General Gene Renuart, Stanford, February 2010
March 10, 2010
...: moderate this panel, to just say a few words about General Gene Renuart. We are extremely honored to have General Renuart, the commander of the U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Northern – the Air Defense Command, NORAD, with us today and it’s not only great to have him here because he happens to be not only the—in charge of the geographic combatant command for Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, but as well as homeland defense responsibilities throughout our country. The reason I wanted to make this introduction is to point out his role in this conference. It was his vision and leadership that really got us going.
About two years ago, General Renuart charged me to say, look, you know, we here in—in Northern Command have a responsibility—it goes back to that issue of resilience, we talked about earlier today in—in the panel, where it’s homeland defense but it’s all __________ what we want in our country, every country has its own issues with homeland defense and its own resilience. The issue is how we work together when it comes to crossing these transnational times of issue. Haiti was a great example, where we need to be able to work together, have the kind of infrastructure, the kind of procedures and understanding and context that allows us to work effectively and integrate our efforts together by ___________ and so General Renuart says, what I want to do is set up a global conference to start building that kind of dialogue and discourse amongst countries all around because we all share these same kinds of values and important objectives and so I said, okay, boss, hang on, let me—let’s start off with two regions first, and so I went to Ed at the ________ center and said let’s start this, and Ed said all right, let’s do this, and we went to Dr. Perry who said, yes, this sounds like a great thing to do. Let’s do it at Stanford, and that’s what happened last year, started off last year, and General Renuart tried like hell to get here, he really did, last year, but he was in charge of the inauguration accomplished last year was before was immediately before the inauguration of President Obama and at the last minute he got pulled away to—to ________ for that, but he really tried hard to here.
We are so honored to have you here this year and, just so you’re aware, the three centers are meeting, the Africa center, the Marshall center from Europe, and the ______________ Americas are all meeting in November in Dakar where that arrow that ___________ showed earlier on meets, to start moving towards that global kind of interaction but I want to thank you for being here and I’m anxious to get this thing going and so we owe you a great debt here today, so ladies and gentlemen, would you please join me in welcoming General Gene Renuart.
Gen. Gene Renuart: Thank you very much. You give me way more credit—my wife knows me very well, she would say I’m probably not nearly that visionary. Dr. Perry, great to see you and—and thanks again for adding not only your personal stature, but that of Stanford to this conference. That, in itself, brings in the kind of individuals and in particular, thinkers from countries all really around the Pacific Rim today and so I appreciate you’re lending that support to there. I apologize for coming in sort of at the back end of this—of the panel I was supposed to have been sitting on.
I was in Washington this morning at a meeting of something called the Council of Governors and this is a group of 10 of our governors of states in the United States that are—have been invited by the Secretary of Defense to participate in strategic discussions regarding our National Guard and our active duty forces and if you think coalition building and funding under various partnership capacity programs is a challenge internationally, trust me, it’s way easier than it is with your own constituents at home in our—in our nation so it really is a treat for me to get out here and—and really lift our head back out __________ and talk about some of these issues of proliferation and resiliency and regional threats and really new opportunities and new enterprises that we’re going to see in the coming years, so I’m really excited to be here. I’m glad to have a chance to spend a few minutes with you and then take your questions because I think you probably agree that the questions, the dialogue, the interaction, is really the coin of the realm for an—for an event like this.
You know, as you look at this thing called a Pacific Rim, we find that it cuts across the boundaries of many of our U.S. organizational—it’s sort of our military organizational structures, but it really is a way—I mean, in many ways it describes the challenge that we see in the future for the world because if you consider threats to a nation, we can’t really identify necessarily a nation state out there but it’s going to be a threat of the good old days. You know, we look across the Berlin wall and see the Warsaw Pact block and there was certain comfort there. You knew who they were, you knew what they were doing, you knew what capacity you had. Today, some of the threats we face travel along drug trafficking routes and you heard a little bit of that discussion today. Some of the threats we face cross our borders, they are human trafficking and challenges with that.
