Statement by the Director of the Central
General Mike Hayden to
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Annual Threat Assessment Hearing
(as prepared for delivery)
February 5, 2008
It is my honor to
meet with you today to discuss how the Central Intelligence Agency is
responding to the threats facing America and its interests addressed
by the DNI.
statement underscored the unprecedented range and gravity of the security
challenges that confront us as a nation. In response to those threats, the core
mission of the Central Intelligence Agency remains what it always has been: to
provide a first line of defense for the American people against foreign
adversaries. We collect intelligence and run operations to counter threats
before they do us harm; we provide our leaders with sophisticated analysis of
the challenges they face; and we apply world-class scientific prowess to give
our operations an edge our adversaries cannot match. In this effort we work
closely with our partners in other intelligence agencies, the diplomatic
community, law enforcement, and the military.
While our core
mission remains the same, the means to achieve that mission are changing radically.
In the global terrorist movement we face a ruthless enemy who shuns traditional
hierarchical structures, who learns from mistakes and adapts. We need to be no
less creative and resilient.
At CIA, we’re
promoting new methods of collecting intelligence on our 21st century
adversaries, as well as deepening partnerships with foreign liaison services that
face the same threats we do. At the President's direction, we’re expanding the
ranks of our core collectors and our analytic cadre while growing our language
capability. We’re promoting a wide range of technical innovation and exploiting
an ever-growing torrent of open-source information.
Not only are CIA
components reinventing their ways of doing business, but they’re cooperating in
new ways with one another. Overcoming the bureaucratic and cultural barriers of
the past, collectors and analysts are breaking down barriers to information
sharing while increasingly working side-by-side in overseas posts and in joint
centers. We’re beginning a single onboarding process that brings all of our new
hires together to learn about Agency history, values, and traditions. Last fall
we launched the “CIA World Intelligence Review-electronic,” or WIRe, as an Agency-wide
classified Web site that disseminates analysis, open-source content, and raw
intelligence reports. It’s a model of technical innovation and partnership among
our Directorates and of our substantive outreach into the broader Intelligence
The WIRe is just one
example of the many ways CIA is partnered with its fellow intelligence agencies
to an extent never seen before. Assignments across agency boundaries are
becoming routine, with many of our best CIA officers completing rotations in
other IC components and vice-versa. The CIA cooperates intensely with the DNI
staff and with other agencies in producing the President’s Daily Brief. We
provide on-the-ground, day-to-day support to the war fighters defending our
freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And our collaboration with the FBI in combating global terrorism is stronger
* * * * *
I would like to
share with you in this open session a few examples of the numerous specific
contributions the CIA is making in confronting key threats to national
security. I will also describe some of the extensive internal initiatives we’re
launching to further adapt the way we collect and analyze intelligence. I would
be glad to address more detailed questions on these issues in closed session.
As Admiral McConnell
indicated, our country faces no more deadly threat than that of global
terrorism. Our officers, cooperating closely with colleagues overseas and in
the DNI’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), are working tirelessly
against this threat. In Southeast Asia, for
example, liaison partners have been able to act upon our leads to either
capture or kill multiple terrorist group leaders. Our intelligence led directly
to the foiling of a planned bombing in a crowded market in Southeast
Asia last summer that would have caused mass casualties.
CIA also contributed
to efforts to assess and disrupt terrorist threats targeting European countries
in 2007. On 4 September, German authorities arrested
three European operatives trained by the Islamic Jihad Union who were planning to
bomb targets in Germany,
possibly including U.S.
facilities. The same day, Danish authorities detained individuals directly
linked to al-Qa'ida who were preparing explosives, apparently for use in a
Last July’s National
Intelligence Estimate on Terrorist Threats to the Homeland assessed that
al-Qa’ida will continue trying to acquire chemical, biological, radiological,
and nuclear materials (CBRN) and would not hesitate to use them in attacks. CIA
and NCTC have formed a unique combined unit on this threat, which will help us
better analyze and undertake operational activities against the CBRN problem. CIA
has developed training materials to help its partners overseas to better
recognize and take action against CBRN threats – materials that have been
shared with domestic US
consumers at the federal, state, and local levels.
The proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction by both state and nonstate actors remains a crucial
intelligence priority. In 2007 CIA acquired critical new intelligence on Iran's
nuclear weapons program that was used in the National Intelligence Estimate
cited by Admiral McConnell. CIA is working in innovative ways across all
disciplines to collect, analyze, and act upon intelligence on terrorist
capabilities and intentions involving the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Our Agency continues
to work vigorously with the US
military in Iraq
to protect the lives of our soldiers and Iraqi civilians. In September 2007,
acting on intelligence, US military forces killed a senior al-Qa’ida in Iraq leader who was responsible for coordinating
the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq. A windfall from the operation
was the discovery of foreign fighter rosters, which has led to watch-listings
and arrests. In October, CIA information made possible a raid by the US military on a home in Diyala province, north
of Baghdad, that
was being used by the Jaysh al-Mahdi to store a large quantity of weapons and
Iranian-origin explosives. The US military also captured the terrorist responsible
for the weapons cache.
CIA has been an
integral part of US operations in Afghanistan since the start of the
conflict there in 2001. CIA officers work closely with coalition forces and foreign
government services to pursue and capture senior al-Qa’ida and Taliban
leadership targets in Afghanistan.
