United States
as Islam's greatest foe. Mr. Chairman, what I want
to say to you now may be the most important thing I tell you today.
growth of Usama bin Ladin's anti-US sentiment through the wider
extremist movement and the broad dissemination
of al-QA`ida's destructive expertise ensure that a serious threat
will remain for the foreseeable futurewith or without al-QA`ida
in the picture.
A decade ago,
bin Ladin had a vision of rousing Islamic terrorists worldwide
the United States. He created al-QA`ida to
indoctrinate a worldwide movement in global jihad, with America
as the enemyan enemy to be attacked with every means at hand.
- In the minds
of Bin Ladin and his cohorts, September 11 was the shining
their "shot heard round the world," and
they want to capitalize on it.
And so, even
as al-QA`ida reels from our blows, other extremist groups within
it influenced have become the next wave
of the terrorist threat. Dozens of such groups exist. Let me
offer a few thoughts on how to understand this challenge.
- One of the most immediate threats is from smaller international Sunni
extremist groups who have benefited from al-QA`ida links. They
include groups as diverse as the al-Zarqawi network, the Ansar
al-Islam in Iraq, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and the
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
- A second level of threat comes from small local groups, with
limited domestic agendas, that work with international
terrorist groups in their own countries. These include the Salifiya
Jihadia, a Moroccan network that carried out the May 2003 Casablanca
bombings, and similar groups throughout Africa and Asia.
These far-flung groups increasingly set the agenda, and are redefining
the threat we face. They are not all creatures of Bin Ladin,
and so their fate is not tied to his. They have autonomous leadership,
they pick their own targets, they plan their own attacks.
groups are the so-called "foreign jihadists"individuals
ready to fight anywhere they believe Muslim lands are under attack
by what they see as "infidel invaders." They draw on broad support
networks, have wide appeal, and enjoy a growing sense of support
from Muslims are not necessarily supporters of terrorism. The
foreign jihadists see Iraq as a golden opportunity.
Let me repeat: for the growing number of jihadists interested
in attacking the United States, a spectacular attack on the US
Homeland is the "brass ring" that many strive forwith or
without encouragement by al-QA`ida's central leadership.
To detect and
ultimately defeat these forces, we will continually need to watch
present or potential battlegrounds, places
where these terrorist networks converge. Iraq is of course one
major locus of concern. Southeast Asia is another. But so are
the backyards of our closest allies. Even Western Europe is an
area where terrorists recruit, train, and target.
- To get the global job done, foreign governments will need to
improve bilateral and multilateral, and even inter-service cooperation,
and strengthen domestic counterterrorist legislation and security
I have consistently warned this committee of al-QA`ida's interest
chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Acquiring
these remains a "religious obligation" in Bin Ladin's eyes, and
al-QA`ida and more than two dozen other terrorist groups are pursuing
- We particularly
see a heightened risk of poison attacks. Contemplated
delivery methods to date have been simple but this may change
as non-Al-Qa`ida groups share information on more sophisticated
methods and tactics.
Over the last
year, we've also seen an increase in the threat of more sophisticated
CBRN. For this reason we take very seriously
the threat of a CBRN attack.
- Extremists have widely disseminated assembly instructions for
an improvised chemical weapon using common materials that could
cause a large numbers of casualties in a crowded, enclosed area.
- Although gaps in our understanding remain, we see al-QA`ida's
program to produce anthrax as one of the most immediate terrorist
CBRN threats we are likely to face.
continues to pursue its strategic goal of obtaining a nuclear
capability. It remains interested in dirty bombs. Terrorist
documents contain accurate views of how such weapons would be
and rightly so, on al-QA`ida and related groups. But
other terrorist organizations also threaten US interests. Palestinian
terrorist groups in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza remain a formidable
threat and continue to use terrorism to undermine prospects for
- Last year Palestinian terrorist groups conducted more than
600 attacks, killing about 200 Israelis and foreigners, including
Lebanese Hizballah cooperates
with these groups and appears to be increasing its support. It
is also working with Iran and surrogate groups in Iraq and would
likely react to an attack against
it, Syria, or Iran with attacks against US and Israeli targets
Iran and Syria continue to support terrorist groups, and their
links into Iraq have become problematic to our efforts there.
extremists comprise the most pressing threat to US interests,
ignore nominally leftist groups in Latin
America and Europe. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,
or FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia's second
largest leftist insurgent group have shown a willingness to attack
US targets. So has the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Fronta
Turkish group that has killed two US citizens and targeted US interests
Finally, cyber vulnerabilities are another of our concerns, with
not only terrorists but foreign governments, hackers, crime groups,
and industrial spies attempting to obtain information from our
Mr. Chairman, we are making significant strides against the insurgency
and terrorism, but former regime elements and foreign jihadists
continue to pose a serious threat to Iraq's new institutions and
to our own forces.
- At the same
time, sovereignty will be returned to an interim Iraqi government
by 1 July, although the structure and mechanism
for determining this remain unresolved.
- The emerging Iraqi leadership will face many pressing issues,
among them organizing national elections, integrating the Sunni
minority into the political mainstream, managing Kurdish autonomy
in a federal structure, and the determining the role of Islam
in the Iraqi state.
