tv Washington This Week CSPAN February 15, 2014 12:00pm-12:44pm EST
they are disproportionately influential because they are among the most effective fighters on the battlefield. would you say there is a between relationship the extremist elements and the of rebelrate elements forces in syria? the question is is there a significant relationship between the extremist elements and what we are calling the more moderate elements? >> they are in agreement -- are an agreement of convenience. made disagree ideologically. if it is convenient for them i
-- for them onxt a tactical context we will agree with them. they are fighting other oppositions groups. >> given this relationship of convenience, as you described coordinating going on, sharing a bit of information and equipment that goes on between extremist elements and moderate elements. >> that is hard to say. ofs is a very fluid kind thing. ,here are 1600 of these groups various fighting groups. they realign themselves constantly. it is hard to make generalized statements.
>> moderates were seized by some islamist groups in december. was he involved in that seizure? research tove to see what groups are involved. i don't know off the top of my head. is there anything that was seized in connection with that rate in december that has been subsequently used by any of the extremist groups? >> we do not know. i cannot say. >> iranian nuclear capabilities and the ongoing nuclear negotiations are obviously of enormous interest to this committee and congress.
i would like to focus on a different aspect of that, which hasn't received quite as much attention. iran's development of a delivery system that would be capable of threatening united states or our forces abroad. what is the u.s. government's of the iranian icbm -- program's development and its capabilities. >> i think as stated by the chairman in his opening , given the development that we see, that is accurate. by about 2015. >> that is the ability to test one. >> the ability to test one. you would have to have something that is potentially functioning.
is any connection with their ipo -- with their icbm program? , not currently. we don't believe. >> does that mean you anticipate they might be? clock's i was alluding to the on-againf the off-again relationship between ironic and north korea. >> last december, afghanistan agreed to negotiate a cooperation pack for long-term political security, economic >> and cooperation he said security. the treasury department recently for iranian members to its list of global terrorists for its support of terrorism and intelligence activities against afghanistan. what is your assessment of the
relationship between the government of afghanistan and iran? separately, the relationship between the taliban and iran and the influence of iran on the country. iranians would clearly like to have as much influence afghanistan,n particularly with forthcoming changes. they have not been particularly successful. there have been border disagreements, firings across the border. it is a less than warm relationship. that is not to say the iranians aren't trying to reach out. they recently posted a very astute diplomat in kabul to try to negotiate with the afghans. there is some suspicion their long-term. >> thank you very much.
>> senator nelson? >> gentlemen, thank you for your public service. that 2015 is one it is expected iran is ready to is there additional time that would be needed for iran to achieve the integration of a nuclear weapons on to an icbm? >> that is quite right. what we're speaking of is a missile system that could and chile have icbm class range. that is not to say anything of them working with a nuclear weapon. that is another problem. they have worked on both a solid and liquid class.
they have done some work on some space launch vehicle that would have some application from the standpoint of thrust and business. >> can you hold it until the classified -- the timing it would take for the integration, were they to have a nuclear weapon on an icbm. >> it depends on a lot of factors and a lot of variables that are best explored in a closed session. >> tell me if this is correct, the administration's policy that they are exploring and shifting the use of drones on unmanned aerial vehicle strikes from the cia to the dod, is that an
accurate statement? >> it is. left to a also be closed session. >> ok. i just want to state at the outset that my opinion is that is a mistake. what i considered to be a mistake i'll ask with this , one of the reasons so itted is by being the dod would not be covert, it would be overt. when the enemy says that we killed so many innocent , which is usually not accurate by any stretch of the imagination, that we would be able to publicly state that.
is that one of the justifications for the policy? >> yes, sir. it is awkward discussing this in public. i wouldn't characterize that as a primary reason. >> i will just state and closing that the enemy is going to state that anyway. i think that the drum policy has beenrnment has had .xceptionally precise accusations occur from it is thises are you senator's opinion that that is not accurate. let me ask you, since you all
testified earlier, dod is setting up this clandestine service. do you worry about the two clandestine services getting in each other way? >> i do not. i think it will accrue from this this has been a long-standing arrangement. i think of the tenets of what is defended with the clandestine service it will serve to promote greater and -- greater integration. i would like to explore that and the classified setting. items -- i have five or six items that i'll ask clarify.
it'll come at a later date. >> thank you, gentlemen for being here today. work ins to those that this valuable mission. the -- i would've to focus on my various colleagues who have spoken about the nuclear capabilities of iran and the direction they seem to be heading. you tell me what the reaction was of our allies and the goals and also the israeli government. with regards to the november deal that came about.
