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Worldwide Threats Outlined In Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing-The Threats Are Widespread

ArmchairPolitiician, February 16, 2018, by Brad Peery

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*The threats from ISIS will continue to be challenging, despite widespread defeats in Syria and Iraq. They include:
They are engaged in an Insurgency in Afghanistan;
The U.S. needs to continue to hit them with airstrikes;
Their funding will continue and needs to be addressed;
Their flow of fighters needs to be confronted;
In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is regrouping in ungoverned portions of the countries;
ISIS is extending its global presence to Asia and other regions;
It continues to champion its cause;
Their engaging in international attacks will continue to be a threat; and,
They will continue to encourage sympathizers to attack in their home countries.

Al Qaeda continues to be a major actor in global terrorism. Its long term intent is to attacking the U.S. and U.S. interests abroad.

There will be threats in space. Russia and China will continue to expand space-based reconnaissance. These include:
Communications and navigation systems, including:
Broaden the applications they use;
Increase the number of systems; and
Broaden their breadth of capabilities.
Counter space weapons will mature. They will include:
Anti-satellite weapons; and
Efforts to reduce U.S. effectiveness and advantages in space.

Transnational organized crime will continue to be a problem, including:
Drugs;
Human trafficking;
Depleting U.S. national resources; and
Siphon money from governments in the global economy.

Regional threats include:

East Asia

North Korea is an Increasing threat:
It will not negotiate its missiles and nuclear weapons away;
They are considered critical to its security;
It seeks to end Seoul’s reliance on Washington;
It wants to eventually dominate the Korean Peninsula;
There will be additional missile tests in 2018;
North Korea will do an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific;
It is a direct threat to the U.S.; and
Provides conventional threats to South Korea, Japan and Guam.

China Will seek to expand influence and shape events and outcomes globally. Other threats include:
Firm stands it will continue to take on claims to East China Sea and South China Sea;
It will continue to reaffirm its relationship with Taiwan; and
It will continue to develop its One Belt One Road initiative to:
Expand its trade, investment, and partnership reach to geostrategic locations across Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
South Asia

In Afghanistan, Kabul is bearing the brunt of a Taliban led insurgency. Other issues are:
Their security forces face unsteady performance; and
With help Afghanistan will probably retain control of most major population centers.

Pakistan provides terrorist safe havens for attacks in Afghanistan and India, including on U.S. interests. Other conclusions are:
The Pakistan military is unlikely to have a lasting effect on restraining terrorists;
It will maintain its terrorist ties and restrict its cooperation with the U.S.; and
It will continue its strong ties to China, including the building of a harbor as part of the One Belt One Road initiative.

India is likely to become an increasingly strong U.S. partner, and offers an offset to China’s ambitions.

Russia willl continue its assertive foreign policies to shape outcomes. These include:
More authoritarian activities to maintain control and offset challenges to Putin’s rule;
Promote Russian influence and propaganda efforts that are;
Cheap;
Low risk;
Plausible deniability; and
Proven to be effective at sowing division.
Russia will continue using:
Propaganda;
Social media;
False flag personas and sympathetic spokesmen to exacerbate social and political divisions in the U.S.; and
2018 midterm U.S. elections are a target.

Middle East and North Africa

In the region, the issues will continue to be:
Political turmoil
Economic fragility will be a problem;
Civil and proxy wars will continue using:
Hezbollah in Syria and Lebannon; and
The Houthis in Yemen.
Iran is the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism. And it will:
Expand its regional influence;
Use the regional fight against ISIS to:
Solidify partnerships;
Transform battlefield gains into political security and economic agreements;
Develop military forces that threaten U.S. forces and allies
Continue to develop the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East;
Use the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that may be a risk to U.S. naval and allied naval operations in the region;
Continue provocative behavior in Northern Israel that:
Has the Potential for escalation into a war with Israel.
The Lebanese Hezbollah activities include:
Support of Iran;
Thousands of fighters to Syria; and
Directs other militant groups, promoting regional instability.

Turkey will seek to thwart Kurdish ambitions:
Their incursion into Northern Syria is complicating counter ISIS activities in the region, which Increases the risk to U.S. forces.

In Syria, unrest and fighting will continue in 2018:
Some areas will be recaptured by Syria, Russia and Iran and violence will decrease in some areas.

Iraq will see a lengthy period of turmoil and conflict:
Iran has used ISIS to deepen its influence in military and security elements and political arms of Iraq.

In the Yemen war:
Because of the Iranian backed Houthis and Saudi Arabia coalition;
A tragic humanitarian crisis will worsen:
70% of 20M people need assistance

Europe
In Europe, the center of gravity is shifting to France:
President Macron is more assertive in addressing European and global challenges; and
German elections reinforce Germany’s weakness.

Efforts by some governments in Central and Eastern Europe to undermine judicial independence and parliamentary oversight and increase control over the media are weakening the rule of law.
Provides opportunity for democratic declines and offers opportunities for Russian and Chinese influence
Latvia elections have encountered meddling by Russia

U.S. problems:
Failure to properly address long term fiscal situation has increased national debt to $20 trillion and growing. This is:
Unsustainable; and a
Dire threat to economic and national security
Needs to be addressed before crisis occurs that threatens U.S. national security.
Need tech communications:
Internet of Things (IoT) causes large cybersecurity problems.
Worldwide Threats Hearing, Senate Intelligence Committee, Dan Coates-Director of National Intelligence, February 14, 2018

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion
The Senate Intellegence Committee hearings provided a good summary of some of the threats facing the U.S., but there are many other threats that we will address as we provide continuing coverage of Trump’s Agenda and Achievements-2018

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