Director of Central Intelligence
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
"Worldwide Threat in 2003: Evolving Dangers in a Complex World"
(as prepared for delivery)
Mr. Chairman, last yearin the wake of the September
11 attack on our countryI focused my remarks on the clear and
present danger posed by terrorists who seek to destroy who we are and
what we stand for. The national security environment that exists today
is significantly more complex than that of a year ago.
- I can tell you that the threat from al-Qa'ida remains, even though
we have made important strides in the war against terrorism.
- Secretary of State Powell clearly outlined last week the continuing
threats posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, its efforts to
deceive UN inspectors, and the safehaven that Baghdad has allowed
for terrorists in Iraq.
- North Korea's recent admission that it has a highly enriched uranium
program, intends to end the freeze on its plutonium production facilities,
and has stated its intention to withdraw from the Nonproliferation
Treaty raised serious new challenges for the region and the world.
At the same time we cannot lose sight of those national security challenges
that, while not occupying space on the front pages, demand a constant
level of scrutiny.
- Challenges such as the world's vast stretches of ungoverned areaslawless
zones, veritable "no man's lands" like some areas along the Afghan-Pakistani
borderwhere extremist movements find shelter and can win the
breathing space to grow.
- Challenges such as the numbers of societies and peoples excluded
from the benefits of an expanding global economy, where the daily
lot is hunger, disease, and displacementand that produce large
populations of disaffected youth who are prime recruits for our extremist
Mr. Chairman, as you know, the United States Government last week raised
the terrorist threat level. We did so because of threat reporting from
multiple sources with strong al-Qa'ida ties.
The information we have points to plots aimed at targets on two frontsin
the United States and on the Arabian Peninsula. It points to plots
timed to occur as early as the end of the Hajj, which occurs late this
week. And it points to plots that could include the use of a radiological
dispersion device as well as poisons and chemicals.
The intelligence is not idle chatter on the part of terrorists and
their associates. It is the most specific we have seen, and it is consistent
with both our knowledge of al-Qa'ida doctrine and our knowledge of plots
this networkand particularly its senior leadershiphas been
working on for years.
The Intelligence Community is working directly, and in real time, with
friendly services overseas and with our law enforcement colleagues here
at home to disrupt and capture specific individuals who may be part
of this plot.
Our information and knowledge is the result of important strides we
have made since September 11th to enhance our counterterrorism capabilities
and to share with our law enforcement colleaguesand they with
usthe results of disciplined operations, collection, and analysis
of events inside the United States and overseas.
Raising the threat level is important to our being as disruptive as
possible. The enhanced security that results from a higher threat level
can buy us more time to operate against the individuals who are plotting
to do us harm. And heightened vigilance generates additional information
This latest reporting underscores the threat that the al-Qa'ida network
continues to pose to the United States. The network is extensive and
adaptable. It will take years of determined effort to unravel this
and other terrorist networks and stamp them out.
Mr. Chairman, the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Communities aggressively
continue to prosecute the war on terrorism, and we are having success
on many fronts. More than one third of the top al-Qa'ida leadership
identified before the war has been killed or captured, including:
- The operations chief for the Persian Gulf area, who planned the
bombing of the USS Cole.
- A key planner who was a Muhammad Atta confidant and a conspirator
in the 9/11 attacks.
- A major al-Qa'ida leader in Yemen and other key operatives and facilitators
in the Gulf area and other regions, including South Asia and Southeast
The number of rounded-up al-Qa'ida detainees has now grown to over
3000up from 1000 or so when I testified last yearand the
number of countries involved in these captures has almost doubled to
more than 100.
- Not everyone arrested was a terrorist. Some have been released.
But the worldwide rousting of al Qa'ida has definitely disrupted its
operations. And we've obtained a trove of information we're using
to prosecute the hunt still further.
The coalition against international terrorism is stronger, and we are
reaping the benefits of unprecedented international cooperation. In
particular, Muslim governments today better understand the threat al-Qa'ida
poses to them and day by day have been increasing their support.
- Ever since Pakistan's decision to sever ties with the Talibanso
critical to the success of Operation Enduring FreedomIslamabad's
close cooperation in the war on terrorism has resulted in the capture
of key al-Qa'ida lieutenants and significant disruption of its regional
- Jordan and Egypt have been courageous leaders in the war on terrorism.
- A number of Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates are denying
terrorists financial safehaven, making it harder for al-Qa'ida to
funnel funding for operations. Others in the Gulf are beginning to
tackle the problem of charities that front for, or fund, terrorism.