>> i think it is fair to say that many of them were not comfortable with this or unhappy with it. >> general? think it raises the level of attention in a region that already has enough attention. >> could they believe this interim deal is going to slow iran's progress in any way? demott you are speaking about these other governments? generally have concerns about whether it will or will not. >> would you agree with that? >> i do. >> what does your intelligence tell you and how do you believe these nations are going to react if they believe that iran is very close to obtaining and
delivering a nuclear weapon? data -- >> at that point they were reached read -- they were reached. obviously it would be a great concern. >> do you have any intelligence that will give you an inclination on how those countries would react? iran actually obtained a nuclear weapon i think they would be quiet about it. >> we're going to pivot to the chinese and the russians. in your testimony before the senate intelligence committee you highlighted the chinese military modernization. are they modernizing their
nuclear forces as well? i understand the russians are modernizing their nuclear forces. is that correct? >> yes it is. why -- >> why? of the russians, this is the foundation of their claim to great power status. other deficiencies they may have, they are going to wateredit intercontinental nuclear strike capabilities. since it is smaller, they don't are in ar players arms-control environment.
their perspective is different. as part of their overall campaign to modernize the military across the board. , are either of these countries elevating the role that nuclear weapons would play within their total personal? -- total arsenal? the case of the russians i think it is probably less predominant, if that is what your question is. force thanh smaller they had during the cold war. attempts to modernize their conventional forces, i will tell you it is less prevalent than it was. article that says reducing the role of nuclear weapons in the u.s. security
objective. a u.s. while russia is pursuing new concepts and capabilities of expanding nuclear weapons in its security strategy, this is from the national intelligence council's report on global trends for money 30. it came out in 2012. reportdisagree with that with regards to their assessment of what the russians are doing? >> i thought i misunderstood you. >> i am comparing him historically to the cold war. this will always be an aspect of their overall national power. they areyou say expanding with regards to that nuclear power?
are they changing the way they will perhaps use those nuclear weapons in the future? >> have some issues here i need to go over as well. if i could conclude quickly with the issue of cyber con and the nsa, there is value in linking the two together. do you support the decision not to split the nsa? i do support it. in my former job i was a proponent for the dual hat arrangement. i also raised in the current to ask whether it would help from an optics standpoint to split an essay from cyber con.
found the reasons that i keepinge compelling them together are still germane. the president came to that conclusion on his own. >> not just the optics but also the cost, would there be an increased cost in your estimation if the two were split? >> there could be but the greater complication would be affecting such a divorce. in the cyber domain there is so much integration and so much more efficiency that accrues from having them united as one. ultimately i think the decision as to whether to exploit or -- i still feel the best person to make that judgment is the director of the nsa and not have them as competitive and
cities. that competitive entities. >> -- as competitive entities. >> i want to thank you for your service and the men and women who serve you. it is a tremendous undertaking that you have and i appreciate it very much. since i have been here for three and a half years i have had readings on cyber security and what it could do to us. we are going through a difficult time in west virginia now with the water. it shows me what could happen. we need some assistance to build some confidence back in. we didn't have a backup system. we continue to run the water plant even though it ingested the chemical chn.
