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Hi welcome to Defcon three -- KT meant for on.
The time we set aside each week to dig deeper into the national security issues of the day and we want you to join our conversation.
You can find me on Twitter and KT McFarland or join our live chat.
Right here below the video window I always -- to get your questions and comments and particularly since this is the last show.
Of the year we'd love to hear what's on your minds now we're returning to Katherine Harris is a new fallout.
From the minute -- -- on the Ben Ghazi terror attack from September 11 that killed our ambassador and three other Americans.
And we're just getting word that a State Department security chief and two others have resigned.
Our chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge has been on this story from the very beginning and -- is live from Capitol Hill with the latest Catherine what's trying to.
Both indicating good afternoon that's right at least three State Department officials resigning.
In light of this independent report it is a scathing report.
He concludes that there was -- demonstration in advance of the assault on the bank Gaza consulate on 9/11.
That in fact al-Qaeda is not -- it has fragmented.
And the followers defend a new home less safe haven if you will in eastern Libya.
And that there were systemic failures at the most senior levels of the State Department that led to this grossly inadequate security.
I think his conclusion was very stark very candid very honest.
And told us the following.
Mistakes were made lives were lost lessons need to learn.
First America cannot retreat from a dangerous world is important for us to be there.
To not only protecting our values protect American citizens.
The report also details -- deteriorating security conditions on the ground in Ben -- in the months leading up to the attack.
It -- no less than twenty specific security related events some targeting the US consulate.
Yet in spite of this evidence the State Department here in Washington.
Continue to rely on a Libyan militia.
As well as an outside security contractors to provide security at the consulate and on 9/11 that response was found to be not meaningful at all.
As for ambassador Chris Stevens the report seems to -- some of the blame with the ambassador by saying.
That the US embassy in Tripoli should've been a more forceful adequate -- rather for security at the consulate and then Ghazi.
It also knows that it was ambassador Chris Stevens decision to travel to thank god seat on the anniversary of 9/11.
As for secretary of state Hillary Clinton she is not testifying this week her aides say it's on the advice of doctors that she worked from home.
After she had a fainting spell and had hit her head last week.
In her place -- -- expecting to senior deputies who will testify in an open setting on Thursday.
-- they think it's imperative for all concerned that she testified.
In an open session.
Prior -- -- changing.
The regime I think that that's very important for her.
I think it's very important for our country.
This is -- somewhat long and complicated report but if there's one important take away.
It does not address the policy position of the Obama administration one that really favored.
This small or light footprint for security on the -- -- been Ghazi.
When there was clearly intelligence that the threat was rising in eastern Libya that it was becoming a safe haven.
For islamists and al-Qaeda -- related groups and at the same time the security conditions.
On the ground around the bank Gaza consulate were deteriorating rapidly -- -- let you know is this a little bit of a convenience for Secretary Clinton she famously came out about a month ago and said.
The buck stops here I am responsible for the State Department I'm responsible for what happened and yet now -- is not testify.
Is there -- some sense of skepticism on Capitol Hill that this is really an excuse to get out of responsibility for this report Catherine.
Well what would have like Capitol Hill is a call at least from Republicans that they will not move to confirm a successor for Secretary Clinton.
Until she testifies about the Ghazi I think is just worth laying out the data the -- For your viewers and they can make up their own minds about the reason Hillary Clinton is not testifying this week.
What seems clear is that on two very critical dates when it came to the administration's public statements about Ben Ghazi.
The Sunday talk shows on September 16 five days after the attack.
And then the hearings this week secretary of state Clinton has been unavailable.
According to ambassador rice she was unavailable in September because of a grueling travel schedule.
And this week -- her aides say it's on doctors' advice for her to remain at home point.
Catherine -- written a book but the next wave of al-Qaeda and you've talked about I've heard you say a number of times al-Qaeda to point out.
I want to take your reporter half off temperature analysts have.
Do you think what we saw -- Ben Ghazi was what you've been warning about al-Qaeda to Pardo.
Well kite is no longer a fortune 500 company with the bin Laden -- zawahiri as a CEO calling the shots.
What it is now -- is so fragmented it's metastasized.
It's much more of the movement and a set of ideas and what we've seen develop.
In the last three years is the the growth of these franchises and these affiliates.
-- -- -- -- in East Africa the Horn of Africa Yemen and Somalia and then also in North Africa.
One of the groups of this blame for the attack from the consulate itself hiding in North Africa also known as a Q -- -- It's an affiliate linked to al-Qaeda so this is what I predicted in the -- this is the next wave.