- The Saudis are providing increasingly important support to our counterterrorism
effortsfrom arrests to sharing debriefing results.
- SE Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, with majority Muslim
populations, have been active in arresting and detaining terror suspects.
- And we mustn't forget Afghanistan, where the support of the new
leadership is essential.
Al-Qa'ida's loss of Afghanistan, the death and capture of key personnel,
and its year spent mostly on the run have impaired its capability, complicated
its command and control, and disrupted its logistics.
That said, Mr. Chairman, the continuing threat remains clear. Al-Qa'ida
is still dedicated to striking the US homeland, and much of the information
we've received in the past year revolves around that goal.
Even without an attack on the US homeland, more than 600 people were
killed in acts of terror last yearand 200 in Al-Qa'ida-related
attacks alone. Nineteen were United States citizens.
- Al-Qa'ida or associated groups carried out a successful attack in
Tunisia andsince October 2002attacks in Mombasa, Bali,
and Kuwait, and off Yemen against the French oil tanker Limburg.
Most of these attacks bore such al-Qa'ida trademarks as intense surveillance,
simultaneous strikes, and suicide-delivered bombs.
Combined US and allied efforts thwarted a number of Al-Qa'ida-related
attacks in the past year, including the European poison plots. We identified,
monitored, and arrested Jose Padilla, an al-Qa'ida operative who was
allegedly planning operations in the United States and was seeking to
develop a so-called "dirty bomb." And along with Moroccan partners
we disrupted al-Qa'ida attacks against US and British warships in the
straits of Gibraltar.
Until al-Qa'ida finds an opportunity for the big attack, it will try
to maintain its operational tempo by striking "softer" targets. And
what I mean by "softer," Mr. Chairman, are simply those targets al-Qa'ida
planners may view as less well protected.
- Al-Qa'ida has also sharpened its focus on our Allies in Europe and
on operations against Israeli and Jewish targets.
Al-Qa'ida will try to adapt to changing circumstances as it regroups.
It will seek a more secure base area so that it can pause from flight
and resume planning. We place no limitations on our expectations of
what al-Qa'ida might do to survive.
We see disturbing signs that al-Qa'ida has established a presence in
both Iran and Iraq. In addition, we are also concerned that al-Qa'ida
continues to find refuge in the hinterlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Al-Qa'ida is also developing or refining new means of attack, including
use of surface-to-air missiles, poisons, and air, surface, and underwater
methods to attack maritime targets.
- If given the choice, al-Qa'ida terrorists will choose attacks that
achieve multiple objectivesstriking prominent landmarks, inflicting
mass casualties, causing economic disruption, rallying support through
shows of strength.
The bottom line here, Mr. Chairman, is that al-Qa'ida is living in
the expectation of resuming the offensive.
We know from the events of September 11 that we can never again ignore
a specific type of country: a country unable to control its own borders
and internal territory, lacking the capacity to govern, educate its
people, or provide fundamental social services. Such countries can,
however, offer extremists a place to congregate in relative safety.
Al-Qa'ida is already a presence in several regions that arouse our
concern. The Bali attack brought the threat home to Southeast Asia,
where the emergence of Jemaah Islamiya in Indonesia and elsewhere in
the region is particularly worrisome.
- And the Mombasa attack in East Africa highlights the continued
vulnerability of Western interests and the growing terrorist threat
Although state sponsors of terrorism assume a lower profile today than
a decade ago, they remain a concern. Iran and Syria continue to support
the most active Palestinian terrorist groups, HAMAS and the Palestine
Islamic Jihad. Iran also sponsors Lebanese Hizballah. I'll talk about
Iraq's support to terrorism in a moment.
Terrorism directed at US interests goes beyond Middle Eastern or religious
extremist groups. In our own hemisphere, the Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia, or FARC, has shown a new willingness to inflict casualties
on US nationals.
Mr. Chairman, let me briefly turn to a grave concern: the determination
of terrorists to obtain and deploy weapons of massive destructive capability,
including nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological devices.
The overwhelming disparity between US forces and those of any potential
rival drives terrorist adversaries to the extremes of warfaretoward
"the suicide bomber or the nuclear device" as the best ways to confront
the United States. Our adversaries see us as lacking will and
determination when confronted with the prospect of massive losses.
- Terrorists count on the threat of demoralizing blows to instill
massive fear and rally shadowy constituencies to their side.
We continue to receive information indicating that al-Qa'ida still
seeks chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. The
recently disrupted poison plots in the UK, France, and Spain reflect
a broad, orchestrated effort by al-Qa'ida and associated groups to attack
several targets using toxins and explosives.