Mr. Chairman, the important work of the Iraqi Survey Group and
the hunt for
Iraqi weapons of mass destruction continues. We
must explore every avenue in our quest to understand Iraq's programs
out of concern for the possibility that materials, weapons, or
expertise might fall into the hands of insurgents, foreign states,
or terrorists. As you know, I'll talk about this at length next
in Iraq, the overall security picture continues to concern me. Saddam is in prison, and the Coalition has killed
or apprehended all but 10 of his 54 key cronies. And Iraqis are
taking an increasing role in their own defense, with many now serving
in the various new police, military, and security forces.
- But the
violence continues. The daily average number of attacks
on US and Coalition military forces has dropped from its November
peak but is similar to that of August.
- And many
other insurgent and terrorist attacks undermine stability by
striking at, and
seeking to intimidate, those Iraqis willing
to work with the Coalition.
we face in Iraq comprises multiple groups with different motivations
but with the same goal: driving the US and
our Coalition partners from Iraq. Saddam's capture was a psychological
blow that took some of the less-committed Ba'thists out of the
fight, but a hard core of former regime elementsBa'th Party
officials, military, intelligence, and security officersare
still organizing and carrying out attacks.
has given us a good understanding of the insurgency at the
level, and this information is behind the host of
successful raids you've read about in the papers.
and Intelligence Community efforts to round up former regime
figures have disrupted
some insurgent plans to carry out
additional anti-Coalition attacks. But we know these Ba'thist
cells are intentionally decentralized to avoid easy penetration
and to prevent the roll-up of whole networks. Arms, funding, and
military experience remain readily available.
the situation as I've described itboth our
victories and our challengesindicates we have damaged, but
not yet defeated, the insurgents.
situation is further complicated by the involvement of terroristsincluding Ansar al-Islam (AI) and al-Zarqawiand
foreign jihadists coming to Iraq to wage jihad. Their goal is
clear. They intend to inspire an Islamic extremist insurgency
that would threaten Coalition forces and put a halt to the long-term
process of building democratic institutions and governance in Iraq. They
hope for a Taliban-like enclave in Iraq's Sunni heartland that
could be a jihadist safehaven.
- AIan Iraqi Kurdish extremist groupis
waging a terrorist campaign against the coalition presence
and cooperative Iraqis
in a bid to inspire jihad and create an Islamic state.
- Some extremists
go even further. In a recent letter, terrorist
planner Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi outlined his strategy to foster
sectarian civil war in Iraq, aimed at inciting the Shia.
foreign extremists from turning Iraq into their most important
yet rests in part on preventing loosely connected
extremists from coalescing into a cohesive terrorist organization.
- We are having
some successthe Coalition has arrested
key jihadist leaders and facilitators in Iraq, including top
leaders from Ansar al-Islam, the al-Zarqawi network, and other
- The October detention of AI's deputy leader set back the group's
ambition to establish itself as an umbrella organization for
jihadists in Iraq.
And we're also
concerned that foreign jihadists and former regime elements might
coalesce. This would link local knowledge and military
training with jihadist fervor and lethal tactics. At this point,
we've seen a few signs of such cooperation at the tactical or local
the Iraqi people themselves must provide the fundamental solutions. As you well know, the insurgents are incessantly and
violently targeting Iraqi police and security forces precisely
because they fear the prospect of Iraqis securing their own interests. Success
depends on broadening the role of the local security forces.
- This goes
well beyond greater numbers. It means continuing
work already under wayfixing equipment shortages, providing
training, ensuring adequate payto build a force of increasing
quality and confidence that will have the support of the Iraqi
It is hard to overestimate the importance of greater security
for Iraqis particularly as we turn to the momentous political events
slated for 2004.
- The real test will begin soon after the transfer of sovereignty,
when we'll see the extent to which the new Iraqi leaders embody
concepts such as pluralism, compromise, and rule of law.
Iraqi Arabsand many Iraqi Kurdspossess a strong Iraqi
identity, forged over a tumultuous 80 year history and especially
during the nearly decade-long war with Iran. Unfortunately, Saddam's
divide and rule policy and his favored treatment of the Sunni minority
aggravated tensions to the point where the key to governance in
Iraq today is managing these competing sectional interests.
Here's a readout on where these groups stand:
- The majority
SHIA look forward to the end of Sunni control, which began
the British creation of Iraq. The Shia community
nevertheless has internal tensions, between the moderate majority
and a radical minority that wants a Shia-dominated theocracy.
- The KURDS see many opportunities to advance long held goals:
retaining the autonomy they enjoyed over the past twelve years
and expanding their power and territory.
- The minority
SUNNI fear Shia and Kurdish ambitions. Such anxieties
help animate Sunni support for the insurgents. The Sunni community
is still at a very early state of establishing political structures
to replace the defeated Ba'th party.
I should qualify
what I've just said: no society, and surely
not Iraq's complex tapestry, is so simple as to be captured in
three or four categories. Kurds. Shia. Sunni. In reality, Iraqi
society is filled with more cleavages, and more connections,
than a simple typology can suggest. We seldom hear about the strong
tribal alliances that have long existed between Sunni and Shia,
or the religious commonalities between the Sunni Kurd and Arab
communities, or the moderate secularism that spans Iraqi groups.
- We tend to identify, and stress, the tensions that rend communities
apart, but opportunities also exist for these group to work together
for common ends.
and political interplay is further complicated by Iran, especially
in the south,
where Tehran pursues its own interests
and hopes to maximize its influence among Iraqi Shia after 1 July. Organizations
supported by IranSupreme Council for the Islamic Revolution
in Iraq (SCIRI) and its Badr Organization militiahave gained
positions within the Iraqi police and control media outlets in
Basrah that tout a pro-Iran viewpoint.