For the next chapter and it's significantly.
What this independent review found.
Is that al-Qaeda is intent it just looks different and because it's more fragmented.
In some ways the threat is more diverse and it's harder to fight because there aren't this specific signals.
Or warnings that attack and attack swimming and that is what they -- happens here and then got it.
But Katherine we now see that this is a done BL OK heads -- -- -- raw -- just said people are gonna resign.
But is this the end of the story do you think.
I don't think it is the end of the story yet it does seem that there will be a pretty serious and significant push at least.
By Republicans to have secretary of state Clinton testify.
In an open setting on Ben Ghazi before they confirm any successor and that may happen.
Sometime in January the second element of the story which is -- which hasn't had so much play in the last few months.
But we have been reporting on intermittently.
Is this issue of the CIA operation.
-- -- -- What we know from our reporting is that there was equal anxiety about the attack on the consulate.
As it was about the exposure of the depth and breadth of the CIA operation in -- -- on 9/11.
And that in fact.
The CIA operation was sanitized.
Scrubbed of all classified information and classified equipment.
Within twelve hours of that first assault on the consulate so it was clearly a priority.
The consulate by contrast has never been secured not even to this day.
Also what about the weapons issues as we reported back in -- October of this year.
Ambassador Stephens based on -- military intelligence source was in Ben -- to help facilitate.
A weapons transfer the State Department has been very open about this -- classified program.
To -- -- round up the -- weapons the question is.
How are these weapons getting from Libya.
To Turkey and then on to the rebels in Syria and what role if any did the US government had.
Has it been a rule where they have simply kind of stood back.
And not stopped it or isn't in fact the rule where they have somehow facilitated.
The movement of those weapons -- Well thank you very much Catherine Herridge Fox -- you more than you bargain for a great person I don't know I am -- you have been honest from the very beginning.
Not just the Ben -- hard.
But the whole notion that al-Qaeda has changed it has Brad and it is a new and and just as deadly force me.
But different than it was of course are really commend you -- -- They did and I -- fortune teller and all this and sadly it's a tragedy in the fortunes thanks so much thank you for having me thank you.
What we're not a -- of the year and fiscal cliff deadline and as it approaches military personnel are on increasingly worried about their financial.
Features the potential impact -- of these defense cuts and sequestration.
If it happens could significantly degrade the defense department's overall readiness for years to come.
Now I recently sat down with Marion Blakey she's the president.
And CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association.
That's the aircraft the -- -- everything that goes in the air and in space and she's a lady who has been intimately involved.
With the entire defense posture of the United States and the aerospace industry take a lesson.
-- with Marion Blakey today -- she's the president and CEO and be.
Aerospace Industries Association.
And we wanna -- sure about the issues that are facing the United States government right now with the proposed defense budget -- so very happy to have you with usher lady with an extremely impressive resume.
In the aerospace and defense industry so thanks so much for taking the time no thank you -- thing I mean I'm delighted to be -- -- -- you're now nervous about sequestration.
What does that even mean it sounds like a disease it does pick up I know it's a term that lawmakers have adopted.
-- basically setting aside a huge -- -- money out of federal budget and saying we are going to cut all of this.
If in fact you don't come up with a about it.
Term or not so -- -- term but about a way of doing business problem is it is a slash across the -- time discretionary public.
Of the federal budget.
And a huge cut out of the Department of Defense really 500 billion dollars.
You know we're talking we're hearing -- every day about we're gonna -- this fiscal cliff the American economy's going to collapse American taxpayers are gonna just -- when they see their tax bill.
So what is sequestration have a.
So much them.
Well pecans it is an enormous -- at the federal budget overall and that undercuts our economy.
One of the things we forget is -- jobs and tied up specifically.
In on defense -- You know we're talking about a million American jobs lost in 2013.
If in fact they make this kind of -- It's incredible what it does in terms with our GDP we lose half a percentage point.
And as the economists look at as they say we will have unemployment go up.
Another -- almost 1%.
Taking it likely about 9% again that's a recession.
So in other words the defense cuts sitting here talking about the sequestration Prez -- was out and a million jobs and wants the defense cuts themselves -- and some of the other financial impacts they kind of -- to Gallup.
Then what -- fund issue all being pushed between.
The lack of the tax extensions that we will all enjoy and frankly.
And the fact that we also have these massive cuts and not just to defense but to the federal budget when it launched.
It begins to erode the economy in a way that is very very hard to stop once it stops.
OK now let's just say for -- not just.
