Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"New Concerns" of US Intelligence: Economic Crisis, Flu Pandemic, Climate Change

Global Research
February 1, 2012

Moscow - The United States intelligence community has received broader and more specific objectives for countering threats to American national security and interests.

Major strategic goals for all 16 American intelligence agencies have been set forth in a new four-year National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), which has been submitted to Congress. This is the first blueprint of this kind during the Obama Administration. By tradition, it is drafted by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

The position of DNI was created in 2004. The DNI consults the president and a national security advisor on all intelligence issues, and coordinates the intelligence activities of the U.S. intelligence community, which includes the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the main intelligence departments of the Navy and Army, the intelligence agencies of the Department of State and the Department of Energy, etc.

The NIS offers general guidance to all American intelligence agencies, which are obliged to coordinate their specific objectives with it. By and large, the objectives of U.S. intelligence activities have changed little in the last eight years, since the fundamental revision of the current threats to national security in the wake of 9/11. 

They are to identify and suppress of extremists, paramilitary separatist units, and terrorist groups that are trying to gain access to nuclear weapons. Other objectives include controlling the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, uncovering potential crises, etc.

Speaking to journalists in San Francisco on September 16, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair mentioned a number of "new concerns" reflected in the NIS, including the global economic crisis, a potential global pandemic (like avian or swine flu), and climate change leading to nations competing over energy and water resources.

Blair did not mention all of the new concerns. The report also raises concern about China's aggressive pursuit of natural resources around the world and its efforts to modernize its military, and states that Russia may also try to reassert itself as a regional or global power. Both countries are mentioned as potential threats to the United States in cyberspace.

Blair seems to be ready to shake up the entire U.S. intelligence community in response to its obviously inadequate response to threats to the United States. To understand his motives, we should recall who he is. Sixty-two-year-old Dennis Cutler Blair is a retired admiral, the third DNI, and a one-hundred-percent American tough guy. He is a sixth-generation naval officer. In his thirty-four-year naval career, he commanded frigates, missile destroyers, and the Kitty Hawk Battle Group aircraft carrier. His last strictly naval position was the commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Command. He then served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support.

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