What would war with Iran look like? Plus - Are we protecting against cyber attacks?
- Duration 31:46
- Date Aug 1, 2012
What would war with Iran look like? Plus - Are we protecting against cyber attacks?
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Content Defcon three this is the time each week.
Here on Fox News -- come live where we dig in -- the national security issues of the day and I'm KT McFarland.
We want you to join our discussions via Twitter of -- live chat.
Now in a few minutes -- have a live report on the civil war in Syria from -- did -- tally in Jerusalem.
But first I wanna discuss for the possible war with Iran would look like joining me from Washington is James care -- at The Heritage Foundation.
-- delighted that you're here.
Great to -- with no doubt if they -- -- president.
Presidential candidate brownie was just in Israel.
He said to Israel you have -- right where respect their right to your right to attack Iran.
Others have said that Iran we if we go to war with Iran will be quick of these see other people have said oh wait a minute.
War -- show will be long and complicated.
What say you.
Well funny -- secretary Peres on fox right now saying that military force to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is an option.
So as a guy would you 125 years in military experience been on the plan though a lot of campaigns.
The first question is is what are your goal also when you ask how long's it gonna take in what's it gonna take the first thing an answer for me as what are you trying to do here send Iran a message.
Do great its nuclear weapon program.
Insure that they can never produce a nuclear weapon.
Force a regime change on the country all those are very different implications art work for minimum.
Well I think the minimum you'd have to do is send Iran a very strong message.
That you can hurt their program.
And and that they cannot defend their program and that they have crossed a red line I think that's about the minimum you can do with military force and and do something constructive they can -- short a long protracted war.
Our -- the goal is managed to send them a message so that they in -- -- what.
That they weren't there would stop and of the -- you could ever be confident that they that they eliminated the program into the averaging change.
But and in other words to get -- aback obviously radiation -- government is -- completely rational what we've seen in the past is.
Is when they feel threatened and the regime that they were track and they pull ahead.
It's whether they feel that they can -- -- steal stuff from the cookie jar that they expand in the -- aggressive so when they do and if they think that there regime is gonna be threatened by taking another step particularly after what they've just -- -- Syria.
My guess is is rather than that.
Go into a desultory -- you you would actually -- Iranians quite down and it doesn't mean they wouldn't retaliate.
And they have options for doing that everything from firing missiles back it Europe or the Middle East to sending out terrorist groups.
Either from Iranian intelligence oh or through -- Hamas or Hezbollah and they could do that in those parts of the world.
I'm about what happens in Iran -- -- with a -- if it impending loss of Syria and Assad of Syria.
He's only he's -- temporary leaders are going to be there ten years from now that's Iran's closest ally in the region and as you pointed out before.
Iran has two goals nuclear weapons at all -- to expand in the entire region.
If Obama loses Syria as an ally what is -- -- next.
Well I mean they -- they're both like for everybody either opportunities that are threats and in the the first thing they can district to try to carve out.
And reestablish control and in much in the way Syria went in and try to do you grab control of Lebanon so they can try to put a puppet regime or something in there to.
Did get a piece of that they're gonna have to reconstruct pipelines to connect them to Hamas and has lot of have to be concerned about that.
There could be a Sunni insurgency.
Or are Sunni terrorist networks up in Syria which actually might threaten Iran so they would they might be concerned about that and then.
Number one on the hit parade is the concern that the success of Syria following and Syria being.
Basically sponsored by -- -- That that could bleed over into internal dissent within Enron and -- they have the equivalent of another green revolution.
Well how likely do you think that -- Iranians going back into the streets demanding either regime change.
Or policy change democratic version.
You know if you had -- in the shoes showed.
Three years ago you said what's the likelihood of the people of Libya overthrowing Qaddafi dollars and zero.
This is -- -- that you would decide be the last man standing and I would say -- -- probably after the cockroach he believed in Alaska are out.
So -- I I think this is a -- regime the economy's in bad shape their isolated from the west.
There's a lot of -- Larry in the government was propping them propping this government up is largely corruption.
And power they have control all the instruments of national security they -- people losses so you have the haves and the have nots.
And there's a lot of political -- the country and I don't think it's popular government.
Okay -- I would came in with the Reagan administration one of the first things Reagan wanted to do you know mr.
