Panel V: The Use of Intelligence by Policymakers
George Edwards; We now come lo (he final siagc of Ihe intelligence process-its use by policymakers. We're fortunate today to have three of the top officials who managed America's national security policy al the end of the Cold War. Now there's obviously one adjustment lo your program. James Baker is not here this morning. He called me late yesterday afternoon and said that, in response to his recent back surgery, he'sittle (rouble. We hopeemporary relapse. He sends his regrets. He wishes you his best,now he's here in spirit. And, of course, we wishapid recovery. Wc do have, fortunately, three of America's most distinguished public servants with us this morning. 'Ihey require little introduction. Richard Cheney served as White House Chief of Staff under President Ford, represented Wyoming in the House of Representatives, and rose to become Minoritye served as Secretary of Defense in Ihc Bush Administration. Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft served as National Security Advisor to Presidents Ford and Bush. In Ihe Reagan Administration, he chaired or served on several highly important policy advisory committees. He's also Chairman of Ihe Board of Trustees of the Bush Presidential Library Foundation. Judge William Webster was serving on the US Court of Appeals when he became Director of FBIe was named Director of Central Intelligence, serving
Now I've asked our speakers to speak initially forinutes. I've asked Secretary Cheney and General Scowcroft to focus on two central questions. As we all
know, there are many critics of the quality of the intelligence produced by the Intelligence Community. We'veumber of defenses of (he Intelligence Community already in this conference. The critics have included both Presidents and pundits alike. So the first question is. was the intelligence provided to you during your government service timely, reliable and focused on priority issues? In other words, was it useful? The second question I've posed to our panelists is also in response to another set of critics, coming from another angle. Some critics find fault not wilh the quality of intelligence but with the failure of policymakers to employ it. So the second question is, what role did intelligence play in the critical decisions regarding the tumultuous events al the end of the Coldudge Webster served as the nexus of intelligence and policymaking at Ihe highest levels and was the interlocutor of our other panelists. I've asked him to focus on his experiences in that position as he observed the role of intelligence in policymaking, and the reactions of policymakers to the intelligence provided to them. I'm going to take die speakers in alphabetical order, so we'll start with Secretary Cheney.
Secretary Cheney; Thank you verym delighted to be here tliis morning and have the opportunity to participate. I've been thinking, the last tew days, aboutight say. and it's not thatask for someone like myself.eftent out andob'm not writingctually pay taxesittle bit handicapped here this morning with my compatriots. General Scowcroft, but I'm sure my mind will begin to focus again on these events, and I'll be able to dredge up some good war stories to share with you this morning,
At the outset, in terms of thinking about intelligence from my perspective, obviously, like everybody else, my view of the product and how it was used and how the whole process works was shaped by my experiences in government, and my first exposure, as was mentioned in the introduction, was really during the Ford years,sed to sit and receive in my car every morning on my way toopy of theuess wc called it in those days, the President's Dailyas sortummary user, if you will; dialasn't, as the Chief ofad political responsibilities and administrative responsibilities. At the time, Brent was the National Security Advisor, and he was the one who had to worry about the policy ramifications of what was there,ort ofigh-leveluess you could say, at the top to be aware of what was going on, and from time to time on particular issues if wc were getting ready to goummit with the Soviets on arms control, and I'dole bit more time digging into those areas. But, generally, it worked reasonably well Irom my perspective.
The second basic period of my careerot of time on it wasember of the House Intelligence Committee5he last fouras inas the senior Republican on the budget subcommittee of the Intelligence Committee, andot of time oname to view, and do now, as my most interesting and exciting responsibilityember of the House. Service on the Intelligence Committee was somediing that you acquired primarily because the leader asked you to go serve in that capacity, but itnique experience in part because it was all behind closed doors,ot of the partisan battles that characterize Congress disappeared once you closed the doors--thc Intelligence Committee, and thereuch higher degree of bi-partisan effort, if you will, in that regard. But it also gave me the
opportunity, sitting on the budget subcommittee and on the Committee itself, to develop an overview of the agencies and how they all fit together, and also toair amount of the product, but again, without having to make decisions as an executive.
The third slagc. of course, came during my time as Secretary of Defense9 tond I'm sure my views there were shaped in part by the fact that so much of the Intelligence Community is part of the Department of Defense.pecial kind of relationship, obviously, that exists because, on the one hand, you are one of the prime consumers of what the Community has to produce, but on the other hand, you've got oversight responsibilities, management responsibilities for the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the DIA, and all of the intelligence services of the various armed services. Soonsumer on the one hand, and on the other hand, certiiinly if not an analysl, you're sitting on lop of an organization that generates an awful lot of information and analysis.
My impressionrrived at the Defense Department was that the floodgates had opened, that there was this enormous volume of material, andad to find some way to screen it, to choke it down, to have it take on manageable proportions.ould sit at my desk all day long and do nothing but read intelligence reports. The volume, literally, was that great, especially if you made the mistake,id early on, when they said, "Well, what are you interestedaid, "Well. I'm interested in the followingickedong list. The nextas getting reports on all of those subjects.
Part of thehink, is there isn't any way, there's no training,ivilian appointee who comes to one of those Cabinet posts, and alludden is a
consumer of intelligence. It's not part of the transition, there's no school for intelligence consumers. There's just sort ofthe assumption, when you take the oath and you sit down at the office, that you know what you're doing. And, if you're lucky, you'veittle bit of exposure to it in advance, and you have some idea of what kind of information you're going to receive, and how it fits into your responsibilities and your overall decision making,as alwaysam1 think about it, that there's virtually no time spent preparing that new Cabinet member for this particular aspect or phase of his job.
I had concluded that it was very important for me not to beassive consumer, if you will, that it really was important to establish some priorities. It was the same thing for the Department of Defense. There was noould do everything that needed to be done in the Department of Defense, so you establish priorities, and then you find good people, and you delegate to them to worry about all those things you don't have time to focus on, and, to some extent, you need to do the same thing in terms of your interaction with the Intelligenceas fortunate during my time in the Defense Departmentad some superb people working for me. That's one ofthe great things about the Defense Department, it is full of some extremely competent, capable men and women who devote their lives to that sort of thing, and they're very good about sort of coming to the aid and the assistance of those of us who serve there temporarilyivilian capacity.
If you look at the way my day worked in terms of sort of interacting with the flow of intelligenceasad every morning,eft the house in the DoD limousine, in the back seat would be the CIA briefer,ould get the Brief on the way
to the Pentagon that morning.rrived in my office, then I'd sit down and spend some time with my militaryad some great military assistants. Bill Owens, who later became Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was my first one. He was followed by Joe lopez. Joe just retired hereearan who went from enlisted ranks lo four stars. He finished with the Southern NATO Command, extremely talented individual. And my last military assistant was General John Jumper, Air Force Officer. John is now. or has recently been, the Commander of all US Air Forces in Europe. All three of them went on to great things. At the time they were working for me, they were junior One Stars, and their mission in life, obviously, was to help me, and wetandard practice that allowed for them to, in effect,ot of that material that was going to bubble up to my desk every day, sit down oftentimes and get Briefs in advancerrived, andould sit down andession with diem first order of business in the office every morning. And they would distill for me the essence of what was coming up, especially through DIA and that side of the house.
Beyond that, obviously, therehole scries of opportunities to use the product from the Community in connection with special briefings, in connection with regular responsibilities, time to sit down, for example, andecision onajor weapons system. You'd always starthreat brief, some kind of an assessment of what the competition was likely to be out there, or what the world would look likearticular arena in the years ahead, because that obviously then would, theoretically anyway, drive the decisions you'd make about what kind of aircraft we needed, or whether or not wc needed more submarines, or whether or not we really wanted to investew weapons system.
an seminars. Attended seminars wouldetter way to put it. Paul Wollbwilz, you saw here earlier this morning, organized tor mc.airly regular basis during my time in theeries of Saturday morning sessions where we would bring in folks from within DoD, people from the Agency, George Kolt's here. George used toegular participant in those sessions. We were focused especially on what was going on tn those days in the Soviet Union. Wc would bring in. as well, academics, and sometimes we'd mix itit, but the idea was that we could sitouldew of my senior people in the Pentagon and interact with the experts inside and outside government to focus on, in this particular case, developments in the Sovietound that enonnously valuable. The product the Agency produced was very good, but it was much more effective for mc, in terras of my understanding,ad the opportunity following thategular basis to then be able to sit downeriodic basis and be able to discuss with experts what docs this mean, what docs that mean, what should we be thinking about, and soound those sessions invaluable.
