CHAIRMAN BROWN: Thank you. That praise is well-deserved.
I think we can now turn to our first witness, Admiral Bob Inman, who, before his retirement from the Navy in July of '82, had a very distinguished career as a naval officer and intelligence professional, being the first naval intelligence specialist to reach four-star rank.
He served in succession as Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, during which period I had the pleasure of working closely with him, and then Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. That has given him a very broad view of the intelligence community, both its military and civilian elements, and we certainly welcome his comments today.
Thank you for coming, Admiral Inman. You have the floor.
STATEMENT OF HON. BOB INMAN, USN (RETIRED), FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE; CURRENT MEMBER OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR FLUOR, SAI, XEROX, AND OTHER CORPORATIONS
ADMIRAL INMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the commission.
If you will permit a slight diversion from the topic for a tribute to two lost compatriots, but from whom we can draw wisdom for the challenge you have in front of you, Barbara Jordan, who gave us the clearest bell for the necessity not only for responsive Government, but the highest ethical standards in the conduct of that Government, and the intelligence community is not an exception to that requirement, and to Lou Tardella, who through years of dedication taught us that, notwithstanding preferences for owning your own assets, that focused consolidation of collection activities produced for the Government vastly improved activities over those that could be done by individual activities, and their advice over the years thoughtfully has impacted on what I have to say today.
May I first dwell on the need for intelligence in the world ahead of us, and to compare very briefly 1946 and 1996.
Indeed, the intelligence structure that we have in substantial measure has its foundations in 1946 by leadership that had gone through the great pains of governing in a world war, and who understood the need that this country must have detailed knowledge on the outside world.
As the Cold War developed, that original guideline, encyclopedic knowledge on all the outside world, was lost, and as we went through various reductions and additions of manpower over the years, we lost much of that early clear guidance of our need, but there are many differences.
We had a national intelligence survey begun in the late 1940's, publications that were difficult to update, maintain, expensive. We're now in the world of computers, rapid communications, where that encyclopedic knowledge can be maintained and sustained in very different form. I would argue that it's even more critical in the world we're in, but the thing to keep in mind is, that encyclopedic knowledge must be readily accessible in relevant form to a very wide array of users.
We focus on, separately, on the support for military operations. My experience was that the information needed by national users and by those conducting military operations was usually similar. The great difference was the need for timeliness. The policymaker would need in hours, days, maybe weeks, information on which to base their positions, their judgments.
In support for military operations, the need is frequently in minutes, not in hours, and as you focus on organization, or structure, on expense, I would urge that you focus on the timeliness needs, and then in sorting out, as you'll see in some of my recommendations, I am influenced by, in my division of effort, on the timeliness requirement.
Let me first deal with collection of information, gathering of information from which that great encyclopedic knowledge is created. There will always be denied information, where countries set out deliberately to deny us access to information that can be critical not only for our policymakers but ultimately for military operations if we must use force.
China has most recently demonstrated again, by denying overt observation by accepted military attaches of whatever military activities they have underway, activities that could be threatening not only to our own interests but to those of our friends, and therefore we have no option but to turn, in those instances, to clandestine collection, whether it be human, or signals intelligence, or imagery, to try to inform the policymakers and decisionmakers in a quick way.
But what I find from a standoff distance substantially different from the bulk of the time in the Cold War is the issue of openly available information, where what you need are observers with language ability, with understanding of the religions, cultures of the countries where they're observing, where one does not need the cost of the processing tied to the denied collection.
The challenge in this new era, as it was in 1946, is how do you absorb, how do you collect that vast array of openly available information, to translate it, to have it available for the data base for users, and one has to recognize that the communications revolution still in process has opened vast new avenues for access to open source information.
I would argue in the world ahead of us that there is no diminishment in the need for in-depth analytical activity with worldwide coverage, but I would also argue a vast difference from the era when I spent most of my active time. One can make the results of that analytical effort accessible to a wide array of users in a variety of forms when they need it, and what we have to get away from is the publish-or-perish syndrome.
