Program Summary for July 27th with Thomas Fingar, PhD Shorenstein APARC Fellow, Stanford University China from the Inside Looking Out

Summary of the presentation to the NSF on….

China from the Inside Looking Out

A Presentation on 27 July 2018 by

Thomas Fingar, PhD
Shorenstein APARC Fellow, Stanford University

“I believe China’s actions and attitudes are shaped more by fear and anxiety than by confidence or aggressive intent.” (Fingar, bottom line up front)

Dr. Thomas Fingar succinctly opened his stimulating talk to the National Security Forum with the above quote summarizing China’s view of themselves, the United States, and their place in the world. As a player on the global stage, China has only recently “re-arrived” and is now more concerned about staying in the game than about ‘winning.’ China’s reemergence as a global player over the last 50 years, has been supported and assisted by the U.S. policy referred to as ‘hedged engagement.’ Based on the simple principle, “Prepare for the worst, but seek opportunities for cooperation through engagement” still works today for both countries…but for how long?

Tom cautioned us that nobody should be complacent about China’s actions and its interaction with the United States. The China-U.S. dynamic it is exceptionally important globally, and past policies may or may not remain effective as this relationship evolves. That said, hand-wringing by the U.S. about China’s rise economically, militarily, and politically is unwarranted. We have successfully managed our engagement with China over the last several decades and can continue to do so in the future, if we proceed wisely.

So what drives China’s attitudes and actions? Short answer, ‘insecure leadership.’ China recognizes that it must make major changes to adjust to rapidly changing demographics, economic development, environmental challenges, and social expectations, but as of today it has no clear blueprint for how to proceed. The ruling party is extremely reluctant to allow intra-party discord on the topic to be heard and acted upon by the populace, lest their carefully orchestrated system break apart. This fear of moving forward and determination to maintain order leads to decision-making paralysis that is inherently unsustainable.

Complicating this situation, are the very high expectations from a large and growing segment of the population that has known only rapid economic growth and increasing prosperity, influence, and respect at home and abroad. Free of the victim-complex that shaped China’s past, this new generation is not interested in ‘what the party did for grandma,’ but rather demands to know what the party will do for them now and in the future.

“Why would a powerful country help a potential rival become stronger?”
(China’s vexing question to itself about what motivates U.S. policy)

China’s leadership knows it is racing the clock. It is painfully aware that the system it instituted in the late 1970s is running out of gas. Economic growth is slowing and eventually the public will figure this out. This growth was due in large part to the U.S. policy of reengagement, an approach China finds baffling and potentially dangerous. China’s leadership never really understood or accepted the idea that the U.S. fostered its relationship with China to increase mutual prosperity as well as to counterbalance the Soviet Union. Chinese continue to find U.S. actions too good to be true. Why would we allow them to close the gap economically? When are we going change course and pull the rug out from under them?

Furthering the paranoia cycle, China’s leadership also firmly believes that the United States is in decline and declining superpowers are known to be extremely dangerous. They know we are still militarily and economically superior. If provoked, we could crash the very same systems we helped them build…so why haven’t we?

“What is corrupt behavior? Give or take, everything that makes the system work.”
(China’s corruption challenge)

After the disastrous years of Mao’s experimentation, China switched to the Japan-path, or more accurately the Taiwan-path, of economic development. This was widely successful for the last 40 years, but rapid growth has its limits. Changing the system to sustain growth is a threat to those who have benefited. The old ruling elite was substantially destroyed by Mao, but a new elite has emerged, and China’s National People’s Congress is the richest parliament in the world, home to more billionaires than in any other government. They are determined to thwart reforms that threaten their wealth and privileged status.

Economic growth has also bolstered the legitimacy of Communist Party rule and fostered a renewed sense of patriotism and nationalism. With slowing growth, a new leadership mantle has been bestowed upon the less than charismatic, ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ leader, Xi Jinping. Empowering Xi may make it easier for the Party to maintain stability. And it may, or may not, make it easier to counter the rampant corruption that underpinned China’s meteoric economic rise. This leaves Xi vulnerable to being a “scapegoat-in-waiting” if his policies fail to stem corruption, while simultaneously supporting the rise of the rich and powerful. Xi has the responsibility, but not the authority needed to make hard decisions and avoid stasis at the top.

