New National Intelligence Strategy Report has Geopolitical Focus on 'Adversaries' Russia and China; China Responds

January 24, 2019

In a press conference to his staff in McClean, Va. yesterday, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats presented the 2019 National Intelligence Stratgy Report, which is released every four years.

This is a geopolitical tract which emphasizes the dangers posed by such "traditional adversaries" as Russia and China, as well as North Korea and Iran, reflecting a shift away from previous years' focus on combatting international terrorism. It is also said to echo the intelligence community's "unanimous" 2017 conclusion that Russia interfered in the U.S.'s 2016 presidential elections to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."It also feels compelled to stress its commitment to becoming "more transparent," in order to regain the trust of the American people, who have no reason to trust the intelligence community for anything, given its history of skulduggery.

While documenting many other "dangers"—cyberthreats, the "democratization of space," Chinese and Russian development of anti-satellite weapons to challenge U.S. military effectiveness, etc. etc.—the report is primarily concerned that "traditional adversaries will continue attempts to gain and assert influence, taking advantage of changing conditions in the international environment—including the weakening of the post-WWII international order and dominance of Western democratic ideals, increasingly isolationist tendencies in the West, and shifts in the global economy."

In its "Strategic Environment" section, the report warns of the likely continuation of "Russian efforts to increase its influence and authority" which "may conflict with U.S. goals and priorities in multiple regions." An additional concern, is "Chinese military modernization and continued pursuit of economic and territorial predominance in the Pacific region and beyond." And Iran and the North Korea nuclear program pose additional threats, it warns.

Responding to a question about the report in her press conference today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chungying noted that the U.S. has issued a series of similar reports recently, "which levied some groundless accusations against China and Russia. We are opposed to that. We have stressed many times that China remains committed to the path of peaceful development and firmly pursues defense policies that are defensive in nature. Just as you have seen, China is always an architect for world peace, a contributor to global development and a guardian of international order. China once again urges the U.S. to abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset and contribute more to the mutual trust and cooperation between China and the U.S. as well as the peace and stability of the world."