It may be necessary in the academic world, though I'm not persuaded it is in many instances, but I watched for years the sense that analysts were graded by how many publications they produced, or the volume, and for the years ahead of us, it is, in fact, the quality of their analytical understanding committed to a data base that's accessible to a wide range of policymakers that will matter, not how many published articles they've produced.
There will still be areas of ambiguity, areas where there is limited information, and the impact could be great, where it will be necessary to create, for a limited period of time, special centers to focus on reducing those ambiguities. I think what I have in mind there will become clear a little later.
For the dissemination of the product of this effort, access, time, capacity are the three driving factors. We have to be sure that we don't let security constraints hinder access to the analytical data base for a wide variety of users across the Government who can make informed decisions by their access.
Again, we have to keep in mind the timeliness requirements for support of military operations and the communications capacity to make the information available to those who need to use it.
On counterintelligence, what we know, from looking from the late sixties on, is that Americans who have been drawn into the business of spying for other countries, are, in almost every instance, volunteers, and my question is that those who are out to sell information will find buyers. They may be a different set of buyers for the information, but the counterintelligence charge is not gone.
A factor that has shaped, diverted, sometimes twisted intelligence activities over these last 50 years has been the desire of successive administrations to conduct covert operations. Whether they arrived enthusiastic about it or arrived saying they would never do it, in my observation, all administrations at some point in time turned, some more enthusiastically than others, to the conduct of covert operations, so as one thinks about the structure going forward, you have to plan for the reality of that requirement while hopefully putting some barriers in place.
Research and development activities throughout the Government can have a constructive impact on the intelligence missions. Indeed, ARPA has a long history of helping in that regard, but there will still be the requirement for very specialized research and development activities within the intelligence agencies focused on cutting edge access, and this will apply almost entirely, but not totally, to the denied collection activities.
Let me turn to some recommendations. I deliberately have not talked to any of my former colleagues who are now serving, or others, because I didn't want to either tarnish them with my recommendations or to get diverted away from my observations drawn from living several thousand miles away from the scene of action, and again, I've tried to organize them first by looking at collection activities and what, for me, has become probably the single most important requirement that I would lay in front of you.
We have to rethink how we go about assembling the vast array of information that is openly available to observers who have the competence to understand what they're doing. My judgment is the best way to go about that would be a very substantial rebuilding of the Foreign Service. As I go back to my early years as analyst, and reflect on the enormous use both for daily briefing and for detailed activity that turned to the reporting from bright political, economic, cultural affairs, commercial attaches, legal attaches, military attaches, with language ability.
The country began to draw down those numbers in 1967 under concern for balance of payments, but the watchword was drawdown of official American presence abroad, and that continued uninterrupted into the early eighties. Additional requirements for consular, visa activities further diverted the capabilities within the State Department. A number of us argued these issues in the early eighties when the rebuilding began, and wanted the State Department budget put in the same national security arena to be examined the same way, but I believe for the long term the most effective way for the country's interests to go about dealing with the need for much greater reliance on open source information is to substantially rebuild the Foreign Service -- it will take time -- where the focus is on language ability and clear understanding of the countries where the observations will take place.
If that is simply too hard, or not feasible for other reasons, then I would encourage you to think about, at least for the collection of published information, to consider going to the private sector, contracting out if you can't add employees. It is not a function that puts enterprises at risk, but there is the critical factor. There must be the ability to translate the information into English for the vast majority of the users.
On the denied collection activities, for signals intelligence there will be some changes that are dictated by changing technology. The fact that high frequency communications are now rarely used in most parts of the world, the job will be harder, but it remains absolutely essential. The actual organizational structure in place I believe remains sound, and does not need substantial change.
On the imagery side, I have seen press reports of a move toward creating a new agency. I have long supported having a single collection manager for the imagery activities, but I'm skeptical, from what I've read in the media, about whether they are analytical activities that are also being assigned, because I believe we would not be well-served by combining analytical activities with the management of the collection activities.
