Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Prague 5G Security Conference 2020
Hello, everyone. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here.
Prime Minister Babiš, thank you for inviting me to speak today. It was a privilege last month to visit your beautiful country in person.
The Czech Republic has been a leader when it comes to confronting the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party and its technology companies.
Last year’s first 5G Security Conference was a pivotal moment in turning the tide against these untrusted vendors. Today’s conference provides yet another example of that leadership.
The U.S. has done our part, too.
In addition to 5G Clean Path, we’ve launched the Clean Network Initiative – five new lines of effort to safeguard our citizens’ privacy and our companies’ sensitive information from untrusted vendors. The Clean Network’s comprehensive approach is rooted in the Prague Proposals, and other internationally accepted digital trust standards.
Around the world, we’re seeing a coalition of partners join us.
More than 30 countries and their carriers have joined the Clean Network, and many of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies are becoming Clean Telcos.
We want all of you attending today to join us, too. I’m happy to announce that the U.S. government is expanding globally the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, which I launched in 2018.
This program promotes increased connectivity and a competitive global marketplace for trusted 5G vendors.
The EU’s 5G Toolbox, which ensures the security of its 5G networks, is another initiative the U.S. strongly supports.Together, we’ve built so much momentum since last year’s conference.
The United States is committed to collaborating with like minded countries to deny malign actors such as the CCP access to our nations’ sensitive data.
Technology must advance freedom. So I call on all freedom-loving countries to join the U.S. and the growing list of nations who are securing their 5G networks against untrusted vendors, and the authoritarian governments behind them.
Thank you, and I wish you all a productive conference.
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken at UN Security Council Meeting on Climate and SecurityBy Sam NewsSeptember 23, 2021
- The 10th Anniversary of the Great East Japan EarthquakeBy Sam NewsMarch 10, 2021
- The United States of America and The Republic of Korea on Working Together to Promote Cooperation between the Indo-Pacific Strategy and the New Southern PolicyBy Sam NewsNovember 14, 2020
- Agile Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Agile Adoption and ImplementationBy Sam NewsSeptember 28, 2020From September 28, 2020 through September 27, 2021, GAO is seeking input and feedback on this Exposure Draft from all interested parties. Please click on this link https://tell.gao.gov/agileguide to provide us with comment on the Guide. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is responsible for, among other things, assisting Congress in its oversight of the executive branch, including assessing federal agencies' management of information technology (IT) systems. The federal government annually spends more than $90 billion on IT. However, federal agencies face challenges in developing, implementing, and maintaining their IT investments. All too frequently, agency IT programs have incurred cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes. Accordingly, GAO has included management of IT acquisitions and operations on its High Risk List. Recognizing the severity related to government-wide management of IT, in 2014, the Congress passed and the President signed federal IT acquisition reform legislation commonly referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA. This legislation was enacted to improve agencies' acquisition of IT and enable Congress to monitor agencies' progress and hold them accountable for reducing duplication and achieving cost savings. Among its specific provisions is a requirement for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at covered agencies to certify that certain IT investments are adequately implementing incremental development as defined in the Office of Management and Budget's capital planning guidance. One such framework for incremental development is Agile software development, which has been adopted by many federal agencies. The Agile Assessment Guide discusses best practices that can be used across the federal government for Agile adoption, execution, and program monitoring and control. Use of these best practices should enable government programs to better transition to and manage their Agile programs. GAO has developed this guide to serve multiple audiences: The primary audience for this guide is federal auditors. Specifically, the guide presents best practices that can be used to assess the extent to which an agency has adopted and implemented Agile methods. Organizations and programs that have already established policies and protocols for Agile adoption and execution can use this guide to evaluate their existing approach to Agile software development. Organizations and programs that are in the midst of adopting Agile software development practices and programs that are planning to adopt such practices can also use this guide to inform their transitions. For more information, contact Carol Harris at (202) 512-4456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Launches Firearms Trafficking Strike Forces to Address Violent Crime, Crack Down on Sources of Crime GunsBy Sam NewsJuly 22, 2021The U.S. Department of Justice today launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country.[Read More…]