Later on, after the Soviet Union came apart weeries of special briefingsairly regular basis in the Department for myself. General Powell, three or four of our other senior people, that was focused specifically on the status ofthe military forces of the fonner Soviet Union. What was happening to their strategic rocket forces, how good were their troops, what kinds of discipline problems and morale problems were they dealingI'dery specific focus on military capabilities.
When we got over into another area of responsibility, obviously, the intelligence tookhole different meaning,ense, and that was when we got involved in the conduct of military operations. When the balloon went up, and it was time to deploy the
force and actually use the force, then sort ofthe pace and activity would shin inside the building, and you'd become very much focusedarticular part ofthe world, for example, the Gulf during the course of DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, and intelligenceital role there, including the morning session. Again, the first thing we'd do every morning. General Powellould sit down in the Command Center and be briefed, first by Mikeaw Mike, he was here, he then was the intelligence officer off the Joint Staff. We'd follow that up then with the operational briefing from Tom Kelly, who wasn the Joint Staff, but thategular standard pattern. Again, in this case, of course, the focus would shift. You were more concerned about the status of Iraqi forces, about things that may have happenedery short period ofot more tactical intelligence information, obviously, that was going to be important in terms of making decisions in this case about preparations for and ultimately conduct of those operations.
ere to try to characterize ithink we were very, very well served on balance, that weast amount of information,hink weot of excellentot of it thought-provoking, that required us to really think about what wc were doing and why we were doing it. It wasn't always right, by any means. There were problems on occasion. There were occasions when there were differences of opinion.
One that comes to mind that you may have discussed this week that we might want to talkittle bit this morning, had to do with this question of the size of the Sovietan working for me, Harry Rowan, who had at one point worked out at theelieve, as part of the National Intelligence Council, an economist Ihim the Hoover Institution out at Stanford.ad hired to work with
Paul Wolfowitz and some of Ihc olhcrs up in Ihe policy shop, and Harryhink with some justification now viewed with the benefit of hindsight, that the official estimates of how big the Soviet economy was were inflated. That, in fact, their economy was smaller than the data indicated, and that was important because that meant that they wereigger percentage of their GNP on the military than was thought. So if you halve the size of the economy, and you kept the military the same size, obviously, you've doubled the percentage that was going foron't mean to criticize anybody in that regard. The factad access to differentarry's information persuasive. It all moved in the samehink,hink, he gets some credit, or should get some credit, forroblem for the Soviets as partrend thai turned oul to be historically of considerable significance.
Another place where we had discussion and difference of opinion within the Community had to do with Ihe laltcr stages of the war in the Gulf, when thereebate between CIA, on the one hand, and our forces in the Iheater on the other, on how much Iraqi armor we had destroyed. We'darget for ourselves that we wanted to destroyercent of the Iraqi armor before we launched the ground war; we wanted to use our air assets to lake oulercent, roughly, of Iheir lanks and so forth. We thought we'd gotten there, and wc were very close to launching the ground war, but then the Agencyifferent interpretation of ihe data--Ihat suggested thai we had not destroyed as much of the Iraqi armor as we thought we had. All of this ended up with the three of useeting in Brent's office, accompanied by various and sundry other experts from various places. Wc finally sorted it out and went forward with the attack as planned on the timetable as planned, and. in that particularelt the Iheater
commander and ihe military had somewhat belter data, partly because they had access to things that were not immediately available to the Agency. The Agency was focused on national assets, and controlled those national assets, but out in the theater, we also had pilot reports, and bomb damage assessment tactical intelligence flown by tactical aircraft. And, in that particular case,hink we were well served byariety of difference sources and point of view that we could look at and then comeonclusionery important piece of business. It was no small matter to make sure we had done everything we could from die air before we committed our ground forces to battle.
But, say, overall experience, certainly one ofthe highlights of my career, was the privilege of working with the Intelligence Community and all the people thatart of il, and,ay, while we didn'l always get it right, on balance, those of us who wereosition to interact with the Community, to rely on them for advice and information and make decisions onhink we were very well served.
GK: Thank you. General Scowcroft.
Generalointed oul lo Dick when we sat downad two microphones and he only hadeeeded all theould get. One comment which relates to the previous Panel, and that is the clement of collegiality.ook here at Dick, and look down at President Bush,resident Bush was Director of Centralas National Security Advisor, and Dick Cheney was Chief of Staff. So, forears, we have known, worked together off and on, and that makes an enormous
amount of different in how you can workot of things you take tor granted, you don't have to go back to square one, because you understand each other.
Weil, George has asked some interesting questions. Basically, was the intelligence good and how did we use it? To the great frustration of the Intelligence Community, the decision maker doesn't know what he needs until he needs it. And we kept getting these things, "Set down your requirements innd, you know, we'd get these lists,risis comes, and you're sitting around the Oval Office and somebody says, "Well, how many of this do theynd it mightrisis that nobody's even thought about before in an area that nobody's thought about before. So, the Intelligence Community gets no help from the decision maker in identifying what the decision maker's going to need, because he doesn't know it until he's lookingroblem and says. "Well, how abouthat makes it tough.
The purpose of intelligence is. the decision maker, in any kind of crisis even in day-to-dayoperating in an area of ambiguity and lack of hard data. And, so, what he's searching lor is to bring an element of certainly to this vague notion out here in order that he can inform his decisions by some concrete facts. And that's really the purpose of intelligence. It's only one input, but it is designed to allow the President to make decisions based on the best information that is available. All of this, though, makes it very hard to analyze how good the intelligence is. much less how we use if
But that's not the only answer. Another factor is the confidence of the policymaker in what he's being given. There are two elements to that 'The three Presidentsorked for looked at the product very differently. President Nixon, at least publicly, manifested considerable disdain for the PDB and frequently would push it
aside when wc would suggest that he read il. He sort ol 'thought,ay, the State Department had been captured by theong time ago, and the CIA was mostly from Ivy League colleges, and so that was (he kind of framework in which he looked. Now, he had enomious respect for Dick Helms. Hnonnous. Butick Helms was different from the institution. President Ford was very different. He'd never planned to be President. He had worked with the intelligence committees in the Congress and so on, but he devoured the PDB, and sort of uncritically taking it to improve his background. President Bush did it differently, still. Having been the producer ofthe intelligence, he would lake out the PDB and look at it, not only for what it had in it, but how it was done, what wasn't in it that should be, was it presented the right way, and the poor intelligence briefer who brought it in for him to read sometimes gotrilling on it. But thateflection of the job that intelligence has, and how the President looks at the product. Whether he thinksunch of pap or whether he really is able to make use of it.
And then the intelligence itself sort of divides up into different levels of confidence. The first is facts, you know, the Soviet Union has so many ICBMs, so many warheads, and so on. Thereendency to say. "Okay, that's the way itndreat deal of credence to thai. The second category is, the facts plus an interpretation. Yeltsin collapsedeeting and they took him to the hospital. What does that likely mean? Did head headache, or are there some complications to it? And then the last category, that of predictions-looking out, what is going to happen to the Soviet Union? What's happening to the Soviet economy? All these kinds of things.
