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Monday, April 22, 2024

ODNI Releases it’s 2024 Annual Threat Assessment

During the next year, the United States faces an increasingly fragile global order strained by accelerating strategic competition among major powers, more intense and unpredictable transnational challenges, and multiple regional conflicts with far-reaching implications. An ambitious but anxious China, a confrontational Russia, some regional powers, such as Iran, and more capable non-state actors are challenging longstanding rules of the international system as well as U.S. primacy within it. Simultaneously, new technologies, fragilities in the public health sector, and environmental changes are more frequent, often have global impact and are harder to forecast. One need only look at the Gaza crisis—triggered by a highly capable non-state terrorist group in HAMAS, fueled in part by a regionally ambitious Iran, and exacerbated by narratives encouraged by China and Russia to undermine the United States on the global stage—to see how a regional crisis can have widespread spillover effects and complicate international cooperation on other pressing issues. The world that emerges from this tumultuous period will be shaped by whoever offers the most persuasive arguments for how the world should be governed, how societies should be organized, and which systems are most effective at advancing economic growth and providing benefits for more people, and by the powers—both state and non-state—that are most able and willing to act on solutions to transnational issues and regional crises.

New opportunities for collective action, with state and non-state actors alike, will emerge out of these complex and interdependent issues. The 2024 Annual Threat Assessment highlights some of those connections as it provides the IC’s baseline assessments of the most pressing threats to U.S. national interests. It is not an exhaustive assessment of all global challenges, however. It addresses traditional and nontraditional threats from U.S. adversaries, an array of regional issues with possible larger, global implications, as well as functional and transnational challenges, such as proliferation, emerging technology, climate change, terrorism, and illicit drugs.

China has the capability to directly compete with the United States and U.S. allies and to alter the rules-based global order in ways that support Beijing’s power and form of governance over that of the United States. China’s serious demographic and economic challenges may make it an even more aggressive and unpredictable global actor. Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine underscores that it remains a threat to the rules-based international order. Local and regional powers are also trying to gain and exert influence, often at the cost of neighbors and the world order itself. Iran will remain a regional menace with broader malign influence activities, and North Korea will expand its WMD capabilities while being a disruptive player on the regional and world stages. Often, U.S. actions intended to deter foreign aggression or escalation are interpreted by adversaries as reinforcing their own perceptions that the United States is intending to contain or weaken them, and these misinterpretations can complicate escalation management and crisis communications.

Regional and localized conflicts and instability, such as from the HAMAS attacks against Israel and Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza, will demand U.S. attention as states and non-state actors struggle in this evolving global order, including over major power competition and shared transnational challenges. From this, conflicts and bouts of instability from East Asia to Africa to the Western Hemisphere—exacerbated by global challenges—have greater potential to spill over into many domains, with implications for the United States, U.S. allies and partners, and the world.

Economic strain is further stoking this instability. Around the world, multiple states are facing rising, and in some cases unsustainable, debt burdens, economic spillovers from the war in Ukraine, and increased cost and output losses from extreme weather events even as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. While global agricultural food commodity prices retreated from their 2022 peak, domestic food price inflation remains high in many countries and food security in many countries remains vulnerable to economic and geopolitical shocks. At the same time, the world is beset by an array of shared, universal issues requiring cooperative global solutions. However, the larger competition between democratic and authoritarian forms of government that China, Russia, and other countries are fueling by promoting authoritarianism and spreading disinformation is putting pressure on longstanding norms encouraging cooperative approaches to the global commons. This competition also exploits technological advancements— such as AI, biotechnologies and related biosecurity, the development and production of microelectronics, and potential quantum developments—to gain stronger sway over worldwide narratives affecting the global geopolitical balance, including influence within it. The fields of AI and biotechnology, in particular, are rapidly advancing, and convergences among various fields of science and technology probably will result in further significant breakthroughs. The accelerating effects of climate change are placing more of the world’s population, particularly in low- and middleincome countries, at greater risk from extreme weather, food and water insecurity, and humanitarian disasters, fueling migration flows and increasing the risks of future pandemics as pathogens exploit the changing environment.

The 2024 Annual Threat Assessment report supports the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s commitment to transparency and the tradition of providing regular threat updates to the American public and the United States Congress. The IC is vigilant in monitoring and assessing direct and indirect threats to U.S. and allied interests. For this requirement, the IC’s National Intelligence Officers—and the National Intelligence Council that they collectively constitute—work closely and regularly with analysts across the IC. This work diagnostically examines the most serious of both the immediate and long-term threats to the United States, along with the evolving global order and other macro-trends, that will most influence the direction and potential impact of these threats.

Click here to read the full report.

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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