Herbert structured around this woman he really soft.
That the opportunity was for real regime change not just getting along with my existing regimes.
In the Soviet empire and Eastern Europe and so the United States that a number of things nothing overt military -- but a number of things to.
Kind of encouraged the opposition.
To ultimately rise up is there anything we can do like that with Iran today.
I think Perez and I think sadly I mean look there are no do overs I get that that we wasted four years in this administration wasted four years.
They could have been working on a minority -- popular -- regime and instead we actually prop them up Biden by giving them credence and credibility.
And and only now at the in the eleventh hour had they turned to sanctions.
And the sanctions -- for what purpose will the sanctions and get the Iranians to negotiate -- -- their nuclear weapons.
Which we know is not gonna happen the only thing sanctions are good for this to further weaken the regime it to set it up to topple so we literally have wasted four years of foreign policy and these guys.
OK so let me just kicked out a list of things we might do sanctions continue sanctions.
Not -- not get the sanctions alone are not gonna work particularly since.
We we hold back to try to get them negotiates its sanctions alone as it did.
Dead end path even Arab -- up sanctions even ones that there -- no diligence here.
It is still a day because they're gonna do with the north Koreans they're just gonna plow ahead get the nuclear weapon and then just renegotiate everything.
Okay talking to the Iranian people directly encouraging them to overthrow their leaders that a good idea.
-- all I can think because then went allows Iranian government to basically do is say these people in the stooges of the Americans it has this be seen.
Coming up from the bottom as opposed to being imposed from the outside.
Okay Covert assistance to Iran an opposition.
At at -- yeah absolutely I think that with sanctions with strong US military pressure.
And a strong presence and strong backing of Israel really boxes the government in the quarter and creates the conditions from the OK more negotiations with Iranian regime.
It all it does is allows in the play rope a dope like the north Koreans -- and we know how that ended.
Technical assistance surveillance assistants -- there were Iran and rebel groups.
You I -- -- yet to be careful who -- who you're dealing with but.
You Covert assistance has to be part of the package.
As -- providing people tools like just getting people software so they can get access to the Internet bypass the security of -- -- government would be a big help.
-- are there any is there any indication that there -- rebel groups in Iran.
I didn't of course there are -- rebel and dissident groups in the in the country.
Bill but video of this.
And they into the it has been -- instruments of national security have to start to crumble I think.
For them to have a chance to topple the government -- like we saw in Egypt and Libya and Syria.
And so you would encourage the United States at least -- way to give assists -- identify and give assistance to whatever Randy and green movement redact shows up friends.
-- we believe we we publish this on their heritage website -- dot -- like three years ago we said here's a freedom agenda for Iran and we take off eleven things that we can be doing.
To help create the conditions for regime change not the United States going in and overthrowing this government but we're creating the conditions for that to happen in this -- even before the Arab Spring.
But in a strong sanctions Covert assistance.
Diplomatic isolation strong US military presence strong backing of Israel these -- things that are really set the conditions for these guys to.
Okay you don't think it's too late to to go back here eleven point plan that.
Well I you know it's never too late to -- actually get a nuclear weapon but that was the clock is definitely taking.
Talk back about what I wore in the Persian -- what a war with Iran would look like you know there are fifty different hypotheses and I scenarios.
But let's assume there's a preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear sites what is Iran do next.
Well well first -- -- let's assume it's an Israeli led.
Because for the central it.
So the first thing I think it was it would be without warning -- in the United States -- -- military actions they tend to try to lay that the ground work for the political messaging going unit everything else in creating the the the that the consensus to move -- That's very unlikely within -- -- case we didn't Israelis are likely do -- are likely to strike without warning there's likely to be some kind of huge deception effort.
Because that's what they do.
It almost anything you do is is going to have to be some kind of campaign it's not going to be.
You know a bunch of bombers planned drops -- and that it because you're gonna have to take down very sophisticated air defenses.
I think is primarily going to be an air campaign that could be since special operations forces.
You're gonna have to take down command and control.
And then and and you have to do that as a crew workers it.
To to going after.
Some sites who would have to be a range of targets over the country not just you know flying in dropping bombs on you know nuclear facility in -- out again.