Some of the threats that we face that are very significant to our nations in the straits of Malacca, in the straits of Hormuz, in the horn of Africa, where piracy has become really a national threat to many sea faring nations and nations I think all of us would agree have come to rely on that global structure that allows us raw good and markets for our manufactured goods and so anything that interrupts or interdicts that becomes not just a threat to the Pacific Command or Northern Command or Southern Command, but rather, a threat to all nations, because we are tied together in so many—so many ways. Frank Gurney talked a little bit about threat financing today. We also see threats that move through our established banking processes. We protect those systems and then bad actors find a way to use the gaps in the protection of those systems to move money to support terrorist organizations around the world, and I don’t know if you had a chance to talk about the cyber world today, but that is equally a significant threat and in fact, some say could be an existential threat to all of our nations. We’ve seen the effect on a country like Estonia where literally they were disconnected from the global grid, not just defense, not just communications, but banking and all of those things that we rely on, and so it is in our interest to collectively look at these issues and find ways to cross our boundaries to collaborate and coordinate and communicate in ways that aren’t our traditional military skills.
There was a question about bridging those—those lanes between what we would say our traditional military skills and, in fact, I think the real truth, the reality of today is that it’s harder and harder to identify and compartmentalize those skills that either our Department of Defense may need or Department of State may need. In fact, what you find is you also need Departments of Justice and Commerce and Agriculture in order to solve some of these issues as we go around. In my particular role, I’ve been given the responsibility to—to provide for the air and space and missile defense for the United States, the air space defense for the U.S. and Canada, but also the defense capability for our homeland from a variety of other threats. Cyber is one. Certainly, illicit trade and trafficking is one. Maritime defense, maritime homeland security, are areas where in some cases the U.S. Department of Defense leads, in some cases, they support, and as I’ve gone through each of those, you probably will understand that they’re not all areas where a uniformed military person has the best skill set and yet, in many cases, the uniformed military provides mass or bulk that can help some of those organizations and institutions meet their needs so globalization has many benefits and many challenges.
I know you’ve talked a little bit earlier today about proliferation and certainly that is an area of great concern for the United States. Our staff focuses on that routinely, but in order to give you just a bit of a capsule of the variety of defense and security and civil support missions that we have each day, I wanted to—General Darnell sometimes gets a little sleepy in the afternoon, so I have to kind of wake him up and I want to provide a little bit of a spark and maybe that will prompt some discussions well with a short video, so if I could—we’ll see if the magic works. He’s a fighter pilot, you know, we taught him.
(VIDEO PLAYS – MUSIC)
GR: Well, I really like that video. The purpose of that is (1) to give you a good cross section of the missions that we face every day, but also maybe to point out the fact that as you look at each of those little snippets, those pictures, there was a mix of military and civilian responders in each one and our challenge on a day-to-day basis is building a coalition, those governors that I talked about earlier because so much of what we do inside the U.S. to help support civil authorities in a disaster, but also to ensure that the federal coalition partners, some 55 or 60 of them who have law enforcement and weather and intelligence and border security and a variety of other functions are also supported when a large scale disaster strikes so it’s a pretty board portfolio and it keeps us—keeps us relatively busy from day to day, and I talk about globalization and certainly those—the ties that we all have among regions, they create relationships with us that maybe a few years ago we didn’t anticipate, it created economic opportunities as well as some security challenges and you talked about some of those today, proliferation being—being the one.
I think what I would like to do is—is talk a little bit about the future and what—what this—this region, and it is literally half the globe, what this region has to look forward to in terms of opportunities for collaboration, opportunities for cooperation and research, certainly opportunities to ensure the safety and security of the commons—the approaches to our borders, are maintained. We can no longer do that as a stand alone name, even the United States would readily agree that in the cyber area, for example, the U.S. doesn’t own all of the architecture to create security for cyber enterprises. We have to rely on the fact that probably 30 other nations in the world contribute to that global architecture and so if we’re trying to make it more secure, you’ve got to have a partnership with those 30 nations. If you’re an international shipping industry, you rely on the safety and security of four to five—10—20—30 different nations as you move around the globe to provide the raw goods and the manufactured goods that nations need so air and sea and space and cyber all provide a medium for economic opportunity, but they also provide a vast medium for exploitation and for ___________ and so when Bob Wheeler or Dan Darnell talk about the Pacific Command, they—they have a certain focus. When I talk about the approaches to our—our U.S. territory, I have to borrow from each of those, not because we don’t have capacity, but because what happens in the Western Pacific may very well come to our shores if we haven’t built collaboration together.
