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While some interagency cooperation and information sharing has begun, substantial barriers, including legislative mandates, still prevent a fully coordinated counterterrorism effort. As the organizational charts get more complex, the effort inevitably becomes less cohesive.

In our previous hearings, we found duplicative research programs and overlapping preparedness training. Despite expenditure of more than $9 billion last year, many local first responders still lack basic training and equipment.

According to our witnesses this morning, the fight against terrorism remains fragmented and unfocused, primarily because no overarching national strategy guides planning, directs spending, or disciplines bureaucratic balkanization. They will discuss recommendations for reform of counterterrorism programs that the new administration would be wise, very wise, to consider.

When pressed for a national strategy, the previous administration pointed to a pastiche of event-driven Presidential decision directives and an agency-specific 5-year plan. Reactive in vision and scope, that strategy changed only as we lurched from crisis to crisis, from Khobar to the U.S.S. Cole, from Oklahoma City to Dar es Salaam.

In January, the subcommittee wrote to Dr. Condoleeza Rice, the President's national security advisor, regarding the need for a clear national strategy to combat terrorism. The administration has begun a thorough review of current programs and policies. In deference to that review, the subcommittee will not receive testimony from executive agencies' witnesses today. They will appear at a future hearing. That hearing will be in the very near future.

Terrorists willing to die for their cause will not wait while we rearrange bureaucratic boxes on the organizational chart. Their strategy is clear. Their focus is keen. Their resources efficiently deployed. Our national security demands greater strategic clarity, sharper focus, and unprecedented coordination to confront the threat of terrorism today.

We look forward to the testimony of our very distinguished witnesses as we continue our oversight of these critical issues.

At this time I would like to recognize Dennis Kucinich, the ranking member of the committee.

The prepared statement of Hon. Christopher Shays follows:)

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Last week we learned the stalled investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing that killed nineteen Americans has been beset by a long-simmering power struggle between the FBI Director and the U.S. Attorney assigned to bring the terrorist perpetrators to justice. Transfer of the case to another prosecutor may breathe new life into the five-year-old inquiry, but the change is also a symptom of a suffocating problem plaguing the federal effort to combat terrorism. In a word: “turf.”

In 1995, the president designated the Federal Emergency Management Agency as
the lead federal agency for consequence management, the measures needed to protect
life, restore essential services and provide emergency relief, after a terrorism event
involving conventional, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction. The FBI,
part of the Department of Justice, was directed to lead crisis management, the measures
needed to prevent or punish acts of terrorism.

Today, more than forty federal departments and agencies operate programs to deter, detect, prepare for, and respond to terrorist attacks. We put their names out to demonstrate how difficult it would be to get them all in one room, much less get them all to speak with one voice.

While some inter-agency cooperation and information sharing has begun, substantial barriers - including legislative mandates - still prevent a fully coordinated counterterrorism effort. As the organizational charts get more complex, the effort inevitably becomes less cohesive.

Statement of Rep. Christopher Shays

March 27, 2001

In our previous hearings, we found duplicative research programs and overlapping preparedness training. Despite expenditure of more than nine billion dollars last year, many local first responders still lack basic training and equipment.

According to our witnesses this morning, the fight against terrorism remains fragmented and unfocused primarily because no overarching national strategy guides planning, directs spending or disciplines bureaucratic balkanization. They will discuss recommendations for reform of counterterrorism programs the new administration would be wise to consider.

When pressed for a national strategy, the previous administration pointed to a pastiche of event-driven presidential decision directives and an agency-specific five-year plan. Reactive in vision and scope, that "strategy" changed only as we lurched from crisis to crisis, from Khobar to the Cole, from Oklahoma City to Dar es Salaam.

In January, I wrote to Dr. Condoleeza Rice, the president's National Security Advisor, regarding the need for a clearer national strategy to combat terrorism. The administration has begun a thorough review of current programs and policies. In deference to that review, the Subcommittee will not receive testimony from executive agency witnesses today. They will be invited to a future hearing.

That hearing will be in the near future. Terrorists willing to die for their cause will not wait while we rearrange bureaucratic boxes on the organizational chart. Their strategy is clear, their focus keen, their resources efficiently deployed. Our national security demands greater strategic clarity, shaper focus and unprecedented coordination to confront the threat of terrorism today.

Welcome. We look forward to your testimony.

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Mr. KUCINICH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for calling this hearing.

I want to welcome the witnesses.

I have a prepared statement. I would like to insert it in the record and just note that I am hopeful that, as we review this counterterrorism program, that we would also have the opportunity to explore causal relationships in terrorism so that we may learn why our Nation feels it needs such a sweeping counterterrorism presence.

I thank you.
Mr. SHAYS. I thank the gentleman.
[The prepared statement of Hon. Dennis J. Kucinich follows:)

Opening Statement
Representative Dennis J. Kucinich

Ranking Member
Subcommittee on National Security,
Veterans Affairs, and International Relations

March 27, 2001

GOOD MORNING. LET ME WELCOME OUR DISTINGUISHED WITNESSES FROM THE VARIOUS COMMISSIONS, ADVISORY PANELS, AND THINK-TANKS. I

AM GLAD YOU ALL COULD BE WITH US TODAY.

AS YOU KNOW, FIGHTING TERRORISM N A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT IS A COMPLEX TASK, ESPECIALLY FOR A COUNTRY SUCH AS OURS WITH IMPORTANT COMMERCIAL, POLITICAL, AND HUMANITARIAN INTERESTS WORLDWIDE.

ALTHOUGH THIS DIFFICULT TASK WILL CONTINUE TO CONFRONT US

DAILY, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE WHERE PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE. THE

CLINTON ADMINISTRATION FUNDAMENTALLY RE-CRAFTED THE WAY WE FIGHT

TERRORISM. FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE ISSUED PRESIDENTIAL

DECISION DIRECTIVES THAT NOT ONLY RAISED THE PROFILE OF THIS ISSUE, BUT ASSIGNED SPECIFIC“LEAD AGENCY” RESPONSIBILITIES.

THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION INCREASED FUNDING FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, GAVE DIRECTION TO THESE EFFORTS BY ESTABLISHING INTER

AGENCY WORKING GROUPS, AND CREATED THE NEW POSITION OF NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR SECURITY, INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION, AND COUNTERTERRORISM.

THE ADMINISTRATION ALSO RAISED THE PROFILE OF DOMESTIC

PREPAREDNESS. THROUGH SEVERAL PROGRAMS, THE ADMINISTRATION

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