- Tehran also runs humanitarian and outreach programs that have
probably enhanced its reputation among Iraqi Shia, but many remain
The most immediate
political challenge for the Iraqis is to choose the transitional
that will rule their country while
they write their permanent constitution. The Shia cleric Grand
Ayatollah Muhammad Ali al-Sistani has made this selection process
the centerpiece of his effort to ensure that Iraqis will decide
their own future and choose the first sovereign post-Saddam government.
favors direct elections as the way to produce a legitimate,
religious pronouncements show that, above all, he wants Iraq
to be independent
of foreign powers. Moreover, his
praise of free elections and his theology reflect, in our reading,
a clearcut opposition to theocracy, Iran-style.
Once the issues
involving the selection of an transitional government are settled,
permanent constitution will begin to take shape. Here
the Iraqi government and the framers of the constitution will have
to address three urgent concerns: integrating the Sunni minority
into the political mainstream, managing Kurdish autonomy in a federal
structure, and determining the role of Islam in the Iraqi state.
The Sunni. Sunnis are at least a fifth of the population, inhabit
the country's strategic heartland, and comprise a sizable share
of Iraq's professional and middle classes. The Sunni are disaffected
as a deposed ruling minority, but some are beginning to recognize
that boycotting the emerging political process will weaken their
community. Their political isolation may be breaking down in parts
of the Sunni triangle, where some Sunni Arabs have begun to engage
the Coalition and assume local leadership roles. And in the past
three months we have also seen the founding of national-level Sunni
umbrella organizations to deal with the Coalition and the Governing
Council on questions like Sunni participation in choosing the transitional
Federalism. The Transitional Administrative Law is just now being
completed, and the way it deals with the relationship between the
political center and Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious communities
will frame the future constitutional debate. To make a federal
arrangement stick, Kurdish and Arab Iraq leaders will need to explain
convincingly that a federal structure benefits all Iraqis and not
just the Kurds. And even so, a host of difficult issuescontrol
over oil and security being perhaps the most significantmay
provoke tension between Kurdish and central Iraqi authorities.
Islam. The current draft of the Transitional Administrative Law
makes Islam Iraq's official creed but protects religious freedom. It
also creates an Iraqi legal system that is a mix of traditions,
including Islamic lawbut as only one legal element among
many. This compromise is already under fire by Sunni Islamists
who want Islam to be the sole source of law.
I don't want
to allow the important security and political stories to crowd
we should also be telling, including the often
neglected one about Iraq's sizable economic potential. It's true
that rebuilding will go on for yearsthe Saddam regime left
in its wake a devastated, antiquated, underfunded infrastructure. But
reconstruction progress and Iraq's own considerable assetsits
natural resources and its educated populaceshould enable
the Iraqis to see important improvement in 2004 in their infrastructure
and their quality of life.
- Over the next few years, they'll open more hospitals and build
more roads than anyone born under Saddam has witnessed.
of Iraqi oil production will help. Production is
on track to approach 3.0 million barrels per day by the end of
this year. Iraq hasn't produced this much oil since before the
1991 Gulf war. By next year, revenues from oil exports should
cover the cost of basic government operations and contribute several
billion dollars toward reconstruction. It is essential, however,
that the Iraq-Turkey pipeline be reopened and oil facilities be
well protected from insurgent sabotage.
Much more needs
to be done. Key public services such as water,
sewage, and transportation will have difficulty reaching prewar
levels by July and won't meet the higher target of total Iraqi
power capacity approaches prewar levels but still falls short
of peak demand. Looting
and sabotage may make supplies unreliable.
- Finally, unemployment and underemployment, which afflicts about
a half of the workforce, will remain a key problem and a potential
breeding ground for popular discontent.
Mr. Chairman, I'll turn now to worldwide trends in
picture is changing before our eyeschanging at a rate I have
not seen since the end of the Cold War. Some of it is good newsI'll
talk about the Libya and AQ Khan breakthroughs, for exampleand
some of it is disturbing. Some of it shows our years of work paying
off, and some of it shows the work ahead is harder.
We are watching countries of proliferation concern choose different
paths as they calculate the risks versus gains of pursuing WMD.
- Libya is taking steps toward strategic disarmament.
- North Korea is trying to leverage its nuclear program into
at least a bargaining chip and also international legitimacy
- And Iran is exposing some programs while trying to preserve
I'll start with LIBYA,
which appears to be moving toward strategic disarmament. For years Qadhafi had been chafing under
international pariah status. In March 2003, he made a strategic
decision and reached out through British intelligence with an offer
to abandon his pursuit of WMD.
That launched nine months of delicate negotiations where we moved
the Libyans from a stated willingness to renounce WMD to
an explicit and public commitment to expose and dismantle their
WMD programs. The leverage was intelligence. Our picture of Libya's
WMD programs allowed CIA officers and their British colleagues
to press the Libyans on the right questions, to expose inconsistencies,
and to convince them that holding back was counterproductive. We
repeatedly surprised them with the depth of our knowledge.
- For example,
US and British intelligence officers secretly traveled to Libya
asked to inspect Libya's ballistic missile
programs. Libyan officials at first failed to declare key facilities,
but our intelligence convinced them to disclose several dozen
facilities, including their deployed Scud B sites and their secret
North Korean-assisted Scud C production line.