So -- Israel criticized on the -- On the look.
If it being could they -- deliver a hard blow against Iran the answer is yes there is great military risks for the Iranians heat for example you have Egan a woman F sixteens they're not stealthy which means you have to take an air defenses.
You get you gotta have to have air refueling up there yet find a place to do that.
You gonna have to degrade their defenses.
You're gonna have to find the targets.
You've you've got some.
But you're not gonna have things that can hit really really deep targets are you gonna only be able to do some limited damage and you have to prepare for the enemy response you have to assume.
That they -- extra shoot back with at least some missiles which means that you have to a lot of confidence in your missile defense systems iron dome -- -- on.
And you and you have to be -- prepare for terrorist retribution more -- Okay so that Iran strikes back is the United States brought -- under this scenario.
Look I -- laugh with if anybody thinks is scenario -- the United States is not involved I mean look we sold the masters at six -- we sold in the -- -- we've been Israel's alliance for years.
And even if the United States is not intimately involved in the planning and execution.
Certainly the Iranians are gonna hold the US accountable so we'll look -- -- were on the hook for this one way or another.
Okay well that's pretty chilling -- wan -- or the other issue just -- -- care final about The Heritage Foundation one of the great -- -- guys for anything involving things that go boom.
Right -- -- be on the great to go to.
Show on fox on like this that you an awesome show everybody and.
Ferry question am thankful thanks -- Okay now we're gonna turn to Fox News world affairs contributor Donna -- -- he's an advisory is that with the latest.
On the fight in this -- about it what's happening.
Eight decades C Wilson an extraordinary developments really set up for the books went back from a side is that paid in public -- as much as he possibly can of the moment.
I'm not on TV just in the magazine this time Kate sees his became BM -- in the united public -- off the members -- his.
In a circle -- killed back on July 18.
He's trying to rally his treat tsunami magazine by saying that he -- -- readiness and willingness -- the armed forces to be the shields.
The wool and the fortress all of Syria he's obviously keen to -- -- prevent further defections from happening.
I was you've always seemed -- in the past week is that he's also equated as saying in this is actually quite significant KT.
That they brought internal agents do all working with what he calls foreign terrorists that's what he's being characterizing as a rebellions I thought.
This reference actually could be a pivotal moment it's him potentially recognizing.
That is just regular Syrian citizens that a -- All of the rebellion and of course he could also be talking about as defections as well taking -- recognizing -- is not just foreign -- outside -- the Damon is an internal problem as well.
It could mean he's coming to some sort of conclusion about really how it -- -- know how much for dismissing his busy regime really has the -- -- You know another part of this story is what's going on between Israel and Iran -- Syria is is Iran's greatest ally in the region.
It's a major loss for Iran if Syria.
You know changes hands because in the civil war some obvious -- lose their position.
Defense secretary's -- -- Panetta is in Israel in fact right now discussing that nuclear threat from Iran.
Can you switch gears a minute and tell us it -- it would -- say they say that all options including US military options are on the table.
Yeah absolutely I'm more -- surprising KT is really the emphasis he kept reporting on that phrase all options and even talking purely.
In a military contacts he was saying -- -- Defense Secretary it was his responsibility to give those kind of options.
To President Obama he says that only bedazzled -- -- any sort of kick -- if diplomacy and sanctions.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- If they continue if they make the decision to proceed with a new nuclear weapon.
As to the ministers pointed out we have options.
That we are prepared to implement.
To ensure that that does not happen.
This is the strongest language as you say phony public can't get much further Kate's eight.
In an election year because -- -- -- if Israel with the spring an attack on Iran that really would actually change the whole dynamic.
The election campaign quite frankly here in Israeli defense minister and -- Iraq and also the prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu did I say looks.
We don't think sanctions are gonna work they have a -- -- Iran is not taking it seriously and we have a we have a responsibility to defend ourselves.
And we will vote what's coming off the back of that now is -- worrying tie ins and a security established in the Israeli security establishment IT which sank.
Look now is a bad time politically to get to -- -- -- -- That simultaneously dwindled to -- -- whether we have attacked -- capability.
To do what is needed to completely eradicate the nuclear program.
In Iran showed become -- place to possessing a nuclear weapon.