Defense industry led the entire US interest whom everybody says that America's -- this huge technological and manage an aerospace industries and that's your business so why can't we just take a deep breath right now rests on our laurels for a few years.
With the idea that we would come and ramp up that spending -- years town around.
You know it's interesting because some of the people who advocate that remembered that there was -- point.
Post Vietnam when we supposedly could take a piece -- that dividend at center.
The world -- a very dangerous place with still in big ways in Afghanistan.
But we turn out as the world's superpower to have enormous responsibilities.
To really defend not just us but defend peace and so many places around the world -- -- the straits of Hormuz for example.
Everyone cares that commerce be able to move through there.
But who is that that's out there with the ships actually all patrolling and taking care -- business its launch in the United States.
Also I have to tell you we forget how much are indeed coming out of defense has fueled our economy in terms of things like the Internet.
It's where it came from and -- UBS -- where it came from.
When you start looking at the amazing technological advantages that really have given us a competitive edge in worldwide -- You know it all comes back to a lot of investment in defense through the years we should not and cannot -- and it.
I think people who say to you okay what challenges -- United States face we don't have a superpower like the Soviet Union were facing down we may have a low level a chronic threat from terrorists and al-Qaeda.
But we don't have any single major threat to us the united -- -- budget defense budget is larger than a defense budgets of all the other countries in the world combined.
So again why don't we -- why don't we -- so much -- for depend.
It's -- because defense when you look at the all volunteer army and the fact that we really have to protect.
-- we'll find this with the best technology out there.
That's something that I don't think we really understand that it does cost more and more to be able to do this well and we don't want any of soldiers to be out there fighting on a level playing field.
-- technology that makes the difference and in fact around the world the threats are very real you know when you look at what.
The secretary of defense and -- don't.
And when you look at what our president says about threats and when you realize that it is not just a question of terrorism.
But we've got some competitors out there look at where China for example is spending its money.
Look at what's going on and around you can't say that those are not -- -- threats and really.
The country that stands against that you know is they -- protecting all of us is United States and that does require a major.
Investment in our own national security as well as a worldwide paints a clear mission China and you mentioned Iran what kinds of threats do they have problems.
Well disinterested because when you look at China for example they have developed there still find.
Now you're not a pretty hard thing to do and point of fact they've done it.
All they have just put out there of their first air carrier of this is they made shock marine.
A -- asset and their landing -- dishonest right now this is something a couple of years ago we really would not have thought China would be doing it.
Are they doing it for peace in the region they doing it to assert.
-- world -- all those things may very well be true but we also know that there are some -- is going home.
All through Asia.
That in fact we don't want to see get out of control and those are the kinds of things that we have to show.
As it used to be said that President Reagan peace through strength and his strength really does now.
All right now what about people who say -- you look the most important problem we have is a sniper issue.
Where all the companies he represented major defense industries aerospace industries.
They'll spend tens of billions hundreds of millions of dollars to develop cutting edge technology you know -- -- have -- back -- the -- inside outside the envelope kind of aircraft and spacecraft.
And yes the Chinese because of their cyber.
Abilities their cyber snooping or they're.
Industrial espionage for the -- of -- take.
All have technology that we spent years and and money making.
And they can all of a sudden put their new jet fighter stealth jet fighter that looks just like ours except they get it to market faster.
What -- we do about that.
Well -- -- -- that the assets would talk about developing are not just the hardware and the intangibles they are things you say KTV and intangibles.
Because our companies are really doing a tremendous amount of innovation.
In the cycle world.
All of this of course is cyber defense and let's be honest it's also the ability to have -- -- assets.
But if we attacked if we need to use them we're able to do so.
I mean this is amazing stuff.
But it is all opponent of the technology to protect sites I want you can see it when -- -- -- Mosul what it is in fact.
The kind of thing that we've been proud of so Waltz night vision goggles and -- -- -- you know we desperately need a long range bomb.
I think one of the things too when you go back to the hardware side of things that people don't realize.
Is we for the very first time and I history have new manned aircraft.
In development not.
Now -- you when you think about that that means that a lot of the design and assets the engineering the science that goes into this.
That's nothing for younger people to work on this no win and go with it and all of a sudden.
I industrial base begins to erode.
And it's pretty scary thing because this can happen to a country when it does he no longer are capable of doing the things that she used to be.
They -- one man be a great -- a -- -- is sound that you get the kind of aren't -- -- that they -- hoping to get out of congress what sorts of technologies are you looking to develop over the horizon.