A great example in the last few months was a number of refugees that came out of the Indian Ocean transited through the Straits of Malacca ending up off the coast of Vancouver and the good news was the collaboration among our military commands and our U.S. and Canadian partners allowed the Canadians to identify those—those individuals aboard the ship, determine their—their intent and the reason for them approaching Canadian water space and then begin to take the appropriate actions for them to—to either become let them become refugees or return them to their home nation. That’s the kind of collaboration that needs to continue in the global commons, so let me spend a few minutes talking about how sort of I see the future and how we might need to work more closely together. I don’t know if many of you are experts on global warming, I’m certainly not. I’m not qualified to say what causes global warming but I am a pretty good observer and my observation is that over a series of years, we have begun to see more navigable water in the Arctic region than we’ve ever seen before.
In addition, there are many scientific studies who would say that there are reachable resources in the Arctic and that there is a need for—for nations to conduct research to determine what could be harvested and then begin to create an apparatus and lay claims to do that. Now, I’m going to criticize my own nation because we have taken one leg out from under our stool in that we have not yet ratified the U.N. Convention ___________, that’s a terrible mistake, we’ve got to rectify it. Every U.S. military commander who goes in front of our Congress reminds the senators that that’s important to us so that we can have the appropriate seat at the table as we discuss things like mineral rights and—and extended borders and boundaries of our countries and those sorts of things. We also participate in the Arctic council, those border nations to the Arctic region plus the three nations who are close observers, Iceland, Finland and Sweden, and that provides a good forum to discuss policy kinds of issues for participation, exploration, environmental control, safety and security in the Arctic. We’ve got to continue to make that process more—I guess transparent to all nations because not just Arctic nations are interested in the Arctic. For example, China had a research ship, has had a research ship the last couple of years, viable, important research being done to determine what kinds of things would be important to China. We see the same with South Korea, we see the same with France, we see the same with other nations so you have to continue to find a way to expand the forum of Arctic discussion because we don’t want it to become an area where the competitive element is military, we want the competitive element to be free market economy and the opportunity to develop resources so that’s an area that we need to continue to grow.
I operate in that region routinely, both by NORAD forces providing air—air surveillance and air sovereignty, but also by NORTHCOM forces providing something as simple as search and rescue. Last year we had eight cruise ships in various places in the Northwest Passage. Now, if you’ve been on a cruise, you pay a lot of money for that opportunity, if that boat gets stuck in an ice flow, you’re not a happy customer and yet, as—internationally, we have not created the right forum to provide the kind of rescue that might be required for those kinds of activities and as we see more water being navigable in the Arctic, you’re going to be some travel there. It’s not yet a route that is financially viable but over the next 20 to 30 years, it may well be, so we have to posture ourselves in order to be able to provide safe secure transit means, should that trading route actually develop.
I talked about illicit trafficking and trading, in certainly drugs, we see that in the Eastern Pacific, we see that in the Western Caribbean and we see that now as you’ve heard transiting the Eastern Atlantic into Africa and then on into Europe. As quickly as we find a way to put a—a block in front of the drug trafficking organizations, they will change to a different mode of transportation, change to a different route and look for different customers. I told many this is—this is a much more sophisticated marketing plan than you have at WalMart. These drug trafficking organizations are agile, they’ve got a lot of money, they will kill to create market share and distribution networks. It’s about profit so we’ve got to make sure that we are more agile than they are, and we’ve seen some great partnership in collaborating.
