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Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
This digest offers highlights of the principal recommendations and arguments of the forthcoming report of a task force assembled and chaired by Richard A. Clarke.
Government spokespeople and the media often use the phrase "al Qaeda" or "al Qaeda-related" as shorthand for a larger and more complex array of jihadist terrorist groups. In fact, despite the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan and the arrests of jihadist leaders around the world, the jihadist network remains strong, diverse, and may well be growing in complexity. These groups have conducted twice as many attacks since September 11, 2001, as they did in the three years prior to that date. Jihadist leaders who have been captured or killed have been replaced. Although it is difficult to be precise, the strong consensus among experts is that the rank and file of jihadist membership has increased significantly since 9/ 11.
Significantly, in evaluating U. S. progress in neutralizing the jihadist movement, we need to acknowledge that the war in Iraq has been deeply counter-productive to the greater effort. As a sin of commission, the Iraq war alienated crucial allies in the battle against jihadists, made friendly Muslims into skeptics, made skeptics into radicals, and created a sanctuary for itinerant jihadist insurgents. Iraq had no strong connection to the terror threat facing the United States and Saddam's removal has done nothing to lessen the threat we face from al Qaeda and the jihadists. Perhaps the most vivid demonstration of this point is that a year and a half after Saddam's removal, the terror alert level in America remains unchanged and there is anticipation of a major al Qaeda attack within the next few months. The simple fact is that even if Iraq magically turned into a stable, secure democracy today, the United States could suffer another 9/ 11-type attack tomorrow.
As a sin of omission, the Iraq war diverted massive and much-needed resources from the fight against jihadists. The continued unrest in Iraq will further delay any U. S. effort to create a new international coalition to confront Syria's and Iran's support for terrorist activities, a point not lost on Damascus and Tehran. As a result, they may do everything in their power to further bog down U. S. efforts in Iraq. Ironically, the war in Iraq has contributed to creating the breathing room Syria and Iran so desperately needed to avoid a robust international action response to their terrorist activities.
Despite these many challenges, the battle against the jihadists can and must be won. The forthcoming Century Foundation Report, "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action," endorses and builds on the recommendations of the 9/ 11 Commission, providing ten concrete actions that the next presidential administration should pursue. The full report offers substantial detail on specific strategies for implementing the following list of key recommendations:
1. Focus on Winning the Struggle of Ideas: The U. S. should work with its allies to erode support for jihadists in the Islamic world by engaging in what the 9/ 11 Commission called the "struggle of ideas."
2. Invest in Education and Development in Islamic Nations: The U. S., the European Union, and the international financial institutions must greatly expand financial and programmatic support for development, including support for human rights, education systems, and economic opportunities, especially for women.
3. Implement Tailored Strategies for Key Countries: Five countries— Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq— are particularly critical. They require the tailored, detailed, proactive, and integrated policies outlined in the full report.
4. Defuse Sources of Islamic Hatred for the United States: Many supporters of the jihadists oppose the U. S. because of specific actions and policies, chief among them our support for Israel and the occupation of Iraq. The U. S. can, without compromising its core interests, values, or support for allies take steps that would reduce our exposure.
5. Improve U. S. Intelligence and Law Enforcement Organization: In addition to implementing the 9/ 11 Commission recommendations, the U. S. should facilitate non-career tracks in the FBI and CIA and separate the domestic intelligence activities of the FBI into a distinct organization. The external oversight board should be independent, as recommended by the 9/ 11 Commission, rather than the internal advisory group created by recent Executive Order.
6. Reinvigorate Efforts to Combat Terrorist Financing: The president should designate a Special Assistant to the President for Combating Terrorist Financing at the NSC to lead U. S. efforts on fighting terrorist financing. In addition, the U. S. should build a new framework for U. S.-Saudi relations and create a certification regime for terrorist financing.
7. Bolster Special Forces and Improve Their Coordination with Intelligence Community: Special operations forces for counter-terrorism should be greatly expanded and enhanced to facilitate small unit operations. These units should be supported by a military organization with a covert presence. Congress must make clear that it will accept necessary casualties in counterterrorism operations.
8. Accelerate Security Investments for Ports, Trains, and Chemical Plants: Funds should be significantly increased, with priority given to vulnerabilities in our rail systems, chemical plants, and ports. Assistance to states and cities should be based upon a multi-year plan that is driven by risk assessments and provides essential minimum capabilities to each.
9. Strengthen and Improve Oversight of Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Efforts: The president should appoint a senior official to direct all U. S. nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear counterterrorism efforts. A new initiative should provide countries with international guarantees of nuclear energy supplies in return for agreements to terminate enrichment.
