Avril Haines, director of National Intelligence (DNI) and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, has submitted to Congress a report detailing the global threats to U.S. national security in accordance with section 617 of the fiscal year 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act.
The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community looks at the diverse array of threats the U.S. and its allies will face in the coming year amid the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said Tuesday.
The report assesses the threats posed by China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as well as transnational issues, including the current health crisis, cyber, climate change and environmental degradation, emerging technology and global terrorism. According to the report, cyber threats posed by nation-state actors will “remain acute.”
“Although an increasing number of countries and non-state actors have these capabilities, we remain most concerned about Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Many skilled foreign cybercriminals targeting the United States maintain mutually beneficial relationships with these and other countries that offer them safe haven or benefit from their activity,” the 27-page report reads.
Countries, primarily China, are challenging U.S. leadership in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, computing, manufacturing, and biotechnology. The U.S. government should focus on these tech areas to understand their potential implications for security, according to the report.
“The American people should know as much as possible about the threats facing our nation and what their intelligence agencies are doing to protect them,” Haines said. “This report provides transparency to Congress and our nation’s citizens with the aim of bolstering trust in our work and institutions.”
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