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and accidents. Those capabilities should be used as a base for enhancing our domestic capability for response to terrorist attack.
I want to highlight some of the attributes of the national strategy that we outlined in our report. It should be geographically and functionally comprehensive. It should address both international and domestic terrorism. That distinction, heretofore somewhat nice, neat, separate compartments between domestic and foreign, is gradually eroding, we believe.
The national strategy should address the full spectrum of the Nation's efforts against terrorism, to include intelligence, deterrence, prevention, investigation, prosecution, preemption, crisis management, and consequence management. The national strategy should apply to the Nation as a whole, not just the Federal executive branch, and must involve States and communities as essential and equal partners.
With respect to the issue of placing someone in charge, it has been our observation based on a lot of discussion, briefings, and travel, that many at the State and local levels perceive the structure and processes at the Federal level for combating terrorism as uncoordinated, complex, and confusing.
Our first report included a graphic depiction of the numerous Federal agencies and offices within those agencies that have responsibilities for combating terrorism. I testified this morning before a House panel looking at this and they had extracted the graphics from our first report and had them displayed in the Committee room, which basically was one organizational chart after another of all the departments and agencies who in one way or another, one degree or another are involved in combating terrorism, a very effective graphic depiction.
Attempts to create a Federal focal point for coordination with State and local officials such as the National Domestic Preparedness Office have been only partially successful. Moreover, many State and local officials believe that Federal programs are often created without consulting them. And confusion often exists even within the Federal bureaucracy. It is our view that the current coordination structure does not possess the requisite authority or accountability to make policy changes and to impose the discipline necessary among the numerous Federal agencies involved.
So for those and other reasons, we have recommended the establishment of a senior-level coordination entity in the Executive Office of the President entitled the National Office for Combating Terrorism, with responsibility for developing domestic and international policy, and for coordinating the program and budget of the Federal Government's activities for combating terrorism.
The title of the entity is not as important as its responsibilities and authorities, and I should interject here since it came up this morning that we had great aversion to the term "czar," which is often applied perhaps to such a construct, and we would not choose to use that term.
The responsibilities and functions of this organization tethered to the President would be forging a national strategy, and this would be, I think, its first and foremost responsibility, managing the program and budget by a process of certifying or decertifying the
budgets of the other agencies and departments involved in combating terrorism.
A subject near and dear to my heart is fostering intelligence collection, analysis, and most importantly dissemination particularly and especially to State and local officials; reviewing plans of State and local authorities to ensure synchronicity or coordination with the national strategy; coordinating health and medical programs; directing research development, test, and evaluation, and developing national standards; and serving as sort of the one-stop shop, if you will, for information as a clearinghouse for State and local officials.
Two other attributes I want to mention are that we feel this entity or office should have political accountability and responsibility. The person designed as the focal point to be in charge for developing a national strategy and for coordinating Federal programs must have this political accountability and responsibility. Ergo, our recommendation was that this person should be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and would enjoy Cabinetlevel rank.
At the same time, we also would emphasize that this organization would not have operational control over Federal agency activities. In other words, the execution would still remain with the various Government departments and agencies. It was not our intent in any way that those departments and agencies should abrogate their responsibilities. What we are advocating is more coherence, more coordination which would be brought about by this office for coordination of counterterrorism.
At the risk of perhaps going where angels fear to tread, I also wanted to mention the Congress in this. Its intention, I think, has been helpful, but in a sense the Congress has also contributed to the executive branch's problems.
Over the past 5 years, there have been half a dozen Congressional attempts to reorganize the executive branch's efforts to combat terrorism, all of which failed. None enjoyed the support of the executive branch. At least 11 full committees in the Senate and 14 full committees in the House, as well as their numerous subcommittees, claim to one degree or another some oversight responsibility for various aspects of programs for combating terrorism.
Earmarks in appropriations bills created many of the Federal Government's specific domestic preparedness programs without authorizing legislation or oversight. The huge appearing, at least, U.S. budget for combating terrorism is now laced with such earmarks which have proliferated in the absence of an executive branch strategy.
