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  • 2. Existential Security Threats to the United States
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[APPLAUSE] DAVID KENNEDY: Well, good evening. My name is David Kennedy. And on behalf of my colleagues, Rob Reich from the Department of Political Science and Jim Steyer from Common Sense Media, I want to welcome you all to this second class session of our continuing studies course on the 2016 election. Our purpose in putting this course together has been to engage students and Stanford community members in thoughtful discussion of the issues that will, or should be, prominent in this year's political campaigns and that will confront the next president. And arguably, none of those issues is more urgent than a cluster of concerns that affect our national security. So we live in a time of extraordinary challenges and uncertainties in the threat environment. As General Martin Dempsey, recently retired after 41 years of service culminating as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview in the most recent edition of Foreign Affairs, "It's the most dangerous period of my lifetime." So we're exceptionally fortunate this evening to have three guests who are especially well-qualified to help us understand this moment and to help us understand the logic of entitling tonight's class, "Existential Security Threats to the United States." So let me first introduce a man who actually needs little or no introduction to this audience, William Perry. Bill Perry is one of Stanford's own. He received his undergraduate and master's degrees from Stanford and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, all in mathematics. He is, in my judgment and not only mine, quite simply, one of the most dedicated and distinguished public servants of this or any other time in the history of our republic. His service began as an enlisted man in the United States Army in the Army of Occupation in post-war Japan in 1946 and 1947. He was the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the Carter administration, Deputy Secretary of Defense in the first years of the Bill Clinton administration, and Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997. Bill is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor Emeritus at Stanford where he has long been associated with the Hoover Institution and with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies where he served as the co-director of FSI's Center for International Security and Cooperation from 1988 to 1993. He has written extensively on defense and security policy, including his 1999 book with Ashton Carter, who's the current Secretary of Defense, entitled Preventive Defense and most recently, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, a memoir that underscores his lifelong effort to contain the threat of nuclear proliferation and avoid the catastrophe of nuclear war, an effort in which he is prominently and recently collaborated with George Shultz, Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger, and Sid Drell-- an effort that's vividly described in Phil Taubman's admirable book, The Partnership. Now I want to say a special word of thanks to Bill Perry for being with us here on this particular evening, because today, October 11th, is his birthday. [APPLAUSE] Now I'll leave it to you, or maybe to him, to tell or calculate what numeric value to assign to this particular birthday. But I can say this by way of a hint-- if presidencies were equivalent to signs of the zodiac, then Bill Perry had the great karmic fortune to be born under the sign of Calvin Coolidge. [LAUGHTER] And to that simple fact, he owes all the rest of his career. So happy birthday, Bill, and many happy returns of the day. [APPLAUSE] So our next guest is another public servant of uncommon distinction but by Bill Perry's standards, still a promising young man, Admiral Gary Roughead. Gary is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he later served as commandant. He had nearly 40 years of service in the Navy, culminating in his appointment as Chief of Naval Operations, the senior-most position in the United States Navy, which he held from 2007 to 2011. And like Secretary Perry, Admiral Roughead has brought the lessons and wisdom gleaned in his long Naval career to Stanford, where he is the Robert and Marion Auster Distinguished Military Fellow at the Hoover Institution. I got acquainted with Gary in a grand strategy working group here at Stanford that was co-chaired, not merely incidentally, by our third guest this evening, Amy Zegart, where Gary made particularly cogent and forceful contributions about the ways that climate change and its attendant environmental effects are already generating security threats that are likely to become evermore urgent in the not distant future. I believe we'll hear some more from Gary about that matter this evening. And that brings me to our third guest, who I just mentioned, Amy Zegart. Amy was a Harvard undergraduate who took her PhD here at Stanford. She is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor, by courtesy, of political science. She not only ably chaired that working group that I just referred to, but she has found time to serve on the National Security Council staff in the Clinton administration and, a neat double [INAUDIBLE], as Policy Advisor to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in 2000. Her scholarly work and teaching address the structure and effectiveness of national security and intelligence organizations, including the CIA, the Joint Chiefs, and the National Security Council, which form the principle subjects of her book, Flawed by Design. Amy has also advised the FBI on intelligence analysis, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department's Counterterrorism and Community Police Advisory Board. Amy has kindly agreed to get us started this evening with a brief survey of the threat environment that the next president will be facing, which will be followed in our customary manner by discussion among our guests and then a response to the questions you have submitted. Amy. [APPLAUSE] AMY ZEGART: Good evening, everyone. I want to thank you, David, for that wonderful introduction. I want to echo your "happy birthday" to Bill. It's a special kind of man who wants to talk about existential threats to the United States on his birthday. So David asked me to talk a little bit about if we imagine the day after the inauguration, what would be in the president elect's inbox? And I immediately thought about my friend Al Carnesale, who is a nuclear engineer and who was the Chancellor Emeritus-- is the Chancellor Emeritus-- of UCLA. I've known Al a long time, and he doesn't have one inbox. For years, Al Carnesale has had on his desk three inboxes. One is labeled "in," one is labeled "out," and the third is labeled "too hard." So what I want to do is start by talking about the "too hard" box, which will likely be overflowing for the next president, and then talk a little bit about what the priority list should be in the "in" box. Now every generation of foreign policy leaders thinks that it faces an unprecedented set of challenges in the world. But this time, it's really true. And David alluded to that in his opening remarks with the interview in Foreign Affairs with General Dempsey. The threat environment we confront today is more crowded, more uncertain, and the velocity of change is faster than anything foreign policy leaders have confronted in our nation's history. It's filled with rising states, like China, declining states, like Russia-- I would argue Russia is a declining state-- weak states, like Pakistan, failed states, like Syria, rogue states, like North Korea, non-state actors, ranging from ISIS to the hacking group Anonymous, and global climate change, transnational threats. It's a very crowded threat environment, and it's changing fast. Just to give you one example how fluid this environment is-- if we think about ISIS, which has gotten a lot of headlines in recent years, in 2004, ISIS did not exist at all. Fast forward 10 years in 2014, ISIS controlled territory that is the equivalent of the distance between New York and Ohio. That is a big expanse of territory, even if you live here in California. Fast forward two more years, ISIS-controlled territory has shrunk by nearly 25%. So in just a relatively short period of time, we've gone from no ISIS to vast expanse of territorial control now to a decline by nearly a quarter. But this threat environment faces two unique challenges. And we talked about those two unique challenges in the foreign policy working group that I had the privilege of co-chairing here at Hoover, which brought Hoover scholars and other Stanford scholars together to look at the threat environment and what we can do about it. The first unique challenge is China's rise. If China's economic rise continues-- and that's a big "if," and we may talk a little bit more about that here tonight-- if China's economic rise continues, China will displace the United States as the most powerful economy in the world, a position that we have held for 100 years. And China is a developing country. Just to give you some sense, China's GDP per capita is half that of Greece, a developing country with incredible domestic stresses that will constrain in ways that are difficult to foretell what China wants to do on the international stage and what it can do on the international stage. So China's rise-- unique challenge number one. Unique challenge number two is the fact that for the first time in history, the ability to wage massive disruption and destruction no longer rests in the hands of powerful countries. Thanks to the spread of connective technologies, small groups, non-state actors, and even lone individuals have the power to wage disproportionate destruction and disruption, reaching inside even the most powerful countries in the world. That is an unprecedented challenge. So we have uncertainty. We have velocity. We have complexity, and we have anxiety in this threat environment as well. Now the United States is, in many ways, exceptionally secure today. We don't fear the threat of a country like we did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. We don't fear even invasion as we did in the 19th century by the United Kingdom when, let's not forget, they burned the White House in Washington DC. And yet, we feel tremendous anxiety here at home in this election cycle, and there's tremendous anxiety in the world. It's reflected in the Brexit vote. It's reflected in the retreat of democracy in countries around the world. It's reflected in contests for influence, whether it's Russia in Europe, whether it's China in Asia, whether it's Iran in the Middle East. And it's reflected in this most unusual and dispiriting presidential campaign. So that's the threat environment in the "too hard" box. What's in the inbox? I'm going to suggest five major items in the inbox. The first is that the next president will have to spend the first six months recovering from the last 12 months. [LAUGHTER] The next president has much healing to do, both at home and abroad. The next president will have to be the Healer in Chief, and that is no small order. Here at home, we have distrust of our election process, of our democratic government that is, at all time highs, a polarized society that needs to come together for any president to govern and project power and advance our interests on the international stage. And abroad, we have a lot of repair work to do to reassure our allies and to warn our adversaries about what the United States stands for and who we stand with. That is no small challenge, no matter who wins in the next election. So that's inbox item number one. Now let me suggest the next four are a cluster of countries. I call them the Big Four. I'm going to tell you what they are, and then I'll tell you why I selected them. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Now prognosticators and professors and pundits like to talk about hot spots and threat lists, but I think of these countries not as a list of countries, but as threat vectors. They are four countries where four very serious threat vectors all converge. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea. Threat vector number one, nuclear risks. This is something that Bill Perry knows far more about than I do, and I learn from him every time I talk with him. All four of these countries pose distinct and de-stabilizing nuclear dangers. Russia and China modernizing their nuclear arsenals, Russia dropping its no first use policy, North Korea, of course, just testing its fifth nuclear weapons test, developing missile capabilities to try to be able to reach the continental United States, Iran with a nuclear program that is, at best, on hold, not rolled back. So we face grave nuclear risks from all four of these countries. Second threat vector, cyber dangers-- these four states are among the most sophisticated cyber actors in the world. And they do not have particularly good intentions toward the United States. I'm sure we'll get into the Russian hacking of the US presidential election, the Democratic National Committee, and other sites. This is a warning shot of more to come. China has sophisticated capabilities, massive theft of intellectual property from American companies. Don't think of it just as theft of IP. Think of that as degrading the economic competitiveness of our country for a generation to come. And if you believe that the source of power in the world is in large part economic, this should be disturbing to you. Iran has already weighed significant cyber attacks against Saudi Aramco, destroying thousands of computers there, and waged attacks here in the United States against the banking system and other systems. And then, of course, what do you say about North Korea and the hack of Sony? So nuclear risk, cyber threats-- threat vector number three, all four of these countries run the risk, and have showed an interest in, waging territorial aggression against US allies around the world. In Russia's case, the invasion of Ukraine, concerns about what will happen with NATO. In China's case, concerns about bad activities in the South and East China Sea, which threaten Japan, South Korea, the Philippines-- all treaty allies of the United States. Iran, of course, in the Middle East, which concerns both our Israeli ally and the Sunni states in the region. And of course, there's North Korea threatening South Korea, where we have stationed thousands of American soldiers for a very long time. So that's threat vector number three. Threat factor number four, disruption of the international order-- all four of these countries-- Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea-- are taking actions that call into question the regimes, the laws, the norms, the institutions that have been the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the international order since the end of World War II. And so for all those reasons, I think those four countries will play an outsized role, or should play an outsized role, in the inbox of the next president. But of course, the ultimate challenge for the president on day one, after inauguration, is being able to stick to the priorities. And that is a challenge that every president faces, and this next president will face to an extreme degree. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] WILLIAM PERRY: After Amy's brilliant tour the horizons of security issues, I'm going to come down to focus sharply on just one security danger. To start off by saying that I believe that the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War. During the Cold War, we worried about a bolt out of the blue, a surprise strike. But in reality, the two real dangers we faced were the danger that we'd get into a nuclear war by miscalculation or by accident. The poster child for nuclear war by miscalculation was the Cuban Missile Crisis, where most observers who looked carefully in retrospect of that said there was a better than even chance that could have ended in a nuclear war that would have ended our civilization. I was involved-- at the time, deeply involved-- and I can remember believing-- every day I went into my analysis center, I believed would be my last day on Earth. But we got through that. Beyond that, though, all during the Cold War, there was a possibility of a nuclear war by accident. We had in the United States at least three false alarms for a warning system, one of which I was deeply involved in, any one of which could have started a nuclear war by accident, by misreading our computers. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War ended. Those two dangers went away. And now with the emerging, increasing hostilities between the United States and Russia, those dangers are now coming back, both of them. Beyond that, there are two dangers that did not exist during the Cold War-- nuclear terrorism, which I think is really the most likely way a nuclear catastrophe could happen, that is now facing us in a very serious way. And beyond that, a regional nuclear war, again, a danger which did not exist during the Cold War. The poster child here is a nuclear war between Pakistan and India. And if you've been at all reading the newspapers in the last few weeks, you would believe that's not an academic concern. Both of those nations have arsenals of over 100 nuclear weapons. And both of them have threatened to use them against the other country. In spite of those dangers, our policies, and the policies of other nations, simply do not recognize them. And we go blissfully ahead in our life as if the dangers do not exist. Both we and Russia are today rebuilding our Cold War nuclear arsenals. The United States, in fact, has a program which if carried through to its full completion will cost something like a trillion dollars over the next 20 or 30 years. Russia has a program at least as large as ours. Beyond that, Russia is making threats about using those nuclear weapons towards its neighbors in Europe. Just yesterday, they reported they were installing more Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. These are medium range missiles that could threaten all of the European countries and which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Why did they bother to do that? Why did they bother to announce that they were doing that? They have also-- their head of media, who was appointed by President Putin, had made a wonderful statement that Russia is the only nation capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash. Now that happens to be a true statement. The question is, why in the world would he think it was important to say that? What was he hoping to accomplish? My life is really being dedicated today to trying to do everything I can to reduce those dangers, and it gets to be a pretty lonely task sometime, I must tell you. . Some of my time I spend, a small amount really, as a political activist. Just a few weeks ago, I had an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that we should not rebuild our nuclear ICBM force and giving the reasons why I believe that. Having said that, I wanted to tell you I do not believe that that op-ed will have any effect whatsoever, that we will go ahead and build our ICBM forces. So I don't spend much of my time in activism because I think the world, in particular, our country, is not prepared for that. We simply don't understand the dangers enough to be able to formulate sensible policies to deal with them. So [INAUDIBLE] devoting most of my life to education. How can we educate society on these dangers? And since it's a long term problem, I think, I'm focusing most of my attention on the younger generation who know nothing about nuclear issues really. Now for years, I've been teaching classes on these issues here at Stanford and giving lectures on them. But that's doing it on the retail basis, a few hundred students at a time. What's really needed is a way of getting this message across to a mass audience. And you cannot do that lecturing at Stanford. You have to do it over the internet. So we have just created a MOOK. MOOK is a Massive Open Online Course, which just coincidentally, just went online five days ago-- a Stanford course on nuclear dangers. About 3,000 students signed up for that. I'm hoping to get, in time, tens of thousands of students taking these issues and understanding the issues and spreading the word. Beyond that, we're creating-- beyond that MOOK, we have four more MOOKs in process. Stanford hopes to become a leader in that form of education, and we're going to be doing our part to help them become that leader. Beyond that, we're making little videos-- five minute videos-- which go on YouTube, where we hope to get, again, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people view, each one dealing with a specific aspect. One of them dealing with the danger of nuclear terrorism, which already, by the way, online. You can go to your YouTube and call that up. And you can see it tonight if you'd like to see it, which describes and dramatizes a nuclear bomb set by a terror group in Washington DC and the consequences of that, which are really beyond the imagination, I think, of probably anybody sitting at the room here. We try to bring it up to your imagination. So this is a serious, in my judgement, the serious and existential problem today. Two of those dangers would actually bring about the end of civilization. The other two, nuclear terrorism and a regional nuclear war, would not end civilization. But it would create a catastrophe in this country-- economic, social, political-- beyond which you can really imagine. So I urge you all to get yourself educated on this. Go to the YouTube's. See the videos. You can even sign up for the course, if you want to. They were focused on younger people, but older people can benefit from them as well. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: Well, I'm not as spry as Bill, so I'm going to speak from my seat. But like Amy, I, too, had a colleague that had inboxes. But he only had two, the traditional in and out. The in was always stacked up very high. But at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon, it was always empty. And it took me a couple of months to find out that around 3:30, he would take that inbox stack and put it in the internal mail to himself. And it would arrive back in the inbox on Monday morning. [LAUGHTER] That's just kind of the Navy way of doing things, Amy. But the reason I mention that is that in our country, I would submit that many of our fellow citizens would like to mail the problems away. And unfortunately, our world is not that forgiving. And what comes back on Monday morning might not be what we sent out on Friday. And so I think this is a significant issue for the next president, to be able to take on how do we talk about-- how do we gain better understanding of the challenges that we're going to face as we go forward? And Amy outlined a lot of areas of concern. And I think that also is another descriptor of the environment that we're going to be in. It is a multi-field game. We have, for the past few years, we've focused on ISIS. Then China will do something, and we focus on China. And then we'll focus on Russia. And that seems to be the topical issue of the day. But I think as we move forward, particularly in the information space in which we live in, and how quickly things move and how so much information is available, that we have to have this discussion. And we have to talk about why these various areas are important, why the problems there have the potential to affect us. And by stepping back, it's not as if we're stepping away from the problem. It's just that we're stepping away from our ability to influence events in our favor. And so that, to me, is going to be some heavy lifting because I think, in general, this messy world in which we live in, people want to have it go away. And so from a security standpoint, and for someone who has been a practitioner in the Navy for the length of time that I served, we're going to have to be very agile intellectually and militarily and diplomatically and economically. And we have to be able to think in terms of national security and all of those facets. And I would add in there technologically, and another pet area of mine is educationally. Bill talked about reaching out to the younger generation. How do we make sure that those coming along behind those really understand the dynamics in the world in which we live? From a military perspective, we tend to be captured by capability. And by capability, the new submarine, the new fighter airplane, the new missile-- and that's all very important, because the technological edge that we have enjoyed over decades, really since the end of the Cold War-- I could even say in the Cold War, we began to advance on that-- that technological edge is beginning to shrink. And what we could rely on as the silver mace that solves the problem, that's going to become more difficult. Because of this broader area of interest and the many challenges that we're going to face, the other thing that we don't talk about a lot is capacity. What is the capacity of the military in terms of numbers of things that are out there? And I'm not the type that is always just rattling, give me more, give me more. But we have to think in terms of, what do we have to have as a nation to deal in the Middle East? To deal in the eastern Mediterranean around Syria-- to be in the Baltics when Russia is making mischief-- to be in the East China Sea, the South China Sea-- to stand with our partners in the Persian Gulf to make sure that those economic flows in and out are sustained-- and so the capacity discussion, quite frankly, is not taking place in our country. But if we have the last greatest thing, we're going to be OK. That, in my mind, won't work. I think the other thing that we have to look at is how do we organize and how do we deal with problems in this information age in which we live, where the speed of events are transmitted around the world faster than our diplomatic and our political systems can respond. And we, quite frankly, haven't figured out how to do that yet. And as a result of that, you get whipsawed by the issue of the day. And you can't have that longer strategic look that is so very important. And so those are the things that I think the next president is going to have to deal with. On top of which, beyond the US, we have to be able to re-engage with our allies, in particular, and shape our alliances for this new century in which we're going to live. Things are changing. China is challenging our alliance structure in the Western Pacific. Japan as a nation, as a result of changes in its legislation, now is a different player in that alliance relationship. Australia is in tension between its security ties to the United States and its economic interests in China. India is emerging as a new partner. Won't be an ally because of their non-aligned nature and how they wish to work in that particular area. And then look at what's happening in Europe. Europe is a different Europe than it was 18 months ago. Brexit-- rise of the right-- some of the referendums and elections that are going to be taking place-- the massive refugee flows that are straining the social structures and political structures of Europe-- all of these are changing the alliance relationships that are so important and add so much to our ability to shape events around the world, but they need to be thought through for the world in which we're going to live. I'm going to break a little bit, if I still have time, David, and talk about climate, which David highlighted. This has long been of interest to me because as I looked around the world, there were a couple of things that I thought were pretty good indicators as to where I thought our Navy would have to respond. If you look at demographics, it tells you where the strains are going to be. And you can look at the economies and how will populations deal with one another. And those can be an indicator of points of friction. But the other thing that is so apparent is that the planet on which we live is changing. We can get into discussions about the causes and who is responsible for it, but I think it's important as we look to the future, particularly in the security dimension, what's really happening and what does it mean. There are a couple of things that I've paid particular attention to. One is the melting of the ice caps, for a couple reasons. The Arctic, that ice cap is melting. There's a new ocean that's being created. Navy people get really excited when a new ocean appears on the planet, especially when you haven't seen one in over a millennia. It's really good. But quite frankly, that opens up transportation routes. It opens up access to resources. It is not good for the indigenous populations. So what are some of the policies that we need to have in place there? But that's happening. And oh, by the way, the Arctic ice cap will melt, and nothing will happen to sea level because it's like having ice in your iced tea. When the ice melts, the level of that glass doesn't change. The other ice cap in the Northern Hemisphere that I think is the greatest security concern is the ice cap and the glacier systems in the Himalayan Mountains because that is the source of the Great Rivers of Asia. The Mekong, Ganges, Brahmaputra-- those feed massive populations downstream. And because of the need for water-- we've found alternatives for energy. Haven't found one for water yet-- because of that need for water, countries, primarily China, are engaging in massive hydroengineering projects that restrict flows, that not only restrict the flow of that resource for food and health purposes, but it also disrupts the nutrient flows that contribute to the agricultural areas. Bill talked about India, Pakistan. They have a little, and are having a little tiff, over Kashmir again. India threatened to accelerate-- or didn't threaten-- directed the acceleration of three hydroengineering projects that will reduce significantly the flow of water to Pakistan. Not exactly what you want when you're having a security issue with two massively nuclear armed countries. You start choking off the life blood of their country. So that is an issue. On top of which, you then lay on a growing middle class, largely in China, but also in Southeast Asia. And what does a growing middle class want? They want air conditioning. They want lights. They want refrigeration. They want modern transportation systems. And what does that take? It takes power. And what do you need to make power? You need significant amounts of water. And so at a time when that source is diminishing, you have demand and usage going up. So let's shift to the other two ice caps that I think bear watching, Greenland and Antarctica. Those are the sea level rise guys because when that ice moves off of the land mass and melts into the ocean, that is what then brings up sea level. And so you will have in the next decades, probably sooner than we would like, an existential threat to low lying island nations, particularly in the Pacific. Those countries will go away because the sea will consume them. Then you take a look at some of the major delta areas of the world. Bangladesh, massive population-- even our Gulf Coast with significant energy and petrochemical infrastructure is going to be impacted by this. Overlay some of these more extreme weather events with a higher sea level, and you get flooding, and you get the type of destruction that we saw come up the coast with Hurricane Matthew. But then just consider the typhoons. And then as you look at where the populations are in the world, most of the population, around 90% of the world's population, is within 200 miles of the coast. So sea level rise, extreme weather-- just as an example, in Pakistan, with a growing population, with social systems and political systems under great strain, 100 million people are susceptible to climate change events. 