And the confidence ofthe decision maker in the intelligence goes down with each one of these categories. He trusts the experts so that the facts are taken pretty much
wholesale.ittle less so, but since they're so intimately related to the facts, and the expert is going to know more about the surrounding circumstances, yes. But when you gel to the predictions,ot of skepticism on the part of the decision maker, again, depending on his personality, but frequently to the point that they're considered just one opinion of another. I'll get back to that ininute.
There are some other factors that the decision maker, at least some of them who have had some relations with the Intelligence Community, also think about, and, es|>ecially with respect to estimates, and that is the objectivity of the intelligence that is given when you have the expert analysis attached to the facts themselves. The estimators, forused to beational Security Estimate of the Soviet Union, what it was doing, how it was coming in defense, what its economy was, and so on and so forth. Welt,ong time, that was done by the same group of estimators each year. Well,uman tendency, when you make an estimatehen you're doing another oneas to makene look like you're really prescient So that, in die end, you know, caneriod of years, lead one astray.
And then there is the possibility of just plain bias in the people who make up the cslimatcs. President Bush, as DCI, set up an experiment to test the amount of bias. He set up an "A" team, whicheam who actually made the estimates, andB"ollection of people whoommon philosophical attitude at that time toward the Soviet Union, to see whether or not the estimates varied with the attitudes, with the philosophy if you will, of thehought itreat experiment Unfortunately, somebody from team "B" leaked their estimate to the press, and it turned
isaster. But. you know, these are alt the kinds of things that run through the mind of the decision maker.
Another factor that sometimes comes in, isould cally favorite story about mindset was the run-up to3 warArab-Israeli War. The Arab suites normally had exercises every September in which they would move the troops around, and test things, and all this. They did it againut this time, thereot more troops involved and so on, and it was watched carefully. But it was just the annual exercises, and this went ononth, and I'll never forget the Saturday morning wc had just received word of the Egyptians and the Syrians attacking the Israelis,icked up the PDB. and it said. "Notwithstanding the fact that die exercises are very realistic this year, wc anticipate there will be no attack."
Well,hink had happened is this: that to the analyst, an attack was unlikely because it made no military sense. It wasn't anybody that thought that the Egyptians and the Syrians could take on, successfully, the Israelis. And since it didn't make any military sense, it wouldn't happen. But what they left out was die fact dial Sadat, at the time, wasn't trying to win the war. What he was trying to do was make an attack and shift things around enough in the Middle East that he could get negotiations going again, because they'd absolutely been frozen. Anyway, that was just an interesting anecdote. Back to estimates. Incidentally,hat happened afterar is that they weren't going to make that mistake again,sed to get calls about every third night, in the middle of the night, with suspicious-looking troop movements that presaged another attack, (laughter)
Hack to estimates. Arc they really worth the effort? Your bookonderful collection of estimates. How seriously arc they taken? Are they worth the effort? They're not worth the effort if you expect them to predict exactly what will happen. That's what the press frequently does. Most of the press attacks, or, "Ah ha, they didn't anticipate the collapse ofthe Soviet Union. Ah ha, they didn't anticipate that Saddam Hussein was actually going tohink that misses thean't
Wolfowitz, maybe, in thethe Gulf War attack. Yes, CIA did
say that it was likely they were going to attack, but wcolitical problem, and that is Mubarck, King Hussein, were saying, "Hey, it'sluff. Don't do it, and you'll screw it up. Just leave ito what do you do in those circumstances? And, in fact, we did the right thing because then when the attack came, there was nobody in the Arab world who could blame us for provoking Saddam Hussein.
The collapse of the Soviet Union is another interesting one. If you look at what actually happened, you can say that the Soviet Union maybe will collapse. What does that mean?hink, in fact, if Yeltsin badeart attack in the summer) and been out of the picture, my guess is the Soviet Union would not have disappeared. That it might have turnedonfederation of Russia and the other states,hink one of die principal factors in the end of the Soviet Union was the bitter hatred between Yeltsin and Gorbachev, and that Yeltsin literally pulled the Soviet Union out from under Gorbachevay to get him out of the way. Now, there isn't any way that intelligence is going to be able to predict, nor is it the important thing.
'Hie oneish the Intelligence Community had said is-we worried aboutagainstoup with him or against him, all9 andsoon
as ihe trouble started in Eastern Europe. Were the conservatives going to crack down? One of the things the Intelligence Community did not tell us is, that when the coup actually came, that the people we had been dreading forears, the head of the KGB, the head of the military, the head of internal intelligence, all these great guys who "re running this great machine, actedunch of Keystone cops.
What intelligence estimates do for the policymaker is to remind him what forces arc at work, what their trends arc, and what are some possibilities he has to consider. They form part of the environment in which heecision. Are they ignored sometimes? You bet. Are they wrong sometimes? You bet. But they do serve the purpose of expanding the view of Ihe policymaker. Intelligence is not the Oracle of Delphi, although the press treats it pretty much that way. It'shink, to the policymaker in reducing his error rate in making decisions. If it is good, that is, if he has confidence in the product he receives, he will use it. If he doesn't, he won't. But he invariably factors intelligence into the other elements that surround any crisis as he makes his decision. Thank you.
GE: Thank you. Judge Webster.
Judge Webster: Thank you. I've already apologized to Paul Wolfowitz for my sudden departure, briefly, during his speech. The last time that happened was aboutearsas speakingarge number of judges, Justice Harry1 was there on the front row and Justice Harry Blackmun was the speaker,ad toimilar departure accompanied by four Security officersush, which so completely distracted
the audience and also ihc speaker aboul whai possible crisis hadoticed ihis lime that thai did noiid noi have Security officers following me, and this well-informed audience could recognize one loo many cups of coffee when they saw one [laughter]
1 did want torief word about the Deputies Committee because it functioned so supremely well, and served Brent and the President so well. It was bom,emember, Ihc crisis function, was bom out of one of the President's more frustrating days when there was an abortive coup attempt in Panama resulting in Ihe complete failure of Ihc effort, ll was noi under CIA handling or supervision. We were briefly informed,
as was the military, of what was taking place, but, in Ihe meantime, ilwas
in Spain cn roulc to Germany lo meet with my counterpart, who wanted to talk aboul Ihc reunification ofew weeks before the Berlin Wall went down. Dick Kerr was keeping me very well informed about what was happening.emember, the President wasenior officer, or chief of slate, of another country. Cabinet officers were wandering in and out of the Oval office to pay Iheir respects and have meetings, and no one knew what was taking place. Dick Cheney called me and others, and we had lhat meeting in Brenl Scowcroft's office,ade one suggestion lhat maybe we activate those very secure teleconferencing systems that we had in the different components of the National Security office. Senior officials don't like to use them to exercise, because they're afraid they're going Io look bad, but maybe there was somebody who could always be available widi that system. And it worked very, very well in subsequent crises, such as the insurrection in Ihc Philippines. It alsoartially good answer to the problem that Dick Helms used to lalk about when we'dudden call to
come to the White House. From Langlcy,ittle bitistance. And they're hand him ten pounds of briefing materials, and he'd sit in the back of his car and hold them, and say.laughter]
Well, let me speak forinute about my observations about the process, andense that the policymakers responded lo it. Now. I'molicymaker. I'm up here to comment onhink they responded to it. Inook my cue from some language in President Bush's book as he came into office, about how it was important that not only that the DCI notolicymaker, but that he not be seen toolicymaker, or attempting toolicymaker. And, for that reason,ame onsked President Reagan to revert to the practice of not having the DCIember of his Cabinet.
The official papers, intelligence papers, or production, consisted primarily of the President's Daily Brief, about which you heard President Bush talk yesterday, the NID, the National Intelligence Daily, and the various estimates produced by the NFIB. made up of representatives of the Intelligence Community reacting to papers prepared by the National Intelligence Officers on particular subjects, reporting to the DCI and not part of the CIA.