- Armenian Independence DayBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2021
- Federalism: Opportunities Exist to Improve Coordination and Consultation with State and Local GovernmentsBy Sam NewsSeptember 8, 2020Federal agencies' intergovernmental affairs activities advance agency objectives that require coordination with state and local governments. Most of the 24 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies GAO surveyed reported undertaking similar information-sharing and coordination activities, such as serving as liaisons, conducting outreach, and hosting and attending events. The agencies GAO surveyed also reported taking varied approaches to structuring their intergovernmental affairs operations to conduct these activities. Of the 20 agencies with agency-wide intergovernmental affairs offices, half focused on intergovernmental affairs as their sole function while the other half included multiple functions, such as congressional or legislative affairs. How Agencies Organized Their Intergovernmental Affairs Operations Most agencies also reported that intergovernmental affairs activities and responsibilities were dispersed across their agencies. Regional and program offices perform intergovernmental affairs functions at some agencies, while others have an agency-wide office for them. Responsibilities for consulting with state and local governments under Executive Order (E.O.) 13132 also varied. The order requires that each federal agency designate an official to implement the order. Fourteen agencies reported having such an official; 10 did not report having one. Representatives from state and local associations GAO interviewed reported interacting with federal agency intergovernmental affairs offices for outreach and information-sharing purposes. They also cited coordination and consultation challenges, such as difficulty identifying intergovernmental affairs contacts, limited federal agency knowledge of state and local government, and inconsistent consultation on proposed regulations. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has primary responsibility for implementing E.O. 13132 and related implementation guidance, including a requirement for the designation of a federalism official. However, OMB could not identify any oversight steps it had taken to ensure federal agencies' designation of a federalism official consistent with its guidance for implementation of the executive order. Taking steps to ensure federal agencies' designation of a federalism official could help ensure that agencies have an accountable process in place for appropriately consulting with state and local governments. Federal programs fulfilling national goals in education, health care, transportation infrastructure, and homeland security, among other issues, are implemented through a complex partnership between federal, state, and local governments. E.O. 13132, Federalism, outlines principles and criteria to guide the formulation and implementation of policies and the appropriate division of responsibilities between levels of government. GAO was asked to review intergovernmental affairs activities at executive branch agencies. This report (1) identifies intergovernmental affairs offices' key responsibilities and activities at selected federal agencies and how these offices are organized, and (2) assesses state and local government officials' interaction with intergovernmental affairs offices, including their reported strengths and challenges. GAO examined relevant policies and executive orders and surveyed officials from the 24 CFO Act agencies. GAO also interviewed a nongeneralizable sample of individuals from 10 associations representing state and local government officials. GAO is recommending that OMB ensure that federal agencies implement its guidance on agency adherence to E.O. 13132 requirements, particularly related to designating a federalism official. OMB neither agreed nor disagreed with the recommendation. For more information, contact Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- Antigua and Barbuda Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsIn TravelSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- Department of Justice’s COPS Office Invests More Than $536.7 Million in Grants to Improve Public Safety, Reduce Crime and Advance Community PolicingBy Sam NewsOctober 19, 2020The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) awarded more than $536.7 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to increase law enforcement hiring and to improve school safety, combat opioids and methamphetamine, advance community policing efforts, provide training to the law enforcement field, and protect the health of our nation’s officers and deputies.[Read More…]