“If you don’t do anything, you can’t screw up.”
(China’s struggle with cultivating an entrepreneurial culture)

Lax enforcement of financial, environmental, and other regulations leads to uncertainty about what is permitted and maybe encouraged today but may be illegal with high consequences tomorrow. This creates a culture of entrepreneurial paralysis that also fuels the desperate need to steal intellectual property from its competitors to keep pace. That said, China has had a great run, economically. No small feat for a country of 1.4 billion people. Slowing growth is inevitable, but it is also a big risk for the existing system.

“China is big…anything multiplied by 1.4 billion is a very big number.
Anything divided by 1.4 billion is de minimis.”
(China’s accomplishments and challenges are on a vast scale)

China is an aging society and on track to be the first country in history to become old before it becomes rich. Within 15 years, the over 60s group will exceed the population of the United States and the over 80s will exceed the population of France. With little social security and healthcare provided to most people by the State, the social consequences are staggering. After two generations of the One-Child policy, newlyweds in their mid-twenties will be expected to provide care for four parents and eight grandparents. The Party leadership is now resolved to improve healthcare for all by increasing the amount spent by approximately $60 billion. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but it equates to only $40 per person. Resources to implement a social safety net must come from slowing growth, making tradeoffs necessary and social discord likely.

Finally, China maintains a misguided fear about the U.S. military even while recognizing its dependence on U.S. global leadership. It needs the U.S. to be a strong proponent of political stability, a champion the international rule of law, and the educator of over 300,000 Chinese students annually. Chinese paranoia that the U.S. will mercurially decide to end the rise of its rival leads to a sense of desperation and self-defeating actions such as the theft of intellectual property. Backlash to this behavior has been universal among the business community in the U.S. and all other countries further reducing foreign investments in China, which in turn leads to increased repression at home and even less growth.

Concluding his talk, Tom graciously fielded a wide range of questions about China’s actions and U.S. reactions, and vice versa, beginning with insight about what China is really thinking and doing in the South China Sea. He explained that China’s construction and militarization of artificial islands and aggressive claims (about what, is not clear), stems from the communist mythology that all territory is sacrosanct. Giving up one drop of water or sand is a slippery slope that may lead to independence for Taiwan or Tibet. The U.S., in turn, is forced to respond to this militarily insignificant act of aggression on China’s neighbors with political and military displays that accomplish little except to serve as fodder for geopolitical punditry and media reporting. In total, China’s new islands constitute a land mass equivalent to 1/3 of the Stanford campus – militarily useless, but with political symbolism that engulfs several continents.

On the question of Taiwan, Tom reminded us that one of the biggest strategic threats to the U.S. in the last 40 years was conflict in the Taiwan Strait. U.S. policy masterfully diffused this threat by balancing relations with both China and Taiwan without overtly confronting the One China policy. China benefits from Taiwan’s rise. Taiwan businesses are the largest investor in China and are critical sources of technology and supply chain arrangements. Taiwan, in turn, benefits from cheaper labor on the Mainland. Both sides, and the United States, benefit from reduced tensions across the Strait. U.S. political support and arms sales give Taiwan confidence needed to engage with the Mainland. Ambiguity is key to the success of U.S. policy, which seeks to prevent Taiwan from thinking that we will support them in any contingency while at the same time preventing Beijing from judging that we will not support Taiwan.

On the topic of income inequality, Tom pointed out that China’s population, which was overwhelmingly rural 20 years ago, is urbanizing rapidly; 70% of Chinese are expected to live in cities in the coming decade. As a result of historical policies of restricted movement, over 250 million ‘illegal’ urban migrants and their families are now seeking jobs and a slice of the economic pie. Two classes of urban dwelling citizens now exist – those legally entitled to basic services and those who are not. Government actions to reduce this inequality are a zero-sum game. Providing services to newcomers comes at the cost of reduced services to ‘legal’ residents. This vexing problem is likely to worsen as economic growth slows, potentially fueling social unrest.