The PDBery important document to us, and to the President And he set the tone for if He allowed Brent, of course, and Bob Gates to sec it Dick Cheney, Jim Baker, and, occasionally, someone else if they needed to see it, but. in all cases, we retrieved the documents rather than leaving them to be potentially copied. Now. they were aboutages,emember. The lastident lo bed was to review the night draft, knowing that it would be revised all night0 o'clock in the
morning, when ihey had lo go lo print, andpent my lime in the car coming down to meet with the President, the Briefer, and Brent, and Bob and, occasionally, John Sununu, trying lo calch up wilh the changes and the editorial things, and glance at the newspaper knowing that the President would have read five newspapersot there and wanted to know if I'd read an editorialomment relative to intelligence. It was an interesting exercise.
The estimates represented in some ways, as Brent putiew ofthe universe and the trends that were likely to take place, and there was some level of accommodation between different points of view reflected in trying to getingle document. Where to put the alternative points of view, where to reflect dissenting opinions, and how to do so so that it still might be of some value to the policymakers? Never entirely successful,hink we did work to make surearticularly Congressional committees, were complaining that alternative points of view were reflected on the same page as the main estimates, so not buried in the end notes. We evenhite Paper, which was an executive summary ofthe longer estimates, knowing that we could not really expect the senior policymakers lo find time to read thosenly rememberomingonce to the morning meeting with the President and giving him the full textuch shorterhink on El Salvador, sayingidn't think the White Paper captured it, that he might want to read the full document. The next morning, he toldittle solemnly that he had read the whole document,id not take the bit,hink if! had said, "How did you likeouldn't have likedad to hear. But the President set the tone, and in consequence, everyone on the policy team wanted to be sure that they read what they knew the President had read, and that was
great for the Intelligence Community,racticeear is no longer followed, and regrettably so.
The other papers that came up covered specific issues and responded to specific kinds of questions that the President asked, and others with whom weeekly routine of meeting for breakfast with Dick Cheney, around noon with Jim Baker, and then onery pleasant late-afternoon meeting with Brent and Bob to talk al>out things that were not necessarily in any of the papers, or were in the papers, but we'd developed some new information, or what were the concerns of the policymakers so that
wc could better serve them and to be sure that weour messages were getting
through and getting through accurately.
In all ofhink it would be fair to say that thereery clear preference among the policymakers for the current intelligence rather than Ihe estimates, for some of the reasons I've already given and partly because of time constraints. One possible exception might have been Dick Cheney, who liked to remind us,hink accurately, that much of what he was doing was planning foror military equipment and capabilities that would not be in place for anotherrears, and, so these trends were perhaps of greater interest to someone like Dick than someone who was trying to deal with the day-to-day crises.
From time to time, particularly in crisis moments, we'd turn to our estimates of crucially important military information. Didussein have chemical warheads for his SCUDS? We believed that he did. Colin Powell believed that he did not. And after theovely card from him in long hand, saying, "You guys had ithat was after Saddam Hussein acknowledged havingr more CW warheads. So
(here waswhat we said was not the last word. What we said was our best view of it. And each department had other intelligence services giving other information nol always consistent. We'd call it competitive analysis,hink that was worthwhile, and worth doing, but everyone paid attention to what the best guesses were.
Dick Cheneyinute ago the rather somber meeting we had when wc were so far apart on our best analysis of the degrading of Saddam's armor in the field. We did not have synoptic coverage. Wc only could do what the imagery brought around the circle and try to make proper interpolations of that, but it was inconsistent with what we were getting from the field commanders on that particular issue. The Agency neverontrary position to the question of morale that Paul made reference to earlier today; thatubject on which there was no dispute. We knew that the poorest military units were on the front, tlie Republican Guard was held back and protected, the issue was there because the President hadround invasion whenercent had been degraded, and we were not getting the same figures.
Judge Webstere got some support from the post-war when we ownod the battlefield, and Mike McConnell could do that study, but the important thing was to make sure we had all put into the hopper what we could, in the most accurate way that wehink wc still have an open question of the proper role of the Intelligence Communityilitary engagement has started. Ihe Secretary of Defense, the President, and others, arc in charge. The role of intelligence is not to confuse, or to urge
di ITcrent conclusions or liming, but simply to try to make sure that, as best we can, in the fog of war, the best information is reaching the decision makers.
In terms of the Coldmy experience was that in the whole area of Soviet intelligence, there were really differing theories of how Gorbachev wasall it the glass half full and the glass half empty approach to the same set of facts. And,now that must have been frustrating to the policymakers, and theould do in that respect was lo bring those who reflected different views as to the ultimate outcome of Gorbachev and his programs and where it was takinghink you've heard,ull range of discussion about die, and the dayull range of discussion of the kinds of estimates we were putting out about the problems that Gorbachev' was in, but, in terms of whether or not he'd work his way through it, we had differing points of view. The best thing we could do was to make sure that the policymakers had the opportunity to hear them.
Policymakers tend to form their own personal judgments about the personalities of the leaders on the other side of the equation. And that was particularly true in terms of Soviet leaders. Over time, my impression, and the President'scan take issue with me but my impression was that, when he took office, he was somewhat more skeptical of Gorbachev lhan was President Reagan. And he kept his counsel, kept his mind open, but lie was not buying into an immediate conclusion that all was sweetnessght with Gorbachev and his future. He became more personally acquainted with him.evel of confidence in him, and some of the policymakers who similarly worked with Gorbachev were skeptical about the reports that we put out about the emergence of Yeltsin and the slow erosion of Gorbachev's authority and support in the
Soviet Union. We were evenittle bit about pushing, "Why arc you pushinge were saying, "We're not pushing Yeltsin. We want you to know that our intelligence says he's coming on strong, and that he is going toactor in thehat's somewhat typical ofthe kinds of give and takehought were very helpful and useful and healthy.
Wc tried to be helpful to thePresident Reagan and President Bush in
terms of their contacts with leaders, some of whom they already knew and some of whom they did not We evenhree-dimensional video for President Reagan when he made his first trip to Moscow on the buildings he would be in, and what he would sec as he went up tlie stairs and around the corner so that he would notolal stranger and have some familiarity with il. We didn't have to educate President Bush about many people, because he had been working with them in the United Nations and other places, and they'd grown up into positions of high power, and many of them he knew much belter than we did.
We even tried to provide,hink not tooedical history ofthe leaders and what was happening to them that might affect their ability to perform and their future. And our Medical Services Division were doing the best they could with people they had not treated themselves. Many limes we got reports that somebody was on the brink of death with nine fatal diseases, and most of that was true, hut what they didn't take into account, it seems to me, is how did those people get to be leaders in the first place? Their capacities for survival, their inner strengths? So. while we provided that information, and thereot of appetite forever felt that that was of the quality level that the other kinds of information about the individual leaders turned out to be.
Well, what was the policymakers' reaction to what we were doing?aidhink they grabbed on to the current intelligence much more quickly, and, in many cases, assigned the estimates to other people to boil down and massage for them. Occasionally, there would be some "kill the messenger" attitude, such as I've just talked about in relation to Yeltsin's rise. Occasionally, there would be some legitimate angst about public statements that wc felt obliged to make, both in terms of public accountability and the question raised earlier this morning about our accountability to the Hill, where we had to make both closed-door testimony and public testimony about the state of the world and the issues that were confronting us. Sometimes, wc said things that were not timely.
Thereot of jokingituation in which Dick Cheney was putting in tor his budget justad to give public testimony that concluded that the Warsaw Pact breakup was irreversible. And someone asked him what he thought of that, and he said, 'Truthfully, it wasn'tlaughter]
General Scowcroft: I'm sure just that way.