- When we were tipped to the imminent shipment of centrifuge
parts to Libya in October, we arranged to have the cargo seized,
showing the Libyans that we had penetrated their most sensitive
By the end of the December visit, the Libyans:
- Admitted having a nuclear weapons program and having bought
uranium hexafluoride feed material for gas centrifuge enrichment.
- Admitted having nuclear weapon design documents.
- Acknowledged having made about 25 tons of sulfur mustard CW
agent, aerial bombs for the mustard, and small amounts of nerve
access to their deployed Scud B forces and revealed details
missile design work and of cooperation
with North Korea on the 800-km range Scuds Cs.
From the very
outset of negotiations, Qadhafi requested the participation of
organizations to help certify Libyan compliance. Tripoli
has agreed to inspections by the IAEA and the Organization for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and to abide by the
range limitations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). We
have briefed information on Tripoli's programs to various international
monitoring organizations. IAEA and OPCW officials have already
followed up with visits to Libya. Some discrepancies remain, but
we will continue to collect additional information and closely
monitor Libya's adherence to the commitments it has made.
In contrast to Libya, NORTH KOREA is trying to leverage
its nuclear programs into international legitimacy and bargaining
power, announcing its withdrawal from the Nonproliferation Treaty
and openly proclaiming that it has a nuclear deterrent.
2002, Pyongyang has announced its withdrawal from the Nonproliferation
Treaty and expelled IAEA inspectors. Last
year Pyongyang claimed to have finished reprocessing the 8,000
fuel rods that had been sealed by US and North Korean technicians
and stored under IAEA monitoring since 1994.
- The Intelligence
Community judged in the mid-1990s that North Korea had produced
one, possibly two, nuclear weapons. The 8000
rods the North claims to have processed into plutonium metal
would provide enough plutonium for several more.
We also believe Pyongyang is pursuing a production-scale uranium
enrichment program based on technology provided by AQ Khan, which
would give North Korea an alternative route to nuclear weapons.
we are concerned about more than just North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea has longstanding CW and BW capabilities
and is enhancing its BW potential as it builds its legitimate biotechnology
infrastructure. Pyongyang is sending individuals abroad and is
seeking dual-use expertise and technology.
also continues to advance its missile programs. North
Korea is nearly self-sufficient in ballistic missiles, and has
continued procurement of raw materials and components for its extensive
ballistic missile programs from various foreign sources. The North
also has demonstrated a willingness to sell complete systems and
components that have enabled other states to acquire longer-range
capabilities and a basis for domestic development efforts earlier
than would otherwise have been possible.
- North Korea
has maintained a unilateral long-range missile launch moratorium
but could end that with little
or no warning. The multiple-stage Taepo Dong-2capable
of reaching the United States with a nuclear weapon-sized payloadmay
be ready for flight-testing.
taking yet a different path, acknowledging work on a covert nuclear
fuel cycle while trying to preserve its WMD
options. I'll start with the good news: Tehran acknowledged more
than a decade of covert nuclear activity and agreed to open itself
to an enhanced inspection regime. Iran for the first time acknowledged
many of its nuclear fuel cycle development activitiesincluding
a large-scale gas centrifuge uranium enrichment effort. Iran claims
its centrifuge program is designed to produce low-enriched uranium,
to support Iran's civil nuclear power program. This is permitted
under the Nonproliferation Treaty, butand here's the downsidethe
same technology can be used to build a military program as well.
- The difference
between producing low-enriched uranium and weapons-capable
uranium is only a matter of time and intent, not
technology. It would be a significant challenge for intelligence
to confidently assess whether that red line had been crossed.
missile program is both a regional threat and a proliferation
concern. Iran's ballistic missile inventory is
among the largest in the Middle Eastand includes the 1300-km range
Shahab-3 MRBM as well as a few hundred SRBMs. Iran has announced
production of the Shahab-3 and publicly acknowledged development
of follow-on versions. During 2003, Iran continued R&D on
its longer-range ballistic missile programs, and publicly reiterated
its intention to develop space launch vehicles (SLVs)and
SLVs contain most of the key building blocks for an ICBM. Iran
could begin flight-testing these systems in the mid- to latter-part
of the decade.
- Iran also
appears willing to supply missile-related technology to countries
concern and publicly advertises its artillery
rockets and related technologies, including guidance instruments
and missile propellants.
Let me turn
now to a different aspect of the evolving WMD threat. I
want to focus on how countries and groups are increasingly trying
to get the materials they need for WMD. I'll focus on two important
- The roll-up of AQ Khan and his network, one of the most significant
counter-proliferation successes in years and one in which intelligence
led the way.
- The difficulty
of uncovering both proliferators masquerading as legitimate
and possible BW or CW plants appearing
to be legitimate "dual-use" facilities.
As I pointed
out last year, Mr. Chairman, WMD technologies are no longer the
of nation-states. They might also
come about as a result of business decisions made by private entrepreneurs
As you now
know, those comments were my way of referring to AQ Khan without
his name in open session. Until recently,
Khan, popularly known as the "father of the Pakistani bomb," was
the most dangerous WMD entrepreneur. For 25 years Khan directed
Pakistan's uranium enrichment program. He built an international
network of suppliers to support uranium enrichment efforts in Pakistan
that also supported similar efforts in other countries.
- Khan and
his network had been unique in being able to offer one-stop
enrichment technology and weapons design
information. With such assistance, a potentially wide range
of countries could leapfrog the slow, incremental stages of other
nuclear weapons development programs.
taken against Khan's networklike the example
of Libya I laid out earlierwere largely the result of intelligence.