10. ImproveImprove U. S. Energy Security by Reducing Reliance on Middle East Oil: The United States should appropriate significant funds to subsidize a rapid shift to energy sources that do not reply upon oil and gas.
I. THE FIRST STEP: BETTER UNDERSTANDING THE JIHADIST THREAT
We argue that the threat is not terrorism, nor even all terrorist organizations, but rather jihadist terrorists, who seek to hijack Islam and use violence to replace existing governments with non-democratic theocracies. In most predominately Muslim nations, these affiliated jihadist groups seek to overthrow the existing government and replace it with a non-democratic regime which enforces a particular strain of fundamentalist Islam. These jihadist groups view most Western governments as supportive of the existing systems in such countries as Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Indonesia, and thus as a barrier to the creation of a multinational theocratic government.
In Islamic countries, the jihadists seek to expel non-Muslims and non-Muslim influences. In nations where Muslims are in the minority, jihadists seek to create sub-cultures that are insulated from the nations and societies in which they exist. Often they also use their presence in these nations as a base for propaganda, recruitment, fundraising, and terrorism aimed at influencing the host governments.
Targeting the West to Affect the Islamic World
The jihadist movement uses terrorist attacks on the West, particularly the United States, for a variety of purposes:
- to influence American and Western opinion to abandon the U. S. and European presence in Islamic nations and support of existing Islamic governments;
- to demonstrate to fellow Muslims that the United States and its allies are not omnipotent and can be humbled;
- to raise financial donations and new recruits by demonstrating "results";
- to influence potential adherents in Islamic nations to join them in changing governments in those nations by showing, through successful attacks, that history is on their side.
To achieve these purposes, the jihadists conduct spectacular attacks, often involving targets with an iconic value, or those that will affect the target nation's economy.
There is disagreement as to whether jihadists are motivated chiefly by U. S. actions, such as the invasion of Iraq or U. S. support to Israel, or by their desire to create theocratic governments. Jihadists successfully employ criticism of U. S. policies to widen their support. Whether or not the U. S. were in Iraq or Israel in the West Bank, however, the core jihadists would still seek to overthrow existing regimes to create theocracies, and would target the U. S. because American support of existing Islamic governments makes that goal harder to achieve.
Al Qaeda and More ... Much More
Governments and media often use the phrases "al Qaeda" or "al Qaeda-related" as shorthand for the jihadist movement, a practice which blurs the nature of the current threat. Al Qaeda has always been a relatively small terrorist group, with an inner core of several hundred and a cadre in the few thousands. Its strength lay in the relationships it has fostered with other jihadist groups. Whatever the truth about the strength of al Qaeda today, the network is clearly still vibrant and dangerous.
What al Qaeda did uniquely was to assist other jihadist groups with organization, training, and financing. In states where there were no effective jihadist groups, they helped to create them (Philippines); in states with pre-existing jihadist organizations, they provided the missing elements needed to strengthen them (Uzbekistan). They provided logistical and financial support to freelance terrorists, such as Khalid Sheik Muhammad, as well as to the Taliban regime in its struggles against regional militias. In short, Al Qaeda was primus inter pares among the jihadist groups.
With the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, al Qaeda lost its nation-state sanctuary, as it had earlier when ejected from Sudan in 1996. Significant U. S. ground forces were not introduced into the al Qaeda base areas until seven weeks into the invasion, however, and the United States chose to rely on its newly found Afghan allies to pursue the al Qaeda leadership into the Afghan - Pakistan border area. As a result, most al Qaeda leadership and much of its paramilitary were able to escape immediate capture or death.
U. S. officials have repeatedly claimed that "two thirds of the known al Qaeda managers have been captured or killed." These statements refer to the current status of the individuals who were believed to be members of al Qaeda's consultative council, or Shura, in the summer of 2001. The statements omit two important elements: (a) the two top leaders of al Qaeda remain at large for more than three years following the 9/ 11 attacks; (b) al Qaeda replaces "managers" expeditiously after they are killed or incapacitated.
The success in eliminating al Qaeda leadership led many terrorism analysts to believe in 2003 - 2004 that al Qaeda as a terrorist organization was largely out of business. Then several arrests in late summer 2004 in Pakistan and England suggested a different picture: al Qaeda still exists and retains a communications network that links its leaders with cells in Europe and elsewhere. The emerging picture is of an organization with less experienced personnel, but one that retains the capability to plan large scale terrorist attacks, recruit personnel to carry them out, and obtain explosives and other necessary logistics.