Judge Webster:ould live withould live with that, because he didn't say it was wrong. Something that isn't known isall from Dick Cheney after that. Cartoons were starting to come out,all from him right away, saying thai he wanted to make it very clear that he expected not only the CIA but the military components of intelligence, DIA. NSA, and so forth who worked for him.ell il as Ihey
saw it. Now what he didn't say, buthink was implied, washould be more careful aboutnnounced that kind of thing, [laughter]
Working with the military' is. of course, one of the most important things that the Intelligence Community canhink there is still some uncertainty about what our role should be in times of military engagement,on't know the answer to that. We simply offered what we had, did not try to cause people to change their minds, and tried to be as useful as weecall one meeting with General Galvin in Germany, when he told me how very important it was that he liave advance warning of any kindoviet stand-up, break-out offensive. The reason was that wc didn't have enough troops in Europe to withstand that kind of an attack, and that he was going to need toolitical will for rcinfbrccmenls and the sooner that he had that information the better. So, many of the things that took place were designed to provide that advanced warning for that purpose, including putting sensors in the Soviet Union to see if we could count any kind of extra movement out of military or industrial plants. We were, up until those last two years, wc were listening for hiccups, any signhift would be important. Our imageryhink, providing extraordinary information with respect to the mobile missiles which were concealed in the woods and the forests, and we were trying to provide an accurate count for them. Extraordinary things were taking place in terms of underwater activity, going after the test missiles to pick them up and determine their throw weight,hole range of other things for which many brave people have not gotten adequate credit, but which did receive the appropriate amount of attention and credibility within Ihc Department of Defense.
As far as the spending costs areeadily acknowledge during my period and others before, that wc did not have those numbers right, but we were collecting themind of consistent basis like the Mercatorof the others of you who served in the Navy, as did I, know that the Mercator projection is all wrong, but it's been getting people back and forth to their destination for thousands of years, and so one has to ask the question,ractionercentage on gross national product, orifference of percentage on how much was being spent on the military have caused President Reagan or President Bush to pull back on our efforts to maintain military superiority during those tense periods?"
A word about the surrogate wars which were in play in theContras, rather, pardon me, the Contras in Latin America, the efforts in Angola with Savimbi, the efforts in Cambodia, and in Afghanistan. Here, again, weot of attention to what wc were able to do to distract the efforts ofthe Evil Empire to expand its influence in the Third World,hink history will probably say that in Afghanistan despite more recent criticisms about were we training terrorists. We were not training terrorists. We were training patriotic Afghan tribes on how to defend themselves and get the Russians out of Afghanistan. These were not the only people lhat came in to help. There were many other people who came in who might fill the category of terrorism.hink history will record that this was one of the watershed times. The impact on the Russian military, on their military leaders, and Ihe backfire on the political government,esult of their failure to keep their puppet in control of Kabul, and the damage to morale of seeing thousands of Russian soldiers relumed in body bags, was one of those critical factors, in my view, that resulted ultimately in the breakup of the Sovietound that the
policymakers were all extraordinarily interested in those efforts which were, particularly in Afghanistan where we weren't allowed in Afghanistan, and wc had to do all of the work through our representatives and agents training these Mujahcdin. and keeping the support of King Fahd and others who helped with the heavy cost of doing so, and made betler allies and friends in theood operation, and it was fully supported, not only by die policymakers, but by the select committees of the Congress.
We had some problems along the way that fall in the category ofuman intelligence is designed to primarily lo understand the intentions and capabilities of our adversaries better lhan wc can do from imagery, or judgments made in other ways. Sometimes it simply is hard to obtain, either because we'reeavily denied area, or
because, as Kissinger onceaskedalked to Henry' Kissinger one time
about our problems after Tiananmen Square where we could watch and know that the leaders had left their offices and gone into bunkers, but still the attilude in the Square left us uncertain as to what they were going to do. We knew when they brought people, brought divisions from outside the area which would be less likely to be sympathetic to the young people in Ihe Square, we still did not know and could not predict with accuracy when or what they would do. Kissinger simply said, "Well, you couldn't know unlil Deng Xiaopingnd that is one of the main challenges with leaders who are in control is what they are going to do in those given situations. You can have anhink that's what Brent was talking about when he said, "We have facts, and
then we have interpretation, and whether or not we can make thatI
found the policymakers, even when we attempted to make those, preferred to listen to us
and be impressed by what we said, but were still going to make their own judgment as to what was going to take place.
Covert actionart of our role. It isart of our assessments, but we were certainly assessing what was taking placeesult of our covert actions. You might call it diplomacy and war by other means. And. in many ofthe cases, the things that we did did not succeed, but in others, they were tremendously successful, such as the Radio Liberty effort that was described by General Kalugin, in terms ofthe impact. We had books on the Federalist Papers that were widely consumed in Warsaw Pact areas and in the western parts of the Soviet Union. Those were proactive things, but we had to assess whether or not they would succeed. We also had to deal with the issues of how much disinformation could we put out to confuse our enemies in the field. Wcumber of proactive things wc wanted to do in Afghanistan, but the possibility that the American press would pick il up and report something that was not true that was attributable to us was of ongoing concern to die policymakers, but, in the main, they allowed us to do the things that we thought were worth doing. Other decisions as to whether to use drones to attack Soviet transports on the ground resulted in interesting debates, but. in thehink our covert actions received real support.
I want to sayon't think much of this would have worked without Brent Scowcroft.ruly honestas very comfortable with Bob Gates and with Dick Kerr representing the DCI on the Deputies Committee, but none of this would have been as encouraging to mchought that once the information got to the National Security Advisor, it was going to be twisted toersonal point of view, or be influencedhief of Staff who was concerned about the political implications on the
Congress. Brent simply provided the President with the opinions of every policymaker and anythingould add when he tltought that he could call to get my input to give the President,lways knew that it was being presented objectively. He might have an opinion on what we said, but he got our points of view to the President, and the President was alwaysosition to act based upon the real opinions of his team. That, to me. was the essence of good intelligence work, and good intelligence relationships, and one forhink President Bush and Brent deserve enormous credit, as weew world ofthings happening in those two yearshink had happened in the whole history of the Intelligence Community after World War II. Itleasure lo be there and lo have the privilege of working with them. Thank you.
GE: Thank you very much. We now have plenty of time for questions, which is very helpful, because wc encourage you to come down to the mics on either side, and it also saves me from having to ask C'abinct-lcvcl officials to be quiet.
QUESTION: [Nameoover Institution. My question is to Brent Scowcroft. Yesterday, while speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Governor George W. Bush said that the Soviet empire is destroyed, but the evil is still outouple of hours later, speaking at the George Bush Presidential Library. Dr. Robert Gates concluded his remarks by saying that the United States won the Cold War. Mr. Scowcroft, do you think it is fair toictory when the evil you were fighting against, and according to James Woolscy, the main remaining adversary0 was the Russian military machine, so when this evil is still alive and even kicking? '1 "hank you.
General Scowcroft: Well, lo say lhat wc won the Coldhink, is something entirely separate from what you say. The West, the British, French and Americans, won World Waroo, hut thai didn't mean that there were no problems left. We won World War II, but it was, perhaps, the occupation ol" Germany and Japaneriod of years which helped the transformation of those countriesemocratic philosophy. That has not happened. The Soviel Union is gone. We did win Ihe Cold War. Although wet the time, we tried not to say that we won the war. What we tried to say is everybody won, because the Cold War was ended,hink, we sometimes forget in our dealings with Russia that it's important that they have their pride, and gratuitous humiliation of them doesn't help. Are diere elements inside Russia who are nostalgic for the empire? You bet. There's no question about it. Are Ihey controlling theon't think so, now. I'm not sure if anybody's really controlling the system, but they certainly are there. And there arc those who think, those in Russia who think, for example, of what's going on in Central Asia, and the Caucasus, the Caspian, and so on, is only their business and not anybody else's, and that someday the Soviet empire will be reconstructed, but we're not going to, we're not going to end Ihe thinking of people. What wc need to try to do is to support the progressive elements in Russia and to encourage it as it searches for its soul, which it's doing now, to come out with answers compatibleseful role in society.