- These planned attacks involved similar materials, and the implicated
operatives had links to one another.
I told you last year, Mr. Chairman, that Bin Ladin has a sophisticated
BW capability. In Afghanistan, al-Qa'ida succeeded in acquiring both
the expertise and the equipment needed to grow biological agents, including
a dedicated laboratory in an isolated compound outside of Kandahar.
Last year I also discussed al-Qa'ida's efforts to obtain nuclear and
radiological materials as part of an ambitious nuclear agenda. One
year later, we continue to follow every lead in tracking terrorist efforts
to obtain nuclear materials.
- In particular, we continue to follow up on information that al-Qa'ida
seeks to produce or purchase a radiological dispersal device. Construction
of such a device is well within al-Qa'ida capabilitiesif it
can obtain the radiological material.
Before I move on to the broader world of proliferation, Mr. Chairman,
I'd like to comment on Iraq. Last week Secretary Powell carefully reviewed
for the UN Security Council the intelligence we have on Iraqi efforts
to deceive UN inspectors, its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction,
and its support for terrorism. I do not plan to go into these matters
in detail, but I would like to summarize some of the key points.
- Iraq has in place an active effort to deceive UN inspectors and
deny them access. This effort is directed by the highest levels of
the Iraqi regime. Baghdad has given clear directions to its operational
forces to hide banned materials in their possession.
- Iraq's BW program includes mobile research and production facilities
that will be difficult, if not impossible, for the inspectors to find.
Baghdad began this program in the mid-1990sduring a time when
UN inspectors were in the country.
- Iraq has established a pattern of clandestine procurements designed
to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program. These procurements includebut
also go well beyondthe aluminum tubes that you have heard so
- Iraq has recently flight tested missiles that violate the UN range
limit of 150 kilometers. It is developing missiles with ranges beyond
1,000 kilometers. And it retainsin violation of UN resolutionsa
small number of SCUD missiles that it produced before the Gulf War.
- Iraq has tested unmanned aerial vehicles to ranges that far exceed
both what it declared to the United Nations and what it is permitted
under UN resolutions. We are concerned that Iraq's UAVs can dispense
chemical and biological weapons and that they can deliver such weapons
to Iraq's neighbors or, if transported, to other countries, including
the United States.
- Iraq is harboring senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, a close associate of Usama Bin Ladin. We know Zarqawi's
network was behind the poison plots in Europe that I discussed earlier
as well as the assassination of a US State Department employee in
- Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making
to al-Qa'ida. It also provided training in poisons and gasses to
two al-Qa'ida associates; one of these associates characterized the
relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.
Mr. Chairman, this information is based on a solid foundation of intelligence.
It comes to us from credible and reliable sources. Much of it is corroborated
by multiple sources. And it is consistent with the pattern of denial
and deception exhibited by Saddam Hussein over the past 12 years.
Mr. Chairman, what I just summarized for you on Iraq's WMD programs
underscores our broader concerns about of proliferation. More has changed
on nuclear proliferation over the past year than on any other issue.
For 60 years, weapon-design information and technologies for producing
fissile materialthe key hurdles for nuclear weapons productionhave
been the domain of only a few states. These states, though a variety
of self-regulating and treaty based regimes, generally limited the spread
of these data and technologies.
In my view, we have entered a new world of proliferation. In
the vanguard of this new world are knowledgeable non-state purveyors
of WMD materials and technology. Such non-state outlets are increasingly
capable of providing technology and equipment that previously could
only be supplied by countries with established capabilities.
This is taking place side by side with the continued weakening of the
international nonproliferation consensus. Control regimes like
the Non-Proliferation Treaty are being battered by developments such
as North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT and its open repudiation of
- The example of new nuclear states that seem able to deter threats
from more powerful states, simply by brandishing nuclear weaponry,
will resonate deeply among other countries that want to enter the
nuclear weapons club.
Demand creates the market. The desire for nuclear weapons is on the
upsurge. Additional countries may decide to seek nuclear weapons as
it becomes clear their neighbors and regional rivals are already doing
so. The "domino theory" of the 21st century may well be
- With the assistance of proliferators, a potentially wider range
of countries may be able to develop nuclear weapons by "leapfrogging"
the incremental pace of weapons programs in other countries.
Let me now briefly review, sector by sector, the range on non-nuclear
In biological warfare (BW) and chemical warfare (CW), maturing programs
in countries of concern are becoming less reliant on foreign supplierswhich
complicates our ability to monitor programs via their acquisition activities.