Prior to 9/ 11, al Qaeda was one of the few organizations in the jihadist network that conducted large and successful terrorist attacks or campaigns. In the three years following 9/ 11, other jihadist groups successfully carried out twice as many major attacks as they and al Qaeda had in the three years prior to 9/ 11. The connections between various national groups are now strengthening. Were Osama bin Ladin to be captured or killed tomorrow, both al Qaeda and the global jihadist would continue to operate.
"Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action" provides comprehensive profiles of the various groups that compose the "Hydra" of international jihad, including Abu Sayyaf Group( ASG), Jemaah Islamiya (JI), Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI), Islamic Army of Aden-Abyan (IAA), Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), Jama'at al-Tawhid W'al-Jihad (JTJ), Salafiya Jihadiya, and others.
The Concentric Circles of Jihadism
When thinking of the growth and evolution of jihadist threat, it may be helpful to think of the relationship among distinct groups as four concentric circles. In the inner circle are the terrorists of the al-Qaeda organization, whose population is probably in the hundreds. The second circle contains active members of other jihadist groups, many of whom are willing to commit terrorist acts personally and die in the process as suicide bombers; it probably contains several tens of thousands of people. The third circle consists of those who identify with the jihadist cause or aspects of its ideology, and who might, if called upon, facilitate logistical or financial activity. This circle, which tends to support more "Islamist" governments, may contain tens of millions or perhaps as many as a few hundred million depending on the criteria. The outer circle is that of the Islamic world, the followers of the Prophet Muhammad both in majority Islamic countries and scattered throughout the world. They number over one billion people, most of them non-Arab.
Key to the overall management of the U. S. response to the jihadist threat is an understanding of how each U. S. action impacts each of the four concentric circles. It may well be, for example, that to defeat a jihadist terrorist group (second circle), the United States might choose to support a government that is widely disliked by its people for its corruption and suppression of civil liberties and democracy (such as Uzbekistan). Doing so, however, may be counter-productive to gaining support in the third and fourth circles within that country and undermine our longer term goals of diminishing the appeal of the jihadist ideology to those societies. Understanding those trade-offs and making them an explicit part of the policymaking process will be key to the overall long-term success in suppressing the jihadists.
For details on the nature of the threat, see the complete report: "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action."
II. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
Beyond better understanding the nature of the terrorist threat, the next presidential administration needs to make some proactive policy changes in order to most effectively execute a "war on terror."
The following section summarizes the concrete action steps proposed in "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action."
1. Engage in the Struggle of Ideas
The U. S. must erode support for the jihadists in the Islamic world through what the 9/ 11 Commission called the "struggle of ideas," but we cannot do it alone. Traditional propaganda mechanisms— international broadcasting, for example— are a small part of the solution. U. S. activities in Iraq, as portrayed by the Islamic news media, make it difficult for the United States government to successfully promote its values and ideas among the world's Muslims. The messenger is as important as the message— and right now any message delivered from the United
States is greeted with suspicion in the Islamic world.
Therefore, other countries, respected non-governmental organizations, and individual Islamic leaders must take the lead in appealing to Muslims to denounce intolerance and terrorist violence committed in the name of Islam. These efforts need to celebrate our common values in order to overcome misunderstandings and neutralize terrorist propaganda. The role of the U. S. government should be to stimulate these groups and then wait backstage.
As part of this struggle of ideas, the United States and Europe must demonstrably welcome Islam as a part of their cultures. On this front, the European Union should have two priorities: fighting anti-Islamic discrimination in its member countries and initiating discussions on Turkey's accession to the European Union. Both the European Union and the United States must engage in a concerted program to fight religious intolerance against Islam. Moreover, the United States could do a better job promoting interventions that have aided Muslims, such as the military campaigns and subsequent humanitarian efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo.
2. Invest in Education and Development in Islamic Nations
Poor, disenfranchised people form one base of support for jihadists in some Muslim countries. By improving livelihoods and connecting these populations to the rest of the world through trade and education, we rob the extremists of some of their most likely supporters.
The next administration should greatly expand its development assistance to Afghanistan, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and other low-income Muslim allies in the war on terror. These efforts should be pursued in close cooperation with the European Union and the International Financial Institutions, and must support human rights efforts and strengthen educational systems and economic opportunities, especially for women.
U. S. assistance to friendly governments is an important tool, particularly when that assistance is conditioned upon government reform. The long-term interests of the United States will best be served by actively influencing such governments to eliminate the causes for popular unrest, particularly when they involve civil liberties infringements and human rights abuses. Assistance can be aimed either at getting the government to cease activities that create jihadist support (such as indiscriminate police crackdowns and widespread use of torture) or at enabling the friendly government to provide services that gain them increased popular support (such as offering public schools that serve students better than the jihadist madrassas.)