My most controversial recommendations, probably, will be the recommendation that the clandestine human collection activities be removed from the Central Intelligence Agency and be established in a new organization which I have simply referred to as an International Operations Agency.
I believe the country has a requirement for the most capable clandestine human collection activities that we can establish. We do not need three or four clandestine humint activities. We need one organization.
I have noted activities to create a separate DOD clandestine human collection activity. I do not believe that is wise. I believe there should be a single activity with military officers enlisted, integrated into the International Operations Agency.
Let me tell you from my own past experience, it will be expensive. You cannot do competent clandestine human collection on the cheap, and looking back at it, the effort to use the standard, is it cost-effective, has contributed in very substantial ways to our drifting away from nonofficial cover years ago.
As one looks at the difficulties that we can see, most, if not all humint agents over 20 years were double agents, most, if not all, East German. We don't know how many from the Soviet Union.
We do know the Ames problem. I never had any doubt in my collection activities, whether as the Director of Naval Intelligence or as the Director of the National Security Agency, that there would be major challenges from the analytical organizations about the validity of the information I was providing as a collector.
I've become persuaded that the structure of having the clandestine human collection put together with the analytical effort in fact leads to a mode where the analysts, if not directly, indirectly, feel pressured not only to protect, but not to challenge the information that flows, so I'm out in my recommendations to build a structure going forward where all the collectors are subject to the challenge for the validity of their information, which might have helped at least in some of the Ames situation.
But let me reiterate again, this international operations agency will not be an inexpensive activity. I've direct experience with an organization called Task Force 157 that the Navy ran, with lofty aims and dedicated people, that produced marginally useful intelligence because it was done on a very stringent budget, and without all of the cross-cutting activities that must be undertaken for a clandestine human collection activity to be first rate.
On the analytical side, I think the time has come to incorporate all of the in-depth analytical activities under one umbrella, and I would, indeed, integrate them into the Central Intelligence Agency. That does include the in-depth analytical activity now done by DIA and the military services.
I would separate out the ongoing day-to-day support for military operations, recreate the J-2, and look at the J-2 and the information, the joint information centers at the unified military commands, as the backbone spots for the provision of support for military operations to our military commanders.
I would permit some residual departmental activities to tailor information for the users to help facilitate the users', the policymakers', the decisionmakers' access to the data base.
Hopefully, what begins to be apparent in this -- ultimately the recommendations I would make are for the role of the DCI himself, but two other side bars before I get there. First, counterintelligence. I'm guided by the same view that I've taken to the collection disciplines.
The FBI should be given overall responsibility for counterintelligence activities for a while. Overseas, the FBI members should be integrated into the operations of the International Operations Agency, the clandestine human collection, not as a separate activity, but combined much as we've approached the special collections service in the signals intelligence area.
In the U.S., both professionals from the clandestine human service, military as well as civilians, should be integrated into the FBI effort, for learning, for education, for training, for the level of competence that we'll need overseas, but this is an area where competition does not provide us the level of professional competence that we need in dealing with a counterintelligence problem.
On covert operations I'm ambivalent, but I've ultimately come down in my recommendations to you today that there should be a capability within the International Operations Agency for the conduct of covert operations short of paramilitary, and that we should create the institutional barrier to keep administrations from drifting into the use of paramilitary activities in covert operations, and that where there is a conscious decision of the need of the U.S. to engage in paramilitary support operations, there should be an organizational transfer of responsibility to the Department of Defense, to the special operations forces.
The Director of Central Intelligence, in my view, should first have the prime responsibility for recommending the budgets for all intelligence activities. He should be required to have the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense in those budgets for the adequacy for the support of military operations. He should have direct control over all in-depth analytical efforts. He should task, but not have operational control over the collection activities.
And I've come to that in sorting out how do you deal with both the open source collection as well as the denied collection, and I believe the same approach should be used so that one doesn't, again, get into this issue of ownership, that the DCI and his supporting structure look at what collection do they need by what activities to fill the wholes in their analytical effort.
