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US Intelligence Strategy sees ‘diverse’ threats from Russia, China, and North Korea

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, joined by top intelligence officials, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee for a hearing focusing on global threats on February 13, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A major U.S. intelligence report released in Washington on January 22 says Russia’s efforts to expand its influence and the modernization of China’s military are among the “ever more diverse” threats facing the United States.

The National Intelligence Strategy report, issued every four years, also warns about potential threats such as North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, the growing cyber capabilities of U.S. adversaries, and global political instability.

As the guiding strategy for 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, the report will drive the strategic direction of the U.S. intelligence community for the next four years.

It says 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 U.S. intelligence agencies must adapt in order 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 U.S. intelligence community must improve cooperation between agencies and be more innovative.

Coats also said agencies must do more to increase transparency to raise public trust in their work.

The report does not rank the threats.

But its first section is devoted to the threat posed by “traditional adversaries” who are trying 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.