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Prepared Statement on Homeland Security
By Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, , Thursday, July 11, 2002

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, good morning. As always, it is a pleasure to be here. I appreciate this Committee’s focus on homeland security, and I am pleased to testify on both the Department of Defense’s relationship to the proposed Department of Homeland Security as well as the threats facing the Nation and the American people in the 21st century.

In announcing his intention to propose a new Cabinet-level Department, the President clearly pointed out the need for a single, unified structure, noting that today numerous federal entities across the government are charged with responsibilities having to do with homeland security – far too many for the circumstances in which we find ourselves. As the President put it, "History teaches us that critical security challenges require clear lines of responsibility and the unified effort of the U.S. government." Those "new challenges," he said, "require new organizational structures." And he is right. It was just such a challenge in 1945 that prompted President Truman to combine another collection of offices into a new Department of Defense.

Secretary Rumsfeld put it another way. He said, "New times require new priorities" and ever since the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review, defense of the U.S. homeland has been the top priority of the Department of Defense.

The Department of Defense strongly supports the President’s initiative to create a Department of Homeland Security. One of the foremost doctrinal principles that informs how the U.S. military conducts operations is unity of command. Unity of command refers to people working together, in harmony, towards the same goal and under the same command. By consolidating a number of homeland security functions that are, at present, scattered across the Federal Government, the new Department of Homeland Security would provide unity of command. From our point of view, a Department of Homeland Security would:

  • Provide a single focus, at the federal level, to facilitate DoD support when directed by the President and the Secretary of Defense.

 

  • By building greater civil capacity at the Federal level to protect our borders, prevent domestic attacks and manage the consequences of attacks, a Department of Homeland Security would expand the President’s options in times of crisis so that he is not forced to choose between employing U.S. military forces in civil support roles or conducting military operations abroad. We should have the capacity to do both.
  • Lastly, by reducing our vulnerabilities at home, , a Department of Homeland Security would contribute to our ability to deter conflicts abroad by reducing any potential advantage our enemies might gain by attacking us directly in the course of a conflict abroad.

The changing nature of the threats we face today – especially the threats posed by terrorist organizations and outlaw states – makes such a department an urgent priority, and we look forward to working with the new organization to provide for the Nation’s defense.

As for the threat posed by terrorists and outlaw states, this is not -- as you well know – a new phenomenon. Terrorism has a long and bloody history. What is new, however, is the level to which terrorists are willing to take their murderous deeds, and the weapons they have now, or may soon acquire, to ensure that the fear and devastation they inflict upon the innocent is greater than ever.

What is also new, as has been demonstrated in Afghanistan, is the ability of terrorist organizations to completely overtake and occupy a country, co-opt a culture, and oppress an entire people. Left unchecked in a world where the global nature of finance, communications, and transportation make it possible for even relatively isolated individuals or organizations to have global reach, terrorism presents the potential for destabilization or, as we witnessed on September 11th, destruction on a scale unmatched in previous eras.

Thus, after September 11th, the world was faced with a challenge that could no longer be denied or ignored: Do we live in freedom, or do we succumb to fear?

For the United States of America there was only one answer to that question. And, nine months ago, President Bush answered it. In a bold and courageous act that recognized both its deep roots and its terrible potential, President Bush declared war -- not just against the perpetrators of the deadly attacks on New York and Washington -- but against terrorists and their organizations and sponsors worldwide. Indeed, as the President has made clear, the sources of the threats we face are not limited to Afghanistan or the Middle East. They stretch across the globe.

As September 11th so dramatically demonstrated, we are vulnerable to many forms of attack. Who would have imagined, only a year ago, that commercial airliners would be turned into missiles that would attack the Pentagon and World Trade Towers, killing thousands? But it happened. In the years ahead, we will undoubtedly be surprised again by enemies who will attack in new and unexpected ways -- perhaps with weapons vastly more deadly than those used on September 11th.

Our enemies know we are an open society. They suspect that the space assets and information networks critical to our security and economy are vulnerable. They know we have no defense against ballistic missiles, which only gives them further incentive to develop weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. Our job is not only to close off as many of avenues of potential attack as possible but to prepare for others – whether from terrorist organizations or from the outlaw states who cooperate with them and each other, intent on America’s destruction.