Indeed, the DCI should certify the need, whether it is the collection activities within the Foreign Service or by the collection agencies.
I would clearly leave the collection assets of the signals intelligence and the imagery under the operational responsibility of the Secretary of Defense because of the close integration of those activities with support for military operations.
I have been ambivalent about where to put the Director of the Agency for International Operations. Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense? Probably neither one would welcome the recommendation, but I am not inclined to have it report to the Director of Central Intelligence.
The Director of Central Intelligence should be an individual with a very broad background who has a close relationship with the President, the senior policymakers, and rapid access. He should be the one who judges what is the depth of our information needs, and makes judgment about the responsiveness of those who are assembling the information.
There is not a requirement that that individual have been a professional in an intelligence organization. He can come from a wide range of backgrounds to be able to conduct that job.
The collection agencies themselves should be headed by professionals, and they should stay in their jobs for 4 to 6 years, because it is the professionalism of those collection activities that will permit them to provide the information this country needs in an environment of declining budgets.
Finally, oversight. For the public support, that will be critical for funding and sustaining a significant level of intelligence activities by this country in the years ahead. There has to be oversight. The media would like to do it. It's not feasible with the issues of protection of sources and methods, so there must be mechanisms in both the Congress and in the executive branch which work. Optimally, I would prefer a joint committee for oversight in the Congress. There may be other reasons that that's simply not achievable, not practical, but the Vice Chairman has already sounded the keynote. The oversight activities must be bipartisan in their daily conduct for them to be fully effective.
In the executive branch we've gone through periods, at least one period where the President's foreign intelligence board was deactivated. It was then restored. I heard complaints during my tenure on that board during the Bush administration that it was a great nuisance, of people who were asking questions who were out of contact, who didn't know what was going on.
I don't have great confidence in an Inspectors General process for focusing on the broad issues. They're good for trying to ferret out corruption, criminal activity, but the President, any President needs wise advise that constantly is assessing, are the country's needs being met where they don't have the requirement for institutional loyalty.
Now, I'm not sure I will have failed to offend anyone in this process. It was an absolute oversight if I failed to do that, but I'll stop at that point, Mr. Chairman, and turn to questions.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Thank you very much, Admiral Inman, for the breadth of subjects that you've covered, the depth of thought that you have obviously given to those subjects, and for the stimulating nature of your recommendations.
I have one question, and I'll then turn to others. My question has to do with the data base for open information for the use of policymakers and others.
Let's assume that your suggestion that Foreign Service officers, State Department people, be used to assemble this information is impractical. Maybe it shouldn't be, but maybe it is, and we turn to the private sector to do that, to create the data base.
Do you see them managing that data base and disseminating it directly to or arranging for the access of policymakers or other users? Or do you see a Government agency contracting out to the private sector, and if so, which Government agency for this data base that is primarily nonsecret information?
ADMIRAL INMAN: First, if I could have my preference with a much- expanded Foreign Service, I think the overall quality of judgments, the human intervention would simply produce a better product than we're likely to get.
If the expansion, the improvement there is not doable, then the part that I would strip out is the assembly and collection of published information, the information that is either not -- there is no substitute. I would not send off private sector observers under contract to do the physical observation, sitting in the coffeehouses, the bazaars, the rest of that. That's a central role the Foreign Service can and should play.
In that collection of the published information I would in fact have the Central Intelligence Agency, the analytical organization, as the contracting vehicle, because, again, I'm looking for the DCI and the staff to first to make judgments as to what they can get in that means, and then turn to task the classified collectors for the information that is not obtainable.
I want a process that you don't begin by saying, how do we use the clandestine collection capabilities, but first, what are the gaps in our information where we can only get it by the denied collection.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Thank you very much.
Mr. Vice Chairman.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Inman, thank you for that very provocative testimony and for a lot of very interesting recommendations.ADMIRAL INMAN: They unfortunately come awfully late in your process.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: The books are not closed.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: Well, it's not too late.