--lost the confidence to the the confidence of the people of west virginia. we have no official in federal or state government that would say it is safe. some of the things we haven't tested. said, i thinkg ours is a wake-up call. no serious injuries right now. askuld thought that i would all of you very carefully how to best control is around the country. hopefully they can assist us in getting back to a normality. we are going to come back bigger and better. we have people that are still very much concerned and they are .ot using the normal usage , ih all that being said
agree with general alexander. the national guard could play a huge role. they are ideally suited for cyber warfare as a former governor and commander in chief of our national guard. on the phone lines events for every state. every governor will tell you that. they are located in every state and not limited to a few military bases. i want to know what we can do to assist that come if that is the direction you believe we should ando help secure our states our vital necessities that we all depend on. >> our first comment about water
and your characterization of what happened in your state as a wake-up call, i couldn't agree more. we constantly see this as a national security issue overseas. it could easily be the source of conflict between countries. case in point is the grand that ethiopia is building the impact that could have on each of us. reserve, the guard and is another case where they can play a huge role. i know if -- he will continue the same emphasis and same support general alexander has had. would you all support the
position that the guard would play a front line of defense in cyber on homeland here? >> yes, sir. is far removed from where i sit now. i certainly agree. >> i would just add that the vital necessity for the guard and reserve, especially in the intelligence aspects of what they do and especially as it relates to the critical infrastructure in all of our understatementn to say they are vital. >> and sometimes runs with strong headwinds. for your help in our state of west virginia and
there's anything you did i would appreciate it. the wall street rich -- the wall aneet journal identified underground location and within werenutes 17 transformers shut out with high-powered sniper rifles. no one has been arrested or charged with this attack. i am sure we are pursuing that heavily. >> the fbi and state and local officials are definitely doing so. most concerned about our grid, food supply, or water supply? >> that is a hobbesian choice. probably the thing that would have the most impact quickly would be a substantial attack on and the incident
on california is also a wake-up call and very instructive. iraq --esurgence of fallujah is currently under militants control. portions of iraq have been courted our off with the iraq ease setting up security checkpoints in blocking off the roads. facing wello be trained al qaeda. how imminent threat is the resurgence of al qaeda affiliates pose for the region stability? increasingly is an big concern that we're going to have to pay close attention to not only inside of iraq but in the whole region as you are highlighting. the scale of what is involved,
particularly the al qaeda elements in iraq, and the level theestruction they have in level of killing they are doing is just terrible. >> thank you very much. chairman,ou, mr. director clapper, general flynn. fornt to thank you both being here and thank you for your service helping to protect our nation. i also want to thank the men and women military and civilian with you both. start byike to focusing on al qaeda. sustained counterterrorism pressure, key organizational setbacks and the emergence of other power centers of the global extremist movement have put core al qaeda on a downward trajectory since 2008.
all is ask you what your core definition of core al qaeda is. >> why definition is the -- it isp group process they was meant by that. they have been found a degraded, not slumberland it is -- not eliminated by any respect. >> what is the value of that distinction? >> i think for an organization like al qaeda and the arabian peninsula, it poses a much greater tactical near-term
operational threats to the homeland. is the ideological center of al qaeda in pakistan. >> the leader of the branch in is a former detainee at quant, bay best at guantánamo bay. was in fact on al qaeda pot spay role. shouldn't his group he considered a part of core al qaeda. >> they are not. the central leadership picks and are actually knighted,
so designated as an al qaeda organization. a lot of these organizations profess extremism. they have, in some cases, the same goals but are not actually part of al qaeda. organization in egypt, if violent organization but not yet a part of al qaeda formally to the extent that that has meeting. >> who's making the determination of core al qaeda? it seems to me the characteristics of being on -- r payroll -- in chargehere he is of that. he recently excommunicated al .aeda in iraq
>> i was troubled by the in whichd testimony general dempsey was asked about the ability of the military to target the terrorists who attacked us in benghazi. general dempsey's response was were note individuals participants or in leadership of and therefore were not under the authorization for use of military force. the military do not have divinity to target those individuals that have the ability to target those individuals. the ability to target
those individuals. >> we have targeted them and an intelligence sense. certainly the dod and to d i p class -- and the ip tracks them. i don't know about the legality we can actually shoot at them. these terrorists are professing allegiance to al qaeda, at least portions of them are led by others with ties directly to bin laden, and given that the murdered for americans, does it make sense we should be re-strained in going after them and bringing them to justice.