Regarding Xi’s One Belt One Road Initiative, Tom clearly stated that the U.S. should not be concerned, but China should be. China, like the U.S., Japan, and other countries that have reached a comparable stage of development, is seeking overseas markets for its excess production, particularly its oversupply of construction materials and labor. Building cross-continent infrastructure is a viable outlet and exporting this overcapacity often benefits geographically dispersed local communities. That said, China’s partners in Belt-Road are not always the most reliable at repaying loans, protecting Chinese citizens, and fighting corruption. In the end, the benefits of Belt/Road may, or may not, outweigh the economic costs to China and Xi, personally.

Culturally and politically, who exactly is the U.S. facing when it negotiates with China? Are they communists at home and capitalists abroad? Short answer, yes. China is a Communist party authoritarian state that claims to have a socialist system. It is certainly led by a Communist Party, but the economy is more capitalist than socialist. Sun Yat-sen, China’s first president, once characterized his country as a sheet of loose sand held together by strong government and families, China’s leadership fears that the stresses of modernization and slower growth could cause the system to unravel. The traditional pillar of stability was the family. Extended families could be counted on to preserve order by using filial piety to rein in rebellious youth or disadvantaged relatives. Two generations of the One Child policy has obliterated the extended family. Today there are essentially no siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles to anchor social and business interactions. Given the complexity of this situation, the U.S. is best served by focusing its engagement on addressing specific problems and opportunities rather than fretting over evolving political-cultural labels.

We could not conclude this session without getting Tom’s perspective on the Trump Administration’s use of tariffs and trade wars to advance U.S. objectives and change China’s behavior. Tom reiterated that China’s outrageous disregard for trade agreements and intellectual property deserves response, but in his words “the blunt instrument of tariffs is incredibly stupid.” A trade war will hurt China more than the U.S., but it is not clear this will result in policy changes that the U.S. claims to be seeking. In short, for the good of all concerned China and the U.S. need to continue to seek a mutually beneficial path that keeps the relationship open and constructive and far from the brink of economic, military, and social confrontation.
For further insights from Tom and other on this topic, I highly recommend his latest books available from the Stanford University Press:

Uneasy Partnerships: China’s Engagement with Japan, the Koreas, and Russia in the Era of Reform (2017), https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=24729

The New Great Game: China and South and Central Asia in the Era of Reform (2016), https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=24730

Thomas Fingar, PhD. is a Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He was the inaugural Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow from 2010 through 2015 and the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford in 2009. He returned to Stanford after a distinguished career in the intelligence community. He served as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and, concurrently, as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Previously he served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Director of the Office of Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific and Chief of the China Division. He is a graduate of Cornell University in Government and History (1968), and Stanford University (M.A., 1969 and Ph.D., 1977 both in political science). His most recent books are “Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security” (Stanford University Press, 2011), “The New Great Game: China and South and Central Asia in the Era of Reform”, editor (Stanford, 2016), and “Uneasy Partnerships: China and Japan, the Koreas, and Russia in the Era of Reform” (Stanford, 2017).

Program Summary for the June 19th Program with LTGEN Richard Zilmer Energy Security, Renewables, and Why the U.S. Military has Gone Green

Summary of the presentation to the NSF on…

Energy Security, Renewables, and Why the U.S.

Military has Gone Green

A Presentation on 19 June 2018 by:

LTGEN Richard C. Zilmer, USMC (Ret)

CNA Military Advisory Board  

“Reliable electricity underpins every facet of American lives. Without it, our homes, our businesses, and our national security engine would grind to a halt….” (CNA Military Advisory Board Report, Nov 2015, “National Security and Assured U.S. Electrical Power”)

An esteemed group of retired U.S. military general officers (three and four-star rank) from Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines comprise the CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB). Starting in 2006, its charge was to conduct in-depth studies of energy-related issues and the nexus with national security. As the United States moved from a heavy dependence on Middle Eastern oil to more energy independence and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan took their toll on military operations, the MAB began to explore alternative energy options to enhance the security of our troops in war zones around the world.

NSF was honored to have LTGEN Richard Zilmer, a member of the CNA Military Advisory Board and former Commander of Marine forces in Anbar Province, Iraq (2006-2007), share his perspective of why the U.S. Military needs to “Go Green” to stay safe. Putting the issue in context Gen Zilmer, described a situation at the height of the conflict in Irag in 2006, in which convoys carrying diesel fuel and water became primary targets for insurgent attacks. In WWII a soldier on the battlefield typically needed one gallon of fuel per day to fight. By 2006 in Iraq that number had increased to 22 gallons. That translated to vastly more convoys, which in turn meant more accessible targets for attack and more troops injured or killed on the roads. Armed with this firsthand experience, Gen Zilmer set out to find ways for the Marines to become “lighter, faster, and more lethal on the battlefield” by using less fuel, renewable energy, and fewer convoys.

