U.S. intelligence officials delivered their annual assessment of global threats to national security to Congress, identifying cooperation between China and Russia as their top concern.
During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Wray, and Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel said that cyber warfare, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism pose the biggest threats to the U.S.
The threat assessment report focused on the relationship between China and Russia and stated that the two countries “are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s, and the relationship is likely to strengthen in the coming year as some of their interests and threat perceptions converge, particularly regarding perceived US unilateralism and interventionism and Western promotion of democratic values and human rights.”
Intelligence officials said that they expect Russia and China to continue to interfere in U.S. elections. They also warned that China is capable of launching cyberattacks that could disable U.S. critical infrastructure.
Intelligence officials warned members of Congress about the ongoing threats posed by chemical weapons and terrorism. They found that “North Korea, Russia, Syria, and ISIS have used chemical weapons on the battlefield or in assassination operations during the past two years.” Additionally, they identified Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia as hotspots for terrorism, and they said that ISIS would continue to pose a global threat despite losing territorial ground in Syria.