The U. S. should design and implement strategies of assistance on a country-specific basis to persuade and facilitate parties in these nations to engage in rapid but non-revolutionary change, increase participation in governance, expand economic opportunity, strengthen public education, and encourage democratic and civil libertarian forces.
3. Implement Tailored Strategies for Key Countries
The U. S. must develop country-specific strategies that help policymakers think more systematically about the trade-offs and consequences associated with targeting particular circles within the concentric circles framework. In particular, the U. S. needs coherent strategies for five critical nations that have been the target of jihadists. Those nations are Egypt (with the world's largest Arab population), Saudi Arabia (with the largest oil reserves), Pakistan (a non-Arab Islamic nation with nuclear weapons), Iran (a non-Arab Islamic nation which supports terrorism and is actively seeking nuclear capability), and Iraq, which at the moment is the most volatile of all these countries.
Although near-term radical changes in the governments of most of these nations is not the most probable scenario, our lack of understanding of political, religious, and socio-economic undercurrents in these nations prevents us from ruling out surprise shifts. The governance and economic systems in all of these nations are inherently unviable over the near-to-long term.
Our experience in the Shah's Iran illustrates this shortcoming well. In 1979, the United States was surprised by the extent of the opposition to the Pahlavi government. Our surprise stemmed in part from our lack of independent sources of intelligence and our reliance upon regime reports of its own stability. Although the U. S. government pledged after the fall of the Shah not to be put in a similar situation in the future, we still lack adequate independent sources of information on the stability of most of these key countries.
In "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action," we outline the specific challenges faced by each regime. Each regime will require a different set of tactics, and U. S. policymakers will need both better independent sources of information and better mechanisms to apply different tools to different challenges.
4. Defuse Sources of Islamic Hatred for the United States
As we discuss above, jihadist terrorists oppose the United States not for what it believes or does, but because they see America as a barrier to their creation of theocratic nation-states, known as caliphates. Many supporters of the jihadists, however, are persuaded to support the terrorists because of specific U. S. actions and policies, especially America's support for Israel and occupation of Iraq.
In the March 2003 Telhami/ Zogby poll, respondents were asked whether their "attitudes toward the United States are based more on your values as an Arab or on American foreign policy in the Middle East?" In each survey country, a plurality of respondents indicated that their opinion was influenced more by foreign policy considerations. In short, these results confirm that, much like the American public, Arabs care mostly about facts on the ground.
Large majorities of those living in the Middle East and North Africa evaluate U. S. foreign policy as out of step with their own world-view. On no issue is the divide greater than with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not surprisingly, the Pew Center recently found that 96 percent of Palestinians, 94 percent of Moroccans, 77 percent of Kuwaitis, 99 percent of Jordanians, and 90 percent of Lebanese believe that U. S. policies in the Middle East "favor Israel too much." Given the importance of this issue in the Arab world, there is little doubt that these sentiments fuel much of the animosity felt by Arabs toward the U. S.
While our foreign policy should never be dictated by foreign publics, the effect on public opinion of specific policies— remember the importance of the third and fourth concentric circles— should be a consideration in the formulation and implementation of policy. To that end, the United States should not alter its support of Israel, but should seek to revive the Israel-Palestinian Peace Process. The United States should not withdraw from Iraq before indigenous security forces are in place, but should cease U. S. military operations against urban areas, transfer rebuilding activities to Iraqi entities, and reduce U. S. goals in Iraq so that a withdrawal can be achieved at an early date.
Solutions that focus exclusively on public diplomacy are based on the faulty premise that the careful management of perception will allow the U. S. to improve its image abroad while essentially bracketing foreign policy. This strategy may help at the margins, winning over a few fence-sitters and agnostics, but is unlikely to turn the tide in any meaningful way. Ultimately, public diplomacy efforts are secondary to America's performance in Iraq, its role in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the character of its relationships with governments in the region.
Simply put, U. S. action abroad sets the context for dialogue; rhetoric vis-a-vis the Middle East remains a distant second to action, whether it be in the form of aid distribution, observable interventions, or U. N. votes.
"Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action" discusses how the U. S. can, without compromising its core interests or values, change its policies in the Middle East to reduce its exposure to Islamic resentment.
5. Improve U. S. Intelligence and Law Enforcement Organization
Good information is the key to defeating jihadist terrorists, and as the 9/ 11 Commission concluded, chronic intelligence failures have hindered our efforts to protect the American homeland and weed out dangerous jihadists in their havens abroad. To address this institutional shortcoming, the 9/ 11 Commission offered broad and concrete suggestions for intelligence reform. In our report, we analyze and expand on their important contribution. Our main points are summarized below.
