Monday, March 14, 2011

China, the most significant threat to the United States, says DNI James Clapper

Director of US National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, making a testimony to the Senate Committee on Armed Services on worldwide threats (March 10, 2011) singled out China as the most significant threat, followed by Russia. He added saying that the Chinese nuclear weapons poses the most serious "mortal threat" to the United States among nation states. While Iran and North Korea have been highlighted by the Obama Administration as bigger threats, Clapper clarified by adding that Tehran and Pyongyang are not strategic threats like Beijing as they do not have forces or mechanisms yet to carry out a nuclear strike on the United States. In fact, to Senator Manchin's question as to ask which country was going to the US' greatest adversary, Clapper replied, "Probably China."

For the full testimony, click here.

Other important threats highlighted in his testimony included terrorism; WMD proliferation (Iran and North Korea), apart from regional challenges such as China and North Korea in East Asia; Pakistan and Afghanistan in South Asia; Iran and Iraq in the Middle East, among others. China again figured prominently as Clapper looked specifically at Intelligence Threats and Threats to US Technological and Economic Leadership.

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