- Intelligence discovered, pieced together, tracked, and penetrated
Khan's worldwide hidden network.
But every public
success we enjoy can be used by people like Khan to adjust, adapt,
evade. Proliferators hiding among legitimate
businesses, and countries hiding their WMD programs inside legitimate
dual-use industries, combine to make private entrepreneurs dealing
in lethal goods one of our most difficult intelligence challenges.
of these WMD programs, new procurement strategies continue to
ability to assess and warn on covert WMD programs. Acquisitions
for such programs aren't the work of secret criminal networks that
skirt international law. They're done by businessmen, in the open,
in what seems to be legal trade in high-technology.
challenge is especially applicable to countries hiding biological
warfare programs. With dual-use technology
and civilian industrial infrastructure, countries can develop BW
and CW capabilities. Biotechnology is especially dual-edged: Medical
programs and technology could easily support a weapons program,
because nearly every technology required for biological weapons
also has a legitimate application.
Now I'll turn
to a brief run-down of some significant missile programs apart
I've already discussed.
an aggressive missile modernization program that will improve
its ability to
conduct a wide range of military options
against Taiwan supported by both cruise and ballistic missiles. Expected
technical improvements will give Beijing a more accurate and lethal
missile force. China is also moving on with its first generation
of mobile strategic missiles.
- Although Beijing has taken steps to improve ballistic missile
related export controls, Chinese firms continue to be a leading
source of relevant technology and continue to work with other
countries on ballistic missile-related projects.
ballistic missile development continues apace. Both
India and Pakistan are pressing ahead with development and testing
of longer-range ballistic missiles and are inducting additional
SRBMs into missile units. Both countries are testing missiles
that will enable them to deliver nuclear warheads to greater distances.
Last year Syria
continued to seek help from abroad to establish a solid-propellant
motor development and production capability. Syria's
liquid-propellant ballistic missile program continued to depend
on essential foreign equipment and assistance, primarily from North
Korean entities. Syria is developing longer-range missile programs,
such as a Scud D and possibly other variants, with assistance from
North Korea and Iran.
remain interested in developing or acquiring land-attack cruise
which are almost always significantly more accurate
than ballistic missiles and complicate missile defense systems. Unmanned
aerial vehicles are also of growing concern.
To conclude my comments on proliferation, I'll briefly run through
some WMD programs I have not yet discussed, beginning with Syria.
Syria is an
NPT signatory with full-scope IAEA safeguards and has a nuclear
at Dayr Al Hajar. Russia and Syria
have continued their long-standing agreements on cooperation regarding
nuclear energy, although specific assistance has not yet materialized. Broader
access to foreign expertise provides opportunities to expand its
indigenous capabilities and we are closely monitoring Syrian nuclear
intentions. Meanwhile, Damascus has an active CW development
and testing program that relies on foreign suppliers for key controlled
chemicals suitable for producing CW.
remain alert to the vulnerability of Russian WMD materials and
to theft or diversion. We are also concerned by
the continued eagerness of Russia's cash-strapped defense, biotechnology,
chemical, aerospace, and nuclear industries to raise funds via
exports and transferswhich makes Russian expertise an attractive
target for countries and groups seeking WMD and missile-related
I'm going to
comment now on three countries we obviously pay a great deal
to: North Korea, China, and Russia.
The NORTH KOREAN regime
continues to threaten a range of US, regional, and global security
interests. As I've noted earlier,
Pyongyang is pursuing its nuclear weapons program and nuclear-capable
delivery systems. It continues to build its missile forces, which
can now reach all of South Korea and Japan, and to develop longer-range
missiles that could threaten the United States.
The North also
exports complete ballistic missiles and production capabilities,
with related components and expertise. It
continues to export narcotics and other contraband across the globe.
forward-deployed posture of North Korea's armed forces remains
a near-term threat
to South Korea and to the 37,000
US troops stationed there. Recall that early last year as tensions
over the nuclear program were building, Pyongyang intercepted a
US reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace.
continues to exert a tight grip on North Korea as supreme leader. The regime's militarized, Soviet-style command
economy is failing to meet the population's food and economic needs. Indeed,
the economy has faltered to the point that Kim has permitted some
new economic initiatives, including more latitude for farmers'
markets, but these changes are a far cry from the systemic economic
reform needed to revitalize the economy. The accumulated effect
of years of deprivation and repression places significant stresses
on North Korean society.
- The Kim regime rules largely through fear, intimidation, and
indoctrination, using the country's large and pervasive security
apparatus, its system of camps for political prisoners, and its
unrelenting propaganda to maintain control.
Mr. Chairman, CHINA continues
to emerge as a great power and expand its profile in regional
and international politicsbut
Beijing has cooperated with Washington on some key strategic issues.
- The Chinese
have cooperated in the war on terrorism and have been willing
host and facilitate multilateral dialogue on
the North Korean nuclear problemin contrast to Beijing's
more detached approach to that problem a decade ago.
making progress in asserting its influence in East Asia. Its activist diplomacy in the neighborhood is paying off,
fueled in large part by China's robust economy. China's growth
continues to outpace all others in the region, and its imports
of goods from other East Asian countries are soaring. As a result,
Beijing is better positioned to sell its neighbors on the idea
that what is good for the Chinese economy is good for Asia.