I have two questions, really. You had limited time and I wonder if you could expand a little bit at least on two things you said which we have been looking at.
Number 1, on imagery consolidation, you make a clear statement that you want a single collection manager, but obviously you want to keep that management and collection separate from analysis, and we've heard a lot about that. I'd just like in your own words to tell me more about that recommendation?
ADMIRAL INMAN: I am motivated both from having been an analyst, but also from having watched the interaction of the signals intelligence system with the analytical activities, and some of my, in earlier years clandestine Navy collection activity.
You want independent judgments about the reliability or the dependability of the information that's been collected, its relevance. I don't think human nature will let you get that independent judgment if you also have a responsibility for the organization.
I admired much of the in-depth analytical talent that I found at the National Security Agency, but I resisted repeated efforts from professionals there to go make the case that they should have their own independent analytical publishing activities, because I believed the country was better served if they were kept focused with that great energy and talent on managing the collection and the necessary processing.
There's a fine line here, what is analysis, how do you make the information usable for the vast bulk of the users, and it's that model that led me to the one on the imagery side, where I think simply -- and also a sense, and I could in a closed session talk about some of the experiences on the clandestine humint side, where I would find the analytical element challenging anything I produced as the Director of the National Security Agency but not bringing that same degree of scrutiny or questions to what came from the clandestine service, and I think it was that sense that they had to play a little more cautiously because it was part of the same organization.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: My second question is on what is probably the most interesting of your recommendations, and that is to establish a new organization. I believe you called it an international -- did you call it --
ADMIRAL INMAN: I sort of pulled it out of the air, International Operations Agency.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: But essentially what you're saying is that we're going to take the Directorate of Operations, or a good chunk of it, out of the CIA, and then combine DIA clandestine folks as well as DO people and others in the Government and put them into one organization. Just expand on that a bit for us, would you?
ADMIRAL INMAN: My model to some substantial degree is MI-6, except that I'm adding the military component. As you look at the process, I want to strive to have the most competent clandestine humint capabilities that we can have.
I'm not comfortable that we have that, recognizing that I'm 13 years removed from the scene, so I'm relying on a lot of second and third-hand discussion, and media treatment, but I believe we need to get them back being clandestine, and separating them out. Creating a separate organization I believe is the right way to go.
I have great worries about an effort to go create competing clandestine humint intelligence organizations. One, I don't think you'll get the level of confidence and professionalism you'll need to be successful, and two, they'll stumble all over each other in various countries.
As a minimum, the head of the International Operations Agency should have absolute authority over clandestine humint collection activities, even if you don't integrate them into a single organization.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: I take it from that statement and others that you have made, that the recent trend at DIA to establish the DIA humint organization and to maybe expand what it does, you would find that counterproductive?
ADMIRAL INMAN: I find it counterproductive because I do not believe -- I think competing activities within the analytical effort had a lot of good basis. I'm not persuaded we can afford it at the level we tried to do it. That's why I've drifted off toward the centers to draw together people from various agencies and organizations or areas where there's high ambiguity, but in the collection arena, what you want is the highest standards of professionalism and competence, not competition.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: Admiral, thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Who else would like to be recognized?
MR. HARRINGTON: Admiral, thank you very much. Let me ask, from your vast experience in this arena and your observations since you've left it, is there anything about the organization and management of the Central Intelligence Agency in recent times, present times, that you think contributes to some of the problems that emerged and plagued the agency and the public perception and the criticism that it has received?
ADMIRAL INMAN: It is hard for somebody who is an outsider to really perceive whether all of the challenges, the difficulties --
MR. HARRINGTON: Organizational matters, obviously, instead of personalities.
ADMIRAL INMAN: I have a long-running concern of the lack of an integrated personnel system that integrated all of the organizations at CIA into a single system. Here, I've already given you the recommendations for splitting the agency up into different activities, but if you're not going to take that advice, and you're going to stay with what you have, then high on the list of recommendations would be that there be a single personnel system managing all the professionals' career development that ensures a flow of talent across the organizations of experience.