Over the past year, our intelligence contributed to the removal from the battlefield
of numerous mid-level Taliban leaders. CIA also supports efforts to combat
narcotics production in Afghanistan.
We’ve also bolstered our analytic effort on Afghanistan, adding additional
deployments of analysts to Afghan field sites and developing new and better
metrics for measuring success against the Afghan insurgency.
has noted the threat posed to our nation’s critical infrastructures from cyber
attacks. CIA is providing threat information and analysis to our government and
industrial partners on this critical issue. Similarly, CIA is working in close
cooperation with law enforcement personnel and liaison services to track drug
trafficking networks, identifying their key vulnerabilities and developing
tactical approaches to disrupting them.
The United States
today faces an increasingly complex set of counterintelligence threats from both
state and nonstate actors, including Islamic extremists. To meet this challenge,
last year I instituted a Strengthening CI Initiative that is bolstering our
capabilities to counter espionage, validate assets, assess risks, mitigate
ever-growing technical CI threats, and broaden CI awareness.
Working closely with
private sector counterparts, we have developed an integrated global
bio-surveillance capability known as Argus that monitors socially disruptive
events such as epidemics, social conflict, mass killings, natural disasters,
chemical accidents, and WMD testing. Using massive and sophisticated mining of
about a million Internet articles a day, this system has given us indication of
events weeks and months prior to other reporting, including signs of potential
pandemics and biological weapons programs in areas otherwise denied to us.
Our Open Source
Center in 2007
significantly increased its ability to monitor threats covered in both
traditional and emerging media. The Center opened a new overseas bureau in Doha and established a unit
to exploit new media sources such as social networking sites, virtual gaming,
and mobile media.
* * * * *
Responding to the
plethora of threats we face requires continuous renewal of CIA capabilities and
practices. I would like to touch on key elements of CIA’s Strategic Action
Plan, which implements my broad strategic objectives for CIA that I shared with
you in January 2007.
We’re pursuing two
primary goals. First, we aim to strengthen core capabilities in the areas of operations,
analysis, science and technology, and support. Second, we will integrate these
capabilities within the CIA and with other IC partners in a way that brings the
full power of this organization to bear against the challenges we face. Our
underlying vision is that of an Agency unmatched in its core capabilities,
functioning as one team, and fully integrated in the US Intelligence Community.
capabilities, the Program includes a major initiative to extend our operational
reach by supporting creative deployments that are not limited by traditional
cover or operational constraints. We’re also setting up Forward Deployed
Analytic Cells in key regional centers abroad, to allow analysts to contribute
“ground truth” perspectives while boosting their expertise in foreign cultures
and languages. On top of numerous ongoing
efforts in the realm of science and technology, we’re initiating new programs
to protect the identities of intelligence officers and to provide robust and
agile clandestine communications.
We’re also pursuing
an array of initiatives to promote integration and collaboration within CIA and
across the Intelligence Community. For example, we propose to create a new
mission innovation center off the eastern power grid that will focus on
creative solutions to both analytic questions and internal business practices
while assuring continuity of operations in the event of a catastrophe here. As the lead human intelligence (HUMINT) player in the Community, we’re creating
an integrated operational HUMINT system to set common standards for such key
concerns as collection requirements, performance standards, and training.
Beyond the open-source
exploitation I mentioned previously, we’ve established a new unit composed of
native linguists – vetted but in some cases without security clearances – who
will conduct competitive unclassified analysis based on primary research and
deep mining of the Internet.
The Strategic Action
Plan includes many other elements that I would be glad to describe to you in
* * * * *
I believe it’s clear
from the DNI’s opening comments that intelligence has never been more important
in protecting the security of the American people. Ultimately, achieving that
mission depends on our people – on hiring, motivating, and empowering a work
force with the highest standards of competence, ethics, and dedication.
I’m happy to report
that we’re currently building a new generation of officers second to none in
their professionalism, their enthusiasm, and their patriotism. We’re able to
hire from among the best and brightest – our Recruitment Center received
125,000 resumes in Fiscal Year 2007, and we hired a near-record number of new
officers, more than a quarter of whom belonged to racial or ethnic minorities. While
many of these new officers are recent college graduates, many others have years
of experience in the private sector, the military, or other government
agencies. Almost 40 percent have advanced degrees.
We’re a young work
force – half of our officers have entered on duty since 9/11, and many are
under 30. Training, developing, and retaining these new officers is a top
priority, particularly because 20 percent of our work force will become
eligible to retire during the next five years. We’re intensifying our
leadership training and have revamped our Strategic Language Plan to address
our needs in Arabic and other mission-critical languages.
Last year we
celebrated CIA’s 60th Anniversary. It was a time to reflect on the sense of
mission that motivated our predecessors in CIA and in the wartime Office of
Strategic Services from which CIA emerged. That sense of mission motivates us
equally today as, on the terrorist front, we fight a war unlike any other in
our nation’s history – a war whose outcome will depend in large measure on the
contribution of American intelligence. In this effort I can pledge to you that
CIA will continue to remain committed to integrity of action, diversity of
thought, passion for innovation, and collaboration at all levels inside our
Agency and within the Intelligence Community.