- That said,
China's neighbors still harbor suspicions about Beijing's long-term
intentions. They generally favor a sustained
US military presence in the region as insurance against potential
concern remains China's military buildup, which continues to
accelerate. Last year, Beijing reached new benchmarks in its
production or acquisition from Russia of missiles, submarines,
other naval combatants, and advanced fighter aircraft. China also
is downsizing and restructuring its military forces with an eye
toward enhancing its capabilities for the modern battlefield. All
of these steps will over time make China a formidable challenger
if Beijing perceived that its interests were being thwarted in
- We are closely monitoring the situation across the Taiwan Strait
in the period surrounding Taiwan's presidential election next
politicsespecially the incomplete leadership
transitionwill influence how Beijing deals with the Taiwan
issue this year and beyond. President and Communist Party leader
Hu Jintao still shares power with his predecessor in those positions,
Jiang Zemin, who retains the powerful chairmanship of the Party's
Central Military Commission.
the trend I highlighted last yearPresident
Putin's re-centralization of power in the Kremlinhas become
more pronounced, especially over the past several months. We see
this in the recent Duma elections and the lopsided United Russia
party victory engineered by the Kremlin and in the Kremlin's domination
of the Russian media.
Putin has nevertheless
recorded some notable achievements. His
economic recordeven discounting the continuing strength of
high world oil pricesis impressive, both in terms of GDP
growth and progress on market reforms. He has brought a sense
of stability to the Russian political scene after years of chaos,
and he restored Russians' pride in their country's place in the
Putin now dominates the Duma, and the strong showing of nationalist
plus the shutout of liberal parties may
bolster trends toward limits on civil society, state interference
in big business, and greater assertiveness in the former Soviet
Union. And the Kremlin's recent efforts to strengthen the state's
role in the oil sector could discourage investors and hamper energy
cooperation with the West.
He shows no
signs of softening his tough stance on Russia's war in Chechnya. Russian counterinsurgency operations have had some
success. Putin's prime innovation is the process of turning more
authority over to the Chechen under the new government of Akhmad
Kadyrov, and empowering his security forces to lead the counter-insurgency.
- Although this strategy may succeed in lowering Russia's profile
in Chechnya, it is unlikely to lead to resolution.
already become more assertive in its approach to the neighboring
states of the
former Soviet Union, such as Georgia,
Ukraine, and Moldova. Russian companiesprimarily for commercial
motives, but in line with the Kremlin's agendaare increasing
their stakes in neighboring countries, particularly in the energy
increasing assertiveness is partly grounded in a growing confidence
military capabilities. Although still
a fraction of their former capabilities, Russian military forces
are beginning to rebound from the 1990s nadir. Training rates
are upincluding some high-profile exercisesalong with
Even so, we
see Moscow's aims as limited. Russia is using primarily
economic incentives and levers of "soft" power, like shared history
and culture, to rebuild lost power and influence. And Putin has
a stake in relative stability on Russia's bordersnot least
to maintain positive relations with the US and Europeans.
with the US continue to contain elements of both cooperation
and competition. On balance, they remain more
cooperative than not, but the coming year will present serious
challenges. For example, Russia remains supportive of US deployments
in Central Asia for Afghanistanbut is also wary of US presence
in what Russia considers to be its own back yard.
Let me turn now to AFGHANISTAN, where the Afghan people
are on their way to having their first legitimate, democratically
elected government in more than a generation.
of a new constitution at the Constitutional Loya Jirga in January
is a significant milepost. It provides the legal
framework and legitimacy for several initiatives, including elections,
scheduled for later this year.
- Within the
next 12 months, the country could have, for the first time,
elected President and National Assembly
that are broadly representative, multi-ethnic, and able to begin
providing security and services at some level.
Even if the
date of elections slipsthe Bonn Agreement requires
a June datethe central government is extending its writ and
legitimate political processes are developing nationwide through
other means. Regional "warlords" are disruptive but disunitedand
appear to realize the Bonn process and elections are the only way
to avoid relapsing into civil war.
Minister Fahim Khan is cooperating with President Karzai and
to keep his large body of Panjshiri supporters
in line in favor of Bonn and stability.
the infusion of $2 billion in international aid has propelled
performance. The IMF estimates GDP grewfrom
an admittedly low baseby 29 percent last year. The completion
of the Kabul to Kandahar road in December was a success, but the
international community will need to ensure that funds are channeled
toward projects that make the most impact and are balanced among
the regions and ethnic groups.
a National Army is another long-term international challenge. So far, almost 6,000 Afghan soldiers have been trained
by US, British, and French trainers. It will take years to reach
the goal of a 70,000-strong ethnically-balanced forcebut with
continued Coalition and international community support and assistance
over the next two years, Afghanistan need not become either a "security
welfare state," or, again, a breeding ground for terrorists and
most worrisome events were the continued attacks by the Afghan
Authority's enemiesparticularly the
Taliban, along with al-QA`ida and followers of Afghan extremist
Hikmatyarwho want to disrupt routine life and the reconstruction
effort in the south and east. This is still a problem, because
none of these groups has abandoned the ultimate goal of derailing
the process by which legitimate democratic government and the rule
of law will be established in Afghanistan.
I don't want
to overstate the Taliban's strength. It is far from
having sufficient political and military might to challenge the
Karzai Government. It is, however, still able to interfere with
the political, economic, and social reconstruction of the country
by fomenting insecurity and thereby undermining public confidence
- Like other
extremists bent on restoring the terrorist-sponsored state
before the liberation of Afghanistan, Taliban
remnants remain intent on using any available means to undermine
President Karzai and his government, to drive international aid
organizations and their workers from the areas that most need
them, and to attack US and Coalition forces.