BW programs have become more technically sophisticated as a result of
rapid growth in the field of biotechnology research and the wide dissemination
of this knowledge. Almost anyone with limited skills can create BW agents.
The rise of such capabilities also means we now have to be concerned
about a myriad of new agents.
- Countries are more and more tightly integrating both their BW and
CW production capabilities into apparently legitimate commercial infrastructures,
further concealing them from scrutiny.
The United States and its interests remain at risk from increasingly
advanced and lethal ballistic and cruise missiles and UAVs. In addition
to the longstanding threats from Russian and Chinese missile forces,
the United States faces a near-term ICBM threat from North Korea. And
over the next several years, we could face a similar threat from Iran
and possibly Iraq.
- Short- and medium-range missiles already pose a significant threat
to US interests, military forces, and allies as emerging missile states
increase the range, reliability, and accuracy of the missile systems
in their inventories.
And several countries of concern remain interested in acquiring a land-attack
cruise missile (LACM) capability. By the end of the decade, LACMs could
pose a serious threat to not only our deployed forces, but possibly
even the US mainland.
Mr. Chairman, I turn now to countries of particular concern, beginning,
as you might expect, with North Korea.
The recent behavior of North Korea regarding its longstanding nuclear
weapons program makes apparent to all the dangers Pyongyang poses to
its region and to the world. This includes developing the capability
to enrich uranium, ending the freeze on its plutonium production facilities,
and withdrawing from the Nonproliferation Treaty. If, as seems likely,
Pyongyang moves to reprocess spent fuel at the facilities where it recently
abrogated the 1994 IAEA-monitored freeze, we assess it could recover
sufficient plutonium for several additional weapons.
- North Korea also continues to export complete ballistic missiles
and production capabilities along with related raw materials, components,
and expertise. Profits from these sales help Pyongyang to support
its missile and other WMD development programs, and in turn generate
new products to offer to its customers.
Indeed, Mr. Chairman, Kim Chong-il's attempts this past year to parlay
the North's nuclear weapons program into political leverage suggest
he is trying to negotiate a fundamentally different relationship with
Washingtonone that implicitly tolerates the North's nuclear weapons
- Although Kim presumably calculates the North's aid, trade, and
investment climate will never improve in the face of US sanctions
and perceived hostility, he is equally committed to retaining and
enlarging his nuclear weapons stockpile.
Mr. Chairman, I want to mention our renewed concern over Libya's interest
in WMD. Since the suspension of sanctions against Libya in 1999, Tripoli
has been able to increase its access to dual-use nuclear technologies.
Qadhafi stated in an Al-Jazirah interview last year that Arabs have
"the right" to possess weapons of mass destruction because, he alleges,
Israel has them.
- Libya clearly intends to reestablish its offensive chemical weapons
capability and has produced at least 100 tons of chemical agents at
its Rabta facility, which ostensibly reopened as a pharmaceutical
plant in 1995.
China vowed in November 2000 to refrain from assisting countries seeking
to develop nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and last August Beijing
promulgated new missile-related export controls. Despite such steps,
Mr. Chairman, Chinese firms remain key suppliers of ballistic- and cruise
missile-related technologies to Pakistan, Iran, and several other countries.
- And Chinese firms may be backing away from Beijing's 1997 bilateral
commitment to forego any new nuclear cooperation with Iran. We are
monitoring this closely.
We are also monitoring Russian transfers of technology and expertise.
Russian entities have cooperated on projectsmany of them dual-usethat
we assess can contribute to BW, CW, nuclear, or ballistic- and cruise-
missile programs in several countries of concern, including Iran. Moscow
has, however, reexamined at least some aspects of military-technical
cooperation with some countries and has cut back its sensitive
nuclear fuel-cycle assistance to Iran.
- We remain alert to the vulnerability of Russian WMD materials and
technology to theft or diversion. Russia has the largest inventory
of nuclear materials thatunless stored securelymight be
fashioned into weapons that threaten US persons, facilities, or interests.
- Iran is continuing to pursue development of a nuclear fuel cycle
for civil and nuclear weapons purposes. The loss of some Russian
assistance has impeded this effort. It is also moving toward self-sufficiency
in its BW and CW programs.
- Tehran is seeking to enlist foreign assistance in building entire
production plants for commercial chemicals that would also be capable
of producing nerve agents and their precursors.
- As a supplier, Iran in 2002 pursued new missile-related deals with
several countries and publicly advertises its artillery rockets, ballistic
missiles, and related technologies.