- [Protest of Army Rejection of Bid for Cleaning Flue Gas Research]By Sam NewsAugust 17, 2021A firm protested an Army contract award for innovative research into cleaning flue gas, contending that the Army improperly evaluated the proposals. GAO held that the: (1) protester failed to provide evidence that the Army's actions were motivated by bad faith, violated any applicable regulations, or were inconsistent with the terms of the solicitation; and (2) evaluation and award decision were consistent with the solicitation's criteria. Accordingly, the protest was denied.[Read More…]
- Keeping America GreatBy Sam NewsAugust 31, 2021This speech was given by the Comptroller General before the John F. Kennedy Forum--Leadership Symposium at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, on March 6, 2006. In my view, the greatest threat to America's future isn't hiding in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan; it's right here at home, in our governments, in our businesses, on our campuses, and in our neighborhoods. What I'm talking about is declining values and comity combined with continuing ignorance, apathy, and inaction on a range of issues that are rapidly reshaping our nation and our world. These issues include changing demographics, global economic trends, new security threats, and serious challenges in such areas as education, energy, health care, and the environment. Several of these challenges are unprecedented in their size, scope, complexity, and potential impact. Unfortunately, these issues are getting too little attention, provoking too little concern, and prompting too little action. Tonight, I'm going to talk about some of our challenges to give you a better sense of where we're headed and why it's so urgent that we transform government, and do it very soon. I'm then going to talk about the need for real leadership and what each of us can do to help keep America great. What are these known changes and challenges? Let me start with one of the most sweeping agents of change, and that's demographics. Demographics will decisively shape the American and global landscape in the future. Beyond demographics, the United States confronts a range of other challenges. Globalization is affecting our international competitiveness, our trade posture, our capital markets, our jobs, and our approach to environmental and public health issues. For example, globalization is a key reason public health experts are so concerned about the rapid spread of viruses like avian flu. Other challenges come from technology. In recent decades, spectacular advances in technology have transformed everything from how we do business to how we communicate to how we treat and cure diseases. But because of technology, we're also struggling with privacy, security, and other concerns. Perhaps the most urgent challenge we face is our nation's deteriorating financial condition and growing fiscal imbalance. The United States now confronts four interrelated deficits with serious implications for our role in the world, our economic growth, our standard of living, and even our national security. The first deficit is the federal budget deficit, which in 2005 was around $319 billion on a cash basis. The second deficit is our savings deficit. Too many Americans--from individual consumers to elected officials--are spending today as if there's no tomorrow. So, if we aren't saving at home, who's been underwriting America's recent spending spree? The answer is foreign investors. And that brings me to America's third deficit--our overall balance-of-payments deficit. Finally, there's our fourth deficit, and it's probably the most sobering deficit of all. What I'm talking about is America's leadership deficit.Our population is aging. At the same time, U.S. workforce growth is slowing. This means that just when increasing numbers of baby boomers are starting to retire and draw benefits, there will be fewer workers paying taxes and contributing to social insurance programs. Importantly, retirees are living longer but wanting to retire earlier. These developments are going to put huge strains on our pension and health care systems. With the end of the Cold War, we face new security threats, including transnational terrorist networks and rogue states armed with nuclear weapons. On an accrual basis, our fiscal 2005 deficit was $760 billion, up $144 billion in the last year alone. Even more troubling, the federal government's long-term liabilities and unfunded commitments for things like Social Security and Medicare benefits have risen to more than $46 trillion. That's up from about $20 trillion just five years ago. The new Medicare prescription drug benefit, which may be one of the most poorly designed, inefficiently implemented, and fiscally irresponsible government programs of all time, has added more than $8 trillion to this sea of red ink. And these numbers don't even take into account the bills that are coming from rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast or future costs associated with Iraq and Afghanistan. Our quality of life in many ways has never been better. But America also faces a growing and unhealthy gap between the haves and the have-nots. And as some of you may know firsthand, we're also facing a range of quality-of-life concerns in our personal lives, including underachieving public schools, gridlocked city streets, and the stresses of caring for aging parents and growing children all at once. At the same time, our nation's health care system is in critical condition, plagued by growing gaps in insurance coverage, soaring costs, and below-average results on basic