My experience, in the brief 18 months I was there, is that there were five different career services, and they contributed to the barriers between the organization's activities. It was vastly different from what I found at the National Security Agency, where there was one system for all the employees.
So from an organizational sense, I would put that probably at the top of the list. I better stop at that point. I'll be over my head in knowledge.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Mr. Dewhurst.
MR. DEWHURST: Admiral, thank you.
Going back to your comment of a few moments ago about consolidating the different collection activities into one organization, international operations, I would endorse and certainly would not argue with the objective not to have competing agencies operating abroad. The flap potential, that is, the potential damage to the United States' interests is large.
In putting together military and DO humint collection into one organization, you wanted to remove it from the DCI. Why?
ADMIRAL INMAN: Because I want the Director of Central Intelligence to be focused on what are the information needs in the broadest sense, not to feel an institutional ownership that requires focus on one. It may turn out that DCI, looking at its analytical needs, decides he can get it all from the State Department Foreign Service activities, doesn't need to have a clandestine collection, needs signals intelligence or imagery or does not need them.
I think the ownership of it automatically distorts the process, so I would keep the Director of Central Intelligence literally for that title. His prime responsibility is the information needs of a wide range of users, and not the collection processes that fill those needs.
MR. DEWHURST: If I might follow up with one more question, Mr. Chairman, and that is, you had talked about collection, in order to be effective, must not be done on the cheap. You talked about nonofficial cover. In an open session, what are we doing in this area, as a community, that is wrong in your judgment?
ADMIRAL INMAN: In the early 1960's, when we were caught up in the Pentagon with systems analysis and cost-effectiveness as the prime standards for every judgment about expenditures, the infection spread across the intelligence community as well. It was much more cost-effective to use official cover, easier to use people, just less, it cost less.
And then we suddenly found our situations, we found ourselves in situations like the Iranian hostage, when all of the assets in the embassy were seized and there was no access to any agency, any of the agents, no alternate approaches. We were essentially blind for an extensive period of time. I think that makes the case for why there needs to be some nonofficial cover, the ability to move people and not be tied solely to official cover.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: General Pursley is next, I think.
GENERAL PURSLEY: Admiral Inman, you indicated, I think, concerning military intelligence, a number of perhaps changes in roles. First, perhaps establishing a separate J-2, established on its own. Perhaps removing some of the humint functions from the Defense Intelligence Agency and putting them in Central Intelligence. Taking all of the analytical capabilities, if I understood correctly ...
ADMIRAL INMAN: In-depth.
GENERAL PURSLEY: All right, in-depth, and putting those with Central Intelligence. Perhaps retaining some of the military department elements. Where does that leave the Defense Intelligence Agency, in your judgment, and what kinds of roles and missions would the Defense Intelligence Agency have if all of those other recommendations that you have made concerning military intelligence were taken?
ADMIRAL INMAN: It becomes a very small element. You will recognize that some of these are recommendations that I have made in earlier years. I would have given the imagery responsibility to what is now the Defense Intelligence Agency as its central mission, managing the imagery collection activities.
Now, they've gone in a different direction, and as long as they get onto single manager collection of imagery, I'm prepared to live with whatever structure they want to do, but get out of the committee management of that process, both the requirements as well as the conduct of operations, but I am persuaded that we need the broadest look at geographic, in-depth analytical activities, that the earlier focus we had for so many years on competitive analysis is misplaced in the current environment, and that we would be better served by a Director of Central Intelligence who managed all that in-depth analytical activity.
So the dividing line for me is, does it support ongoing operations, and for that which is ongoing conduct, support of operations, peace or war, I would have in the structure that ran J-2 joint intelligence centers, and the small elements for the military departments to simply, much as within INR and others, to provide the daily flow of information to the decisionmakers.
GENERAL PURSLEY: Just one quick follow-up to that, or footnote to that, Admiral Inman. How would you rationalize the role of defense intelligence, or the DIA, with that of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Communications, Control and Intelligence?
