STATEMENT OF CHARLES B. CURTIS DEPUTY SECRETARY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE September 20, 1995 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I wish to express my appreciation for this opportunity to discuss United States national interests and the role of intelligence in supporting national policies in pursuit of those interests. In particular I wish to describe the intelligence priorities and requirements of the Department of Energy in the post-Cold War era. At a time when all agencies are struggling to reconcile shrinking resources with burgeoning demands, the question of how policy makers can make most effective use of the huge amount of information available to them is critically important. As our national security challenges grow more complex, it is my conviction that intelligence -- properly collected, analyzed, and distributed -- can play a vital role in meeting threats to our national security and the formulation of more effective policy. Moreover, intelligence priorities must be carefully and consistently reevaluated as the global security environment changes and evolves. I commend this Committee for its contributions to this process. The Department and its predecessors have been both consumers and producers of intelligence for more than 50 years. During World War II,Los Alamos scientists analyzed the efforts by our opponents to develop a nuclear bomb. Throughout the Cold War, intelligence supported our primary mission of nuclear weapons development by providing assessments of foreign nuclear threats, especially from the former Soviet Union. Today, the Department and its National Laboratories are in the forefront of stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Our accomplishments range from assisting the Russians to safeguard their fissile materials to providing policy makers with timely assessments of rogue states' efforts to develop nuclear weapons or procure nuclear materials and technologies. As U.S. national security priorities have evolved, so too have the Department intelligence requirements. Intelligence programs at the Department and its National Laboratories are solidly grounded in the President's National Security Strategy of the United States (February 1995) and his clear statement of priorities for the Intelligence Community. First, we must continue to monitor developments in both Russia and China, however much we wish these countries well. Russia still retains a capability to inflict massive and unacceptable damage to the United States; meanwhile, China seems intent on modernizing and expanding its limited strategic nuclear arms capability. The safety and security of nuclear warheads, fissile materials, and expertise in Russia remain a priority issue for the Department. The Yeltsin government has made recent progress in this area, but much more remains to be done. Second, the President has made the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction a critical national security priority. Regional instabilities, the global explosion of information technologies which could facilitate the rapid transmission of nuclear know-how, the challenges to safeguarding fissile materials in Russia and other States of the former Soviet Union, the burgeoning global market in delivery systems, especially missiles, and the emergence of terrorists intent on inflicting mass casualties on innocent populations underscore the President's concern. The National Laboratories are the repository of world class expertise on nuclear warhead design, the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear testing and stockpile stewardship, and manufacturing, weaponization and associated use control technologies. One of my main priorities is to ensure that this expertise is effectively harnessed to the nonproliferation mission in support of the Administration's objectives and the Defense Department's Counter proliferation programs. Third, secure access to global fossil fuels remains a primary national security concern for the United States. Over the next 15 years, Persian Gulf oil producing states could provide as much as 80 percent of the anticipated increase in the worlds oil demand. These same forecasts show Persian Gulf nations accounting for 70% of world exports. If this occurs, we will in essence be increasing the transfer of wealth into this politically and stability challenged region by over $200 billion per year. As global energy market dynamics become more complex and interdependent, we need to monitor energy supply and distribution infrastructures throughout the world. In this regard, assessments of energy vulnerabilities and potential supply disruptions remain a vital intelligence information priority for the Department. Fourth, as global interdependence grows, transnational threats come to constitute an increasing priority for the United States. Environmental degradation does not acknowledge national borders; a new breed of terrorist and international organized criminals display a similar disdain for national boundaries and customs passport authorities. The Department s environmental remediation experience can and should be applied to the first threat; its expertise and technologies are also being applied to the second area, especially to the prevention of the shipment of fissile materials across national borders. Should a terrorist threat involving nuclear devices emerge, the Department's nuclear terrorism response team, NEST, would be among the first on the, scene. The Department is in the forefront of defining necessary information requirements and potential responses to these new threats. Finally, all would agree on the importance of meeting the new economic challenges, which have materialized from different parts of the globe. Economic competitiveness and science and technology intelligence have emerged as areas in which the Department is playing