- Restructuring: 9/ 11 Commission recommendations, and the subsequent detailed proposal by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Pat Roberts (R-KS), form a basis for reform of the U. S. Intelligence Community to better counter jihadist terrorism. The proposals are workable, justified, and essential to intelligence reform. None of them would diminish the ability of intelligence agencies to support the needs of the "war fighter" in peacetime or during conflicts.
- CIA: Many of the CIA's failures to deal with al Qaeda in the 1990s stemmed from an institutional reluctance to engage in operations which risked personnel or the reputation of the agency. Both the President and the Congressional oversight committees must make clear their desire that the intelligence agencies be less risk-averse, and more willing to accept failures and casualties.
- NOCs: Reduce reliance on agents posing as diplomats by building a cadre of "not official cover" (NOC) agents, including limited-term contract NOC agents.
- FBI: Create a new "agency within the bureau," a completely different kind of organization with its own budget, personnel and procurement systems, and a different bureaucratic culture. Within the new unit, analysts must be given priority over agents, and prevention over arrests. The new unit must develop sources and engage in agent penetrations of potential threat groups, as the FBI has done in the past with the Cosa Nostra and the Ku Klux Klan. The "agency within the bureau" must be supported by police intelligence units in major metropolitan areas. These intelligence units should, however, be subject to oversight by an office within the U. S. Department of Justice in order to avoid civil liberties abuses. Similarly, the 9/ 11 Commission's recommendation of an external and independent civil liberties oversight board should be adopted.
6. Reinvigorate Efforts to Combat Terrorist Financing
As long as jihadist groups maintain a lucrative financial network, they remain a lethal threat to the United States. Unfortunately, three years after 9/ 11, the U. S. government is still not organized properly to combat terrorist financing at home or abroad. In "Combating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action," we discuss several specific steps that would help remedy this.
- Designate a Special Assistant to the President to Combat Terrorist Financing: For several years after 9/ 11, the General Counsel of the Treasury Department led the Bush administration's efforts in cracking down on terrorist financing. Even the most competent Treasury General Counsel is poorly equipped, from an institutional standpoint, to lead such important work.
The next president should designate a Special Assistant to the President for Combating Terrorist Financing at the National Security Council with the specific mandate to lead U. S. efforts on terrorist financing issues. Such an official would direct, coordinate, and reaffirm the domestic and international policies of the United States on a daily basis and with the personal authority of the president of the United States.
Today we do not today have a clear sense of how financial and human resources are allocated. Appointing a coordinator would help officials make fully informed strategic decisions about whether functions are duplicative or resource allocations are optimal. Moreover, such a designation will go a long way toward putting issues regarding terrorist financing front and center in every bilateral diplomatic discussion with every "frontline" state in the fight against terrorism— at every level of the bilateral relationship, including, on a consistent basis, the highest.
- Reassess U. S. Relations with Saudi Arabia: According to numerous reports, including that of the 9/ 11 Commission, Saudi Arabia is at the center of terrorist financing activities. But as preparations for the war on Iraq took center stage in the administration, the heat was turned down on Saudi Arabia, and an implicit arrangement allowed the U. S. to continue to impose "blocking actions" only in the context of a "joint" designation with Saudi Arabia.
Since the May 2003 terrorist attacks, Saudi officials have finally started to address the mindset that enables and condones acts of terrorism, and have made steps toward reform in the education, legal, and regulatory regimes. But Saudi Arabia has not effectively implemented its new laws and regulations, a step that is just as important. Additionally, Saudi enforcement actions directed against al Qaeda have largely avoided financiers. The Bush administration remains unusually and unconstructively reluctant to criticize Saudi Arabia on this subject, and the President even remained silent when the Saudi Crown Prince publicly announced that Israel, not al Qaeda, was responsible for the bombings in his country.
U. S. policymakers should seek to build a new framework for U. S.-Saudi relations that, in the words of the 9/ 11 Commission, allows the two nations to "build a relationship that political leaders on both sides are prepared to publicly defend— a relationship about more than oil ... It should include a shared interest in greater tolerance and cultural respect, translating into a commitment to fight the violent extremists who foment hatred."
- Institute a Certification Regime on Terrorist Financing: Congress should enact, and the new president should support, an interagency, Treasury-led certification regime on terrorist financing. Certification regimes have the ability to quickly galvanize action consistent with U. S. interests, and require official findings of fact that can compel sustained U. S. attention to important issues. Legislation requiring the executive branch to submit to Congress an annual written certification (classified if necessary) detailing the steps that foreign nations have taken to cooperate in efforts to combat terrorist financing would be valuable.
