May 10, 2022

Manchin Questions Intelligence Directors on Military Assistance to Ukraine, U.S. Cybersecurity, National Security of Taiwan, Geopolitical Stability

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee, questioned Avril D. Haines, Director of National Intelligence and Lieutenant General Scott D. Berrier, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Senator Manchin questioned the Directors about U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, protecting cybersecurity across federal agencies and private companies, the national security of Taiwan and specific regions of concern for global geopolitical stability.

On U.S. military assistance to Ukraine amid Putin’s invasion:

“How about Ukraine? Do they have the ability to win if we continue to support them, without us being pulled into a land war?” Senator Manchin questioned. “My other concern is our ability to maintain and manufacture the weapons that are needed not only to help Ukraine and backfill our allies, but also to maintain our own supply chains…Are you concerned about our ability to maintain the supplies needed for the U.S.?”

On ensuring cybersecurity across federal agencies, private sector:

“On cybersecurity, right now it’s a convoluted area for private companies to report getting hacked in America. Who is in charge and what is the chain of command right now in the federal government, and the military especially, for cyber? Are we pulling intelligence together or are we still fragmented throughout our agencies?” Senator Manchin questioned.

On the national security of Taiwan against China:

“Do you believe Taiwan is prepared to defend itself? In your evaluation of what Taiwan has been doing…do we think they're going to be able to have an air war with China?” Senator Manchin questioned in part. “Are you all strategically giving them equipment they can use, whether it be in the sea or on land, to protect their island?”

On identifying specific threats to global geopolitical stability:

“Can you identify other hotspots we are concerned about, other than China, that could rise up during this very difficult time with the geopolitical unrest that we have in the world?” Senator Manchin continued. “Are you concerned about the tensions that we have with the UAE and Saudi Arabia and their intentional movements towards China for support?”

A video of Senator Manchin’s questioning of the witnesses can be found here.