I should also note, Mr. Chairman, that India and Pakistan continue
to develop and produce nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
I'd like to turn now from the transnational issues of terrorism and
proliferation to countries and regions of the world where the United
States has important interests, beginning with China.
I have commented for the past several years on China's great power
aspirations and in particular Beijing's efforts to maximize its influence
within East Asia relative to the US. This is both despite and because
global strategic shifts unfolding since 9/11 have impressed upon the
Chinese the limits of their international influence.
And despite Beijing's continuing skepticism of US intentions in Central
and South Asia and its concern that the United States is gaining regional
influence at China's expense, Beijing is emphasizing developing a "constructive
relationship" with us. Both before and since President Jiang's visit
to Crawford last fall, Chinese leaders have been actively seeking a
degree of engagement in areas of mutual interest, such as counterterrorism
and regional security issues like North Korea.
China's chosen path to long-term regional and global influence runs
through economic growth and Chinese integration into the global economy.
Beijing calculates that, as China's economic mass increases, so too
will the pull of its political gravity. To date, China's successes
have been dramaticand disconcerting to its neighbors.
Despite China's rapid growth, it remains vulnerable to economic fluctuations
that could threaten political and social stability. China is increasingly
dependent on its external sector to generate GDP growth. And without
rapid growth, China will fall even further behind in job creation.
The recent Congress of the Chinese Communist Party marked a leadership
transition to a younger political generation but also created a potential
division of authority at the topand, in light of China's profound
policy challenges, an additional leadership challenge.
- The former party chief, Jiang Zemin, who is also scheduled to hand
over the Presidency to his successor in both positions, Hu Jintao,
is determined to remain in charge. He retains the Chairmanship of
the party's Central Military Commission. The new leadership contains
many Jiang loyalists and protégés.
- The "next generation" leaders offers policy continuity, but the
current setup probably guarantees tensions among leaders uncertain
of their own standing and anxious to secure their positions.
Such tensions may well play out on the issue of Taiwan, the matter
of greatest volatility in US-China relations. For now the situation
appears relatively placid, but recent history shows this can change
quickly, given the shifting perceptions and calculations on both sides.
- Chinese leaders seem convinced that all trends are moving in their
favorTaiwan is heavily invested in the mainland and Chinese
military might is growing.
- From its perspective, Beijing remains wary of nationalist popular
sentiment on Taiwan and of our arms sales to and military cooperation
As for Taiwan President Chen's part, he may feel constrained by internal
political and economic problems and by Beijing's charm offensive.
As he approaches his reelection bid next year, Chen may react by
reasserting Taiwan's separate identity and expanding its international
In this regard, our greatest concern is China's military buildup.
Last year marked new high points for unit training and weapons integrationall
sharply focused on the Taiwan mission and on increasing the costs for
any who might intervene in a regional Chinese operation. We anticipate
no slowdown in the coming year.
Moving on to Russia, Mr. Chairman, I noted last year that well before
9/11, President Putin had moved toward deeper engagement with the United
States. I also observed that the depth of domestic support for his
foreign policy was unclear and that issues such as NATO enlargement
and US missile defense policies would test his resolve. Since then,
Putin has reacted pragmatically to foreign policy challenges and has
shown leadership in seeking common ground with the United States while
still asserting Russia's national interests.
- This was apparent in Russia's low-key reaction to the decision to
invite the Baltics into NATO and in its serious attitude toward the
new NATO-Russia Council, and in reconsidering some of it military-technical
cooperation with proliferation states of concern.
- Moscow eventually supported UN Security Council resolution 1441
on Iraq and has been a reliable partner in the war on terrorism.
International terrorist groups' presence and activities in and around
Russia are influencing Russia's policies, sometimes in ways that complicate
Moscow's relations with neighboring states. For example, the presence
in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge of Chechen fighters and some of their foreign
Mujahideen backers have generated new tensions in Russian-Georgian relations.
These tensions were highlighted on the one-year anniversary of the September
11 attacks, when Putin threatened unilateral force against Georgia because
he was not satisfied Tbilisi had, in his words, taken action to prevent
Georgian-based terrorists from entering Russia.
Similarly, the war in Chechnya is complicated by the continued influence
of radical Chechen and foreign Islamistssome of whom have ties
to al-Qaida. The takeover of the Moscow theater in October proved
counterproductive to the terrorists' aim of forcing Russia to withdraw
from Chechnya. Indeed, the Kremlin has turned this to its advantage
by tying the Chechen opposition to international terrorism.