7. Improve U. S. Military Organization
While the United States military performed brilliantly in prosecuting military operations in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, we are unlikely to see another large-scale military operation in the name of counter-terrorism for the foreseeable future. The continued problems in Iraq, and force presence requirements there, will severely hinder the U. S. ability to conduct major operations against Iran or other state sponsors of terrorism.
As a result, emphasis will shift to operations against non-state targets, such as terrorist leadership targets and terrorist training camps, in both permissive and non-permissive environments. That potentially means operations in nations such as Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen, the Philippines, Indonesia, as well as parts of Africa. Such missions will place a premium on special operations forces (SOF) that are agile, independent and fully mission-capable. To do so will require several actions:
- Provide Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with necessary resources to become a lead player in military counter-terrorism operations. While Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz have extolled the performance of Special Operations Forces (SOF), they have not backed up their words with appropriate resource support. SOCOM remains understaffed and insufficiently funded.
- Sustain and expand cooperation between CIA and SOF in prosecuting terrorism targets. More effective integration of SOF and the CIA Clandestine Service will be critical for success in both openly hostile and more permissive environments.
- Provide SOF with their own cadre of covert operatives so that the military does not have to rely on CIA's covert operatives to support military operations. Even though stronger CIA/ DoD cooperation is necessary, SOF has been too dependent on the CIA's bureaucracy for support. This could be achieved through reconstitution of the military Non-Official Cover (NOC) program.
- Provide SOCOM with a dedicated Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capability for both reconnaissance and strike missions, and sufficient infrastructure so the UAV can be deployed globally. One of the major successes of the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns was the use of the Predator, which provided outstanding real-time intelligence to military forces. This capability should be a cornerstone of future special operations counterterrorism missions.
8. Accelerate Investments in Securing Ports, Trains, and Chemical Plants
Three years after the 9/ 11 attacks, some critical infrastructures in the United States remain as vulnerable as they were September 10, 2001. Chief among those vulnerable systems are rails (both freight and passenger), ports and shipping containers, and chemical plants. In the major metropolitan areas, emergency services personnel (police, fire, medical) continue to lack minimum essential equipment, training, staff, plans, and technologies. Moreover, the current Federal assistance program does not identify minimum essential capabilities or guarantee that they will ever be achieved. "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action" highlights some of our greatest weaknesses and offers pragmatic policy responses for each. This section summarizes some of these recommendations:
- Reduce Seaport Vulnerabilities: The U. S. government has taken numerous steps since the 9/ 11 attacks to improve container and port security. But the new mandate has not come with the resources required to meet it. Since 9/ 11 Washington has provided only $516 million dollars towards the $5.6 billion the Coast Guard estimates U. S. ports need to make them minimally secure. In the FY2005 budget, the White House asked for just $50 million more.
America's borders represent only a territorial line where our sovereign jurisdiction begins, but the threat to container security begins much farther back. Virtually all containers coming into the United States pass through a few foreign seaports. In fact, approximately 70 percent of the eight million containers that arrived in U. S. ports in 2002 originated from or moved through four overseas terminal operators. These operators are the second-to-last line of defense and should ensure that only secure boxes are loaded on ships that cross the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Guaranteeing that a container has not been tampered with will become much easier if we can ensure that the container was loaded in a secure facility at its point of origin. Secure facilities should have loading docks with safeguards to prevent unauthorized entry, as well as digital cameras with time signatures to record container interiors during loading. Containers should have additional light, temperature, and pressure sensors to detect unauthorized intrusion, and internal sensors to detect gamma or neutron emissions associated with WMDs. GPS
technologies should also be installed to track whether the truck or ship strayed from its route. Use of these new technologies and procedures to check and double-check containers would create a deterrent against terrorists shipping a nuclear weapon in a container.
The cost for all this would be reasonable. Assuming that the average container is used for ten years, the initial cost of installing sensor technology into the box would add about $5 to the price of each shipment, and the latest radiation detection portals and container scanning equipment units cost about $1 million each. Some of the cost of security can be passed on to the private sector by providing appropriate incentives; one initiative could be establishing "green lanes" in seaports, similar to the E-Z Pass toll collection system, which would providing the benefit of expedited travel to shippers who adopt the new security technologies.
- Secure Our Trains: The Madrid commuter train attacks that killed 191 people on March 11, 2004, exposed the extreme vulnerability of our public transportation systems. Since the attacks the U. S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been testing out more rigorous security measures on some commuter trains, including bomb screening machines, random bag checks, and patrols with bomb sniffing dogs. These efforts are sporadic, however, and the U. S. government has not allocated necessary funding for sustained and effective security measures. The $155 million appropriated by Congress for this effort is about 1% of the funding appropriated for aviation security, though 16 times as many people travel by public transportation every day than by air. The next administration has the opportunity to play a critical role in this process by ensuring the passage of a block grant program dedicated to enhancing transit system security, focusing in particular on subways, commuter trains, and Amtrak railways.