QUESTION: I'm Josephuestion about intelligence, leadership, the collapse ofthe Soviet Union, and your arms control initiatives, unilateral
arms control initiatives in Septemberhe question addresses the really inherent conservatism of intelligence,is leadership in world affairs. When the Soviet Union was collapsing, following the coup, in Augustresident Bushational Security Council meeting in which he asked the Principals to go back to their departments and to drawist of further arms control reductions in the strategic field. And you did so.onth later, it was announced ony question is, was the dramatic reductions that were made in1 informed by intelligence and, specifically, did you think you could verify these reductions which were, of course, going to he reciprocalew days from the Russians? It's to Secretary Cheney and to General Scowcroft.
Secretaryhink it would be fair to say that intelligence clearlyole in the package we put together, but there were some background information therehink, needs to be pointed out. At the direction of the President, and after extended conversations wiihad initiated some months before, in the Department ofomplete review of the SIOP. There had nototally thorough review of the SIOPood long period of time. Steve Hadley. who's here today-Steve participated in il. General Butler, then off the Joint Staff, participated in it. General Powellogether gave the direction to Ihe Department to undertake this review. And, basically, whai the review showed was thai if you sat down and you looked at the targets, and die SIOP. of course, being the Single Integrated Operatingthe war plan for using your nuclear weapons. And. if you sat down and you looked at the inventory of weapons diat we had available, and you looked at the potential targets, it was clear that
wcot more weapons than we needed to cover the target base. Wc hadery thorough study, intelligenceignificant role in it, but, basically, we were prepared when the President asked us to go back and see what we could offer up by way of additional initiatives in the amis control area, we'd done our homework so that we had, inpecific proposal that wc could go back with and say, "Here's what we think we cannd it was the very dramatic changes that we then announced, and,ecall, wc did awayrecommended doing away with land-based MIRVs, wc recommended going with significantly lower numbers olTCBMs. we took the bomber force off alert, we took all of our tactical nuclear weapons that had been deployed at sea and brought those home. It was the most dramatic proposal in the arms control arenahink any President ever made. But it was, in fact, basedot of work that had gone before, and intelligence had played an important part in that, and wc. obviously, we were confident we could verify compliance with those provisions based on our national capabilities.
Generalould just add one point about the tactical nuclear weapons, whichnilateral initiative which Gorbachev announced he would reciprocate, but wc did that unilaterally. Incidentally, the President pushed us9 on saying, "Look, the situation is changing. Let's not just sit tight and let it happen. Let's get out in front. Let's think, what can wc do? What can wco, on the tactical stuff, Dickot, weew situation in Europe with German unification, and that is most of the tactical weapons were short-range weapons, and they'd go off in Germany. The Germans didn't think much of that So wcolitical problem there. In Korea, this
was ihe limelight warming of relations at the moment, and Ihe South Koreans were interested in negotiating wiih ihe North, in having our nuclear weapons in Korea out of there. We didn't want to take them out unilaterally just from Korea, because it would look like we were pulling back from Asia, and that's the last thing we warned io think about. So, and the third clement was, tactical nuclear weapons on Navy ships. Most of them were anti-submarine, mining, and so on, and the Navy really didn't need them anymore. So, to do all of these things, wc decided we'droad statement about removing tactical nuclear weapons across the board. Now intelligenceinor role in thai. We didn't need these forces anymore, and, for political reasons, they were not useful, but it did rcsull in the Soviets reciprocating. Now they haven'l done nearly as much as we have in carrying it oul But it was a, youecision based on the President saying, "Get out and do somethingnd us calculating what forces wc need, and which ones we could gel rid of-
QUESTION: Dan Halpin. Cloak and Dagger Books, Bedford. New Hampshire. Wanted to, fust of all. thank all the participants for making this an absolutely wonderful two-dayppreciate your giving up your time to come down and entertain us. Judge Webster, you mentioned the Medical Division in your lalk, and very little has been written about the Medical Division, but il prompted me to think that with that division liaising with the best medical advice in the world, do you think we fully utilized thai in our diplomatic and intelligence ways, to reach out to other governments to maybe provide ihem with some of thai medical expertise to keep their leaders healthy and happy and friendly to the United Slates?
Judge Webster:hink most of the leaders we were second guessing on their health were not exactly our closest friends, flaughter]on't want to leave the impression that the Medical Services Division wasn't doing enormously helpful work for us. In addition to that particular assignment, they took care of our covert agents and officers overseas, and dealtot of strange diseases to which Americans would be more susceptible. And really did an outstanding job. Traveled with officials abroad. But, my pointon't know how much information they had. and some of it, I'm sure, is true, but in terms of projecting longevity, it's pretty had to make thathink, increasingly, we didn't rely on that information, and bet at the bank on somebody checking out sooner than they would, or did.
General Scowcroft: You know,ould just add,hink the Medical Uniterrific job about Yeltsin, you know, what his problems were, how they were likely to be manifested, and they gaveeel for what was going on with Yeltsin and his periodic trips downpa and so on and so forth, andhink were very helpful.
QUESTION: Geneetired CIA scientific intelligence officer. Clearly, things wcnl very well for the Intelligence Community during the Bush Administration, but it might not have been always that way prior to that Administration. For instance, JFK was let down by the intelligence in the Bay of Pigs, and the DCI, Allen Dulles, had to resign. President Johnson, very strong willed, seemed to think he knew best, and his DCI, John McCone resigned. President Nixon may have, in fact, used and abused his DCI.
President Carter, it seems to me, to haveredisposition about intelligence, and his DO began to downsize the CIA right away,eard yesterday that he may have closed down the Moscow Station. What would you say to some of these young people here today that mightuture DCI what advice or would you say about the future of the intelligence to protect or guard themselves from the next president, who might noteorge Bush?
Judge Webster; Well, this is an interestingas just very lucky in my
President. Jimon't know whether Jim is still hereWoolsey
tory that the rumor in the White House was lhat when thai small airplane crashed into the side ofthe White House that it was Woolsey trying to get an appointment with the President,hink thatifference, and the President was good enough to let me join him most mornings on his Daily Brief, and while his questions were usually directed to the briefer, it was an opportunity for me to see where we were coming up short, and to be sure that we followedlways got feedback from the briefer, but being there made all the difference, and also an opportunity to know if there was any lack of confidence in what the Community or I, personally, were doing. Sometimes it'suestion of lack of confidence, it's just something that has to be doneolitical level. It wasn't Allen Dulles who resigned,ecall, but Richard Bissell, and when he went to sec ihe President, President Kennedy said, "If thisarliamentary country, I'd have to resign, but it isn't, so youhink that it's important that the DCI maintain his personal integrity in dealing with his boss and telling him exactly what heemember Griffin Bell, the Attorney General, used to say that he owes the
President his best opinion, and the President ean tire him, but he's there to give his best opinion. That iselt was the role ofthe Intelligence Community, and my role as DCI. and so to those toheuess was asked, on behalf of the students who may be here today, let me saym convinced that there is no agency in government that takes more seriously its responsibility to be accountable under law and to do its work according to American law. Obviously, the work that's required of clandestine collection docs not permit us to observe all the laws of all the countries where we're gathering information, and that makes it all the more important diat we be sensitive to our Constitutional responsibilities. And, as Dick Helms once pointed out, "While wc may have to be deceiving in other places, wc cannot deceivehink that we have tried very hard to be faithful to that in our reports and responsibilities to the President.
QUESTION: My question to the Panel is in regardfirst ofeach
American Government to college freshmen and sophomores in Houston, and my question to the Panel is in regard to legislative oversight of the Intelligence Community, especially in regard to the increased oversight that's taken place since, and my question has to do with why the Legislative Branch is charged with overseeing the activities ofthe Executive Branch, and the Intelligence Community falls under the Executive Branch, security clearances are required for people that work for the CIA, for the NSA,as wondering about the people in the committees, the Congressional committees, that are given access or exposed to TOP SECRET classified information about- if any of you
feel thereossible security threat, or need for increased background checks of the members of Congress?