September 11th was also a call for the military to do more with regard to homeland defense. The United States remains vulnerable to missile attack – which is why we are working to develop and deploy defenses against the most likely forms of ballistic and cruise missile attacks. But September 11 taught us, to our regret, that our people and our country are vulnerable to internal as well as external attack -- from hostile forces who live among us, who enter our country easily, who remain anonymously, and who use the freedom America affords to plan and execute their violent deeds.

Thus, the threat facing the United States today is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. Not a single adversary, as we faced in the Cold War, but a syndicate of enemies characterized by highly complex and surreptitious interactions between global terrorist organizations and outlaw states. Compounding the danger is that fact that these organizations and states are aggressively pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Meeting these complex threats requires an equally complex response. It means employing all the instruments of American power – military, economic, diplomatic, financial, law enforcement, and intelligence -- and all the offensive and defensive tools of our government. It means overt as well as covert military operations. It means a two-pronged approach to defending the nation.

 

The first is combating terrorism abroad. The President understands that a terrorist can attack at any time, at any place, using any conceivable technique. Because it is physically impossible to defend against every conceivable threat, in every place at every time, we must take the war to the enemy. We must also marshal all of the nation's capabilities to attack and destroy and terrorist organizations with global reach, and to pressure those who harbor them.

In an era in which attacks on our homeland can result in tens of thousands of deaths, we cannot wait until we are attacked before we choose to act ourselves. Our highest priority must be preventing attacks from occurring by disrupting enemy operations, denying them sanctuary, and when necessary, using force preemptively.

 

The second key task in our two-pronged war on terrorism is to secure the homeland. Immediately after last fall’s attack, the President took decisive steps to protect America. On October 8, 2001, the President established the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council to coordinate the federal government’s efforts. On June 6 of this year, the President proposed the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security. to coordinate the efforts of federal, state and local agencies to provide for security at home. Both efforts – prosecuting the war on terrorism abroad and securing the homeland -- are crucial, and the role of the Department of Defense in each differs in important ways.

With respect to the war abroad, U.S. military forces, at the direction of the president, are charged with engaging enemy forces and the governments or other entities that harbor them. In this effort, the Department of Defense works closely with other government agencies, including the Departments of State, Treasury, Justice and the intelligence community. In these types of operations, the Department of Defense takes the lead, with other departments and agencies working in support of our efforts.

With regard to improving security at home, DoD may employ U.S. military forces as follows:

1) Extraordinary Circumstances

First, under extraordinary circumstances that require the department to execute its traditional military missions to deter, dissuade or defeat an attack from external entities, DoD and the Secretary of Defense would take the lead Plans for such contingencies would be coordinated as appropriate and , to the extent possible, would be coordinated, as appropriate, with the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security and other affected Departments and agencies.

As an example, in the case of combat air patrols, the FAA, a civilian agency, would provide data to assist the efforts of Air Force fighter pilots in the Guard and Reserve in identifying and, if necessary, intercepting suspicious or hostile aircraft.

Also included in the category of extraordinary circumstances are cases in which the President, exercising his Constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive, authorizes military action. This inherent Constitutional authority may be used in cases, such as a terrorist attack, where normal measures are insufficient to carry out federal functions.

2) Catastrophic Emergency Circumstances

Second, in emergency circumstances of a catastrophic nature – for example, responding to the consequences of an attack, or assisting in response to forest fires or floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and so on.

In these instances, the Department of Defense may be asked to act quickly to provide or to supply capabilities that other agencies simply do not have.

3) Limited Support to Other Federal Agencies

Third, missions or assignments that are limited in scope or duration, where other federal agencies take the lead from the outset. An example of this would be security at a special event, like the Olympics, where there were literally more men and women in uniform in Salt Lake City than there were in Afghanistan at the same time.

The first of those three categories -- extraordinary circumstances in which DoD, at the direction of the President, conducts military missions to defend the people or territory of the United States -- falls under the heading of homeland defense. In these cases, the Department is prepared to take the lead.

The second and third categories are activities which are emergency or temporary in nature, and for which other federal agencies take the lead and DOD lends support. The Department of Homeland Security will have the responsibility for coordinating the response of federal agencies and, as appropriate, the interaction of those federal agencies with State and local entities. DoD will take an active role in this inter-agency process.

In the event of multiple requests for Department of Defense assets, the President would be the one to make the decision on the allocation of these assets. The coordination mechanism of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council exists to support just such a decision. The DoD is represented on both the NSC and HSC In sum, the Department of Defense has two roles to play in providing for the security of the American people where they live and work. The first is to provide the forces necessary to conduct traditional military missions under extraordinary conditions, such as the act of defense of the Nation’s airspace and its maritime approaches. The second is to support the broader efforts of the DHS and federal domestic departments and agencies, and indeed state and local governments.