Many of the Latin American and South American nations are integrated into our joint interagency task force south down in Key West, Mexico, one of my international partners, is also integrated there and we’ve seen the transparency and intelligence information sharing grow over time. We’ve got to continue to make that more aggressive and we’ve got to continue to find ways to collaborate with partners in Africa and Europe and in the Pacific to—to—to begin to put blocks against the end user of that change, the importers, if you will, in some of those countries, so that we consistently over the network put pressure on drug trafficking organizations to—to reduce their flow, but it’s not just about drugs, it’s about people, it’s about money, it’s about weapons. Our Mexican friends would tell you that the majority of the weapons they seize from drug trafficking organizations come from either suppliers in the United States or marketers who have found ways to move weapons through the international transit routes to get to Mexico and—and certainly that’s the case. You’ve heard our president talk about that and the fact is we’re working hard with the Mexicans to try to reduce that capability, but again, those—those international trade routes that we’re all used to are the same routes that are being used by many of these traffickers. We’ve got to continue to have more of the international focus on curtailing the flow of drugs, people, money, weapons, and—and in fact, we have to be very careful that they’re not used to proliferate with weapons of mass destruction that are out there.
We see countries around the world who are continuing to develop nuclear, biological, chemical weapons. I walk around, I think, with a big bull’s eye on my chest because I believe that if a terrorist organization gains control of one of those weapons, they’re not going to take it to, you know, the Antarctic to explode it, and I think they’re going to—they’re trying to bring it to the United States because that’s the place of most effect so if we’re not working with our international partners to keep control of nuclear missile material, keep control of biological and chemical weapons, if we’re not actively participating in intelligence sharing with our partners around the word to—to make sure we understand how something like that may move, and then if we’re not actively working in preparation, not only to prevent use of one of those, but also to respond to it if, in fact, it’s brought into the country, we’re failing the Navy, and that’s an area that I have great concern about and if you look at the studies of many distinguished groups around the world, they all say, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when some terrorist organization or non-nation state actor gains access to and the ability to use a weapon of mass destruction, whether it’s biological or chemical or even nuclear, and so if we let our guard down, if we try to deny that that’s a possibility, we will find ourselves on the receiving end and that would be a catastrophic event for our nation.
Now, those same routes that I’ve talked about repeatedly over—over the course of my comments also are the routes we use for our life blood, our energy blood, and if you went around the room to each of the nations represented here, virtually all would say we are a consumer of energy from outside our borders. It’s in our strategic national interest to allow for the flow of energy and the flow of raw energy, like oil, like natural gas, is certainly important, but it’s also the grid that makes our energy function. One of the real vulnerabilities that nations have in varying degrees is the security of their energy grid. We’ve got to focus our efforts and we are working aggressively within our hemispheric—with our hemispheric partners, but also within our—our national departments of government to—to test and evaluate energy grids. Can you—can you redirect energy in a way that an interruption won’t cause a loss of power for three million people.
We had an event in the Northeast a few years ago where a downed tree in Ohio caused the power grid in the entire Northeast and southern portion of Canada to go off. We can’t afford to have that kind of a—of a challenge, especially as our energy becomes more interdependent with—with wind and sun, water energy, hydroelectric energy, as well as fossil fuels, so there is an opportunity for us to link the research that we do in cyber security and energy security to ensure that all of us can maintain the kind of flow of energy that we need and some—some people would say, well, the U.S. doesn’t have that problem. In fact, our Canadian friends provide us the vast majority of our natural gas and a huge percentage of our oil. Our Mexican friends both consume and export oil to us every day and so this flow of energy is a vital strategic interest and back to the question, is it a military role? Is it a civilian role, or is the answer, yes, we have to collaborate among all of us to be more secure. I think the answer is most likely yes, and that gets me to my last point that I’ll talk before we take questions and that is, the top that Dan Darnell and Frank Gurney were talking about earlier, building partnership capacity. We work very hard with our—with our Congress to create funding authority that allows us to work with individual partners and I have a unique circumstance with—with our good friends to the south in Mexico.