And that's in itself is huge.
Because if -- -- adults come from Netanyahu for them to strike he could weaken Israel politically often woods and that's ultimately is what people in Israel.
Media -- worried about KT.
Okay Dominic -- Dominic attic so I could just quickly summarize what you said is that especially.
Israel might be able to start a war but can't finish a war and the two American candidates for president.
Mitt Romney who -- just in Israel and said Israel is he gonna would support an Israeli strike against Iran.
And now you said just moments ago the US Defense Secretary.
And the Obama administration has said more or less the same thing it sounds to me like those sabers are rattling even more than they have been dominant.
You you get the feeling that this is all being driven by the politicians.
The amendment would have to do did you all the -- -- -- capability they have to do it.
I -- the military -- We doesn't -- think it is time.
Israel can on a variety degrees and then it is entirely shall we really what this isn't between the politicians -- -- And and the military is hit nor necessarily want you getting all his rhetoric coming out of the politicians.
Is very curious that you getting US politicians we had Romney here -- the weekend and all the -- connecting his values seem to be trying to back up.
Netanyahu but maybe -- just trying to appease him in the -- that yes she wasn't pressed the tree get housing will before the US elections negativity.
Nobody wants that in the United States Casey.
Okay -- -- in Italian jurors on target about Syria.
And Israel and Iran very potent mix thanks so much about it.
Take an arrogant attorney Jennifer Griffin who is at the Pentagon Jennifer what's going on your beat.
Hi -- -- until now the White House.
With adamant that neither it nor the Pentagon we're planning for these looming automatic defense cuts that go into -- in congress on January 2.
If congress doesn't find.
A deficit reduction compromise so we have been listening to a hearing on Capitol Hill all morning about this issue -- sequestration.
And these potential automatic defense cuts and for the first time the White House says the acting director of the OMB the office of management budget.
To face the music of face the questions from the house armed services committee which as you know.
Its chairman is very concerned about these looming defense cuts it immediately got heated in political.
Does it concern you than any democratic controlled senate by -- -- That Harry Reid would not even bring up the president's budget for about.
-- concerns me.
Is that we have five months too deep balanced and oh that's and my question is and guarding -- her refusal to acknowledge that that are not my time have to pay their fair shirt it's my time.
Congress leaves for recess this week and has five weeks not five months before the election before the lame duck period on Capitol Hill begins Republicans -- the white house of playing games to help the president get reelected.
On Monday the Labor Department told defense contractors they don't need to issue pink slips to their workers as required by the warn act.
Quote to provide such notice would be inconsistent with the purpose of the warn act.
You might and I know have an understanding of the authority of the position you sit -- -- serving your position.
Do you have any legal authority or ability to waive the penalties in the warn act for noncompliance.
The threat of sequestration.
No I do not -- -- under the warn act employers must give their employees sixty days notice if they know that they are going to lose their jobs.
In the case of these looming defense cuts those pink slips would go out on November 2.
A few days before the election defense contractors say the White House is trying to intimidate them.
Into not issuing the pink slips to hide these potentially huge job losses on the evening of the of the election.
And what we just heard.
From the -- acting director.
Is that the Labor Department and the White House and the administration has no way to prevent these defense contractors.
From facing potentially huge liabilities being sued by their employees if in fact they get fired.
As a result of sequestration and they weren't given their warnings.
A few days before the election on November 2.
Okay fair Jennifer Roberts we've always talked about and and and presidential politics there's always an October surprise.
October surprise is usually overseas but what you're saying.
Is the October surprise could -- key swing states and people's mailboxes and the former pink slips right before the election.
Well I think what's important to remember is that.
The federal government has little as a hunted tens of thousands of of contractors that it employs.
The Defense Department employs two thirds of those contractors.
If the congress does not come up with a compromise on deficit reduction which it doesn't look likely to do before the election it because it only has five weeks back in Washington to do so.
Then what you're gonna see -- you're going to see a sort of a race to the finish and and neither side looks prepared to blank.
If on January 2 there's no compromise.
Workers these contractors are gonna get fired.
If defense contractors don't send out those pink slips now by -- they can get sued and so they're really in a bind and they feel that they are really being.
