2006 Navigator Awards
I am honored to accept this award tonight along with General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency – in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District, which I represent ; Dr. John Marburger; and the late Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski.
Thank you Chairman Hoekstra for presenting this award to me and to the Potomac Institute for Policy studies for you’re your continued work for bringing together the best and brightest in the science and technology fields.
I am honored to be recognized here tonight alongside such distinguished members of intelligence community.
The events of September 11th were a wakeup call. Since that day, we have forged a New Awareness of our strengths and weaknesses. I want to emphasize that what we have done as a community and as a country since that day, has put us on a Path of Realism as we Enhance our Capabilities, and Retool our Efforts for national security.
Intelligence is the linchpin of national security today. Without good intelligence, we can’t tell what our enemy is planning, and where they might strike next. The best defense systems in the world are of little use if we don’t know where, when, and against whom the next threat is coming.
In my 3 and a half years in Congress and on the Intel Committee, there have been huge strides made in the intelligence community both in Technology and Collaboration.
1.) There is more teaming now,
2.) We are starting to operate more in a Strike Force concept, that synchronizes the best of all available capabilities and
3.) Our ground-breaking technology helps make the United States the intelligence epicenter of the world - NSA and DARPA are at the cutting edge in creating the technology that is shaping how we conduct intelligence.
The 9/11 Commission concluded that September 11th was largely a failure of communication within the intelligence community. The intelligence data was there – but our agencies weren’t talking to each other and sharing their findings. This disconnect precluded us from getting a full picture of the threat facing the nation and we paid dearly.
As you know, last year Congress created the Directory of National Intelligence or DNI to head the intelligence community. The DNI provides strategic direction and leadership to the intelligence community, drives reform, and is the principal advisor to the President.
Most importantly, the DNI makes sure the intelligence community is working as a team.
I believe it is the newfound cooperation and coordination between our many intelligence agencies that will prevent future attacks on American soil.
We also need to invest in education to make sure the best and brightest are trained to be tomorrow’s intelligence analysts. By partnering with Academia we can ensure that today’s momentum continues.
The best defense against terrorism is our intelligence.
I’d like to thank the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies for working to create meaningful science and technology policies and forge partnerships between business and government.
Everyone here tonight is a part of a team to keep our country safe. I admire your work and look forward to working with all of you in the future.