- Meanwhile, over the past year the war in Chechnya entered a new,
brutal phase. Russian security service units have targeted suspected
guerrillas and their supporters and punished their families. Chechen
guerrillas, for their part, continued to kill pro-Moscow officials
and their families.
Putin has no clear domestic rivals for power as he enters an election
season that culminates in parliamentary elections in December and presidential
elections in March 2004.
Putin has sought to recentralize power in Moscow. He exercises considerable
influence over both houses of parliament and the national electronic
- While Putin has reined in some powerful political figuresa
few of the governors and so-called "oligarchs"in many cases
he has negotiated a balance of interests.
Putin still hopes to transform Russia over the long term into a power
of global prominence, but his comments since late 2001 have contained
more emphasis on raising the country's economic competitiveness. To
this end, his government has set out a goal of narrowing the huge gap
in living standards between Russians and Europeans and seeks to advance
an ambitious structural reform program.
- Over the past three years, the Russian government has made real
progress on reform objectives by cutting tax and tariff rates, legalizing
land sales, and strengthening efforts to fight money laundering.
- Moscow has used its largely oil-driven revenue growth to pay down
the country's external public sector debt to a moderate level of 40
percent of GDP, half the level of only a few years ago.
Such reforms are promising, but success ultimately hinges upon the
sustained implementation of reform legislation. A risk exists that
the government will delay critical reforms of state-owned monopolies
and the bloated, corrupt bureaucracywhich Putin himself has highlighted
as a major impedimentto avoid clashes with key interest groups
before the March 2004 Presidential election. Moreover, Russia's economy
remains heavily dependent on commodity exports, which account for 80
percent of all Russian exports and leaves future growth vulnerable to
external price shocks.
We watch unfolding events in Iran with considerable interest, Mr. Chairman,
because despite its antagonism to the United States, developments there
hold some promise as well. Iranian reformers seeking to implement
change have become increasingly frustrated by conservatives efforts
to block all innovation. We see the dueling factions as heading for
a showdown that seems likely to determine the pace and direction of
political change in Iran. Within the next several weeks a key test
will come as reformers try to advance two pieces of legislationbills
that would reform the electoral process and significantly expand presidential
powersthey claim will benchmark their ability to achieve evolutionary
change within the system.
- Some reformist legislators have threatened to resign from government
if conservatives block the legislation. Others have argued for holding
a referendum on reform if opponents kill the bills.
- Comments from the hardline camp show little flexibilityand
indeed some opponents of reform are pressing hard to dismantle the
parties that advocate political change.
As feuding among political elites continues, demographic and societal
pressures continue to mount. Iran's overwhelmingly young population65
percent of Iran's population is under 30 years oldis coming of
age and facing bleak economic prospects and limited social and political
freedoms. Strikes and other peaceful labor unrest are increasingly
common. These problemsand the establishment's inflexibility in
responding to themdrive widespread frustration with the regime.
- Weary of strife and cowed by the security forces, Iranians show
little eagerness to take to the streets in support of change. The
student protests last fall drew only 5,000 students out of a student
population of more than one million.
- But more and more courageous voices in Iran are publicly challenging
the right of the political clergy to suppress the popular will--and
they are gaining an audience.
Given these developments, we take the prospect of sudden, regime threatening
unrest seriously and continue to watch eventsin Iran with that in mind.
For now, our bottom line analysis is that the Iranian regime is secure,
but increasingly fragile. The reluctance of reformist leaders to take
their demands for change to the street, coupled with the willingness
of conservatives to repress dissent, keeps the population disengaged
and maintains stability.
- We are currently unable to identify a leader, organization, or issue
capable of uniting the widespread desire for change into a coherent
political movement that could challenge the regime.
- In addition, we see little indication of a loss of nerve among the
opponents of reform, who have publicly argued in favor of using deadly
force if necessary to crush the popular demand for greater freedom.
Although a crisis for the regime might come about were reformers to
abandon the government or hardliners to initiate a broad suppression
on leading advocates of change, the resulting disorder would do little
to alleviate US concern over Iran's international behavior. Conservatives
already control the more aggressive aspects of Iranian foreign policy,
such as sponsoring violent opposition to Middle East peace.
