America’s Complex Threat Environment

On February 13, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee and discussed his just-released “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community” report.

That document synthesizes what U.S. military and civilian intelligence analysts, cyber warriors and counter-intelligence experts regard as the “sobering” (a word Coats used) threats to the American people and their interests.

During his testimony, DNI Coats was flanked by the directors of the FBI, CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, NSA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Their agencies contributed to the assessment.

Coats’ initial threat statement is sharp, clear and dire, so I’ll quote it at length.

“…We face a complex, volatile and challenging threat environment,” he began. “The risk of interstate conflict is higher than any time since the end of the Cold War, all the more alarming because of the growing development in use of weapons of mass destruction by state and non-state actors.’

Sobering? Yes. Interstate wars can escalate into regional wars. When belligerents possess WMD, escalation can have global consequences.

However, on the cusp of the 21st century’s third decade, other wicked variables complicate diplomacy, spying, commerce, warfare and minute-to-minute human survival.

“Our adversaries as well as …

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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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