100 million people. Go to India. 40 million people are susceptible to sea level rise. And this, in and of itself, is bad enough. We have to look at what we have to do for appropriate investments in our infrastructure. But my concern is in this information world in which we live. The way that these massive disruptions to population will spread-- the ability to mobilize and instantaneously protests-- demands for vital resources on a country's government will be huge. And I liken it to the torch that lit off the Arab Spring, that spread largely through social media across the Maghreb and into the Middle East. This mix of the flow of information and the demands by a population that's being severely disrupted can move very quickly. And in times past, when countries have been able to work out water rights and back off from some of the things that I talked about, India and Pakistan being involved in, I am not sure that the political system, the diplomatic system, and the financial systems of those countries can respond quickly enough. And I think that's a dangerous mix. And then you add to what Bill said, and the areas in Asia, I think, could be hugely problematic as we go forward. And I'm going to stop there. WILLIAM PERRY: Amy, I think-- DAVID KENNEDY: Are we all feeling good now? [LAUGHTER] We're in the process, it seems to me, of adding one geographical site, two countries, to your list of the four vector conversion sites of Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China. It's India, Pakistan. And Bill, if I could, I'd like to ask if you would share with this bunch of students something I've heard you do so eloquently before, is conjure the scenario by which India and Pakistan go over the nuclear threshold. WILLIAM PERRY: Well, we all know that India and Pakistan have been fighting over the ownership of Kashmir ever since over 50 years now. DAVID KENNEDY: [INAUDIBLE] WILLIAM PERRY: At three, or maybe four wars, depending on how you count them over that issue-- if they have another war, this war would be with a country where each has 100 nuclear weapons. And what would stimulate such a war? Neither country wants to go to nuclear war, of course. What could stimulate one to get out of control? And I look back to the bombing, the terror attack, at Mumbai several years ago now. It was a Pakistani terrorist group that attacked India's-- one of their main cities in Mumbai with catastrophic results. The Indian government considered a retaliatory response and decided against it, even though they had concluded that Pakistani government officials were involved in that. If you imagine now another such terrorist attack in place with the present Indian government, it's my judgment that they would not show restraint this time. They would conduct some kind of a punitive military action in Pakistan. The Indian Army is larger and superior to the Pakistani, so they would probably be successful militarily. Pakistan, on the other hand, has what they call tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, weapons to be used not in deterrence, but in war fighting. So there would be a strong impulse for them to use those tactical nuclear weapons against the Indian Army in Pakistan. If they did that, then India would be faced with a challenge of whether to make a nuclear response. And you can imagine easily a sequence of events leading up to a large scale nuclear war. Each of these countries has more than 100 nuclear bombs. The devastation in those two countries would be immense. But beyond that, the smoke and the [INAUDIBLE] of the cities burning would go up into the atmosphere. And we have the prospect of what's called a nuclear winter, which would affect not just those two countries, but the whole planet. That's a gloomy enough picture for you, David. DAVID KENNEDY: Thank you. ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: To add to my black cloud, if you don't mind-- just I think one of the things that is part of this education process is really the importance of geography. And one of the things that Bill talked about was the great restraint by India, and I completely agree. I think politically the demands on that government would be huge. They could not not do something. And the problem, as I've looked at it over the years, when you look at the Indian border to the key, what I'm going to call, strategic centers of Pakistan, it's not very far. And the Indian military has developed something that they refer to as cold start. They have practiced coming off the line quickly. And because of the short distances that are involved to these valuable strategic areas, I really do think, to Bill's point, that Pakistan will feel that they don't have many choices if they want to blunt that attack. And that mix is, what I think, is one of the great risks in the region. ROB REICH: Can I hop in here on the conversation? I want to ask a question maybe just slightly to lift some of the gloom-- DAVID KENNEDY: Go ahead. ROB REICH: --the tenor of the conversation. So Amy, you called attention in your opening remarks to non-state actors as one of the security threats on the horizon for the new president, or for anyone now. In common political conversation these days, people often invoke the threat of ISIS to the United States. And President Obama has argued that ISIS is not a significant existential threat to the US and so should be taken off the list of the things we're discussing here. Do you agree? AMY ZEGART: I do. You did, however, bill this as existential threat to the United States. So people should be prepared for doom and gloom. But I'm prepared to give you a little bit of good news. So this is a minority viewpoint, I recognize. I do not believe that ISIS poses an existential threat. I share your concern, Bill, about nuclear terrorism. I look at that as a fissile materials problem more than a terrorism problem. Let me suggest why I think ISIS is not an existential threat and why, to your point, Gary, we spend too much time jumping from crisis du jour to crisis du jour at the expense of these longer term strategic challenges. If you look at just the number of people who have been killed in terrorist attacks outside of war zones on an annual basis, it's about 200 to 400 people a year. That's about the same number of Americans who die falling off their ladders every year. If you look at ISIS, ISIS doesn't just operate in Syria and Iraq. ISIS doesn't organize. It inspires. So you can wipe ISIS out of Syria, and the jihadist terrorist threat wouldn't go away. So terrorists are operating in safe havens of Brussels and Paris and Boston. And the most difficult terrorist threat that we confront is the homegrown terrorist threat. Now I don't want to trivialize that. And I've done a lot of work with the LA Police Department and others to think about how to best combat it. But it's not nearly in the same category of threats as a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, each with 100 nuclear weapons. So I think we tend to get spun up about the fear of terrorist threats, which is, of course, what terrorists want. But the reality on the ground is that massive destruction at the hands of terrorists requires a nuclear weapon. And the best way to prevent that from happening is to control fissile material. JIM STEYER: So I want to ask you another question that goes back to your original thing, Amy, but to all the stuff you talked about. So I was sitting here worrying about the doom and gloom, until I thought about the incredible quality of the presidential debate on Sunday night. [LAUGHTER] JIM STEYER: But in all seriousness, I talked to my good friend David Plouffe, who you all remember from Thursday night, and my good friend Steve Schmidt, who I think will come to our last class. And they have all said, it's over. So I'm going to posit, from my position here, that it is over on the presidential election and that a climate-denying gentleman will not win the presidency of the United States. And a former Secretary of State is extremely likely, however popular she may be with the American public and even members of the audience, to be the next president of the United States. But she's an experienced foreign policy person, who you know well, Gary, who, Bill, obviously you know very well. You said, Amy, in your opening remarks that the number one thing that you raised are threat vectors included the recovery from the campaign that we've just gone through, including the debacle that was Sunday night. So my question is this. Assuming, which I think is a fair assumption, 99% that Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States, what does she do, and who does she do it with-- you all know the players-- to try to restore the US's ability to deal with these existential threats? [LAUGHTER] DAVID KENNEDY: Who goes first? JIM STEYER: I think you can all go one, two, three. So Gary, you're next to me. But then go down the line. DAVID KENNEDY: Amy, you raised the question. Take [INAUDIBLE]. JIM STEYER: What can we do about it? And what can the next president do about it? So what would you say? ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: Well, I'm going to take a brief moment to talk about something that I think is important that it does apply to this election-- something that I feel very strongly about as a retired military officer-- and that is that I think one of the very bad things that has happened in this election is the involvement of senior retired military officers and the public way in the political campaigns and the political process JIM STEYER: On either side. ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: On both sides. Both sides, there is equal sin. And the reason I'm concerned about it is that I believe in a democratic society, that the military must remain apolitical. It should not be identified as Democrat or Republican. And it's also important because when General So-and-So or Admiral Frump gets up-- I said Frump, not Trump-- gets up to talk about it, and on the radio you hear General So-and-So or Admiral So-and-So, how do people know that it's not someone currently serving in uniform? But I would also say that it's very unhealthy that bleeds down into the younger active ranks that there's a political space to play in. On top of, which it destroys the confidence in the civilian leadership of the military, which is hugely important. And the doubts that may be fostered is that a Republican Admiral or is that a Democrat Admiral, and I think this has been very bad. But to your question, we've had a very contentious campaign. But I think we have to accept that fact that within the electorate, there's a different mood. And so I would say that it's important to not simply look at it that we had two candidates that beat the hell out of one another in a very, very unconstructive and hateful way, but that the next president is to say, OK, what has happened to the American people? And what are the issues that we have to deal with? And I think that's important. I think the other thing that really needs to happen as a new administration comes in, and far be it for me to be the picker, but the cabinet really needs to have a bipartisan flavor to it. And then the other aspect is that we have to step away from just the presidential and the executive branch discussion. And we really need to bring the legislative branch and the executive branch back together again, not to necessarily agree on the politics and on the issues, but they have to be able to come back into the room and talk about what needs to be done in the best interest of the country. And I went on a little bit about climate change. We, I believe, will have massive infrastructure needs going forward to harden our coastal areas, to our grids, on the eastern seaboard where I spent most of my time, that artery that runs up through all the tunnels and bridges-- all of that is under risk. And so how do you come back together, and how are you able to get down to concrete things that have to be done? Put aside the emotion of the debate, of climate, and say, what do we have to do to move forward? And how do we begin to target some of these solutions that are going to be important? So that's where I would target. DAVID KENNEDY: The single biggest federally sponsored infrastructure investment in the history of the republic was the interstate highway. And that was largely justified politically, legislatively, as a national security measure. So it seems to me there's a wide open opportunity to justify investment in the kind of infrastructure we're talking about, as in large part, a national security measure. AMY ZEGART: So I got to say, so I'm really glad to be flanked by a Naval Admiral to give me time to think about my response. I agree with everything you said. I would add a couple of things. Words and symbols matter. So there's the repair work with the American people, national reconciliation, that the language used to discuss the issues facing our country matters. The second thing that matters is what are the first acts that the next president will take? So let's assume-- let's stipulate that Hillary Clinton is the next president. What does she do first? On the foreign policy side, it's going to be a challenge working with Congress. It's a very uncivil time in our political discourse. And we've seen that no matter what side of the aisle you stand on, our discourse has gone into the gutter. And so working with Congress will be a challenge with any president, Democrat or Republican, no matter what party control there is of the Senate or the House. It's going to be close. We know that, most likely in the Senate, and we don't know which way the House is going to go. So that's going to be an ongoing challenge. So what does she do first? Pick a foreign policy issue where there is pretty strong consensus, bipartisan consensus, across a long period of time that something needs to be done. One candidate that springs to my mind, that I know is near and dear to your heart, is ratifying the UN Convention on the law of the sea, something that every presidential administration has thought is a good idea, since the time of Ronald Reagan. And it's a very important international convention that would give the United States much greater standing in the South China Sea with contested claims over the Spratly Islands between China and a number of other countries, many of whom are US allies. I would pick that as a candidate for the type of issue that she should be very careful about picking-- to start with low hanging fruit, get a quick win, show the American people you can get government back to work again. WILLIAM PERRY: Let me start off by echoing Gary's comment about the generals and admirals. But beyond that, when I was Secretary of Defense as a civilian, I tried to make every decision I made in not a bipartisan manner, but a non-partisan matter. My view was security should not be a partisan issue. It was hard to do, and I didn't always succeed. But that was my goal always. Secondly, on the question asked, one thing the president can and should do immediately was reaffirm the actions that President Obama's take on the so-called Nuclear Security Summit. That's the one really powerful and constructive thing we've done is trying to get better control worldwide of fissile material, because if a terror group could get the fissile material, they could build a nuclear bomb. Why I'd list nuclear terrorism is my number one danger, that hinges strictly because I fear they were able to get a hold of the fissile material, the fuel for making a nuclear bomb. If they get the fuel, they can make the bomb. So that's one very constructive-- had no partisan content to it at all-- one very constructive thing the president could do right off the bat. The other thing is going to be much harder to do because two of the four dangers I talked about involved a nuclear war with Russia. The hostilities we have with Russia today are just very, very dangerous. And each side calling the other name, each side threatening the other, and I would be inclined to agree with our president to think that Putin and Russia are more to blame for this than the United States. But there's a little blame on both sides, I think. So the president could take a really powerful, constructive action if he took a positive move approaching Russia and try to see if we can reconcile the main issues which have been driving us towards some kind of a brink right now. The last thing we need is any kind of a war with Russia. But the real danger of any kind of a military conflict with Russia is it could get escalated out of control to a nuclear war. And we're talking now about all of civilization, not just millions of deaths, but a whole civilization going. JIM STEYER: Can I just ask a follow-up on that, Bill? So you have the president of the United States basically now saying-- or the government saying-- they have tried to interfere in the election. WILLIAM PERRY: Russia has. JIM STEYER: That's a big deal, guys. That is a big deal. I do not recall in my young lifetime when that ever happened. So what happens? Do you, in the interest of longer term global security, ignore that? Or do you do something about that? I'd be interested in what you think, Secretary Perry, but all of you. WILLIAM PERRY: My advice to the president to do this is the most difficult thing that president can do because the issues today, any move reaching out to Russia will look like we're caving in. It'll look like we're approving the actions they've taken, with which we don't agree, and which we think were really wrong. But somehow it has to be done. We have to rise above it. Even during the Cold War, we found a way of dealing with the Soviet Union, on nuclear issues at least, even though we didn't agree on anything else they were doing. So we've had to find a way on nuclear issues to rise above the disagreements we have-- the real disagreements we have with Russia-- and come to an accommodation on those. So we do not find ourselves drifting into-- sleepwalking into a nuclear catastrophe. DAVID KENNEDY: But unfortunately, history dogs this like every issue. And it was Hillary Clinton who oversaw the failed reset issue with Russia. So she's lost credibility with the Russians. And I'm afraid, for reasons that go well beyond her own personality, with the American public and the Congress. So she's particularly advantageously positioned to undertake this. WILLIAM PERRY: Yeah, I would really hope that these issues were not discussed during the campaign because it's just negative. Both sides feel they had to pile on. And Hillary feels she needs to double down on her negative view on Russia. And that doesn't help. Before Bill Clinton was elected, he made very, very negative comments on China. And the consequence of that was the first year he was in office, we had no relations with China at all. We finally got back on track there by the end of his first term and into his second term. Then he developed a very positive and constructive relationship. But what's said during the campaign can live with the president for a long time. AMY ZEGART: David, if I can just jump in here on the cyber issue, we see two extreme views. One view is we don't want to risk escalation, particularly with Russia. And the other view is we need to call this an act of war. And both run, I think, some pretty serious risks here. The real challenge-- one of the great challenges in the Pentagon that smart people have been grappling with for the past several years is, can you even deter in cyber space? This is an unanswered question right now, and there are a number of reasons why that is. One is, as we've discussed, the adversary gets a vote. You respond. You don't know what their counter is going to be, and you don't know how it could spiral out of control. A second is that in cyber space, unlike the physical world, many weapons are use it and lose it. Once you put a cyber weapon into the wild, you can't use it to the same degree anymore. And what's more, it can be reverse engineered and used back against us. That's different in