- No Iranian government, regardless of its ideological leanings,
is likely to willingly abandon WMD programs that are seen as guaranteeing
On the Pakistan-India border, the underlying cause of tension is unchanged,
even though India's recent military redeployment away from the border
reduced the danger of imminent war. The cycles of tension between Indian
and Pakistan are growing shorter. Pakistan continues to support groups
that resist India's presence in Kashmir in an effort to bring India
to the negotiating table. Indian frustration with continued terrorist
attacksmost of which it attributes to Pakistancauses New
Delhi to reject any suggestion that it resume a dialogue with Islamabad.
- Without progress on resolving Indian-Pakistani differences, any
dramatic provocationlike 2001's terrorist attack on the Indian
parliament by Kashmir militantsruns a high risk of sparking
another major military deployment.
I also told you last year, Mr. Chairman, that the military campaign
in Afghanistan had made great progress but that the road ahead was full
of challenges. This is no less true today. Given what Afghanistan
was up against at this time last year, its advances are noteworthy,
with impressive gains on the security, political, and reconstruction
- Milestones include establishing the Afghan Interim Authority, holding
the Emergency Loya Jirga in June 2002 to elect a President and decide
on the composition of the Afghan Transitional Authority (ATA), and
establishing judicial, constitutional, and human rights commissions.
- The country is relatively stable, and Kabul is a safer place today
than a year ago. The presence of coalition forces has provide security
sufficient for aid organizations and NGO's to operate. Six battalions
of what will be the Afghan National Army have been trained by the
US and coalition partners to date.
- The Afghan Government also has made great strides in the reconstruction
of the beleaguered economy. More than $1 billion in foreign aid has
helped repatriate Afghan refugees, re-opened schools, and repaired
roads. The ATA introduced a new currency, and instituted trade and
That said, daunting, complex challenges lie ahead that include building
institutional barriers against sliding back into anarchy. Opposition
elements, such as Taliban remnants and Hezbi-Islami and al-Qa'ida fighters,
remain a threat to the Afghan Government and to coalition forces in
the eastern provinces. At the same time, criminal activity, such as
banditry, and periodic factional fighting continue to undermine security.
Sustained US and international focus is essential to continue the progress
we and the Afghans have made.
- The Afghans will also have to decide politically contentious issues
such as how the new constitution will address the role of Islam, the
role sharia law will play in the legal system, and the structure of
the next Afghan government. Other major hurdles include bringing
local and regional tribal leaders into the national power structure.
- Several Bonn agreement deadlines are looming, including the convening
of a constitutional Loya Jirga by December 2003 (within eighteen months
of the establishment of the ATA) and holding free and fair elections
of a representative national government no later than June 2004.
- And much effort is needed to improve the living standards of Afghan
families, many of whom have no steady source of income and lack access
to clean drinking water, health care facilities, and schools.
What must be avoided at all costs is allowing Afghanistan to return
to the internecine fighting and lawlessness of the early 1990s, which
would recreate conditions for the rise of another fanatical movement.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to address now a range of key transnational
issues that have an immediate bearing on America's national security
and material well-being. They are complex, evolving, have far-reaching
Globalizationwhile a net plus for the global economyis
a profoundly disruptive force for governments to manage. China
and India, for example, have substantially embraced it and retooled
sectors to harness it to national ends, although in other countries
it is an unsought reality that simply imposes itself on society. For
example, many of the politically and economically rigid Arab countries
are feeling many of globalization's stressesespecially on the
cultural frontwithout reaping the economic benefits.
- Latin America's rising populism exemplifies the growing backlash
against globalization in countries that are falling behind. Last
year Brazil's President, "Lula" da Silva, campaigned and won on an
expressly anti-globalization populist platform.
- UN figures point out that unemployment is particularly problematic
in the Middle East and Africa, where 50 to 80 percent of those unemployed
are younger than 25. Some of the world's poorest and often most politically
unstable countriesincluding Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Iraq,
Yemen, and several nations in Sub-Saharan Africaare among the
countries with the youngest populations in the world through 2020.
Among the most unfortunate worldwide are those infected with HIV.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues unabated, and last year more
than 3 million people died of AIDS-related causes. More than 40 million
people are infected now, and Southern Africa has the greatest concentration
- That said, the Intelligence Community recently projected that by
2010, we may see as many as 100 million HIV-infected people outside
Africa. China will have about 15 million cases and India will have
20 to 25 millionhigher than estimated for any country in the
- The national security dimension of the virus is plain: it can undermine
economic growth, exacerbate social tensions, diminish military preparedness,
create huge social welfare costs, and further weaken already beleaguered
states. And the virus respects no border.
But the global threat of infectious disease is broader than AIDS. In
Sub-Saharan Africa the leading cause of death among the HIV-positive
is tuberculosis. One-third of the globe has the tuberculosis bacillus.
