US intelligence warns of ‘ever more diverse’ threats
Russia’s efforts to expand its influence and China’s modernizing military are among the “ever more diverse” threats facing the U.S., according to a major intelligence report released Tuesday.
The National Intelligence Strategy report, issued every four years, also singles out such potential threats as North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, the growing cyber capabilities of U.S. adversaries and global political instability.
The report, which sets out the priorities for the various agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, notes that the United States “faces an increasingly complex and uncertain world in which threats are becoming ever more diverse and interconnected.”
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a letter accompanying the report that the U.S. agencies must adapt to respond to what he calls a “turbulent and complex” environment.
“We face significant changes in the domestic and global environment,” Coats said. “We must be ready to meet the 21st century challenges and to recognize emerging threats and opportunities.”
He said the intelligence community must improve cooperation among member agencies and foster more innovation. He also said agencies must do more to increase transparency to raise public trust in their work.
The report does not rank the threats, but the first section is devoted to the threat posed by “traditional adversaries” seeking to take advantage of the weakening of the post-World War II international order and increasingly isolationist tendencies in the West. “Russian efforts to increase its influence and authority are likely to continue and may conflict with U.S. goals and priorities in multiple regions,” it says.
It then goes on to discuss China’s modernization of its military and pursuit of “predominance” in the Pacific region.
The report notes that both China and Russia continue to pursue anti-satellite weapons to weaken the U.S. military and security. It also says the threat from hacking is growing as more adversaries acquire the technology to interfere with U.S. computer systems.