cyber space than it is in the physical world, where if you have five bombs and you use one, you still have four more that you can use. So escalation dynamics in cyber space are complex. The final big challenge is attribution. How do you know who's responsible? And it's not just attributing eventually. It's attributing quickly. I always say that parents are natural deterrence experts. If you tell your kids I'm going punish you someday if you do x, y, and z, they're not really going to believe you. You have to have the attribution of the culprit, the threat of punishment happen immediately for it to take effect. And so we have this challenge in cyberspace that we can't often attribute quickly. So I think a lot of the discussion has been, we need to have tit for tat. We need to deter by counterpunching, whatever that may be-- across domains, cyberspace, the Navy, on land, in the air-- and I think that's misplaced. I actually think there's another type of deterrence that policy wonks and academics like to talk about, and you know very well, which is deterrence by denial, not deterrence by punishment. And what deterrence by denial says is we're going to deny you the gains that you are seeking. You can try and try, but the pain is not going to be worth it for you. So with respect to Russian hacking of the election, a deterrence by a denial strategy doesn't mean you're never going to get through. It means it won't matter. How can we build our resilience as a democratic society? Well, we make sure that we have voter verified auditable paper trails for all electronic voting systems in the country, starting with battleground states, which don't have them, by the way. Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia don't have them in every district where there is online voting. Make it so that if an attack interferes with an election, it won't matter. The other part of a deterrence by denial strategy is making sure that the American people are educated about cyber threats of the future. So we're talking about the election hacking today. And most of us, and I include myself, think that when there's a breach, the information revealed must be true. That's not going to be true tomorrow. The cyber breach of tomorrow is going to be manipulation of the integrity of your information. So you don't know whether your bank account is right. Or you don't know whether what's been revealed about a candidate is true. You're not sure about the election results. So we need to educate people to assume that breaches reveal information that may be false. And that will build our own resilience against these kinds of particularly damaging threats to our entire democratic election process, which, I think, is a very, very serious challenge and only likely to get worse in the next election. DAVID KENNEDY: I want to come back to resilience. But Gary, you, I think, wanted to-- ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: Yeah. I think it's very dangerous for us to sit up here and try to give advice to someone who has a job that none of us can even comprehend what the pressures are politically, diplomatically. Even the challenges the next president faces are not going to be the ones that the predecessors did. So it's a new playing field. But when I think about Russia, and my sense to open with, you hacked into our election systems, that's a bad starting point. But there are other places, I think, where Russia and the US have some aligned interests and also some potentially common partners. If you look up in the Arctic, there are opportunities up there to maybe do some things that would be, no pun intended, a good icebreaker into the problem solving. Our ally Japan, who will continue to be extraordinarily important to us, is now dealing with Russia over energy and maybe some technology. So is that a common partner that perhaps we could begin to move the ball forward a little bit? Russia, while it professes to be the strategic partner of China, is also engaged in trying to assist Vietnam, which is not necessarily a great friend of China. So there's a little bit of a disconnect there, and is that another partner with which we could work? And then, of course, India has always been a bit of a client of Russia. We're growing closer to India. So is Japan. Is that a point where we could begin to start to think broadly and strategically and then begin to get into some of the harder things? And I would also say that we really, as a country, really need to be thinking geo strategically and how do we deal with Russia in a way that's constructive as what are we going to do about Putin? We, I think, in recent years have tended to personalize our diplomacy in ways that really cause us to step back and not think geo strategically. So those are just some very simple suggestions to someone who has a job harder than I can imagine. WILLIAM PERRY: Can I come back-- let me build on what Gary was saying because I think it's very important. During the time I was Secretary of Defense, we had something called the Bosnian War. We sent an American division into Bosnia. It was a pretty dangerous situation. When we went in there, we had embedded in that division a Russian brigade where the general commanding that brigade was reporting to an American general. Beyond that, we cooperated with the Russians in dismantling 4,000 nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. Worked hand in glove with them-- it can be done if both countries recognize how important it is to cooperate on certain missions. And it can be done, even though we disagree with them and oppose them in other areas besides the one we're cooperating in. But to do that, we have to depersonalize the relationship. It's become hugely personalized between Obama and Putin now. It's in danger of becoming hugely personalized between Hillary Clinton and Putin. And somehow my main advice to Hillary, were she to become President, would be, you've got to depersonalize this and look at objectively what we have to do, United States and Russia, not Hillary and Vladimir. ROB REICH: I'd like to come back to the issue of cyber attacks and cyber threats. So we put on the table for discussion two distinct kinds of existential threats. The first is nuclear warfare. The second is climate change. And I want to ask whether cyber attacks or cyber threats should represent a third separate category of an existential threat. So there's a sequence, which we were spelling out just now, in which some type of cyber attack would lead to rising tensions, which might eventually trigger a chain of events that yield open warfare, perhaps with nuclear weapons involved. And the cyber attack is just a triggering mechanism for that. But are there cyber threats to worry about that themselves, absent nuclear weapons being involved in open hostility, represent existential threats themselves, either because they interfere with the integrity of an election or some other mechanism? AMY ZEGART: I don't view them in the same category as an existential threat like a nuclear exchange or even, ultimately, global climate change. But I think we tend analytically to categorize cyber threats as this separate category of things that happens on our computers and through digital networks. And analytically, that's satisfying. But from a policy perspective, it actually complicates matters a great deal because the reality is what we're seeing is, in particular, our adversaries look at these as all gray zone activities of weaponizing information, weaponizing penetration of our networks in a variety of ways below the threshold of war or in connection with crisis hostilities. So for example, I worry a great deal about a cyber attack that disables our military systems in a moment of crisis. So we may not be sure whether we have the kind of command and control over certain weapons platforms that we think we do. The uncertainty itself would exacerbate the escalation spiral in a crisis. Or I worry about massive disruption to our society at the same time that there is a moment of crisis. So it's not cyber as a standalone category. It's cyber nefarious activity in conjunction with activity in the physical and political worlds that magnifies these other dangers. DAVID KENNEDY: Can I just ask you to stick with the general subject for a moment, all three of you actually? Then I'm going to address the question first to you, Amy. Where are the points, in your judgement, of greatest vulnerability or least resilience in those dimensions of our society that are dependent on the whole cyber network? I can think of several candidates. We've talked about one already. The integrity of our electoral procedures would be one. Command and control procedures in the military, another very important one. Telecommunications would be another on. More generally, the financial system would be one. My candidate-- just to give you something to argue with-- would be the energy system because energy underlies telecommunications. It underlies transportation, so on and so forth. We have in this country three grids coast to coast. There's the Eastern grid, the Western grid, and believe it or not, the Texas grid. They have their own separate grid. But all those grids have various degrees of vulnerability and resilience. It's my understanding-- I'm willing to stand corrected if I got this wrong-- but it's my understanding that the Western grid is the least resilient and the most vulnerable. And that could be disrupted at its core by a cyber attack that could leave the 17 Western states paralyzed for maybe months on end. So I just put it to you, the three of you, what would be your list of the most vulnerable cyber sites for cyber attack? If you were plotting a cyber attack against the United States, where would you want to target? WILLIAM PERRY: I can envision a cyber attack which would disable some part of our infrastructure and cause very serious economic damage. And we should be taking every measure we can to reduce the vulnerability of these nets to that kind of damage. The only way I can envision a cyber attack being an existential threat is if they were to attack the command and control of our nuclear weapons. If you want to really go extreme in your imagination, you might imagine a malicious hacker getting in and causing a command and control system to believe a nuclear attack was underway. In other words, stimulating an accidental nuclear war. I think that's very unlikely. I'm not raising that as a prospect. In that case, the cyber is not the existential threat. The cyber simply triggers a nuclear force, which then become an existential threat. I think that's very unlikely. But I think it's not unlikely that they might attack some of our economic networks of transportation or banking. You can imagine great damage to our economy coming from attacks like that. ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: If I could just piggyback on the comments that have been made, I think one of the challenges is a confluence of attacks on multiple dimensions that really drag down confidence and awareness. And I think that, too, is something that really needs to be thought about going into the future is how do we, as a nation-- how are we able to have a common, coherent, coordinated view of how all of this works together? Because I will tell you as someone who has played in cyber games and exercises, what's really amazing to watch is after you've hit somebody a couple times, they start seeing gremlins everywhere. And confidence really starts to fall apart. And bad decisions are made not because anything's happened, just because people think things are happening. So how do you build an awareness process, structure, architecture? And the great challenge that we have going forward is where do you get the human capital that can feed all of these different dimensions of our society-- energy, financial, military, transportation-- where do you get the people? How do you keep them current? How do the various sectors in our society compete for that talent? And one of the great concerns I have in the military, there's no question, that we cannot compensate people to the level that someone at JP Morgan can, or at a major power company can. And so how nationally do we look at this human resource? How is it organized? How are people compensated? How can we draw from one another to contribute to this more coherently? JIM STEYER: So who's the "they"? Who's going to do this to us? ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: What? JIM STEYER: This kind of cyber-- the multifaceted, concerted cyber attack. Who do you think out there could conceivably do that in the next decade? AMY ZEGART: Well, the leading candidates would be China and Russia. JIM STEYER: So you think major, major countries like China and Russia would consider that? AMY ZEGART: Well, I think what we're looking at now is, as I said, the below threshold kinds of attacks. What we're seeing, I think, on the broader landscape is contest for influence. So China builds up artificial islands in the South China Sea. What are we going to do about it? They build a little bit more. What are we going to do about it? We establish freedom of navigation. They build up even more. We see Russia testing boundaries, go into Crimea, go into Ukraine. What are we going to do about it? Probing websites-- what are we going to do about it? So this is all part of a new area of conflict that we don't really have our arms around. I want to echo what you said about talent and talk about a couple of points on that. One is that this is an ideas challenge. At the dawn of the Cold War, scientists, physicists, and social scientists got together and came up with the ideas that we've been talking about tonight about deterrence theory, how to prevent escalation, how to avoid nuclear accidents. It took much less time to develop the bomb than it did to develop the ideas that kept the Cold War cold. I think we face the same challenge with cyber today, that the threats are moving very quickly, and we don't have the conceptual underpinnings to help us make sense of this emerging world. And so the challenge today, back to [? talent ?], is to again work across disciplinary areas-- from computer science and engineering, economics, political science, psychology, and law-- to be able to develop the new concepts to help us keep cyber conflict from going out of control. And here at Stanford, we're spending a lot of time working through these issues. And I'm very happy at CISAC, the Center for International Security And Cooperation-- which Bill lead and which I have the honor of co-leading now-- cyber is a major area that we're exploring. And we're launching six new cyber security courses in the next two years, in part to harness the talent of so many undergraduates who major in engineering and help them understand the international security environment so that we can begin to build the talent base to develop the leadership and the ideas for the next generation in this threat environment. ROB REICH: Let me hop in here one more time and ask, so we've got at least three candidates of these types of very deep threats-- existential threats-- on the table, whether or not cyber counts separately or not, climate change, nuclear weaponry, cyber. When people sometimes discuss not existential threats to the United States but existential threats to humanity, as such, leaving aside national borders, people often will add a few other possibilities to the list. And so I just want to test them out and see if they register with you at all. Artificial intelligence, which goes malevolent. So malevolent AI, particular concern in Silicon Valley-- how about bio security in a way that anthrax attacks or bio engineered pandemics could be launched as particular types of weapons that aren't nuclear. Geo engineering, the idea of engineering the climate in such a way that could be-- that technology is, in certain respects, already there. There's no governance system in place in which to figure out how to go about this. And finally, and perhaps most unpredictable and low probability, but nevertheless something that's been around in the popular imagination for a while, an asteroid strike-- [LAUGHTER] Do any of these register as existential threats for you? And if so, how do you think about them within the context of the foreign policy considerations? WILLIAM PERRY: The one that you mentioned-- the only one that registered to me as an existential threat is the asteroid. [LAUGHTER] You can imagine an asteroid hitting the earth big enough to really severely damage, maybe destroy, our civilization. It has happened in the past many, many millions of years ago and brought an end to the civilization of dinosaurs. But the same could happen to a human population. ROB REICH: Is there work being done on that to prevent that-- WILLIAM PERRY: Yes. AMY ZEGART: There is. WILLIAM PERRY: There's thought being given to it. ROB REICH: Who's working on that? WILLIAM PERRY: Fringe groups. [LAUGHTER] No, the thought really is that you might be able to send a space ship up to the asteroid before it impact-- ROB REICH: The spaceship goes up and intercepts the asteroid. WILLIAM PERRY: The space ship goes up, lands on it, plants big hydrogen bombs on it, and blows it up. Veers it off course, anyway-- if we had enough warning, probably you could mount something like that. ROB REICH: Who's funding that? WILLIAM PERRY: Nobody. ROB REICH: Nobody. DAVID KENNEDY: Elon Musk. ROB REICH: Yeah, Elon Musk. All right. So asteroid strikes, that's the only one that registers for you? WILLIAM PERRY: For me, yeah. ROB REICH: Any of the other ones-- geoengineering, malevolent AI, bio pandemics-- AMY ZEGART: So my co-director at CISAC is an Infectious Diseases Specialist, so he would give you a different answer than I would give you. He's quite worried about the threat of global pandemic. I take much greater-- ROB REICH: Natural global pandemic? AMY ZEGART: Natural or deliberate nefarious. Yes. And I take more comfort from the fact that our disease surveillance system, our global disease surveillance system, is actually far more robust than we give it credit for. And I think that that doesn't worry me as much as other threats do. But there's a big difference of opinion about the pandemic piece of this. With respect to artificial intelligence, I know we all fear Terminator and Skynet becoming aware. But the reality is that machines and artificial intelligence, much like any technology, can be a force for tremendous good as well as tremendous bad. And so we look at what machines can do better than humans can do. It's a whole host of things. Now that can pose tremendous disruption. One of the big issues in the presidential campaign was about the loss of jobs. And there was a story in the New York Times that I remember very well because it was about a campaign visit to a town that my mom is from in Western Pennsylvania, near where you're from. It's a tiny steel town called Monessen, Pennsylvania, which is a ghost town. It used to have a steel mill, and now the mill has been closed up. And it's a very sad state of affairs. Well, the reality in the New York Times article was that, in fact, it wasn't that the jobs shipped overseas that led the steel mill to close. It was that robotics and automation had improved productivity so much that all those jobs went away. So we think about technology and artificial intelligence as a part of it that can do wonderful things but at great dislocation in some ways. So I think we tend to look at particularly the weaponization of semi-autonomous systems, drones and remotely piloted vehicles, as these automatic killing machines. But the reality is that they can really augment our war fighting capabilities in a way that can spare human lives, both on our side and of noncombatants that we're trying to protect on the ground. ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: And I would just add to that-- and relative to my comments just a moment ago-- I think that this national view resourcing architecture of this information space, cyber space, we live in, if you do that, then you can begin to positively factor in the AI, be able to think through what the protections are against that. So I think that, again, much the same as we mounted efforts in the Cold War-- and I'm not weaponizing this space at all-- I'm just saying that we need the national leadership to say, look, this affects all of us in so many dimensions of our lives. And how do we, as a nation, be in the forefront, as we've done so many times throughout our history? With regard to pandemics, in a way they, probably more than anything in my experience, have brought countries together in fighting them. And I think that it has been enhanced now by the way that we can move information around, where we can sample more remotely, and then connect in ways and pass information in ways and control population flows in ways that we have not been able to do. So I think as bad as they are and as dangerous as they are, they tend to unite in positive ways. And the collaboration and cooperation in that area is probably the highest there that I've ever seen. DAVID KENNEDY: This discussion is making me think of a book that I read a few years ago, and I'm sure is known to all of you, by Rupert Smith, a retired British general, called The Utility of Force. And it was an argument about how modern day militaries, especially British and US, they were not appropriately sized and trained for the mission of counterinsurgency warfare. It was a long treatise on the old maxim about how generals fight the last war. But the book comes to mind in this discussion because implicitly, sometimes explicitly in the course of the last 90 minutes, we've really been talking about how that definition of national security is very different than it was even a generation ago. We brought dimensions into this, with cyber and climate and so on, that just weren't part of the discussion a generation ago. Now historically, the front line institution that's been responsible for national security is the military. And I think this implicit area, especially what you were saying, is the military today is not properly-- given the constellation of elements that make up our definition of national security, the military is no longer configured. Its architecture, its design principles, aren't particularly well-aligned with the range and the nature of the-- ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: I would just take a little bit of an exception to that. And I would say our government is not configured to do that. What has happened with the military is we have been the 911 force that have been called in to do many, many things for which other institutions of government are perhaps better suited. I did the tsunami relief in 2004 when I was in the Pacific. That was a mission for which the military is not designed. But in 30 days, we completely reversed the attitude of an entire country toward the United States because of what the military did. It was a standing start. I often joked with my Chinese friends, the first ship to sail in relief, sailed from China. It was the Abraham Lincoln that was in Hong Kong at the time. So from a standing start, we went ahead and did that. At the same time, USAID didn't have the resources to be able to do a lot of the follow-up and the NGO and work. So again, I come back to this. And this is where the next president may want to take a look and say, how are we organized? How are we resourced? What agencies within our government, or non-governmental organizations-- how do we design ourselves for the future? The military is clearly a piece of it, and I get that. And I also would submit that sometimes our thinking has been in the rear view mirror. But at the same time, it really is the US military that often gets the call to go forward. In Afghanistan, reconstruction teams in each of the provinces led by the military. Is that the right model? I would submit, no. Our people did a magnificent job. But is that USAID, or is that the US Military? So I think we have to look more broadly to this new century that we're going to be in-- the many challenges-- and say, as a country, how do we prepare for this? And oh, by the way, is there an element of national service associated to all this? So I think we have to open our aperture bigger picture on national security, many facets, different format, different approach. JIM STEYER: Can I do a last follow-up because I know we're running out of time? But I thought this is where you were going to go with this, David. It's that you, I think, both Amy and Bill said, and you did, too, Gary, education is the key. I thought you might go to the role of universities in education and all that. But why do you say that-- you ended up saying, education is the key to all this. What do you mean by that briefly? WILLIAM PERRY: Well, I believe that both of the existential dangers we've talked about tonight, a nuclear war and a dramatic climate change, are preventable. And while they're not preventable for zero cost, the cost of preventing them is far, far less than the cost of suffering them. And so if that's true, then clearly we should be doing it. The reason we're not doing is because we don't understand that. That's why I think education is so important. ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: And I would also say particularly, at least on some of the issues that we talked about-- cyber and domain awareness and what have you-- the worn out term is STEM. But we really need to get into our educational system at a very young age and really have the rigor in the programs that develop the skills for young people to move into these positions of leadership and influence, where they understand what's going on-- not just that they've heard about it, but that they understand and have a natural inquisitiveness about solving tomorrow's problems. And that only can happen through education. And it has to start early. And it's, I think-- you want to talk about existential threats? An educated population about the world around them. [APPLAUSE] DAVID KENNEDY: So if I'm not mistaken, the both diplomatic and military protocols, not to mention the even more urgent protocol of birthday honoring, gives you the right for the last word, Bill. You get the last word. WILLIAM PERRY: In the last word, I'll just repeat what I said before. We face very great problems that could cause great disasters, existential disasters. But they are preventable. And we should be doing everything we can to prevent them. Instead of wringing our hands and worrying about them, take the action. Get off our seats, and take some actions to prevent them from happening. DAVID KENNEDY: Thank you. Thanks to all of you. See you next week. [APPLAUSE]



Shield FOA Location
Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation.png
Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation (AFAMS) Orlando, Florida
Air Force Audit Agency.png
Air Force Audit Agency (AFAA) Washington, D.C.
Air National Guard Readiness Center - Emblem.png
Air National Guard Readiness Center (ANGRC) Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment.jpg
Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE) Port San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency.png
Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency (AFCESA) Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida
AFNIC shield.jpg
Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC) Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
Air Force Cost Analysis Agency.png
Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA) Arlington, Virginia
Air Force Flight Standards Agency.png
Air Force Flight Standards Agency (AFFSA) Oklahoma City, OK
Air Force Frequency Management Agency.png
Air Force Spectrum Management Office (AFSMO) Fort George G. Meade, Maryland
Air Force Historical Research Agency.png
Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama
Air Force Inspection Agency.png
Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA) Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Air Force Legal Operations Agency.png
Air Force Legal Operations Agency (AFLOA) Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Air Force Logistics Management Agency.png
Air Force Logistics Management Agency (AFLMA) Gunter Annex, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama
Air Force Manpower Agency.png
Air Force Manpower Analysis Agency (AFMAA) Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
Air Force Medical Operations Agency.png
Air Force Medical Operations Agency (AFMOA) Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
Air Force Medical Support Agency.jpg
Air Force Medical Support Agency (AFMSA) Bolling Air Force Base, District of Columbia
Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations.jpg
Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations (AFMAO) [1] Dover Air Force Base, Delaware
Air Force Office of Special Investigations.png
Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Quantico, Virginia
Air Force Personnel Center.png
Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
Air Force Personnel Operations Agency.png
Air Force Personnel Operations Agency (AFPOA) Washington, D.C.
Air Force Public Affairs Agency.jpg
Air Force Public Affairs Agency (AFPAA) San Antonio, Texas
Air Force Real Property Agency.png
Air Force Real Property Agency (AFRPA) Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
Air Force Review Boards Agency (AFRBA) Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Air Force Safety Center.png
Air Force Safety Center (AFSEC) Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Air Force Security Forces Center.jpg
Air Force Security Forces Center (AFSFC) Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
Air Force Services Agency.jpg
Air Force Services Agency (AFSVA) San Antonio, Texas
Air Force Global Cyberspace Integration Center.jpg
Global Cyberspace Integration Center (GCIC) Langley Air Force Base, Virginia
Air Force Petroleum Agency Shield.jpg
Air Force Petroleum Agency (AFPA) Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Air National Guard Readiness Center - Emblem.png
Air National Guard Readiness Center (ANGRC) Joint Base Andrews, Maryland


Shield FOA Location
Air Force Financial Services Center.jpeg
Air Force Financial Services Center (AFFSC) Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota
Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency (AFIAA) Kelly Field Annex, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness Office.jpg
Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness Office (AFNSEPO) Washington, D.C.
Air Force Nuclear Weapons and Counterproliferation Agency.png
Air Force Nuclear Weapons and Counterproliferation Agency (AFNWCA) Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Air Force Operations Group.jpg
Air Force Operations Group (AFOG) Washington, D.C.
Air Force Pentagon Communications Agency (AFPCA) Washington, D.C.
Air Force Program Executive Office (AFPEO) Washington, D.C.
Air Force Weather Agency.png
Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
Air Force ISR Agency.png
Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA) Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

See also


External links

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