- For this reason the security situation in the south and east
is still tenuous and Kabul will need considerable assistance
over at least the next year or two to stabilize the security
Mr. Chairman, I'll begin with a sobering bottom line:
- With the
victory of hardliners in elections last weekend, governmental
received a serious blow. Greater repression is a
- With the
waning of top-down reform efforts, reformers will probably
the grass rootsworking with NGOs and labor
groupsto rebuild popular support and keep the flame alive.
- The strengthening of authoritarian rule will make breaking
out of old foreign policy patterns more difficult at a time when
Tehran faces a new geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.
I voiced last year are unabated. The recent defeats
will have further alienated a youthful population anxious for change. Abroad,
Tehran faces an altered regional landscape in the destruction of
radical anti-Western regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and growing
international concern about nuclear proliferation.
- And, as has so often happened in Iran's history, Iran's leaders
appear likely to respond to these challenges in rigid and unimaginative
setback is the latest in a series of contests in which authoritarian
rule has prevailed over reformist challengers. The
reformistsPresident Khatami in particularare in no
small part to blame. Their refusal to back bold promises with
equally bold actions exhausted their initially enthusiastic popular
When the new
Majles convenes in June, the Iranian government will be even
controlled by the forces of authoritarianism. In
the recent election, clerical authorities disqualified more than
2500 candidates, mostly reformists, and returned control of the
legislature to hardliners. The new Majles will focus on economic
reform, with little or no attention to political liberalization.
- And with the Majles securely behind the hardliners, we expect
to see many of the outlets for political dissent shut down by
the clerical regime.
- The prospect
of internal violence remains. Hardliners may
now resort to new heavy-handedness that produces public outrage
and protest. At least eight people were killed and 30 injured
in elected-related violence last weekend.
repression is likely to be the most immediate consequence, this
further deepen the discontent with
clerical rule, which is now discredited and publicly criticized
as never before. In the past year several unprecedented open letters,
including one signed by nearly half the parliament, were published
calling for an end to the clergy's absolute rule.
- Iran's recent
history is studded with incidents of serious civil unrest that
in response to the arrogance of local
officialsevents like the 1999 student riots that broke
out when security forces attacked a dormitory.
- Even so,
the Iranian public does not appear eager to take a challenge
to the streetsin
Tehran, apathy is the
prevailing mood, and regime intimidation has cowed the
populace. This mix keeps the regime secure for now.
surrounding Iran's internal politics comes as Tehran adjusts
to the regional
changes of a post-Saddam Iraq. Because
Khamenei and his allies have kept close rein on foreign policy,
we do not expect the defeat of the reformists to lead to a sudden
change in Iranian policy. Tehran will continue to use multiple
avenuesincluding media influence, humanitarian and reconstruction
aid, diplomatic maneuvering, and clandestine activityto advance
its interests and counter US influence in Iraq.
- We judge that Iran wants an Iraqi government that does not
threaten Tehran, is not a US puppet, can maintain the country's
territorial integrity, and has a strong Shia representation.
- These interests have led Tehran to recognize the Iraqi Governing
Council and work with other nascent Iraqi political, economic,
and security institutions.
In INDONESIA, the world's most populous Muslim country, authorities
have arrested more than 100 Jemaah Islamiya (JI) suspects linked
to the terrorist attacks in Bali in October 2002 and the Jakarta
Marriott Hotel last year. However, coming presidential and legislative
elections appear to have blunted the government's efforts to root
the presidential frontrunner, but continuing criticism of her
and the growing prospect that her party
will lose seats in the legislative election increase the likelihood
of a wide-open race. The secular-nationalist Golkarthe former
ruling party of Soeharto, now riding a wave of public nostalgia
for his bygone eracould overtake Megawati's party to win
the plurality of legislature seats. Most local polls suggest that
the Islamic parties are unlikely to improve their percentage of
extremists, however, are challenging Indonesia's dominant moderate
groups. A growing number of Indonesian
Muslims now advocate the adoption of Islamic law, and dozens of
provincial and district governments around the archipelago are
taking advantage of the devolution of authority since 1998 to begin
enforcing elements of Islamic civil law and customs.
Let me turn briefly to SOUTH ASIA. When I commented on
the situation there last year, I warned that, despite a lessening
of tensions between India and Pakistan, we remained concerned a
dramatic provocation might spark another crisis.
This year I'm
pleased to note that the normalization of relations between India
Pakistan has made steady progress. Building
on Prime Minister Vajpayee's April 2003 "hand of friendship" initiative,
the leaders in New Delhi and Islamabad have begun to lay a promising
foundation for resolving their differences through peaceful dialogue.
- Both countries
have since made further progress in restoring diplomatic, economic,
transportation, and communications links
andmost importantlyboth sides have agreed to proceed
with a "composite" dialogue on a range of bilateral
issues that include Kashmir.
will hinge largely on the extent to which each side judges that
other is sincere about improving India-Pakistan
relations. For example, India is watching carefully to see whether
the level of militant infiltration across the Line of Control (LOC)
increases this spring after the snows melt in the mountain passes.
In this hemisphere, President Uribe of COLOMBIA is
making great strides militarily and economically. Colombia's
military is making steady progress against the illegal armed groups,
particularly around Bogotá; last year the Army decimated several
FARC military units. In the last two months, Colombian officials
have apprehended the two most senior FARC leaders ever captured.
