INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY 1
The U.S. intelligence community has dealt with plenty of threats tonational security. For example, detectors and jammers have been usedto foil bombs and other explosive devices. Nevertheless, severalsophisticated threats could emerge in the coming decade.
One of the foremost risks to national security manifests throughbiological weapons. In many instances, terrorist attacks have focusedon explosive devices. However, the potency of biological weaponscreates massive concerns for the intelligence community. Inparticular, deadly viruses could be modified into mass-casualtyweapons. The National Strategy for Countering Biological Threatsworks to mitigate the potential damage to civilian populations1.Furthermore, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency develops progressiveprograms designed to obtain timely and accurate information on futureattacks2.Notwithstanding, the invisible nature of biological weapons willworry the Intelligence community into the next decade.
Besides, some countries such as Iran and North Korea have conductedunauthorized nuclear tests and other programs. Hence, the number ofsuch weapons has increased bountifully. Terrorist groups and otherradical organizations have had increased exposure to nuclear devices.For instance, the al-Qaeda can use its extensive network of sleepercells to acquire a large stockpile of weapons. Sensitive nuclearmaterials have also been traded on the black market using shellagencies. Crucially, no financial tools could suffice to detect thesale of destructive weapons. The system also lacks high-tech sensorsthat could track and intercept the movement of nuclear materials. TheDepartment of Homeland Security has planned to establish aspecialized unit tasked with handling the threat of nukes3.Admittedly, terrorist organizations have limited resources needed toconstruct a nuclear weapon. Nonetheless, radioactive material couldstill be used to construct small-scale bombs in the coming decade.
Moreover,cyberattacks pose serious threats due to the proliferation oftechnology. Network intrusions have infiltrated many governmentalorganizations. The threat to national security has also compromisedpublic safety and created economic hardships. Criminal hackers haveempowered terrorist organizations with sensitive information.Consequently, developed nations have experienced noteworthydisruptions in their critical infrastructure. In the coming decade,the U.S. Intelligence community will face numerous threats to themilitary, commerce, economy, and public safety. The cybersecurityindustry is inundated with plenty of products claiming to eradicatenetwork intrusions4.However, some programs enable the tracking and extraction of personalinformation. Therefore, the Intelligence community will need adequateplans to address the sophisticated nature of cyberattacks.
Additionally, climate change can manifest as a significant factor inthe coming decade. In fact, many civilians may become impacted by themelting of polar ice caps, severe droughts, and rising sea levels5.Natural disasters may also occur such that people are killed andproperty is destroyed. Hence, humanitarian assistance would beaccorded to the survivors in terms of disaster relief. Climate changecould also lead to intense conflicts over resources and refugees.Increased expenditure on U.S. military programs and support raisesthe level of threat faced by the nation6.In the coming decade, the intensified nature of climate change showsthe future threats to be considered by the Intelligence community.
Transnational crime has also emerged as a plausible risk to naturalsecurity. For example, many people affected by human trafficking,arms smuggling, and drug trade. Transnational crime organizationscould become emboldened to liaise with terrorist networks.Surveillance techniques have failed to counter the threat of suchactivities7.Hence, the Intelligence community will experience corruption andinstability in government institutions within the coming decade.
Indeed, the Intelligence community has had reasonable success incombating threats to national security. Notwithstanding, the comingdecade will present challenges such as biological weapons, nuclearmissiles, transnational crime, climate change, and cyberattacks.
Reveron, Derek S. Cyberspace and National Security: Threats,Opportunities, And Power In A Virtual World. Washington, D.C.:Georgetown University Press, 2012.
1Derek S Reveron, Cyberspace And National Security: Threats, Opportunities, And Power In A Virtual World (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2012).
3 Derek S Reveron, Cyberspace And National Security: Threats, Opportunities, And Power In A Virtual World (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2012).Ibid.
6 Derek S Reveron, Cyberspace And National Security: Threats, Opportunities, And Power In A Virtual World (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2012).