Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ms. Ranking Member and Other Members of the Committee, for the honor to testify today on the 9/11 Commission’s findings and the critical question of our nation’s security against terrorism.
The Commission report was riveting and rigorous, and many of its suggestions seem sound. In keeping with the theme of today’s hearing, I would like to focus on the role of imagination in intelligence work and policymaking. Certainly it is of critical importance. Certainly I would join those who advocate more of it. But we must also avoid the temptation of thinking that if we just now remember to be creative and imaginative, we will be ok. Good intelligence work is not always about stretching the limits of one’s creativity. It is also about good judgment, common sense, patrolling the streets, walking the beat, and proper allocation of the nation’s resources. We also need to retain a dose of national humility about the inherent difficulty of predicting the future, and to avoid scapegoating the intelligence community when it fails again in that enterprise—as it surely will.
On December 6, 2017, Vanda Felbab-Brown joined a panel of experts to discuss her new book, “The Extinction Market: Wildlife Trafficking and How to Counter It,” and how new policy, program, and technological tools can help reduce the threats that illegal wildlife trafficking poses to vulnerable communities and to our national security.
ISIS is also keen to target Italy now because it’s one of the few major European countries it hasn’t yet struck. They’re hoping to inspire violence there so that they can say, in effect, 'we’ve already attacked your capitals in London, in Paris, and in Barcelona, and now we’ve attacked Rome. There’s nowhere we can’t reach.'