- Secure Chemical Facilities: America is at risk of chemical attacks on civilian populations. Today, there are 123 chemical plants in this nation that, if attacked, could threaten up to one million people each. Yet there is no requirement to secure these plants. A Government Accounting Office (GAO) report released in March 2003 noted that even though U. S. chemical facilities were "attractive targets for terrorists," the ability of any facility to respond to an attack was "unknown." GAO found that the chemical industry was not required by law to assess vulnerabilities or take action to secure its facilities, and that "the federal government has not comprehensively assessed the chemical industry's vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks." Since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) currently has no ability to force security measures on the industry, citizen safety is ultimately dependent on the willingness of plant owners and managers to work with DHS officials and spend the money and time.
- Fund our Emergency Responders: Local and state emergency responders are a vital component of America's front line, and play a central role in managing the immediate response to a terrorist attack. Their efforts in the initial minutes following an attack will determine whether lives are saved and how quickly order is restored. Unfortunately, America's emergency responders are under funded and, as a result, unprepared for this duty.
9. Strengthen and Improve Oversight of Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Efforts
All the essential elements of a nuclear terrorist attack loom clearly before us. Numerous terrorist groups, from Chechen rebels to al Qaeda operatives, have both the motivation and capacity to acquire nuclear weapons. In the former Soviet Union, nuclear material and weapons are poorly secured, and Pakistan and North Korea have already established their willingness to supply nuclear technology for the right price. At present, U. S. ability to prevent, detect or respond to threatened or actual nuclear terrorism is low. We have various tools at our disposal in fighting nuclear terrorism, and suggest several initiatives:
- Improve Coordination and Oversight: Graham Allison writes that "Today, if the president asked at a Cabinet meeting who is responsible for preventing nuclear terrorism, six or eight hands in the room might go up, or none at all." A nuclear terrorism "czar" would help establish policies, priorities, and objectives for combating WMD proliferation, as well as setting budgets, and developing guidelines for cooperation among the various Federal agencies and departments responsible for combating WMD proliferation. Leaders in the field, including academic experts like Allison and senators such as Lugar and Nunn, have made proposals in this direction, as has the Deutch Commission, but while the idea has been much discussed, very little work has been done on how to implement it.
- On the Homefront: Homeland preparedness represents the last line of defense if nonproliferation and counter proliferation fails. Currently, the resources devoted to preventing and responding to nuclear terrorism are extremely low. The perception of an extremely low return on investment complicates the decision of how to allocate resources to preparedness, prevention, and detection.
"Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action" discusses how a new National Strategy to Combat WMD should dictate an international security environment and emphasize the need for counter-proliferation initiatives to defuse potential weapons and deter potential state-sponsors of nuclear terrorism.
10. Improve U. S. Energy Security by Reducing Reliance on Middle East Oil
In a period of great volatility and uncertainty in world energy markets, the term "security" is not always easily understood. When speaking about national security in general, George Kennan offered perhaps the definition that best applies to energy security policy today: "the continued ability of this country to pursue its internal life without serious interference."
The greater our dependence on foreign oil, the greater we expose ourselves to the will of other nations and terrorists. World events in 2004, including violence in Iraq, terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and political maneuvering in Russia, all strongly affected the price of oil and, more importantly, demonstrated the vulnerability of the United States. As oil demand in North America and China continues to climb, we must assess the future stability of the United States' oil supply.
"Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action" details the specific problems that U. S. oil dependence poses vis a vis Saudi Arabia and Russia, and suggests action to reduce our vulnerabilities.
The completion of the presidential campaign, the inauguration of a new administration, and the convening of a new Congress present an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how we have been fighting against the jihadists. Despite the lack of a major terrorist attack within our borders since 2001, evidence is abundant that the ranks of the jihadists have grown significantly. They have been conducting far more attacks worldwide than before 2001— a clear warning sign that our policies are not working and may even be counterproductive in some cases.
The plan of action laid out in "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action" is ambitious, complex, and expensive. But the challenge posed by the jihadists fundamentally threatens our nation and the world order, and seems sure to be with us for more than a generation. During World War II and the Cold War, the United States and its allies triumphed over comparably grave threats through fortitude, ingenuity, and substantial sacrifice. We will triumph again over the jihadists. But to do so will require a much greater demonstration of our national strengths than we have put forward to date.