The executive branch cannot successfully coordinate its programs for combating terrorism alone. Congress, we think, must also better organize itself and exercise much greater discipline. So we have recommended creation of a joint committee, or alternatively separate committees in each House somewhat akin to the construct I am used to, the two intelligence oversight committees, to pass on executive branch requests and to oversee execution of programs that it authorizes.
Obviously, for this to work, other Congressional authorizing and appropriations committees would have to defer to the joint or the
single Committee in each House. We are not so naive to think this recommendation is any less difficult than the executive branch changes that we are proposing, but it is no less needed.
We also made six specific functional recommendations in the following areas, and I will simply tick off the subject matter areas rather than dwelling on them, since there is a detailed discourse on that in my prepared statement.
The functions we had in mind for this National office would be to foster the collection of intelligence, assessing threats and sharing information particularly at the State and local level; operational coordination, training, equipping, exercising, overseeing and facilitating health and medical coordination; research development and promulgation of national standards; and providing cyber security against terrorism.
You asked, sir, for a discussion of the areas of agreement and disagreement with the report of the National Commission on Terrorism which was chaired by Ambassador Jerry Bremer, who, as I said, is on our panel as well.
First, I would mention that the charters and objectives of the Bremer Commission and the Gilmore Commission are for the most part different. The Bremer Commission focused on international terrorism, while we focused on domestic preparedness.
There are, nevertheless, many congruent areas between the two reports. Both agree on the nature of the threat of international terrorism, including the potential for more attacks inside the borders of the United States. Both panels specifically agree that certain measures must be taken to improve intelligence collection and dissemination on terrorists, including repealing the 1995 Director of Central Intelligence guidelines as they apply to recruiting terrorist informants, reviewing and clarifying the Attorney General's guidelines on foreign intelligence collection and the guidelines on general crime racketeering enterprise and domestic security terrorism investigations, and directing the Department of Justice Office of Intelligence Policy and Review not to require a process for initiating actions under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that are more stringent than what was actually required by the statute.
Both panels agree that significant improvements must be made in the ability of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to collect, analyze, disseminate, and share information. Both panels agree that there must be a comprehensive strategy to deal with terrorism.
Both panels agree that the Department of Defense and U.S. armed forces may have a major role in preventing or responding to a terrorist attack, especially a major one. We likewise strongly agree that more planning, coordination, training, and exercises need to be conducted to prepare for the possibility of major DoD and military involvement.
The one area, however, on which the two panels disagreed had to do with the issue of lead agency. The Bremer Commission asserts that a response to a catastrophic attack may require the designation of DoD as lead agency. While agree that DoD may have, and probably would have a major role in such a cataclysmic event, we believe firmly that the military must always be directly under civilian control.
I can speak personally that Governor Gilmore feels personally very strongly about this. This was probably the most hotly debated and discussed issue in the 2 years of the existence of our panel. So as a result, we recommended that the President always designate a Federal civilian agency other than the Department of Defense as the lead Federal agency.
Many Americans will not draw the technical distinction between the Department of Defense, the civilian entity, and the U.S. armed forces, the military entity. Although the Department of Defense and every major component of the Department has civilian leaders, the perception will likely be that the military is in the lead. And in the interest of preserving our civil liberties, or even dispensing with the risk of jeopardizing civil liberties, it was our conviction after a lot of discussion and debate that the lead Federal agency in every case should be a genuine civilian element.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, Gilmore panel members are convinced that the recommendations that I have outlined here briefly are crucial to strengthening the national effort to combat terrorism. We need a true national strategy and we need somebody in charge. This is not a partisan political issue. We have members on our panel who identify with each of the parties, virtually all the functional constituencies, and at all governmental levels. This is simply something that we unanimously agreed that the country needs.
Contemplating the specter of terrorism in this country is a sobering but critically necessary responsibility of government officials at all levels and in all branches, as evidenced by your interest this afternoon. It is truly a national issue that requires synchronization of our efforts vertically among the Federal, State and local levels, and horizontally among the functional constituent stakeholders.