We'll over the horizon I think you a certain point -- to the right things can you talk about cyber.
And I think it is a combination of very very sophisticated.
Assets -- mothers sending went.
The media often -- girls who but the fact of the matter is that autonomous aircraft an autonomous weapon so they're useless.
I'm going to be a tremendous assets in the future.
And of course it means we put fewer and fewer young lives at risk who used to live.
But they do have to be very very sophisticated.
And they also have a payoff again coming back to our economy.
And -- domestic his base well because we've been seeing more and more that they are doing jobs in this country that are dirty dangerous boring.
-- we really don't want people up there flying and doing them and yet.
If we're able to use unmanned systems.
It's going to be a tremendous help as we do follow United States has it should this right now we've got the best technology.
But if we don't continue and really invested push followed we won't and someone else will be right out there in front.
-- -- take a little further down around at the autonomous weapon systems -- -- well.
Having to take -- -- out of the loop there's no human being that's put at risk why you do surveillance or even why you do.
What source of things are sort of beyond -- is there anything down -- well I think it's a question of size.
Scale capability the fact that.
Right now we're seeing something go up a decent days at a time stay up to 60000 feet.
Well and some operate at very -- levels and frankly can be tactical weapons that are amazing so you see a lot of that.
But you also are going to see more and more use.
In everything from Border Patrol.
To fighting firearms to hurricane use I think that's one of the things that people need to think about this.
It's not too great to have to go right into the idea of a hurricane or tornado and that's what a lot of these systems are capable of doing.
But we didn't see -- tiny.
As well as enormous.
And they all have capabilities that are going to be a real big deal for this country okay as a person who is in charge of one of the most advanced parts of the American economy.
Aerospace industries where your final -- they want to tell people.
Well how wanna sell them to look out because as the final days of this congress -- winding down we have to avoid the fiscal cliff.
We have to avoid sequestration.
Remember that the budget control act that was put in place last -- Has put in place and law that the hatchet falls for getting the first of this coming year.
We've got to then we'll have a loan that -- this changes it puts together a -- grand bogon.
-- at least deals with the immediate threat.
So we've got to tell how -- because that this is a responsibility that they have.
Both -- national security as well as for the health of our economy as we try to move out of our recessionary time.
Just what we just had a chance to sit down with Marion Blakey and she's the -- CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association.
And she's told us everything from want to look for in the future to what to look for even next week as United States government and congress consider the defense budget.
I welcome back to -- country -- -- Higher rents and guys terrorists while there is a new.
Fiction thriller that talks about terrorist capturing ships that well off the Horn of Africa and the navies of the world struggling to protect international shipping lanes.
How real are these threats and what's the US doing to protect our -- that -- Well Claude -- gray author of the -- a fact which you want to put on your Christmas shopping list.
At a Naval Academy instructor insurance -- had to tell us more you can follow him on Twitter at -- she.
-- grade BE RUB.
Or you can email us right now -- on to Twitter KT McFarland Regina live chat and get an honest conversation.
I gotta tell you guys I read this book it's getting to me.
My friend and I started reading and I thought our right and then I got Internet and I -- out -- this is exactly what has happened today.
This is it's a really exciting -- and I think you ought to read it.
Now what he talks about in this book -- -- in effect.
Is what the United States has done with her navies and our reliance in -- over reliance on military contractors earlier in -- Cheryl.
And what -- be watching throughout the next couple of days is the report on the Ben -- attacks.
One of the conclusions.
Of the report the end of had a report is -- the United States has relied.
On independent contractors and it failed to provide the security that we need so joining me now is -- Fairbank professor Manassas Naval Academy just like Tom Clancy.
I want to ask you first of all private security companies in new book.
You talk about the.
Shortcomings of the private security companies and yet we are using them more and more to take the roles that our navy and our military has historically done.
We are we've traditionally seen some sort of private security companies you could even go back to -- of 1812 usage on the feet with -- Andrew Jackson of the -- New Orleans.
But in the past twenty years as were military has diminished in size and not necessarily in quality certainly.
We've seen a rise in America is in maritime environment of the maritime security vacuum if you will with regard pirates.
So -- shipping companies saw the threat rise and fewer ships available until there was if you -- surge in the gulf of name.
Then there was a need for these private security companies -- -- OK so and -- a ship is coming out of the Persian gulf it's a tanker.
It's -- well on its way to market and what's protecting.
Well there are three things now first you have not only United States that a number of other countries which are patrolling the Gulf of Aden and the larger Indian Ocean.