And at least 300 million cases of malaria occur each year, with
more than a million deaths. About 90 percent of these are in Sub-Saharan
Africaand include an annual 5 percent of African children under
the age of 5.
Mr. Chairman, the world community is at risk in a number of other ways.
- The 35 million refugees and internally displaced persons in need
of humanitarian assistance are straining limited resources. Substantial
aid requirements in southern Africa, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan,
and North Korea, plus expected needs this year in Iraq, Cote d'Ivoire,
and elsewhere in Africa will add up to an unprecedented demand for
food and other humanitarian assistance. Worldwide emergency assistance
needs are likely to surpass the record $8-10 billion donors provided
last year for humanitarian emergencies.
- Food aid requirements this year will rise more sharply than
other categories of humanitarian assistance, particularly in
Sub-Saharan Africa, because of drought, instability, HIV/AIDS, and
poor governance. Preliminary estimates put the total food aid needed
to meet emergency appeals and long-term food aid commitments at about
12 million metric tons, 4 million tons greater than estimated aid
Mr. Chairman, Sub-Saharan Africa's chronic instability will demand
US attention. Africa's lack of democratic institutionalization
combined with its pervasive ethnic rifts and deep corruption render
most of the 48 countries vulnerable to crises that can be costly in
human lives and lost economic growth. In particular, the potential
is high for Nigeria and Kenya to suffer setbacks in the next year.
- Growing ethnic and religious strife, rampant corruption, and a
weak economy will test Nigeria's democracy before and after the April
2003 election. Its offshore oil areas provide 9 percent of US crude
oil imports and are insulated from most unrest, but relations with
Washington could rupture if yet another military regime assumes power
in Nigeria during a domestic upheaval.
- After 24 years of President Moi's rule, the new president and ruling
coalition in Kenya face many challenges, including preserving their
shaky alliance while overhauling the constitution. Kenyans' severe
economic woes and sky-high expectations for change do not bode well
for the coalition's stability this year.
In addition, other failed or failing African states may lead to calls
for the United States and other major aid donors to stabilize a range
of desperate situations. In Zimbabwe, President Mugabe's mismanagement
of the economy and clampdown on all political opposition may touch off
serious unrest and refugee flows in coming months.
- Cote d'Ivoire is collapsing, and its crash will be felt throughout
the region, where neighboring economies are at risk from the fall-off
in trade and from refugees fleeing violence.
Regarding Latin America, Mr. Chairman, Colombian President Uribe is
off to a good start but will need to show continued improvements in
security to maintain public support and attract investment. He is implementing
his broad national security strategy and moving aggressively on the
counterdrug frontwith increased aerial eradication and close cooperation
on extradition. And the armed forces are gradually performing better
against the FARC. Meanwhile, the legislature approved nearly all Uribe's
measures to modernize the government and stabilize its finances.
- Although Uribe's public support is strong, satisfying high popular
expectations for peace and prosperity will be challenging. Security
and socioeconomic improvements are complex and expensive. And the
drug trade will continue to thrive until Bogotá can exert control
over its vast countryside.
- FARC insurgents are well-financed by drugs and kidnappings, and
they are increasingly using terrorism against civilians and economic
targetsas they demonstrated last weekend in a lethal urban attackto
wear away the new national will to fight back.
Venezuelathe third largest supplier of petroleum to the United
Statesremains in mid-crisis. The standoff between Hugo Chavez
and the political opposition appears headed toward increased political
violence despite the end of the general strike, which is till being
honored by oil workers.
- Because many oil workers have returned to work, the government is
gradually bringing some of the oil sector back on line. Nevertheless,
a return to full pre-strike production levels remains months. Oil
production through March will probably average less than 2 million
barrels per dayone million barrels per day below pre-strike
- Meanwhile, Chavez, focused on crippling longtime enemies in the
opposition, states he will never resign and has balked at requests
for early elections.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, after several years of modest progress toward
normalization in the Balkans, the situation is beginning to deteriorate.
Although we are unlikely to see a revival of large-scale fighting or
ethnic cleansing, the development of democratic government and market
economies in the region has slowed. Moreover, crime and corruption
remain as major problems that are holding back progress.
- International peacekeeping forces led by NATO exert a stabilizing
influence, but the levels of support provided by the international
community are declining.
- The real danger, Mr. Chairman, is that the international community
will lose interest in the Balkans. If so, the situation will deteriorate
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I welcome any questions you and the members
of the Committee may have for me.