Back to the question of traditional military skills or not, in Mexico, the bulk of the counter drug trafficking work is being done by their military, that’s not their traditional skill set so we’ve been working very closely with the Mexican Army, the Air Force and the Navy to create an additional capacity for their soldiers and their marines to conduct these kinds of operations but when you go in and break things, it’s like you’re going to be criticized for either collateral damage or human rights violation, and the Mexicans have been very sensitive to that and we have worked very closely with the Mexican military to give them the benefit of the lessons we’ve learned, whether it’s our special operations guys deployed or use of military in a variety of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, we’ve learned some tough lessons there, we’ve been sharing those with the Mexicans to help them understand that the value of the military as a credible institution of government is huge, but if they ruin that by crushing the human rights of the people in a small village, they lose all the ground they’ve gained and so the opportunity to create more capacity in the area of human rights, training, the opportunity to create more capacity and infusion of intelligence and surveillance and recognizance for the Mexican military has been a major effort that we’ve undertaken. Increasingly now we’ve seen the Mexican federal police, SSP, growing their own capacity and over time, President Calderone is transitioning from a more military face in some of these cities to a more civilian federal law enforcement face. That will take time. In the meantime, we need to allow—continue to allow Mexican military to grow both in their continence, but in their ability to fuse information and take action against some of these drug trafficking organizations.
Finally, I’d say that the ambassador from SOUTHCOM talked about the response and need. One of the key elements there and certainly, the question was very timed to talk about the rapid response of the United States. We can do this better and we have nationally a large scale constant management response force that is trained and equipped to go into a disaster like we saw there in ______________, they come with the interagency relationships that really need—the U.N. told us, the U.S.A. organizations, to include U.S.A., but I mean, other aid organizations are _________________________ (AMBIENT NOISE) employ and give to PAYCOM or SOUTHCOM or Africa Command, if and when, by the way, when that next disaster strikes.
I think all of us learned a lot of lessons with Haiti and whether it was PAYCOM with some of the experts that lived through the Sunami or NORTHCOM who had some of the folks who had lived through large scale disaster responses and that we train to every day in our own country, all were eager to lend a hand in the—in the real human tragedy that occurred in Haiti. We’ve got a lot we learned from that, we want to improve on that over time so that’s just a broad section of—of not only the missions we have, but sort of the world we see into the future and I’d be happy to take questions for as long as folks want to stay on, if you’d like.
...: Thank you, Sir. Questions, comments, please?
Dr. Esser (?): _____________ I wanted to follow up on one specific issue, defense of the homeland against nuclear terrorists. Obviously the first line of defense is keeping the terrorists from getting the bomb but if they get it, then the next line is keeping them from coming into the country, ________________________, the second and third _________ your responsibility. What can you say about our ability to deal with ___________________________ or are we trying to do things there and I know you’ve already mentioned something about consequence management, here we’re talking about a consequence __________________.
GR: Dr. Esser, that’s a great question and I’m a little intimidated because he’s probably more of an expert on the first part of that than anybody that I know but I think—I want to maybe spend a second on that first line of defense that he talked to you—because truly, defense of any nation has to begin overseas, it has to begin with the partnerships you make and although there is a nuclear issue in this—in this example, the partnerships that you build with nations who have that nuclear material, and I think despite philosophical differences we may have with Russia or with China or with India or with Pakistan or whomever, all of us are conscious of the fact that we cannot allow that nuclear material to get into the wrong hands and I must say that there were periods of time after the Cold War ended where the control of that was not very solid and there have been plenty of studies. In fact, the U.S. and other nations have lent their expertise to nations to help decommission and destroy some of that material. The reality is, there is a risk that that material will fall in the wrong hands and so what we’ve tried to, partnering with—with our overseas commands and international partners is identify the kinds of signatures that we might have that nuclear material—the kinds of networks that it would take to get it out of a country to a—I guess a manufacturer, if you will, because not all that material is really usable in nuclear—I mean, usable weapons material, and then—and then how you begin to build that layer of defense to your shores. Some of that we play very aggressively in and some of it we have to partner with our—our friends that are around the world.
