US Intelligence Community Releases its Worldwide Threat Assessment

Seal of the Office of the Director of National IntelligenceToday Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James R. Clapper delivered the United States Intelligence Community’s 2015 assessment of threats to US national security. Director Clapper speaks on Global Threats like Cyber, Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation, Space and Counterspace, Transnational Organized Crime, Economics and Natural Resources and Human Security, as well as Regional Threats in the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, East Asia, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

DNI Clapper provided a variety of strategic assessments, risk analyses, attribution and deterrence sections, threat sections and sections devoted to the integrity of information for each of the Global Threats, depending on the importance of the threat to US national security. Of particular interest are the following sections:

  • Global Threats, Space and Counterspace: In this section DNI Clapper informs the reader that threats to US space systems will increase in the coming year due to adversaries’ pursuit of “disruptive and destructive counterspace capabilities.” DNI Clapper specifically mentions Russia and China in this section. 

  • Global Threats, Human Security: This section focuses on critical trends in human security that are converging to create larger problems in this topic. Issues like infectious diseases and insufficient international state preparedness, extreme weather conditions with poor public policies that limit response, and negative trends in governance that “portend growing instability” for the security and rights of individuals. 

  • Regional Threats, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: This section is notably slim. DNI Clapper does note that, “In an attempt to strengthen its self-declared caliphate, ISIL probably plans to conduct operations against regional allies, Western facilities, and personnel in the Middle East.” 

  • Regional Threats, Cuba: In this section, DNI Clapper suggests that President Raul Castro’s focus will be preparing the country for the end of the Castro Era and maintaining tight political control. It is also suggested that “Maritime arrivals and interdictions will […] increase in 2015 because of rumors that if the two countries normalize relations, the United States would change immigration policies that allow Cubans who reach the United States to obtain status.”

View the entire document here.

For interested parties, the 2011 Statement is available here and the 2013 Statement is available here. 


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