Threat Assessment, In Case You Missed It

Here’s a minute and a half of how well things are going in the world. From our “greatest” Secretary of State to the current one, and five years of “leading from (his) behind.”

Can’t imagine why you aren’t seeing this on the major news networks. You?

Full transcript HERE.

Looking back over my now more than half a century in intelligence, I’ve not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe. My list is long. It includes the scourge and diversification of terrorism, loosely connected and globally dispersed, to include here at home, as exemplified by the Boston Marathon bombing and by the sectarian war in Syria, its attraction as a growing center of radical extremism and the potential threat this poses now to the homeland.

Let me briefly expand on this point. The strength of the insurgency is now estimated at somewhere between 75,000 to 80,000 on the low end and 110,000 to 115,000 on the high end, who are organized into more than 1,500 groups of widely varying political leanings. Three of the most effective are the Al- Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, as it’s known, whose numbers total more than 20,000. Complicating this further are the 7,500-plus foreign fighters from some 50 countries who have gravitated to Syria. Among them are a small group of Af/Pak al Qaida veterans who have aspirations for external attack in Europe, if not the homeland itself.

And there are many other crises and threats around the globe, to include the spillover of the Syrian conflict into neighboring Lebanon and Iraq, the destabilizing flood of refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, now almost 2.5 million, a symptom of one of the largest humanitarian disasters in a decade.

The implications of the drawdown in Afghanistan: This year, as the chairman noted, is a crossroads, with the drawdown of ISAF, the presidential election, and whether the bilateral security agreement is signed. Key to sustaining the fragile gains we’ve made is sustained, external financial support.

The deteriorating internal security posture in Iraq, with AQI now in control of Fallujah, and violence across Iraq at very high levels. More than 5,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2013, which is a made — made that year Iraq’s deadliest since 2007.

The growth of foreign cyber-capabilities, both nation states, as well as non-nation states; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; aggressive nation state intelligence efforts against us; an assertive Russia; a competitive China; a dangerous, unpredictable North Korea; a challenging Iran, where the economic sanctions have had a profound impact on Iran’s economy and have contributed to the P5- plus-1 joint plan of action . . .

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