“I don’t want my kids, kids over here in 20-30 years doing the same thing.”
(Gen Zilmer on watching the Iraqi oilfields burning during the first days of Desert Storm)

Moving the U.S. away from the reliance on Middle Eastern oil to safe, secure energy resources generated at home not only helps us economically, it protects us from having to fight the same battles over and over again in oil-rich deserts abroad. Gen Zilmer highlighted CNA’s formidable task to articulate the national security imperative for advanced energy technologies in their recent report, “Advanced Energy and U.S. National Security,” released in June 2017 and available for download at: https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/PDF/IRM-2017-U-015512.pdf

 As the world population grows from 7.4 billion in 2016 to over 9 billion by mid-century, energy demands are expected to increase over 30% globally largely driven by economic growth in China, India, and Africa. Fossil fuels cannot keep pace with increased demand, making advanced energy technologies – wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear, and biofuels – essential to the U.S. economically, politically and militarily.

So, who stands to gain from this rise in demand for renewable energy? And who is leading the charge? As of now, China is in first place investing over $140 billion annually in advanced energy, while the U.S. falls well behind with only $57 billion in annual investments. China is now poised to dominate the global energy markets in the very near future (making our next NSF Forum on China an even more timely topic). Gen Zilmer and other U.S. military leaders view China’s insatiable energy appetite (from both fossil fuels and renewables) as a national security threat. China’s thirst for new energy sources is upending both trade and political alliances globally, underpinning the CNA reports finding that “electrons are as important as elections when it comes to global influence.”

India, on the other hand, presents both national security challenges and opportunities for the U.S. as its population and energy demands increase. A more energy independent India is in the U.S. national interest, but China and Russia are actively racing to feed India’s energy appetite tipping its geopolitical alliances away from the United States. Russia, the world’s largest exporter of fossil fuels (oil and gas), is also expanding its geopolitical influence in Europe as those countries become more reliant on Russian energy, complicating U.S. efforts to counter Russian aggression in Crimea and elsewhere.

And then there is OPEC, which controls 40% of the world’s petroleum trade and 80% of the world’s reserves. Freeing the United States and our allies from the tether to OPEC, and the problematic sociopolitical influences exerted by these countries remains a top priority of U.S. military and national security leaders.

As the United States relinquishes its leadership role in advanced energy technology development and deployment at home and abroad, we are (by default) opening the door to China, Russia, and others to expand their influence in Africa and other countries that the U.S. once valued as allies and partners. Gen Zilmer concluded with the vexing question, “As the world’s energy posture radically changes, should the U.S. continue to exert a leadership role or relinquish this position to others who do not share our commitment to democracy and freedom?”

Hearing his clear and resounding voice for U.S. leadership in advanced energy technologies articulated in Reno, Nevada, prompted the first question about what influence CNA and others are having now over military policy and budgets in Washington, DC. His less than equivocal answer was, DoD is listening, but with a much-reduced sense of urgency due to shifting priorities from this Administration and lower oil prices. His hope is that a younger generation of policy-makers, warfighters, and business innovators will continue the push for renewables regardless of the political landscape

And will nuclear power be part of our advanced energy portfolio in the future? Gen Zilmer succinctly said yes, but…the rest of the world is developing and building new nuclear power resources, while the U.S. is being left behind. The topic of Yucca Mountain was conveniently left unaddressed.