>> if there are terrorists of any stripe we are going to do our best to collect as much intelligence on them as we cap. you have review -- as we can. >> do you have aim -- have a view of the same question? >> we also have to look at ideology that exists within these groups. they share an ideology and i would add that to the definition of corpulent is not just the senior leadership of al qaeda -- of core. it is not just the senior leadership about qaeda. it is an ideology that these extreme groups have. >> would you consider this branch can -- this branch sharing that i'd ideology -- that ideology? >> i would. cap -- director
clapper, i'm very concerned that the joint plan of action that we are going down with iran is making the same mistakes that the united states made with respect to north korea and is indeed being negotiated by many of the very same people. by relaxing the sanctions against north korea we allowed the funds to fly to north korea, which, in turn, allowed them to develop nuclear weapons. is there any reason we should expect different results in iran than the same policy achieved in north korea? >> i am not here to critique u.s. policy. i don't know how we will come out and iran. for our part we are very committed in making sure we monitor compliance with whatever agreements are fortunate -- are forged. want too you don't critique u.s. policy but is there any reason to believe that
the outcome in iran would be any different than north korea? >> yes. iran is a completely different country than north korea. the outcome could be different. >> do the differences make it more or less likely they would comply? this will be my last question. in your view, if iran were to succeed in acquiring a nuclear theon, what do you view is likelihood they would use that nuclear weapon to murder innocent people? they are notll, near acquiring a nuclear weapon and would be even farther from it assuming these negotiations pan out. i'm -- to answer your question, and can't answer it. -- i can't answer. >> i think the odds are high and
this current path is exceedingly dangerous. >> thank you, senator cruz. >> thank you both for your service. some of to follow-up on the same issues regarding iran specifically. -- regarded by rim specifically regardinglity of -- iran. specifically our capability of -- we had a lot of examples for those budgets -- before , not knowing what is going on in countries real-time. of not knowing if it off he had
chemical weapons before his downfall and we got in there. i think we testified specifically about that of not knowing today -- we talked about the russians violating some of our agreements with them such as nuclear forces. is our capability in iran qualitatively better than all these other places pre-sequester and pre-budget impacts? >> i would call it comparable. i would be happy to discuss in more detail what our actual intelligence cute abilities are in a closed session. arentelligence capabilities in a closed session. they are comparable and given the past track record of not knowing precisely what was going on in those places until
how can youhe fact, state we are certain that our intelligence cape that our intelligence cape -- our intelligence community is moving forward on a nuclear weapons. notll of that insight is dependent on the intelligence community. it is also heavily the -- heavily dependent on the authorities for more intrusive observation by the international atomic energy administration. under the provisions of the jpl , that woulde jpoa make a big difference.
>> for that to be foolproof, you have to know where to look. certainly those provisions with intelligence capabilities can work. >> i didn't understand the question. >> certainly that is all related to work in the intelligence community and those provisions. >> yes, it is. i would prefer to discuss the relationship in a closed session. me just underscore my concern, particularly given the history in north korea, and , libya, plenty of other places. question, i think you testified that ciber is your single biggest concern.
does that equation change if iran gets a nuclear weapon? does that rank as your most serious concern? does that change if iran gets a >> i would have to rethink that. >> thank you. >> let's have a second round for starters. if we need more than that we will have a third round. first on iran. what is the intelligence community's assessment of the nature and extent of iranian -- innce in iraq yet go iraq? >> there ise is --
some influence. there is some standoffishness. it is in iran's best and first -- best interest to have a cooperative shiite led government. growing? >> i think it is kind of level to what it has been for a couple of years. >> there has been a number of articles written about business people in various countries knocking on the door in iran. the administration made it pretty clear we are going to enforce our current sanctions. providing -- they are knocking on the door but the door is locked tight.
the fact that there is a lot of interest in outside business communities that come entire ram, put some additional pressure on iran, then negotiate a settlement that we would find acceptable. >> i think it would be an attraction. i think it probably supports the rouhani camp, those that are trying to change the economy and improve it -- and approve it. >> i want to switch you to the pakistan. this has to do with the financial network.
assume the intelligence community tracks the financial network and the banks and the businesses which support the economy network. why haven't went that's why haven't we been able to shut down the financial support? been able tot we shut down that financial support? >> we best discuss that in a closed session. >> senator graham? >> general flynn, do you share the concerns about the release of these detainees? >> i do. of dutyou served a tour in afghanistan. >> i served three. >> dealing with this issue of detainees -- familiarity with the detainees? , absolutely. >> thank you.
clapper, i appreciate your candor and your service to our country. president rouhani has tweeted out that 117 delegations have visited iran, seeking to do business in the future. do you know if that is accurate or not? >> i do not. assessment aso an to whether or not our european allies and other countries throughout the world are now engaging iran more aggressively in terms of business opportunity? >> yes, we will. a to for and view them i could senator -- good friend, senator levin. to it in is trying line to do business. that is just my opinion. ask you this question to reinforce it again. if the iranians are allowed to enrich uranium as a final deal. -- as a final