Put in the middle of this fight between the White House and congress and -- the White House realizes if those pink -- go out on November 2 that could be a game changer in some of these swing states where there -- a lot of contractors being employed.
I can't -- Jefferson data because Vista story sounds like it's only gonna get bigger thanks a lot.
How can -- take a break and then come back into our -- cyber war.
Hi welcome back to -- country.
Getting some really terrific comments from viewers as I'd like to read them before we go to our next guest -- -- says what support from Russia or China to Iran.
Why it might we -- if -- ultimately have to -- first I mean that's the really big question if the United States and Israel.
Somehow we're -- and getting into a conflict with Iran would Iran be reinforced by its allies Russia Russia sells around military equipment air defense equipment.
Or potentially China Iran's biggest oil.
And client their biggest first reserve -- -- -- oil.
So those are great questions I don't have the answers but I promise you we're gonna get a guest next week to talk about it.
We also have and Dan.
Danny -- says of course Israel can and will finish a war Iran's army has nothing on Israel you know they -- we just heard.
Jim care front and -- and a firmer are mean.
Commander I think -- who said that the thing is they were a war with Iran wouldn't be fought on the ground shouldn't be and could be -- on the ground it would be through the air and we also -- that the Israelis have enormously capable.
An aircraft and air force abilities even though would be a challenge.
We got Bruce Campbell who says would the new Israeli subs.
Give them an enhanced capability to disable Iranian air defense and increase the success of attack.
You know -- Sierras in and we don't think -- Israel as -- -- I naval power and yet the Israelis do have some very sophisticated.
Submarines but the other at about the whole our radio situation not that fascinates me -- a whole cyber aspect of it you know with us first saw it.
Where's the -- that virus there's now a flame.
Viruses -- a -- and computers it's a fascinating thing it basically turns a rainy and targeted Iranian computers and cellphones.
Into into spies.
An -- -- laptop computer -- it's got the ability to record what people are saying take pictures of what they're saying there's someplace presumably in Israel.
Where there's a central location and looking at what these computers.
Are -- in almost turning them into spies in the room.
Unbeknownst to the Iranians there's also the whole notion.
How dependent is Iran on its cyber technology.
Israel is one of the most capable cyber countries in the world out there to refer to -- -- nations.
A lot of bad new offerings and and technology.
Are coming out of Israel.
And so would Israel be able to use this new weapon on the world stage cyber technology cyber -- cyber warfare.
To disable the Iranian nuclear program to stop but in its tracks or potentially in any kind of a conflict situation.
Would it be able to employ that as a weapon and what kind of defenses does -- -- have in the cyber world.
So far they've not looked as capable anywhere near as capable as Israel -- We're in a minute we're gonna -- show Brenner who is a farmer.
It's cyber chief is how I like to describe -- for the national intelligence.
Agency and he's gonna talk to us about cyber attacks -- been testimony -- Capitol Hill.
In the last several weeks aimed at the United States is now under unprecedented cyber attack not just at the Pentagon -- in the government.
That's cyber snooping that cyber snooping on US critical infrastructure the US and -- the US.
Private industries private companies the water supply.
And you know little cities all around the country who's looking at that stuff is presumably that China is and if they're looking -- they finding.
We're gonna go now to Joseph -- he's the author of a chilling book called America the ball -- -- it's a quick read.
And it describes some scenarios that the United States might face in some kind of a cyber attack.
So John you've written about the issue been one of the first people to say that the United States is -- Harbaugh we're not prepared there's legislation on Capitol Hill now.
To deal with cyber defense of the United States first of all can you identify what's the problem what are we facing.
We're facing the problem is that our networks are fundamentally and inherently porous KT.
It's easy to spoof -- -- Kennedys it's hard to know who -- really dealing with on the Internet and it's very easy to steal information.
And now that we run operations.
On that same poorest network you can not only steal information but it -- get into the network.
You can corrupt the information or even shut something down.
Mean that the HB AC system the heating and air conditioning in the building your buildings -- and -- -- -- They run off off the Internet.
The -- Did -- some ways under New York in Washington every other big city.
The switches all run on the Internet -- they're exposed to the Internet air traffic control -- to the Internet.
And our electricity grid shockingly.
Is exposed to the Internet.
And that's what this legislation was meant.