The individual capabilities of all critical elements must be brought to bear in a much more coherent way than is now the case. That fundamental tenet underlies our work over the last 2 years. We believe that the most imposing challenge centers on policy and whether we have the collective fortitude to forge change both in organization and process.
I would respectfully observe that we have studied the topic to death and what we need now is action.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to address your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Clapper follows:]
STATEMENT OF JAMES CLAPPER, JR., LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. AIR FORCE, RETIRED, VICE CHAIRMAN, ADVISORY PANEL TO ASSESS DOMESTIC RESPONSE CAPABILITIES FOR TERRORISM INVOLVING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I am honored to be here today. I come before you as the Vice Chairman of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, also known as the "Gilmore Commission" (after its Chairman, Governor James S. Gilmore, III, of Virginia). Thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Advisory Panel.
The Advisory Panel was established by Section 1405 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, Public Law 10-261 (H.R. 3616, 105th Congress, 2nd Session) (October 17, 1998). That Act directed the Advisory Panel to accomplish several specific tasks. It said:
The panel shall
1. assess Federal agency efforts to enhance domestic preparedness for incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;
2. assess the progress of Federal training programs for local emergency responses to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;
3. assess deficiencies in programs for response to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, including a review of unfunded communications, equipment, and planning requirements, and the needs of maritime regions;
4. recommend strategies for ensuring effective coordination with respect to Federal agency weapons of mass destruction response efforts, and for ensuring fully effective local response capabilities for weapons of mass destruction incidents; and 5. assess the appropriate roles of State and local government in funding effective local response capabilities.
The Act requires the Advisory Panel to report its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for improving Federal, State, and local domestic emergency preparedness to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction to the President and the Congress at three times during the course of the Advisory Panel's deliberations-on December 15 in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Mr. Chairman, you have asked that we provide testimony today on the findings and their related recommendations contained in the second report of the Advisory Panel, entitled "Toward a National Strategy for Combating Terrorism," dated December 15, 2000. I will outline those recommendations, and will provide a more detailed description on two of them-one dealing with the need for a national strategy, the other on the structure of the Executive Branch for dealing with terrorism. You have also asked that I note the areas of agreement and disagreement that the Gilmore Commission has with the report of the National Commission on Terrorism, which was chaired by former Ambassador L. Paul Bremer.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
A NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR COMBATING TERRORISM
"The United States has no coherent, functional national strategy for combating terrorism; and the next President should develop and present to the Congress a national strategy for combating terrorism within one year of assuming office." Mr. Chairman and Members, the Advisory Panel believes that a truly comprehensive national strategy will contain a high-level statement of national objectives coupled logically to a statement of the means to be used to achieve these objectives. Currently, there is no overarching statement of what the United States is trying to achieve with its program to combat terrorism. Goals must be expressed in terms of results, not process. Government officials have, in the past, spoken of terrorism preparedness goals in terms of program execution. A comprehensive national strategy will answer the more fundamental and important question: To what end are these programs being implemented?
Instead of a national strategy, the nation has had a loosely coupled set of plans and specific programs that aim, individually, to achieve certain particular preparedness objectives. Senior U.S. officials have previously stated that several official broad policy and planning documents that were published in the prior administration-Presidential Decision Directives 39 and 62, the Attorney General's 1999 FiveYear Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan, and the most recent Annual Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism 1-taken as a whole, constitute a national strategy. These documents describe plans, the compilation of various programs already under way, and some objectives; but they do not either individually or collectively constitute a national strategy.
Although Executive Branch agencies are administering programs assigned to them in the various pieces of legislation, the Executive Branch, under the former administration, did not articulate a broad national strategy that would synchronize the existing programs or identify future program priorities needed to achieve national objectives for domestic preparedness for terrorism. Moreover, it is our view that, given the structure of our national government, only the Executive Branch can produce such a national strategy.
As a result, we recommended that the incoming Administration begin the process of developing a national strategy by a thoughtful articulation of national goals for combating terrorism, focusing on results rather than process. The structure and spe
1The Office of Management and Budget, Annual Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism, Including Defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Preparedness and Critical Infrastructure Protection, May 18, 2000.