The discussion about nuclear and other energy sources inevitably moved to the topic of energy grid stability. With over 300 attacks on the U.S. energy grid since 2014 and only nine key nodes in the grid, the Gen emphasized that grid stability and security is a major national security issue that can likely only be addressed with the introduction of distributed energy models. Producing and using energy locally, as is done in Nellis AFB in Nevada, reduces risks and increases energy resilience. This topic was covered in detail in another CNA report, “National Security and Assured U.S. Electrical Power,” published Nov 2015 and available for download at: https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/PDF/National-Security-Assured-Electrical-Power.pdf

Following on his prepared remarks about China, Gen Zilmer reemphasized China’s global dominance in advanced energy development accompanies its legacy dependence on fossil fuels. The latter will remain a driving force for its expanding geopolitical engagement for many decades to come. Hearing a senior military officer push advanced energy development begged the question about DoD’s commitment to sustaining requirements that have traditionally driven innovation in the private sector. The Gen reminded us that as long as DoD is trapped by budgetary spending caps military modernization will lag. If new energy resources are critical to improving military readiness then DoD needs to have the flexibility to modernize its operations without compromising ongoing troop deployments.

Closing a stimulating and engaged discussion was a question about what role the public should play in energy and national security. Gen Zilmer artfully reminded us that it is all of our responsibility to keep the dialogue about U.S. energy independence and military readiness at the forefront of our lawmakers’ minds. He, like all of us, don’t want our grandchildren sitting in Kuwait watching the oil fields burn wondering how we got there…yet again.

Lieutenant General Richard C. Zilmer, USMC (Ret.) currently serves on the CNA Military Advisory Board. Former Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps; Former Commanding General of Multi-National Force, Al Anbar, Iraq Lieutenant General Richard Zilmer retired from active duty in January of 2011 following over 36 years of commissioned service. LTGEN Zilmer graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Kutztown University in 1974. He holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Warfare.

 

Program Summary – May 10, 2018 Trump Administration National Security Structure – The Players and their Playbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of the presentation to the NSF on…

Trump Administration National Security Issues –
The Players and their Playbooks

A Panel Discussion with

Tyrus W. Cobb, Keith Hansen, Rae Huffstutler

May 10, 2018

Esteemed NSF Members

“What’s going to happen when U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un finally get together? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. My colleague Graham Allison thinks there’s a limited but mutually beneficial agreement to be had; other analysts are decidedly more pessimistic.” (S.M. Walt, Foreign Policy, 25 April 2018)

Challenges in setting a course for national security and foreign policy face every new Administrations in their the first few years. The Trump Administration has faced many – some of their own making, some due to rapidly changing global events. How factors including seemingly constant change in key leadership positions and a President who tends to govern more via Twitter than through traditional policy making was the topic of a spirited discussion with NSF panelists Ty Cobb, Keith Hansen, and Rae Huffstutler.

Relying on his extensive experience both inside and outside of the National Security Council (NSC) over many Administrations, Ty opened the panel with an introduction to the key players on Trump’s National Security Team. As of a couple weeks ago, the rapidly revolving door seemed to have slowed down enough for us to be able to understand the new NSC leadership. The President and Vice President are joined on the NSC by the stalwart Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, GEN USMC (ret), and the new Secretary of State (and former CIA Director) Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (another long-timer having been in the post since Jan 2017). In addition to these statutory members, NSC policy meetings typically include the Military Advisor and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, GEN USMC Joseph Dunford and the Intelligence Advisor and Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats.

Traditionally NSC deliberations are coordinated by a National Security Advisor (NSA) whose primary role is to facilitate open and candid discussions among its members. With the former Fox News commentator, neo-conservative, and policy-experienced John Bolton assuming the post in early April 2018 (the third NSA in 15 months), the tenor of NSC meetings has already changed. The role of keeping balance among disparate policy positions now appears to fall to the recently beleaguered Chief of Staff John Kelly. Fortunately, NSC policy-making is not rigidly defined by the short list above. Foreign policy positions are often voiced by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Economic issues, key to many national security debates especially now, come from Trump’s Key Economic Advisors (Secretaries of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Wilbur Ross, Trade Advisor Robert Lighthizer, and Economic Advisor Peter Navarro). And border walls, immigration, and catastrophic event discussions require Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen to have a seat at the table.

So how do these players function under President’s neo-isolationist vision of America First? How do they deal with vexing global issues that are front and center including denuclearization of North Korea and Iran, trade wars (or not) with China, chaos, and war in the Middle East, and the looming issue of Russian interference in U.S. elections? To answer this Keith Hansen brought us a quick tour of the policy documents that traditionally underpin national security decision-making and Rae Huffstutler shed light on when the Trump Administration follows these policies…and when it does not.