- "Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action," Summary of a Forthcoming Century Foundation Report http://www.tcf.org/Publications/HomelandSecurity/clarke/clarkesummary.pdf, Century Foundation Richard A. Clarke, Chairman of the Task Force, Glenn P. Aga, Roger W. Cressey, Stephen E. Flynn, Eric Rosenbach, Blake W. Mobley, Steven Simon, William F. Wechsler, Lee S. Wolosky
For additional information see http://www.tcf.org/4L/4LMain.asp?SubjectID=1&ArticleID=498
The Century Foundation http://www.tcf.org/INDEX.asp conducts public policy research and analyses of economic, social, and foreign policy issues, including inequality, retirement security, election reform, media studies, homeland security, and international affairs. The foundation produces books, reports, and other publications, convenes task forces, and working groups and operates eight informational Web sites. With offices in New York City and Washington, D. C., The Century Foundation is nonprofit and nonpartisan and was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene.
Richard A. Clarke is an on-air consultant for ABC News and previously served the last three presidents as special assistant to the president for global affairs, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, and special advisor to the president for cyber security. Prior to his White House years, Clarke served for 19 years in the Pentagon, the intelligence community, and State Department. During the Reagan administration, he was deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence. During the George H. W. Bush administration, he was assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and coordinated diplomatic efforts to support the 1990-1991 Gulf War and the subsequent security arrangements.
Glenn P. Aga is president and co-founder of IC Associates, LLC, advising U. S. government and corporate clients on a wide range of security issues and technologies. He is a former U. S. Air Force intelligence officer with overseas crisis experience in the Middle East, Africa, and Balkans. He also served in the ClHad trouble resolving dest near word action type is Launch Had trouble resolving dest near word action type is Launch inton White House, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Functionally, he has supported and applied technology for counter-terrorism operations, U. N. peacekeeping operations, and served as an analyst on global chemical and biological weapons capabilities.
Roger W. Cressey is president of Good Harbor, advising clients on homeland security, cyber - security and counterterrorism issues. He is currently an on-air counterterrorism analyst for NBC News. Previously, he served as director for transnational threats on the National Security Council staff, where he was responsible for coordination and implementation of US counterterrorism policy. During this period, he managed the U. S. government's response to the Millennium terror alert, the USS Cole attack, and the September 11 attacks. Prior to his White House service, he served in the Department of Defense, including as deputy director for war plans. From 1991 to 1995, he served in the Department of State working on Middle East security issues. He has also served overseas with the U. S. Embassy in Israel and with United Nations peacekeeping missions in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia. While in the former Yugoslavia, he was part of a United Nations team that planned the successful capture of the first individual indicted for war crimes in Croatia.
Stephen E. Flynn is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a retired U. S. Coast Guard commander and foremost expert on homeland security and border control. Dr. Flynn recently served as Director and principal author for the task force report "America: Still Unprepared? Still in Danger," co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. He has written extensively on security issues, including his recent book, "America the Vulnerable: How Our Government Is Failing to Protect Us from Terrorism."
Blake W. Mobley is a doctoral candidate specializing in counterterrorism and international relations at Georgetown University.
Eric Rosenbach is a national security consultant for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. He previously worked as the Chief Security Officer for the largest internet service provider in Europe, and served four years as a military intelligence officer supporting operations in the Balkans. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who studied law at Georgetown and public policy at Harvard.
Steven Simon specializes in Middle Eastern politics at the RAND Corporation. Previously, he served in London for three years as assistant director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Carol Deane Senior Fellow in U. S. Security Studies. He came to the IISS in November 1999 from the National Security Council staff at the White House, where he served for over five years as director for global issues and senior director for transnational threats. During this period he had coordination responsibilities for Near Eastern and South Asian security policy and counterterrorism policy and operations He is the coauthor of "The Age of Sacred Terror" (Random House: 2002), which won the Council on Foreign Relations 2004 Arthur Ross Award and coeditor of "Iraq at the Crossroads: State and Society in the Shadow of Regime Change" (Oxford University Press/IISS 2003).
William F. Wechsler was director for transnational threats on the U. S. National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He headed a commission that looked into the sources of Osama bin Laden's money.
Lee S. Wolosky is Of Counsel at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and adjunct professor in international affairs at Columbia University. He served as director for transnational threats on the National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. His responsibilities included coordinating White House policy formulation, program oversight, and new initiatives related to international crime, including illicit finance affecting national security.
This report was commissioned by The Century Foundation as part of its major Homeland Security Project cochaired by former Governors Thomas Kean and Richard Celeste and supported in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The task force was assembled and chaired by Richard A. Clarke. More information on this project can be found at www.homelandsec.org or the foundation's Web site www.tcf.org.
The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and members of the task force. Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Century Foundation or any supporting organizations, or as an attempt by them to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.