ADMIRAL INMAN: I believe it was an artificial effort. Initially, when we first set out to create a stronger defense oversight of intelligence activities, we had an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence who did a superb job in bringing together a much better focus.
When it was integrated into the command control communications structure, I believe much of its effectiveness in both areas were lost, and that we had less focus in the communications command and control area, and less effectiveness from the Secretary level in the intelligence arena, so I am at least consistent in my criticism of that set of functions from the beginning.
GENERAL PURSLEY: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: I think Mr. Friedman was next.
MR. FRIEDMAN: I'd like to ask you just for a subjective feel on the macro size of the community.
In a simplified way, we've heard from people who say that the size of the CIA and the entire community was very much a function of the Cold War, and with the ending of that there's room for significant reductions. And then we heard other people who use the widely used metaphor that it's still a dangerous world, and it's as expensive to learn about the snakes in the forest as it was to learn about the "bear." I'd like to draw on your experience for a judgment about this.
ADMIRAL INMAN: Mr. Friedman, I think that I was too swift at trying to do it. I think the real reference point is '46, '47, and the understanding that a war was behind us but we were then going to have to deal with a very chaotic world.
What's different is that in 1946, 1947, our economic interests were not at stake. In '96, they are very much. I would argue that the breadth of knowledge of the outside world that we need is significantly larger than it was in 1946, 1947, but that of that additional information that is needed to guide policymaking in environmental areas, in energy areas, it is openly available.
It isn't information in which we need to invest clandestine collection activities, be they imagery, signals intelligence, or humint, but the analytical need, the need for the analytical data base, I would argue is even larger today in its breadth than it was in the '46-'47 time frame.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Mr. Goss was next, I believe.
MR. GOSS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Inman, you've given us a very thoughtful presentation. I've many questions. I will try and synthesize very quickly.
First of all, on your reorganization comments, it seems to me, moving to the analysis area, that right now there's a strong effort being made at the Agency to bring the DO and DI together. I presume you would say that this approach is contra-indicated under your plan?
ADMIRAL INMAN: That is correct.
MR. GOSS: The second point that I wanted to question was your giving the FBI responsibility for all counterintelligence, including overseas. That would basically mean the FBI would have to be integrated, I presume, from the beginning in all clandestine ops, is that accurate, and would have to be therefore a big part of your new International Operations Agency?
ADMIRAL INMAN: They would have a significant input, because you're exactly on target that if you don't look at counterintelligence threats at the beginning, that here again, I'm after how do you get the most competence? It seems to me that the measure, as we look at all of this activity going forward, has to be not, does it fit within the turf of various organizations, but what will produce the most competence in the field.
MR. GOSS: I think that's a fair observation. I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion on it, but I think the need is there.
The last area you mentioned is oversight, which is an area of great interest to me. Inevitably we bog down into numbers. Under the program you've described, the new role you've ascribed to the Director of Central Intelligence is to be the head of all analysis, in-depth analysis, and the collection tasker. The problem, it seems to me, is that if you do that, and you look at all the open information you've got out there, and then you decide where the gaps are and where you're going to assign your collection services, and you're going to task them to go forward, that inevitably you're going to have ever-changing needs. Things change in the world. To develop the kind of clandestine service assets that you need to provide that kind of information to fill in those gaps takes a long period of time. And I'm seeing a lot of on-the-shelf ability out there waiting for the need to come up, in this kind of a process. And I see a big cost attached to that approach. Tell me where I'm going wrong.
ADMIRAL INMAN: You're not wrong. I guess it's difficult in an open environment to talk about all the things you have to have to have a competent service, but that's why I kept emphasizing it would be expensive, and it is a cost we have to undertake.
MR. GOSS: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Dr. Hermann is next.
DR. HERMANN: Admiral Inman, I appreciate your thoughtful remarks.
You stressed the importance of support to the military by intelligence. I wonder if you would maybe expand just a little bit on where you think strengths and weaknesses are, and what modifications of behavior are needed both on the intelligence community side as well as on the military operations side.