There is still much work to be done in that area. Frankly, some nations would deny that there’s a problem and I think we’re slowly working through that but it’s a challenge for us, but then the second piece is what are we doing here in our own country to prevent those things—that potential, that being used, and here there are two elements of this, U.S. Strategic Command is given the role and created a task force focused on preventing the use of a weapon of mass destruction from overseas inbound, we then pick up the responsibility for sort of the postal approaches and inland, and I mean, that forces us to partner very aggressively with our law enforcement because as you know, once you make landfall, the role of the Department of Defense has some very narrow limitations in what it can do in our homeland and so we’ve built a very good relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
They now have detection and rescue recovery capability that is—not quite as good as the Department of Defense but pretty darn good, we’ve exercised that. We have expanded our advocacy for detection and monitoring at our—our ports of entry, and again, while it’s not 100%, the nuclear sensors that we use in our ports have increasing capacity so I think what I’m really saying here is we’re every day taking a couple steps in this process. We’re racing to ensure that we build capacity before the ability of someone to get that material remanufactured if necessary and then move into our country and then finally in the area of consequence management, we have today some about 4,600 or so specifically trained in nuclear, biological, chemical consequence management from—from detection and monitoring to—to hot zone and warm zone rescue and recovery to medical decontamination, patient care in a contaminated environment, logistics, etc., but you know, if you had—if Haiti were to have been a nuclear event with the size and shape and that’s probably a 5 to 6 KT event, clearly, that’s an order of magnitude that no state or no individual federal force is prepared to meet immediately and—and so we are continuing to try to grow more of this capacity as a nation.
As you know very well, sir, the budgets and the desires have to somehow marry in the middle in a way that creates capacity over time and we’re doing that. I’m actually very comfortable with the capability and the quality of the force we have. I would like to have some more of it and—and the difficulty is the longer you go without evidence that this event is about to occur, the more complacent people get, whether it’s government or academics or the common citizen, you know, they want to compartmentalize bad things away and so we have to also continue to educate our people and it gets to the issue of resiliency that I know you talked about. Part of resiliency in this kind of event is making sure people don’t forget that it can happen, that they have some family preparations, the communities have built a resiliency capability to allow them to bridge those critical few hours until large scale response can come and we are partnering with the Department of Homeland Security on education of our population in that regard. I finished that, thinking, boy, that’s really not enough, and it’s not, but I think we are more focused on that than we really have ever been. Another question? Does that help a little bit?
...: _________________________ you focused ____________ logistics. What happened when some of these _________________ are found to be _________________________________ What would be the reaction for the United States when it does get to a situation where these people are known to eventually be causing damage to the United States ______________________.
GR: Sir, I’ll answer that question from a few perspectives. I was the director of operations at U.S. Central Command when we began operations ________________. I was in the Pacific Command, so I understand very clearly the real challenge that occurs in the—in the—what I’ll call the scene between traditionally the Pacific Command region and of course, you know, India is on that western border and Pakistan and Afghanistan on the eastern border of Central Command. It is a very challenging environment there and as you know, the relationships that have occurred in that region over time are very complex. I wish I could say there is a solution.
The fact of the matter is, the best opportunity we have for a solution is to continue an open dialogue among all nations and frankly, I have to say, India has been very good to patiently continue to keep that—that dialogue open. Pakistan is—is growing even more in that regard, but Afghanistan is an interesting place. It was complicated when we began operations there, you had relationships with central Asian tribal factions, certainly the Hoktu in the south and then a—a—a breed of fighters who came from all over the world who were not interested really in Afghanistan or Pakistan or India or—or the central Asian states, but rather interested in creating turmoil. We’ve got to solve that problem to give them the dialogue and opportunity to—to succeed and, you know, on the one hand, I would love to be General McChrystal because I think that’s a great mission that he has today but I don’t envy him that because it is really trying to bring together so many of the complications of that region.
I think principally important for us right now would be in the homeland especially is to ensure that the United States and other countries remain comfortable that control of nuclear materials in the region is—is still held very carefully and controlled well. I think I’m relatively comfortable for now, that’s the case. I think if you find that that has—that is not the case, then I think nations will really have to ask themselves strategically, what must we do to ensure those weapons don’t come to our homeland and I think it would be unfair for me to go too much beyond that discussion but I think the good news is that parties have, you know, had friction but continue to have a dialogue and that’s to me I think the best way that we can maybe move this forward.
...: We have time for one last question.