measures like medical error rates, infant mortality, and life expectancy. America is simply spending more than it's producing. In 2005, the U.S. trade deficit hit about $726 billion, up more than $100 billion from the prior year. While our own saving rates have plummeted, savings rates abroad have not, and overseas money has been pouring into the United States. Thanks to the high savings rates in China, Japan, and elsewhere, it's been relatively cheap for Americans to borrow. But there's a catch, and it's a big one. Increasingly, we are mortgaging our collective future, and some of our leading lenders may not share our long-term national interests. Not enough key policymakers are concerned about America's growing fiscal imbalance and the other long-term challenges that I've mentioned. As a result, there have been pitifully few calls for making tough choices or fundamental reform. If our nation is to be prepared for the challenges and changes that are coming, government transformation is essential. The challenges I've discussed aren't partisan issues, and the solutions won't be either. Nothing less than a top-to-bottom review of federal programs and policies is needed to determine if they are meeting their objectives. This will also help free up resources for other needs. Congress and the President need to decide which policies and programs remain priorities, which should be overhauled, and which have simply outlived their usefulness.[Read More…]
- DRL Supporting Sudan’s Democratic TransitionBy Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020Bureau of Democracy, [Read More…]
- Political Operatives Indicted for Alleged Scheme Involving Illegal Campaign Contribution to 2016 Presidential CampaignBy Sam NewsSeptember 20, 2021An indictment was unsealed today in the District of Columbia charging a Kentucky man and a Florida man both with conspiracy to solicit and cause an illegal campaign contribution by a foreign national, effect a conduit contribution and cause false records to be filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and related substantive offenses.[Read More…]
- Military Operations: The Department of Defense’s Use of Solatia and Condolence Payments in Iraq and AfghanistanBy Sam NewsAugust 25, 2021There are a number of ways that the U.S. government provides assistance to Iraqi or Afghan civilians who are killed, injured, or suffer property damage as a result of U.S. and coalition forces' actions. For instance, the U.S. Agency for International Development funds projects to assist Iraqi and Afghan civilians and communities directly impacted by actions of U.S. or coalition forces. Also, the Department of State administers a program that makes payments, in accordance with local custom, to Iraqi civilians who are harmed in incidents involving U.S. protective security details. In addition, the Department of Defense (DOD) administers a program that provides compensation under the Foreign Claims Act to inhabitants of foreign countries for death, injury, or property damage caused by noncombat activities of U.S. military personnel overseas. Further, DOD provides monetary assistance in the form of solatia and condolence payments to Iraqi and Afghan nationals who are killed, injured, or incur property damage as a result of U.S. or coalition forces' actions during combat. From fiscal years 2003 to 2006, DOD has reported about $1.9 million in solatia payments and more than $29 million in condolence payments to Iraqi and Afghan civilians who are killed, injured, or incur property damage as a result of U.S. or coalition forces' actions during combat. These payments are expressions of sympathy or remorse based on local culture and customs, but not an admission of legal liability or fault. Commanders make condolence payments using funds provided by Congress for the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP), whereas solatia payments are funded from unit operations and maintenance accounts. Pub. L. No. 108-106 (2003) requires DOD to provide quarterly reports on the source, allocation, and use of CERP funds. To administer the CERP, DOD has established 19 project categories for the use of funds, including categories for condolence payments and battle damage payments. At Congress's request, we reviewed DOD's solatia and condolence payment programs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, we examined the following questions: (1) To what extent has DOD established guidance for making and documenting solatia and condolence payments in Iraq and Afghanistan? (2) How are commanders making and documenting solatia and condolence payments in Iraq and Afghanistan and what factors do commanders consider when determining whether to make payments or payment amounts? (3) To what extent does DOD collect and analyze solatia and condolence payment data? We also are providing information on the other aforementioned programs established by the U.S. government to provide assistance to Iraqi and Afghan civilians who have been affected by U.S. or coalition forces' actions. These programs include (1) DOD's Foreign Claims Act, (2) the Department of State's Claims and Condolence Payment Program, and (3) the U.S. Agency for International Development's Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund and the Afghan Civilian Assistance Program.We found that DOD has established guidance for making