Many of the national security issues including those involving Russia, Syria, North Korea, Iran, China, terrorism and extremism, trade with allies and trade tensions with rivals, immigration and regional conflicts, are not new in the Trump Administration. But how key decisions are made is, in some notable cases, very different. In the old days (i.e., every Administration since WWII) U.S. national security was largely based on key strategy documents such as the National Security Strategy, DoD’s National Defense Strategy & Nuclear Posture Review, State/AID’s Joint Strategic Plan, and DNI’s Worldwide Threat Assessment that were formulated by career agency professionals and guided by the strategic vision set by the White House.

Rae artfully refers to national security decisions that are in keeping with the traditional NSC roadmap as “policies carried by momentum.” The ongoing War on Terror (assuming this phrase still has meaning) and relations with Russia and Pakistan fall into this category. In contrast, Rae introduced us to “policies in play” in the Trump Administration. These are topics that have caught the personal attention of President Trump and, leaping over the carefully orchestrated policy processes of the NSC, are shared (often bombastically) on the President’s Twitter account. They may (or may not) be walked back later by cooler heads in the NSC or Congress. The Iran Nuclear deal has hopped onto the “policies in play” list along with North Korea, Syria, and China.

Breaking with tradition may have its benefits, but also poses many risks. For instance, no sooner had Trump agreed to a Summit with Kim Jung-Un of North Korea, by-passing a litany of long-standing carefully crafted under-the-radar negotiations, Kim used his world stage to stymie meeting preparations by canceling peace talks with South Korea and retracting his earlier statements about denuclearization. In another case, Trump’s recent leap into the fray regarding trade deals with softened sanctions against China by tweeting about saving jobs for Chinese workers in the company ZTE and sent U.S. trade negotiators and intelligence experts scurrying to keep American first, trade wars last, and secrets safe.

Deftly addressing timely questions our panel elaborated on these points even pointing out that one of the most obvious pitfalls to a fast and furious Summit with Kim, is the President himself, or at least his willingness to talk directly to a mercurial adversary. In a prescient reminder to us that the Iran nuclear deal is not a formal treaty ratified by Congress, but rather an Executive Agreement signed by President Obama along with the leaders of Iran, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia, our panel predicted (correctly) that President Trump would withdraw the United States from the multilateral agreement sending national security communities here and abroad scrambling to figure out what happens next.

Teeing up future timely topics for future NSF meetings, our panelists touched on two “momentum” issues, Turkey and Ukraine, that sit poised to be in play if Trump turns his attention to them in the future. Following the preference of the Trump Administration for bilateral talks rather than multilateral negotiations, Ty, Rae and Keith all agreed that large organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the United Nations play a critical and positive role on many key issues even though they can be unwieldy, cumbersome, pedantic and not entirely reflective of U.S. interests.

Touching on very emotional and public debate about the confirmation of Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, the panelists and the moderator all voiced support for her long and accomplished career, while expressing reservations about the CIA’s past programs of enhanced interrogations (AKA torture) and rendition. They pointed out that her involvement in the post-9/11 politically–charged interrogation program was only one aspect of her qualifications that needed to be vetted to determine whether she was a good match for the position. Subsequently, Haspel was confirmed by the Senate on 17 May 2018 after expressing her position (verbally and in writing) that these programs were “wrong” and must not be repeated at the CIA under any circumstance.

May Haspel and all the other members of Trump’s national security team have the strength and wisdom to keep our country safe and secure through these tumultuous times.

COL Tyrus W. Cobb (PhD) served as Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Affairs from 1987-89 and Director of Soviet & West European Issues from 1983-87. In his 26-year Army career, he served in Viet-Nam (twice), Italy, Germany and in Washington, DC.

Keith Hansen has extensive experience in the defense and intelligence communities, having served as a US Navy officer for 30 years and as a National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Strategic Programs and Nuclear Proliferation. He also supported and served on teams negotiating the SALT II, INF, START & CTBT accords.

Rae Huffstutler served as the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Director of Photo Interpretation, the National Photo Interpretation Center, and as the Director of Soviet & Military Research Analysis at the Agency.

The slides from the presentation and Rae Huffstutlers remarks can be found at these links.

Trump Administration National Security Issues slides

Rae National Security Policy Making