Before I describe the various transformation efforts of the Department of Defense with regard to homeland defense, I’d like to mention briefly the role of the National Guard.

The National Guard supports homeland defense and provides support to civil authorities in several ways.

First, in state service under the direction of State Governors. An example of this would be the way in which the National Guard in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut responded so heroically to the attacks on the World Trade Center towers on September 11th.

Second, in state service but performing duties of federal interest, the so-called Title 32 status.

Third, in federal service, or Title 10 status. For example, when the National Guard is mobilized to serve under the direction of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

These arrangements have worked well in the past. The challenge today is to ensure that these arrangements remain relevant in the new security environment. There are many proposals for doing so, and the Department will continue to work with the Congress, the Governors, the Office of Homeland Security and, if enacted, the Department of Homeland Security, to make certain that we have an approach that meets the nation's needs.

As for how the Department is organized to support these missions, a fundamental transformation has been underway to address the threats the Nation will face in the 21st century.

 

The new Unified Command Plan makes a number of important changes to the U.S. military command structure around the world. Indeed, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Myers, has described it as the most important set of changes in his military career.

The UCP established a combatant command for homeland defense, U.S. Northern Command, which we expect will be up and running on October 1st. NORTHCOM will be devoted to defending the people and territory of the United States against external threats and to coordinating the provision of U.S. military forces to support civil authorities.

In addition, NORTHCOM will also be responsible for certain aspects of security, cooperation, and coordination with Canada and with Mexico, and it will help DOD coordinate its military support to federal, state and local governments in the event of natural or other disasters.

 

Second, we will establish a new office, within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to handle homeland defense matters to ensure internal coordination of DoD policy direction, provide guidance to Northern Command for its military activities in support of homeland defense, coordinate appropriate DoD support to civil authorities, and coordinate with the Office or Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies.

Third, the Administration has offered legislation to establish a new Undersecretary for Intelligence. The primary responsibility of this office would be ensuring that the senior leadership of the department and the combatant commanders receive the warning, actionable intelligence, and counterintelligence support they need to pursue the objectives of our new defense strategy. This new office will not only enhance intelligence-related activities but provide a single point of contact for coordination of national and military intelligence activities. Most important, it will be the place from which the Department will be able to provide intelligence-derived products to the new Department of Homeland Security.

Finally, we support the President’s proposal to transfer two items from DoD to the Department of Homeland Security: the National Communications System (NCS), for which DoD is the executive agent, and a yet-to-be-established National Bio-Weapons Defense Analysis Center.

The NCS is an interagency body of 22 Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government, in addition to its strong government/industry partnership through the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC).

The National Bio-Weapons Defense Analysis Center’s mission would be to develop countermeasures to potential attacks by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction. The Administration’s draft bill would establish the Center from the proposed $420 million in the DoD Chemical Biological Defense Program for Biological Homeland Security efforts, which is included in the President’s Fiscal Year 2003 Budget, and transfer the Center to the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Chairman, September 11th was a stark reminder that mortal threats to national security did not end with the Cold War, or with the passing of the last century but, on the contrary, remain, and indeed, continue to multiply. It is important that we recognize and respond to that fact.

I remember well that Secretary Rumsfeld made this very observation in his first official remarks as Secretary of Defense. He said, "We enjoy peace amid paradox. Yes, we're safer now from the threat of massive nuclear war than at any point since the dawn of the atomic age, and yet we're more vulnerable now to suitcase bombs, the cyber-terrorist, and the raw and random violence of the outlaw regime.

"Make no mistake: keeping America safe in such a world is a challenge that's well within our reach, provided we work now and we work together to shape budgets, programs, strategies and force structure to meet threats we face and those that are emerging, and also to meet the opportunities we're offered to contribute to peace, stability and freedom …

"But," he said, "we need to get about the business of making these changes now in order to remain strong, not just in this decade, but in decades to come."

Mr. Chairman, the Department of the Defense welcomes the new Department of Homeland Security as a partner that will bring together critical functions in a new and needed way. Working together with the other agencies charged with U.S. national security, we will accomplish our common goal of ensuring the security of American citizens, territory, and sovereignty.

I thank the Chair and the Committee and look forward to your questions.