Judge Websterery good question, and, of course, youourse in which you're aware of the equal branches of government, and the Congress has. in the pasl, taken the position that it will be the detenninalorof the qualities and qualifications and availability for security clearances. We have, from time to time, reported information that casts doubt on particular individuals and what they were doing, including some members of Congress, largely through the FBI which has counterintelligence responsibilities. But they do try very hard, and theye have the two committees, the two select committees, io whom Ihe Intelligence Community reports, and they are very carefully picked and their staffs arc pretty carefully picked, and they act as surrogates for the entire
Congress, so that wc don'teople plusforgotten how many thousand
people are upaccess to the information. It's pretty well controlled, and
I'm not aware of very many breaches. In fact, my observationas at the FBI, which preceded by lime with President Bush and President Reagan here, was that more leaks were coming oul of the White House than coming out of those committees.
Secretary Cheney:ould justord, having served on the House Intelligence Committee in the oversight role, the assumption is, or at least members of Congress arc told when they're elected, ihe assumption is they automaticallyOP SECRET clearance by virtue of being elected to the House of Representatives. In reality, there are some of them who probably couldn'tOP SECRET clearance if they went through
Ihe normal process. And, Iho way il worked in ihe Househise have an elaborate procedure for assigning member to committees. We did not use it with respect to the Inlelligencc Committee. That was left solely within the purview of ihe Republican leader, and then Democratic Speaker. They had absolute authority over who went on the Intelligence Committee, and lhal helped. Io some extern. The staff was first-rate. They did have ihe requisite clearances. My experience was thai you goteak problem when you gol involved in politically very controversial matters thai were public, such as Iran-Contra alTair, or aid to the Nicaraguan Conlras, and you had groups within the Congress who had violent disagreements over those issues, and then, occasionally, leaks would occur because it was politically useful lo somebody to leak. I'm not one who hasig advocate of Congressional oversight over theo think it's necessary, but Congress has to make absolutely certain iheyew people doing it, people who are trusted, and ihe rest of the Congress has to place their confidence in those individuals dial diey'll do it right.
Generalemember one particular case. Thereongressman who had requested large amounts of material, some of it classified. And he started to put selected items in Ihe Congressionalent to the Speaker and said weig problem here,hought he ought to solve the problem, bul if he didn't, we'd have to. The Speaker wasn't able to solve the problem,imply said there will be no more classified information given Io that Congressman.
QUESTION; My name is Drew Endicott. This is directed essentiallyuess. General Scowcroft,erved four years in the Marineifleman, enlisted. Your generation came of ageery tumultuous time when industrial warfare was the norm. In effect. President Bush had theuess, of lighting, having an airplane shot out from under him, but we're moving away fromime noi too far away when leaders were raised on the Nintendo view of war. Star Trek view of war, and have not actuallyniform and stood and watched the rain and seen their friends lying on Ihc ground screaming for their mother. You cannot separate the destiny of nations from military conflict. How is the Intelligence Community going to insure Uiat our leaders knowecision to engage in armed conflict isn't merelyutton or seeing which light blinks. It's people actually being blown to smithereens.
Generalhinkig problem that faces our society in several ways. The most recent manifestation was Kosovo,hink, could have senl signals that are very deleterious to us.hink it goesot deeper than that. Forears after Worldhere were large parts of the American adult population who had served in the military. It was taken for granted, and they understoodess war is. how plans never get executed the way you think they're going to, all of that familiarity. Wecries of Presidents who had all been in the military. Now that is ending, and the military is going touch more specialized part of society, much more isolated from society than it's ever beenhink there may be profound implications to that,ave no idea what to do about it
QUESTION: Good morning, gentlemen. The process of gathering intelligence is heavily dependent on advanced technology, satellites, transmissions from various sorts, and, obviously, high-altitude reconnaissance. My question is, isnd the whole Panel can please comment on it, is that our heavy reliance on high tech reconnaissance in intelligence gathering is done at the expense of resources that can be used for field personnel.
Secretary Cheney: Til justuick comment. You need both. Youknow.it shouldn't be an cither/or proposition, and weot of money, obviously, on the high tech end of collection, but we do some truly amazing things outhink over the years, our capabilities in that regard have been absolutely essential. We talked earlier about the arms control proposal in Septemberery, very important part of that was to make certain we knew what the other side had, what their capabilities were, and most of that information was gathered by national technical means, using expensive,
highly expensive, systems. Now, obviously, we'reworld'sit.
ot more worried about terrorism, and non-state sponsored kinds of groups, and we clearly need to have first-rate human intelligence, as well, too.ere to criticize anything, it's our seeming inability to hire people and let them deal with some ofthe bad guys around Ihe world. We find out that some captain in some military organization who's corrupt, is on the CIA payroll and there's immediate outcry, "My God, we'veorrupt guy on the CIAell, who else arc you going toean, if you're out and really seriously want to penetrate those organizations, those arc exactly the kinds
of people you ought to have on the payroll.e often ignore what's required of the Agency, if they're going to get quality human intelligence, they do have to deal with some pretty seedy people, and wc ought to welcome it, not criticize it.
Generalould just basically say "amen" tohink our high-tech intelligence was built up because the critical need for this country during the Cold War was that wc not be militarily surprised and wake up some morningevere strategic disadvantage. Wc need to keep that up because we need that high tech capability nowot of other things, becauseery messy world. But that also means the kind of world wc have now makes intelligence, to me, more important, perhaps, than it was even during the Cold War, because we're getting involved in things that during the Cold War wc wouldn't have paid much attention to in areas of the world about which we know very little, and wc need to be better,ot of that is human intelligence. As Dick said, the drugs, terrorism, the best way to deal with terrorism is not to build jersey walls around the Washington Monument, and so on. It's to get out and penetrate the organizations and stop terrorism at the beginning, not try to clean up after it.
Judgegree with everything that's been said,hink it's well to remember that, in terms of human intelligence, there'sry for more human intelligence after something has happened when we haven't had it, or had it sufficiently. It is not something you can put up on the shelf and take down and then let it go fallow and then suddenly need it and have il go back and be effective. Much of the really rich material in key areas around the world that have come through intelligence have been growing up
wiih people who have finally gotten themselves into positions of important access where that information they can give us is important to ihe decision making process, and thai takes years and years. It should be an ongoing and steady commitment to be sure that we know the intentions and capabilities of our adversaries and to do it by human means. We're doing extraordinary things at the technical level, bul thai does not guarantee thai we're going to have Ihose answers, and it's not aquestion of shiftingo back to human intelligence,uestion ofufficienl level of human intelligence in the field to follow up on. lo inform the work of Ihe national technical means people, and vice versa. Wc need them both.
QUESTION: Richard Harknett, Professor at the University of Cincinnati. Wantcdto buildomment thai Robert Kimmitt made earlier about one of the challenges is that intelligence is going loore difficult time keeping up with information, that we're in an environment of increasing scope and speed of public information, from the CNN effect to satellite to Ihe Internet. What kind of role or different dynamic do you think is going lo he set up for senior policymakers to have to deal with intelligence in this larger, expanding environment of public information?
Judge Webster: Things thai we have observed through national technical means, but today access is often provided by scientists and business leaders around the world. We don't task them, wc don't turn them into operatives, hut we are very welcoming of the
informalion lhat ihey can bring back to us, because theyetter access than some of our spies.
QUESTION: [Continued] That'sas kind of going wilh this is that in the context of the intelligence delivering to senior policymakers who now can turn on the TV, can receive information from other sources, isifferent dynamic emerging as those sources, public sources, become increasingly pervasive?
Judge Webster:hink you're going to have to get stronger and stronger driveswith all the information that's coming in and be able to sort out the specifics thatand the dynamics are changing all the time. Slightly different..we had these secure phones that youutton and they take us into theSecuritypush the button and get ahold of Brent, and I'd say. "A
SCUD was launched one minute ago in the general direction of Riyadh. Watchecause we didn't know where the SCUD was going to land, they were very inaccurate, but CNN was there, and we were not. At least, not for that purpose.