To address whether it does has a different question.
Well what kind of things do we do -- to protect ourselves against.
Well the fourth things dubbed bill in the senate now.
Com is trying to do you know we've waited so long for this because of these problems have been pretty obvious now for ten years.
And we're beginning to wake up for them the real question in my mind KT is why this legislation is so feeble and weak.
It sets out to do four things.
One is intended to re direct the federal government's research and development into a safer Internet that's good but the president could have done that anyway.
The second thing it tries to do is enhance information sharing which you know what it -- -- -- -- the private sector permission.
To share information with the federal government the private sector doesn't need that permission so that's not exactly what you'd call -- win for security.
The third thing it tries to do and -- and does make some progress and is giving the Homeland Security Department.
More authority over the civilian parts of the federal government that need to get their act together that's good and it's worth voting for.
But the big show here is the critical infrastructure.
And in that the bill is just -- real disappointment.
But currently they are -- well.
-- -- -- -- issue here is to do with on whether we want more regulation or not it virtually everybody who's in favor of cyber security.
Doesn't want more regulation.
So the people pushing back against the bill now -- and watered it down and that's chiefly Senator McCain.
Are really fighting a battle against nobody in particular.
On nobody thinks the federal government should be.
Devising standards for the electric grid or for Amtrak or -- thing.
But what this bill does is get each sector.
Like the electrical generating sector to come up with -- its own standards.
But rather then have those standards be mandatory.
And we've had many years now voluntary.
Standards it within a grid and it's leftist terribly vulnerable so I'm disappointed.
So we remain mad as you said in the past justice -- ball.
I'm in our civilian economy has ever there's nothing that's really gonna change with the spell -- Yes you know this is trying each KTV Vietnam -- nothing's gonna change but not enough is gonna change.
Mean we we we really don't want the federal government telling people how to run their business but what -- at the point where we won't even.
Allow industry to develop standards that will be binding on itself and we do that in lots of areas.
Then we really leaving ourselves terribly vulnerable.
And I'm I'm concerned about it I just hope that we don't have to suffer the sort of on big -- -- that India is now facing you know.
In the last couple days.
10% of the world's population is without power in India.
I'm not suggesting that was done maliciously the Indian grid is there's a bit of a mess.
But it's it's it's under capitalized and it's on EE EC to penetrate.
But here we have minors over there are trapped underground.
Trains stalled between cities.
-- no heat in 120 degree temperature no no air conditioning and so on.
What -- if things like that can happen accidentally they can be made it happen on purpose.
It's really time we all woke up to this -- nom I'm terribly disappointed that.
Senator McCain has blocked a stronger bill.
If there is behind all these this cyber snooping.
That's going on.
The biggest defender is on its China.
But they're not the only ones -- the noisiest -- -- and -- the the most on relentless in stealing technology from the private sector that's the kind of technology that creates value and makes jobs.
But the Russians and the Iranians are also working hard to do this to us.
Com and and we are really losing.
-- hit Lee own intellectual property at a rapid clip.
And that is not gonna affect this tomorrow -- the next day but it's going to affect their standard of living in the long run.
OK one final question is are we doing any of this -- we the United States during any of -- against other countries.
We know we don't do economic espionage and it's very important understand the difference between political.
And military espionage which every country has done since before the Bible.
-- with the kind of relentless attacks on the private sector by.
Nationals foreign intelligence services that we've been experience for the last.
Ten or twelve or ten or twelve years or so.
That's really a dramatic change in targeting state.
In for you know state security agencies are stealing information from us and from western Europeans.
-- because they understand that if they can't compete in this economically they can't compete with us -- any other way either this is a real change in espionage quite dramatic.
Okay Iowa John Brenner author of America the vulnerable I recommend -- -- patriot -- At that point if you read America the vulnerable you won't worry about sharks in the water.
Thank you so much to all your great great happy with it thanks so much.
Always going to be -- -- you can't say thanks so much -- all -- and thanks all of you for joining us on another whirlwind tour of the flashpoints around the planet and in cyberspace.
We've talked -- out of leading experts in the field and report you into the discussion with your questions through.
So that's sick for -- country this week.
National security crisis will no doubt continue but for the next seven days you're here I'm trying to figure them out.