Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
March 16, 2022
Document Release Date: 
September 14, 2016
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
March 19, 2002
PDF icon WORLDWIDE THREAT - CONVER[14797093].pdf223.59 KB
pproved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TO RE're Worldwide Threat � Converging Dangers in the Post 9/11 World Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet Before the Senate Armed Services Committee 19 March 2002 r. Chairman, I appear before you this year under circumstance that are �rardinary and historic for reasons I need not recount. Never bef� - has the subject of this annual threat briefing had more immediate resona Never before have the dangers been more clear or more present. The threats I will outline today demand our ut are at war. This requires vigilance, determination, and full resources. I want to assure you that the entire Intellige embraced this mission and is wholeheartedly devote various threats today, I will be telling you precisel challenges that confront us. ost response. We obilization of our e Community has o it. As I address the hat we are doing to meet the September 11 brought tog or and brought home�literally--several vital threats to e United States and its interests abroad that we have long been aware of, an. ong been warning. None of the threats I am going to outline for you is new. or is the convergence between them new. But it is this convergence that I nt to emphasize upfront, because this above all is what September 11 dem strated to us. * Terrorists are threaten' to use against us weapons of mass destruction and cyber warfare--things ave long cited as threats in themselves. *Terrorists areal exploiting threats in other parts of the world that I have cited in past years as dependent dangers to the United States. These include the slowdown in t world economy, our dependence on vital transportation and communica ens infrastructures, unstable or unreliable governments among our allies and lends, and resentment of US power in the developing world. Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 . Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TOP RE (b)(3) THE MIDDLE EAST (b)(1) � Turning now to Iraq, Mr. Chairman: Saddam has been watching our operations in Afghanistan, and he is nervous. He is eager to stave off military (b)(3)' action against his regime, and has mounted a political and diplomatic charm � offensive to make it appear that Baghdad is becoming more flexible on UN sanctions and inspections issues. - * Saddam told a gathering of Iraqi diplomats in January that keeping Iraq safe would require greater "opennese with Arab and non-Arab countries, and the possible return of inspectors. * Last month Baghdad allowed the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to visit Iraq, after having refused his visa requests for nearly a decade. * lEarlier.this month, Iraq's Foreign Minister met with UN Secretary General �Annan for first time in over a year to discuss resolutions pertaining to Iraq, and agreed to meet 'again next month. Saddam then quickly dispatched senior officials�to the region to drum up support for Baghdad. * Iraq has allowed IAEA inspectors to examine stockpiles of low-enriched uranium�but not aspects of Iraq's nuclear weapons program. 29 TOP TA Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 (b)(3) I � *m0 � ....4.04or low Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TOP T/ Li That said, Saddam is compromising neither his anti-US message nor his key goals of thwarting UN sanctions, carving out a leadership role in the Arab world, and pursuing weapons of mass destruction. * Baghdad's anti-American rhetoric remains virulent, and Saddam is one of the most vocal supporters of the Palestinian intifadah in the Arab world. Early this month he rejected a Saudi peace proposal and urged Arab countries to support the intifadah with money, men, and weapons. * There is no sign that Saddam will accept the intrusive UN weapons inspections that we demand. His strategy appears to be to string out negotiations with the 'UN for as long as possible, hoping that In the meantime for military action against Iraq will dissipate. (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) 30 (b)(3) TOP RET Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 I lit � ��� � ����������� Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TOP SECREII (b)(3) 'Saddam is focused on preserving his WMD capabilities in part because his conventional military capability has declined due to the UN arms embargo and damage inflicted by coalition military operations. Iraq's military today is less than half its pre�Gulf War size�down from 1 million to 350,000 troops. * Only about 60 percent Of the Iraqi Air Force's 300 fighter aircraft are either fully or partially mission-capable because of inadequate spare parts and maintenance. * Even these reduced forces, however, are more that sufficient to defeat opposition groups, which are more poorly equipped. Saddam's forces also remain large enough by comparison to overrun Kuwait absent Western intervention. Saddam maintains his grip on power through a layered and over ammo security infrastructure headed by his younger son Ousay. * Baghdad, however, has not faced major unrest from the majority Shia population since after the February. 1999 death of prominent Shia leader Muhammad Baqr al-Sadr, and the northern Kurdish parties still pose no direct threat to Saddam's military and security services. Saddam separately has been buoyed by the progressive decrease in Baghdad's international isolation. As the peace process spirals down and engaging Iraq commercially becomes more appealing, other states in the region appear to be losing the political will to support the sanctions regime. (b)(1) (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) 31 TOP 'SECRET Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517nq4 (b)(3) Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TOP RET . (b)(3) Infighting in northern Iraq could give Baghdad an excuse to move against the Kurds. Saddam has harbored the goal of retaking northern Iraq since the Gulf War, and he undoubtedly intends to do so at a time of his choosing. That said, he appears to have adopted a measured approach that emphasizes exploiting intra-Kurdish tensions and maintaining ties with all regional actors, including Turkey and Iran. * Baghdad last fall probably struck a deal with the Kurds to reconnect Kurdish-controlled areas to the Iraqi electricity grid. It has also warned that it is ready to retake control of the north if the Kurds allow the US to use it as a staging ground for attacks. We continue to watch for any signs of Iraqi involvement in terrorist activities. Baghdad has a long history of supporting terrorism, altering its targets to reflect changing priorities and goals. Over several decades, Iraq has evolved from an indiscriminate sponsor of anti-Western terrorism to more narrowly �focused efforts, targeting primarily Saddam's political opponents and local recilonal foes. * Although terrorism is one of many tools Saddam has at his disposal, his main* � focus recently has been on moving away from a foreign policy defined by UN sanctions and toward an agenda that centers on Iraq's reemergence as a dominant Arab player. Baghdad's strategy to isolate Washington in'the region and in the Security Council would be severely undermined if the regime were implicated in terrorism against the West. 32 (b)(1) (b)(3) (b)(3) (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 (b)(3) Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TOP er, (b)(3) , Baghdad's connections to al-Qa'ida are tenuous, but the a ear to have maintained a mutual wa relationshi � for nearl a decade. (b)(1) (b)(3) (b)(3) b)(1) b)(3) �'Mr. Chairman, I move next to Iran, where pressure for social and political change is building: * Discontent with the current situation is widespread and cuts across the social spectrum. Complaints-focus on the lack of pluralism and government accountability, social restrictions, and poor economic performance. Iranians�particularly the burgeoning number of educated youth--face grim economic prospects, including chronic unemployment, high inflation, and a (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) (b)(3) 33 TOPTEcETb Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 (b)(3) Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 TOP (b)(3) (b)(1) (b)(3) 51 TO Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 (b)(3) TOP Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 (b)(3) (b)(1) . (b)(3) 52 Approved for Release: 2016/05/10 C06517094 (b)(3)