General Scowcroft: hink that there's little impact.enerally bigger problem, but, you know, being on the outsideould guess that you can get from open literatureercent of what you need to make decisions. The otherercent is reallyigger problem we have is thai our new systems are capable of amassing such tremendous volumes of information. Wc cannot process it. And we're going to have toew way to doean, the stuff that our satellites provide, some
of it extremely valuable, goes unattended to because there's no way we can manually process all that stuff, andajor problem ahead of us,
QUESTION: My name's David Richardson.rofessor at [name lost] University in Springfield, Missouri. In some of the research that I'm conducting right now, I've had occasion lo interview forma General Vilishev Borasov, and he indicated, in the interviewonducted with him, that he felt that the Soviet/Russian military istate right now where diey'rc in searcheader. General Alexander Lebed's recent book dial was published last year, seems to indicate the same thing. Given that, and given the several references that wc have had at this Conference about the tact that, while institutions have changed in the former Soviet Union, but not necessarily mindsets and attitudes, and as recently as yesterday with General Kalugin, the thought patterns are still there. Given those two sets of circumstances, could you speculate on the possibilityeader such as Lebed or someone else widi some degree of charisma that has the confidence of the military establishment now in Russia were to rise to power, would this possiblyanningeturn to nationalist concepts andype of national socialism or something like this?
Secretary Cheney:on't know what's going to happen ino know General Lcbcd. He hosted me once when he was Commander ofth Airborne Division. This would have been back in0n one of my visits over there. I've since spent some lime with himouple of occasions. I've been struck by the fact that he did not opt for the military route in terms of trying to achieve political power.
bul rather, decided to run for office. He went out to Krasnoyarsk, ran tor, and got elected Governor ofot of people believe that he'll run for President next time around, using that Krasnoyarsk base,an't say that there won't be, or there is now, no one over there obviously who's plotting some kind of militaryimply don't know.ave been struck that someone like General Lebed decided, whereas he clearly had the requisite credentials, if you will, to seek power by military means, he chose not to do that at least not so far. anyway.
Generalhink history is no definite predictor of the future, but, if you look back at Russian history, there have been few cases where the militaryilitary has taken over, not many men on horseback, not many military coups-strong men, but the military has generallyood servant ofthe executive. Now what's going on in Chechnya now looksilitary with the bit in its teeth, but the Prime Minister and die President are out in front.
QUESTION: I'm William Mackenzie fromant to thank you and your staff, the Bush School, and all your participantsarvelous conference, and thank you so very much.
QUESTION: Peterork at the Mitre Corporation. This isomment that Secretary Cheney made about being given lists of things he might want to know about, and possibly checking off too many of them. The Intelligence Community is al wax's in the business of investing in the ability to answer questions in the future as well
as answering questions today. It seems to me that there'sertain amount of flailing around in the ten years since the Cold War ended over how to think about where to invest Not so much where to invest in terms of specific technical capabilities, but how to judge what kinds of information would be needed by policymakers in the future in order to invest in having that information available when it's needed.ondered whether you or other members of the Panel, from your experience, could give some thoughts on how to draw the balance between competing with The New York Times, or The Economist, for what's hot today, versus investing in knowledge that, right now. nobody cares about.
Judgeon't have the answer,hink that your point is well taken and that intelligence best serves the country when it can identify, with the help ofthe policymakers, those things for which we have no ready answers and sec cither trouble or opportunity on the horizon and prepares to have the data to supply it.
Generalon't know if you referred, in your flailing around, to the debate about whether wc should put more emphasis on economic intelligence, forhink that wouldhink in terms of information available, we're so much better off there, and wc already do the part that's related to security,ouldn't go in that direction.
Secretary Cheney: One thing I'd pick upointhink Bill madene ofthe things wc dohink just pays enormous dividends long term is to allow young
people from overseas to come get educated in American universities.ense,,rear investment, but it has an enormoushink, long term,till, in my (ravels around the world run into people today that Ideal with that wentyou know, they were at3 workingegree in agricultural economics, and today they'llrominent government official or heavily involved in business. It justetwork, ll hasn't got, you know, the sanction, and shouldn't have, Ihe sanction of the Intelligence Community, per se. but the network of relationships we build up through our educational system, that at the upper level's the best in the world, is absolutely invaluable to us long term.
QUESTION: Chip Beck.IAad the unique experience of being regarded in some circles as having defectedostile intelligence serviceemale special agent of the FBI. Fortunately, the leader of that hostile intelligence service was, by then. Director of Central Intelligence,efer to Judge Webster, so my bacon wasittle hit. My question to you all is, given the FBI's historical role in counterintelligence and the somewhat expanded role recently under Director Freeh and operations involving counterterrorism, money laundering, and the expanded legal attache program, do any of you gentiemen foresee or recommendutureore visible role of Ihe FBI in such groups as Deputies Committees, or anything else of that nature, in the intelligence processegree that maybe hasn't been present, you know, in the recent hislory?
GE: Well, lhal was terse. Last question.
ame ton Septemberyear-old kid from Parris, Texas. The Bush School is the best thing lhal ever happened to this campus,hank you, Mr.ooncern.oined the Navy, they were still building airplanes and ships.hink wc will all agree that industry was the thing that really won Worldave seen over the last many years industry start touch stronger role in intelligence. I'm concerned,ee our industry, through mergers that may be necessary,eclining importance of industry to ouree an increase in the thought that software will solve all our problems, when, ultimately, the war is fought withust would like to have an opinion from the Panel as to what that situation may present to us in theepresent industry, although I've served the Intelligence Community my entireepresented industry.
General Scowcroft: Well, I'll take an initial crack at it We have goneapid consolidation of defense-related industry. We've goneroliferation of prime contractors down to three now. Europe is now starting the same kind ofhink we don't know yet whether our own consolidation has gone too far too fast. It's quite possible, Wc don't know what's going to happen togree with you thai we need to look very carefully ai this, and we're al the pointhink, the government probably can't just sit back and say, "Well, let's let market forces takeecause we arc dealing, as you point out, with the fundamental sinews that we need to protect
on't have an answer, butroblem which is confronting us more and more every day.
Secretaryould add. part of the difficulty is the technology is changing so rapidly and is so widely available, that it's almost impossible now to thinkrucial piece of military technology that is owned hy or developedefense contractor, nobody else has it or can get access tohinkhrinking body of knowledge. And when you think about the way in which international boundaries are breaking down, companies arc global in their conduct in terms of how they handle themselves, the role of the Internet, die flow of information that will be probably at the heart of any future successful military endeavor. It's increasingly difficult for us to think about developing that capability and then deploying it in the way we used to. When you'veefense contractor. Defense Department issues the contract, buys the capability and away we go. It'sol more complicated than that.
Judge Webster; That question, I've been thinking about the previous question, and thereorrelation, and that is, the internationalization of crime in the world today and bynclude terrorism and drugs and other activities,ontinuing look at how we go about defending ourselves from it, and increasingly, the FBI has been drawn into the international arena because of the various types of international crime,ignificant white-collar crime. Russian-organized crime, for example, operating in the United States,hink the question assumed that somehow the FBI was out of the loop. It may notart of the Deputies Committee, but it is very definitely apart of the
iniernalional struggle lo protect our society* and ourecture earlier this week at Georgetown University in which Louis Freeh went out of his way to talk about the splendid relationship thai exists between him and George Tenet, our DCL in terms of attacking and dealing with theseuppose there arc going loot of shaking oul to do as more and more of American special agents are functioning in various capacities abroad,on't think you need to bnng everybody to the Deputies table, bul you should know lhat those relationships are constantly improving, and Ihe trust and cooperation, likewise.
GE: Let me make one quick announcement before we thank our panelists We'reinnewh.li tight s* hedulebecause of the ccrernon> soOW Jireeily into lunch in about two minutes. Now join me in thanking our panelists for an excellent
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