...: General, Chris____________, U.S. Senator ________________________ prior to becoming a senator, I was in homeland security ____________ back in 2003 and one of the challenges that you mentioned, the issue of protecting the homeland, the first thing that I had was confusion _______________ with our own Congress _______________________in terms of what is opposed to homeland security and I quickly found out that homeland security was much more tactical and much more defensive and your job is much more of a strategic -- ________________________ but my question to you is, do you feel that when you’ve reconciled all the different agencies, can you consider that you have 911—19 guys, Saudis, came in with __________ and did what they did and then immediately after they did act, we reacted _________________________ and the biggest instrument we have to try to deter it, this was our immigration law, they could build in certain things in there that were able to contain or deter terrorists from coming in. Do you feel that—your job in homeland security and the ________________ we’ve come a long way? I sense that from your comments that you have but could you describe that process a little bit more. It’s somewhat confusing.
GR: Absolutely. First, I’ll tell you up front, my wife knows that I’m an optimist so I’m a half glass—a glass half full kind of guy so I do think we’ve made a lot of progress but—well, I’ll give you some concrete examples. First, the fact that we’ve not had a successful highjacking, for example, use of an aircraft as a weapon since then is—is the result of a lot of that collaborative work. Now, you say, okay, what about December 25th? Well, the systems are not yet perfect but we have come such a long way in transportation security, not just TSA but rather our ability to secure our aircraft and train individuals to put federal air marshals on board, there’s the probability of being successful in that arena is gone into ____________.
Back to Dr. Perry’s question, we have put much more effort into port security, into screening container cargo, in fact, in—in my memory is probably not right, but I think in 85 or 100 ports outside of the U.S., our partner nations are doing inspections on our behalf before cargo comes to the U.S. so we’re growing that capacity. There was an article just recently where the Transportation Security Agency was doing security checks at bus stations, you know, that has not ever happened before, and some would say it’s not nearly enough but, in fact, we’re beginning to expand that—the interest in security of our transportation network well beyond just airports, so we’re seeing a lot of growth there.
Hurricane Katrina was also a sentinel event for our country. We were ill prepared, we were ill equipped, we did not have integrated plans to respond to a disaster of that sort and—and it showed. We had to solve the problem by putting 100,000 people on the ground to try to fix it. Those people kept bumping into each other, figuring out who was going to carry aid and assistance to the next block. It’s not the way to do business, and we’ve expanded the integrated planning system that Department of Homeland Security has down to the states now, the Department of Defense has invested in each of the FEMA regions of defense planning team that has helped to integrate the federal and the state plans with the military plans and there are probably 15 other examples where that progress has been made, so I am actually very optimistic that we’ve made progress. Am I satisfied we’re where we need to be? Absolutely not.
We—getting back to Dr. Perry’s point, we have had a tough time exercising with an event of the nature of a nuclear—a real nuclear attack. Large cities tend to not want you to create 200,000 casualties on the streets of their city and then figure out what to do with them, so we have the friction of the need for realistic exercises with the practicality that it costs a lot of money and some states don’t want to acknowledge that one of these things could happen in their state, so I mean, there’s those kinds of challenges we have, as well, but on the whole, I think we’ve made progress. Now, I will tell you also, in the early days of the Department of Homeland Security—you’ll appreciate this, there were not always the most cordial of relationships between the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, ______________ has been very clear to focus on improving that process and I think today the great example—I had a great relationship with Secretary _______, he came out and visited with us a number of times, he invited me to come with him to press conferences and I got to walk in his office. When Secretary ___________ took over, in her first week, she called and asked if I’d come and spend a couple hours with her to talk about how we keep this relationship strong, so there is an awareness that we have to do this as a partner and sometimes, you know, the Department of Defense is seen as sort of a big dog and nobody wants us around, we slobber on people, I guess, but the fact of the matter is that we can help to lead from the middle, not being the one feeling like they have to be in charge, we bring great capacity without necessarily being seen as, you know, the heavyweight boxer in a ring with a bunch of lightweights. Is that helpful? It’s really been a treat today and I thank you and I’m sorry to keep you a few minutes over your time.
It’s really a great opportunity to be here today.
...: Certainly, thank you very much and please join me in thanking General Renuart –
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