- Foreign and domestic investors are taking note: last year,
 the growth rate of 3.5 percent was the highest in 5 years.
But some of
Uribe's hardest work awaits him. The military has
successfully cleared much of the insurgent-held territory, but
the next stage of Uribe's "clear-and-hold" strategy is securing
the gains thus far. That entails building the state presenceschools,
police stations, medical clinics, roads, bridges, and social infrastructurewhere
it has scarcely existed before.
should bear in mind that Uribe's opponents will adjust their
as well. The FARC may increasingly seek to target
US persons and interests in Colombia, particularly if key
leaders are killed, captured, or extradited to the United States.
- Drug gangs are also adapting, relocating
coca cultivation and production areas and attacking aerial
eradication missions. All
of this translates into more money and more resources for traffickers,
insurgents, and paramilitary forces.
And in HAITI,
the situation is, of course, extremely fluid at this moment. What continues to concern us is the possibility
that the increasing violence will lead to a humanitarian disaster
or mass migration. Forces opposed to the government control key
cities in northern Haiti and they have identified Port-au-Prince
as their next target. Those forces include armed gangs, former
Haitian Army officers, and members of irregular forces who allegedly
killed Aristide supporters during his exile.
- Future battles
could be bloody, as the armed opposition is arrayed against
irregular forces equally disposed
to violence. Moreover, food, fuel, and medical supplies already
have been disrupted in parts of Haiti because of the fighting,
making living conditions even worse for Haiti's many poor.
- The government
is looking for international help to restore order. Improving
security will require the difficult tasks of disarming both
pro- and anti-government irregulars and augmenting
and retraining a national security force.
In SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA,
progress in continuing peace processes requires further careful
Western cultivation and African regional
- In Liberia, UN peacekeepers and the transitional government
face a daunting challenge to rein in armed factions, including
remnants of Charles Taylor's militias.
- Sudan's chances for lasting peace are its best in decades,
with more advances possible in the short term, given outside
guarantees and incentives.
- A fragile peace process in Burundi and struggling transitional
government in Congo (Kinshasa) have the potential to end conflicts
that so far have claimed a combined total of over 3 million lives.
- Tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea over their disputed border
is jeopardizing the peace accord brokered by US officials in
THE OTHER TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES
Let me conclude
my comments this morning by briefly considering some important
concerns that touch on the war against
We're used to thinking of that fight as a sustained worldwide
effort to get the perpetrators and would-be perpetrator off the
street. This is an important preoccupation, and we will
never lose sight of it.
that combine desperate social and economic circumstances with
a failure of
government to police its own territory can often
provide nurturing environments for terrorist groups, and for insurgents
and criminals. The failure of governments to control their own
territory creates potential power vacuums that open opportunities
for those who hate.
- We count
approximately 50 countries that have such "stateless
zones." In half of these, terrorist groups are thriving. Al-QA`ida
and extremists like the Taliban, operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan
border area, are well known examples.
As the war
on terrorism progresses, terrorists will be driven from their
to seek new hideouts where they can undertake
training, planning, and staging without interference from government
authorities. The prime candidates for new "no man's lands" are
remote, rugged regions where central governments have no consistent
reach and where socioeconomic problems are rife.
play into the struggle to eradicate stateless zones and dry up
trends. More than half of the Middle East's population
is under the age of 22. "Youth bulges," or excessive numbers
of unemployed young people, are historical markers for increased
risk of political violence and recruitment into radical causes. The
disproportionate rise of young age cohorts will be particularly
pronounced in Iraq, followed by Syria, Kuwait, Iran and Saudi
disease. The HIV/AIDS pandemic remains a global
humanitarian crisis that also endangers social and political
stability. Although Africa currently has the greatest number
of HIV/AIDS casesmore than 29 million infectedthe
disease is spreading rapidly. Last year, I warned about rising
infection rates in Russia, China, India, and the Caribbean. But
the virus is also gaining a foothold in the Middle East and North
Africa, where governments may be lulled into overconfidence by
the protective effects of social and cultural conservatism.
need. Need will again outpace international pledges
for assistance. Sub-Saharan Africa and such conflict-ravaged
places like Chechnya, Tajikistan, and the Palestinian Occupied
Territories will compete for aid against assistance to Iraq and
Afghanistan. Only 40 percent of UN funding requirements for
2003 had been met for the five most needy countries in Africa.
- Food insecurity. More
than 840 million people are undernourished worldwide, a number
that had fallen in the first half of the
1990s but in now on the increase. USDA estimates the food aid
needed to meet annual recommended minimum nutrition levels at
almost 18 million metric tons, far above the recent average of
11 million tons donated per annum.
And I'll take this opportunity to remind you, Mr. Chairman, of
the continued threat the global narcotics industry poses to the
- As evident by the doubling of the Afghan opium crop in 2003,
the narcotics industry is capable of moving quickly to take advantage
of opportunities presented by the absence of effective government
- Although the linkages between the drug trade and terrorism
are generally limited on a global basis, trafficking organizations
in Afghanistan and Colombia pose significant threats to stability
in these countries and constitute an important source of funding
for terrorist activity by local groups.
- This combination of flexibility and ability to undermine effective
governmental institutions means that dealing with the narcotics
challenge requires a truly global response.
And that, Mr.
Chairman, concludes my formal remarks. I welcome
any questions or comments you and the members may have for me.