and documenting solatia and condolence payments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that guidance has changed over time primarily in Iraq in terms of condolence payment amounts, approval levels, and payment eligibility. Within parameters established by guidance, commanders exercise broad discretion for determining whether a payment should be made and the appropriate payment amount. While guidance does not require commanders to make payments, commanders may do so if they choose. When determining whether to make payments and payment amounts, commanders told us they consider the severity of injury, type of damage, and property values based on the local economy as well as any other applicable cultural considerations. According to unit officials with whom we spoke, units generally follow a similar process for making solatia and condolence payments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Officials told us that they generally make payments to civilians at Civil Military Operations Centers--ad hoc organizations established by military commanders to assist in the coordination of civilian-related activities--or during personal visits. DOD requires units to collect various types of detailed information related to condolence payments and, based on this information, reports certain summary level data to Congress. However, because its current guidance does not clearly distinguish between the types of payments to be reported under certain CERP categories, reporting entities are interpreting the guidance differently, and therefore inconsistent reporting has occurred. When a condolence payment is made, units record, among other data, information on the unit that made the payment, number of civilians killed or injured or whose property was damaged, location of the incident, and dollar value of the payment. Each payment also is assigned a document reference number for tracking purposes. In reporting to Congress on the use of CERP funds, DOD provides summary data on obligations, commitments, and disbursements for each of the 19 project categories, and by major subordinate command5 in Iraq or task force in Afghanistan. The project categories include (1) condolence payments to individual civilians for death, injury, or property damage and (2) repair of damage that results from U.S., coalition, or supporting military operations that is not compensable under the Foreign Claims Act, known as battle damage payments. Within the condolence payment category, DOD reports total dollar amounts and does not distinguish between payments made for death, injury, or personal property damage. Because DOD guidance does not clearly define when payments for property damage should be recorded as condolence payments or as payments for battle damage, some units are recording property damage as condolence payments while others record property damage as battle damage payments. Additionally, neither DOD nor the Army--which is the executive agent for CERP--can easily determine that property damage is categorized appropriately because guidance does not require units to report certain detailed information, such as document reference numbers, which would facilitate verification.[Read More…]
- Issues in Implementing International Peace OperationsBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2021Between fiscal years 1996 and 2001, the United States provided $3.45 billion in direct contributions and $24.2 billion in voluntary or indirect contributions to 33 U.N. peacekeeping operations in such areas as the Congo, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Bosnia, and, most recently, Afghanistan. The prospects for implementing peace agreements are enhanced if all major parties to the conflict participate in negotiating the agreements and if these agreements include specific authority and mechanisms for their enforcement. Peace operations are more likely to succeed if the military forces carrying out the operations have clear objectives, sufficient resources, and the authority to carry out their tasks. Military forces can help create a secure environment for civilian work to proceed. Moreover, the slow or late deployment of a peace operation's civil administrators might impede efforts to establish good governance. Finally, peace operations tend to be more successful when locals participate at every reasonable opportunity.[Read More…]
- Joint Statement on the United States – Iceland Strategic DialogueBy Sam NewsMarch 2, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary and Central American Foreign MinistersBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2021
- John McAfee Indicted for Tax EvasionBy Sam NewsOctober 5, 2020An indictment was unsealed today charging John David McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee. The June 15, 2020 indictment was unsealed following McAfee’s arrest in Spain where he is pending extradition.[Read More…]
- G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Arrest and Detention of Alexey NavalnyBy Sam NewsJanuary 26, 2021
- Former DEA Special Agent Sentenced to Over 13 Years in Prison for Corruption-Related ChargesBy Sam NewsAugust 12, 2021A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent was sentenced today to 160 months in prison for nine crimes related to official misconduct, including perjury, obstruction of justice, and theft.[Read More…]