seek information about U.S. political and military intentions and capabilities, and are stepping up their efforts to collect classified or sensitive information on U.S. weapons systems, emerging technologies with military applications, and related technical methods. Such information enables potential adversaries to counter U.S. political and military objectives, develop sophisticated weapons more quickly and efficiently, and develop countermeasures against U.S. weapons. Intelligence collection against U.S. economic, commercial and proprietary information enables foreign states and corporations to obtain shortcuts to industrial development and improve their competitiveness against U.S. corporations in global markets. Although difficult to quantify, economic and industrial espionage result in the loss of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs annually.
To protect sensitive national security information, we must be able to effectively counter the collection efforts of foreign intelligence services through vigorous counterintelligence efforts and security programs. Over the last five years, we have created new counterintelligence mechanisms to address economic and industrial espionage and implemented procedures to improve coordination among intelligence, counterintelligence and law enforcement agencies. These measures have considerably strengthened our ability to counter the foreign intelligence collection threat. We will continue to refine and enhance our counterintelligence capabilities as we enter the twenty-first century.
Domestic Preparedness Against Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Federal Government will respond rapidly and decisively to any terrorist incident in the United States involving WMD, working with state and local governments to restore order and deliver emergency assistance. The Domestic Terrorism Program is integrating the capabilities and assets of a number of Federal agencies to support the FBI, FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and state and local governments in crisis response and managing the consequences of a WMD incident. We continue to develop and refine a comprehensive strategy to protect our civilian population from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. We are upgrading our public health and medical surveillance systems to enhance our preparedness for a biological or chemical weapons attack, and helping to ensure that federal, state and local emergency response personnel have the resources they need to deal with such a crisis.
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Our national security and our economic prosperity rest on a foundation of critical infrastructures, including telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, water systems and emergency services. These infrastructures are vulnerable to computer-generated and physical attacks. More than any nation, America is dependent on cyberspace. We know that other governments and terrorist groups are creating sophisticated, well-organized capabilities to launch cyber-attacks against critical American information networks and the infrastructures that depend on them.
The President has directed that a plan for defending our critical infrastructures be in effect by May 2001, and fully operational by December 2003. Through this plan we will achieve and maintain the ability to protect our critical infrastructures from intentional acts that would significantly diminish the ability of the Federal Government to perform essential national security missions. This plan will also help ensure the general public health and safety; protect the ability of state and local governments to maintain order and to deliver minimum essential public services; and work with the private sector to ensure the orderly functioning of the economy and the delivery of essential telecommunications, energy, financial and transportation services.
The Federal government is committed to building this capability to defend our critical infrastructures, but it cannot do it alone. The private sector, as much as the Federal government, is a target for infrastructure attacks, whether by cyber or other means. A new partnership between the Federal government and the private sector is required. Acting jointly, we will work to identify and eliminate significant vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructures and the information systems that support them.
We are creating the systems necessary to detect and respond to attacks before they can cause serious damage. For the first time, law enforcement, intelligence agencies and the private sector will share, in a manner consistent with U.S. law, information about cyber-threats, vulnerabilities and attacks. The Government is developing and deploying new intrusion detection network technologies to protect Defense Department and other critical Federal systems, and we are encouraging the private sector to develop and deploy appropriate protective technology as well. A nationwide system for quickly reconstituting in the face of a serious cyber-attack is being developed. Every Federal Department is also developing a plan to protect its own critical infrastructures, which include both cyber and physical dimensions.
Finally, we will be building a strong foundation for continued protection of our critical infrastructures: increased Federal R&D in information security, increased investment in training and educating cyber-security practitioners, and evaluating whether legislation is necessary to protect both our civil liberties and our critical infrastructures.
National Security Emergency Preparedness
We will do all we can to deter and prevent destructive and threatening forces such as terrorism, WMD use, disruption of our critical infrastructures, and regional or state-centered threats from endangering our citizens. But if an emergency occurs, we must be prepared to respond effectively at home and abroad to protect lives and property, mobilize the personnel, resources and capabilities necessary to effectively handle the emergency, and ensure the survival of our institutions and infrastructures. To this end, we will sustain our efforts to maintain comprehensive, all-hazard emergency planning by federal departments, agencies and the military, as well as a strong and responsive industrial and technology base, as crucial national security emergency preparedness requirements.
In addition to defending the U.S. homeland, the United States must be prepared to respond to the full range of threats to our interests abroad. Smaller-scale contingency operations encompass the full range of military operations short of major theater warfare, including humanitarian assistance, peace operations, enforcing embargoes and no-fly zones, evacuating U.S. citizens, and reinforcing key allies. These operations will likely pose frequent challenges for U.S. military forces and cumulatively require significant commitments over time. These operations will also put a premium on the ability of the U.S. military to work closely and effectively with other U.S. Government agencies, non-governmental organizations, regional and international security organizations and coalition partners.