ADMIRAL INMAN: In a rare instance, Bob, that's one where I'm going to say I probably am not competent to respond, simply because I don't know what the current status is. I'm several years out of date.
I can tell you that at the time of the Gulf War, the greatest problem in support of the military operations was the lack of communications capacity, to provide particularly imagery in a very timely way, the lack of understanding that you have to have a two-way flow of information, the absence of the ability to flow information related to bomb damage assessment in a very timely way back for the decisionmakers.
Those were gaps then, the lack of compatibility between imagery systems that were in the tactical forces and the overhead ones. I don't know what progress has been made in the intervening 5 years since I've been away.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Senator Fowler.
SENATOR FOWLER: Admiral Inman, I'm glad to see you. As always, I thank you for your continuing years of public service.
Just one question in the interest of time. As you know, there are some who argue that economic espionage is an essential element of our country's international trade policy. In this era of multinational corporations moving around the world, how do we safeguard that our intelligence efforts do not become the surrogates of private business interests?
ADMIRAL INMAN: My views are even stronger on this topic after 13 years in the private sector than they were before. There is a need for a more in-depth look at economic challenges to inform policymakers for the proper role of Government in ensuring fair access to markets, that countries actually keep trade agreements that they make, but the customer is the Government, not the private sector.
Private sector businesses want information generally in two areas. They either want broad, general information, markets that are opening, regulations that are changing in countries, and they want the very detailed specifications of a competing product or of a competing bid.
On the first general area, I would say the Government probably could be useful in servicing, much as we do now with the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, in collecting, translating, and selling to anyone who wanted to buy. You wouldn't care whether it was another country or firms elsewhere, broad, open information about economic trends in various countries.
On the issue of trying to collect detailed information on competing products, on competing bids, it's a loser. First, the likelihood of being able to do it competently is remote on any significant scale, and second, to whom do you give it? To IBM, France, but not Toyota, Marysville, Ohio, where jobs are at stake?
So it sounds attractive to people looking for new missions, and it is a trap that we should avoid.
SENATOR FOWLER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Thank you. Anyone else?
SENATOR WARNER: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Yes, sir, Senator Warner.
SENATOR WARNER: Thank you very much.
We have been discussing actively in the Commission the question of disclosure of the budgetary figures associated overall with intelligence. Do you have any views on that that you could share with us?
ADMIRAL INMAN: Senator Warner, let me direct and quick. I used to advocate releasing the budget figures because I thought, frankly, if the public really understood the accurate figures of what we spend relative to the rest of it, they would be more supportive, not less.
I was turned around on that by one of your colleagues, Senator Glenn, who sat me down to talk about the realities of how Congress operates, and that in the final days of a budget session, when the numbers don't work and there's the sudden cut and you allocate it to everybody, and when I came to understand that, I backed off.
I would rather rely on the tender mercies of the Secretary of Defense to protect the intelligence access than I would the appropriations process in the Congress in the final analysis to decide the tradeoffs between buying ships, airplanes, radars, and spending money on intelligence activities.
Could the actual dollar figure be released? I don't think it's a significant problem.
SENATOR WARNER: In other words, the top line figure, so long as you don't get below that and begin to spread it out.
ADMIRAL INMAN: I think you might get rid of some of the fiction that spreads about the vast quantities we spend and get closer to the reality of what we spend. Top line.
SENATOR WARNER: So, top line released, with strong language expressing the opinion not to try and fracture the lower numbers.
ADMIRAL INMAN: The view is always, if you ever stepped over that line, you couldn't stop, you'd keep going.
SENATOR WARNER: I think there's merit to that. I share your view on that.
VICE CHAIRMAN RUDMAN: Admiral Inman, you are hearing the echoes of a long debate.
SENATOR WARNER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Thank you, Senator Warner.
Thank you again, Admiral Inman. It's been very stimulating, and very helpful to us.
ADMIRAL INMAN: I hope there was modest utility in it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BROWN: Oh, surely. Thank you.