But the problem is it's a very large area you're talking a few million square miles of water when you have a Somali coastline which is pretty much the same thing as the eastern seaboard.
So that's kind of like having twenty or 30 police cars patrolling eastern seaboard.
That's the first factor second factor how are the shipping companies themselves which -- adopted -- management practices this means defense measures like Citadel's concertina wire.
The third factor has been armed security.
And to date no ship that is -- had armed security has been taken by pirates that being said it could happen in the future.
As the private security industry it's he -- -- -- -- we all watch the USS Alabama.
And the ship that was taken several years ago and Americans were taken hostage.
I -- sure.
Can get our navy guy at that point and also someone who was involved with the shipping company said -- the shipping companies.
Have now decided that they building of the system that they're people are going to be taken hostage.
And that they are gonna pay -- ransom that it's cheaper for them to do that because there's nobody out there protecting them is that what is happen today.
That's such that would be more -- few years ago I spoke to shipping companies when I was working on my third nonfiction book on maritime security -- piracy.
And what they told me several years ago was it was far more cost efficient ship taken -- in 20052006.
They could ransom to pirates a ransom for about 3400000.
Dollars however as piracy increase as the pirates got a little greedy here.
They just are demanding 1000003000005.
Million dollars for -- ships shipping companies decided that was the threshold at which they could no longer transit.
Profitably through the -- -- The other shift was -- the Mariners themselves.
Mariners would be taken for thirty to sixty days eventually became nine months twelve months so there was a dramatic shift between 2005 and 2010.
Now we talk about piracy we sort of have this idea blackbird and you know he's got to parrot on the shoulder and as captain -- But in fact who -- today's parents.
Yet a number of different kinds of -- you have Somali pirates you have pirates and awful the coast of West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea you have demonstrates mocking half for a long time.
In terms of Somali pirates initially they said they were fishermen legal fishermen and they were just fighting corrupt fishing industries.
Well that simply can't be the case if you're looking at a twenty year evolution of piracy they became criminal networks.
And so that's when things started to really heat up in 20082009.
-- which really started to drawing in not only the United States navy but a number of other -- as well.
That we've got a question here from one of our regular viewers.
JD who says you know we focus Iran and Syria.
When we're talking about the navy but China is becoming more aggressive in the south -- C.
What kind of a navy can we well I guess the question is going into places at once we're now talking about pirates we talked about Iran and yet at the same time we're talking about.
The South China Sea and then that new Chinese navy.
The United States navy has always been called upon to go to different parts of the world ships -- if you will have its.
There's a wonderful map -- the United States Naval Academy museum it's about twelve feet wide and it shows what the navy was doing in the 1830s.
When there were threats to our commercial interest in the Pacific we sent to Pacific squadron when they're pirates in the Caribbean we sent to West -- squadron.
When their worst -- coming out of the West Africa region we established a squadron that so I would argue wherever there is a need.
And the policy makers determined that we need it somewhere we will go and I should say that I'm currently on active duty the music's -- and not those Ali -- We -- -- Cuauhtemoc that they might that your -- -- -- represent the United States any.
I've just got to share a few we've got a great email from somebody who is -- -- -- -- of your relatives but even if it is.
Says my husband read the book and -- it he bought for all his friends for Christmas.
And since my husband never doesn't -- with gift god gifted -- I want to thank you for taking this load off my shoulders when are you gonna write another black.
And hopefully it's in time for next Christmas so there -- go out.
That's very kind thank you very much and I can say my -- spoke to my publisher and some pretty well -- months I am working on sequel right now.
And I do have enough.
-- -- -- -- -- -- I can't say oh my gosh okay gotta keep people on their I -- Hey Avery we -- any effect is Yemen and Somalia pirates -- United States navy it's got a great hero and people are already comparing you to Tom Clancy.
Well I'm I'm very honored and certainly -- I read most of missed Clancy's -- -- also influenced by William F Buckley junior people don't realize that he wrote a great series of leopard -- spy series.
-- would also say Robert B.
Parker who died a couple of years ago now Spenser series just wonderful dialogue and I want to.
Obviously really -- first visit -- -- -- kind of company and Kate thanks for joining us up Claude survey of the naval academy at.
Thanks to those of you have joined us today and thanks for all the attention you get -- -- -- -- -- Warmest happy holiday wishes to you into your -- -- and don't forget.
The united states military really relies on you and your support so keep it up even in bad times not just in good times now.
Foxnews.com live will resume programming tomorrow at 11 o'clock so be sure to tune.
Thanks a lot.
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