an important role for the Administration and the Intelligence Community. How to organize, posture, and fund an effective intelligence capability to meet these challenges is a question under active consideration within the Department, the Administration, in Congress, and in the public at large. I commend the Committee for its contributions to this effort. Let me offer a few observations based upon my own experience as a consumer of intelligence. It is of course true that a much greater volume of information is available to the policy maker than probably ever before. Policy experts in their own fields, have had extensive contacts with their foreign counterparts, and can tap into a much broader information network than previously available. On the other hand, I must observe that much of the publicly available information suffers a number of shortcomings that can impair its usefulness to the policy maker. All too often such information is unfocused and can even be of questionable reliability with regard to its source or the motivations driving its publication. Frequently open source information is event-driven and lacks insight into mindsets or national cultural styles that form an essential component of the driving factors of policy making in any state. In my view, intelligence must remain focused on what should be of greatest import to the policy maker. Good intelligence analysis has incorporated all sources of information, including open sources. But intelligence analysis must always have as its primary focus adding value to information regardless of its source. Moreover, much of the critical information required by policy makers is deliberately with held and protected by foreign governments or groups; thus there remains a continuing requirement for covert access to such information sources. This problem is compounded by the growing awareness of US intelligence capabilities and resources by potential opponents and competitors. Despite the end of the Cold War and the supposed openness of formerly denied areas, we have witnessed growing sophistication in the worldwide use of denial and deception to protect sensitive information. Foreign governments and nongovernmental actors, such as drug cartels or terrorists, are exploiting information protection technologies to deny us access to critical information. I have concluded from this that the tasks confronting intelligence are more complex and perhaps even more difficult than ever before. Finally, I believe that the benefits policy makers derive from intelligence can be enhanced by a greater awareness of three key factors. o The first is accountability, that is, the direct link between the, intelligence producer and his or her customers. Accountability implies the creation and maintenance of a focused body of expertise specifically dedicated to the requirements of policy makers, with analyst incentive and rewards systems geared to customer service and policy impact rather than quantity of production. o The second is reasonable access for policy makers to intelligence information; that is, information which is both timely and useable. The provision of intelligence support to policy makers should mirror the policy functions, be designed to streamline the support process, and eliminate organizational distinctions of little importance to intelligence consumers. I am concerned that the system of disseminating finished intelligence from centralized intelligence organizations too often leaves analysts at these agencies to only surmise how policy makers can benefit from their work. I hope that the efforts of the Intelligence Community to exploit new information technologies will facilitate access among policy makers and intelligence analysts and accelerate the dissemination of finished intelligence. o Third is the importance of integration; that is, the incorporation of intelligence throughout the decision making process. To this end, for example, I have personally met with the leadership of both the Central Intelligence and National Security Agencies to encourage a shared understanding of the Department s intelligence requirements and the capabilities of these Agencies to meet those requirements. These Agencies have responded in admirable fashion; the implementation of our policy priorities would be far less successful without their support. Integration also includes leveraging nonintelligence resources more effectively in the analytical process. At the Department, for example, the National Laboratories contribute not only their unique intelligence perspectives, but can draw upon the greater laboratory population for additional expertise. In this fashion, the labs are a force multiplier ensuring the full extent of unique Departmental and Laboratory expertise is brought to bear to support the policy process. The Department of Energy is certainly not alone in having its own reservoir of unique technical expertise. For example, the Office of Intelligence and Research, at the Department of State, draws upon reporting by the diplomatic corps; Treasury benefits directly from reports by its financial attaches and international monetary analysts; and, the Commerce Department utilizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In short, I welcome Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch's renewed emphasis on the joint operations of the various agencies. The task before the Intelligence Community, it seems to me, is to provide a high quality product, strip out obvious redundancies, while retaining sufficient distributed capabilities to ensure that policy makers needs are effectively served. In closing, I hope some of these thoughts will prove useful to the Committee as it pursues the best approach and structure for intelligence support to policy makers. Again, thank you for this opportunity to share my views on the future of intelligence requirements and needs.