Most people are not aware of the current threats to this country and to their families. To help its readers stay informed, United Voice is passing on the Top Ten threats from a worldwide threat report in 2015 published by the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. In his report, Mr. Clapper outlines the top threats that could impact us as a nation and as individuals.
The following list was derived from the official report that you should be aware of:
Here’s a list of the 10 greatest threats to the United States in 2015:
1. Infectious Diseases
Diseases and pathogens kill millions of people around the world each year. It would only take one disease of exceptional virulence and deadliness to bring us a real global health disaster.
2. Extreme Weather
No one should be shocked that extreme weather is considered to be one of the greatest dangers in society today. Harsh weather can make it difficult to transport essential supplies or produce enough food keep up with demands. Extreme weather can also lead to a hike in food prices that can make even basic survival a financial challenge for the masses. Dry climates, rainfall shortages and tapped aqueducts are currently threatening much of California which is responsible for producing a large percentage of produce that feeds the nation.
3. Global Instability
Unstable political and economic conditions contribute to high risks of economic instability. Over the past year, we have seen what unstable regions, particularly in the Middle East can do to our fuel prices and currency value, leading to commodity price fluctuations that effect just about everything we buy that is not local and has to be transported to us.
4. Economics and Natural Resources
The world has not been the same since the global financial crisis that began in 2008. It has been slowly adjusting but economic growth is still behind from that of the previous decade. Add to that, trillions in debt and depleted natural resources, it’s no wonder the threat of economic meltdown and natural resource depletions are high up on the list.
5. Transnational Organized Crime
Criminal networks trafficking drugs, people, wildlife, weapons and illegal black market products are growing in numbers and power. Corruption and instability are major contributors to crime of all kinds, making it easier for criminals to conduct their business and evade agencies doing their best to keep them in check.
6. Space and Counterspace
Though America’s space program has taken a back seat to other initiatives in recent years, many US interests depend upon the communications, guidance and other capabilities of our satellites in orbit. Russia and China continue to innovate on systems meant to destroy and disrupt satellites of nations they are in conflict with. These include “reconnaissance, navigation, and communication” tools that, if crippled, could seriously hinder the capabilities of any nation they targeted.
7. Weapons of Mass Destruction
Nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction have been a concern for decades, and recent developments have given increased cause for alarm. Countries like Iran and North Korea continue to work at developing weaponry that would allow it to strike at America directly. China and Russia continue to develop their own capabilities as well, designing new missiles, delivery systems, and transportation for the weapons. Lastly, Syria has been singled out for its use of chemical weapons which violates the Chemical Weapons Convention. The scariest of all possibilities is an electro-magnetic pulse weapon which could be detonated miles above and destroy nearly all micro circuitry and electronics instantly–literally sending us back to the dark ages in seconds.
Terrorism, and particularly Islamist terrorism, are major threats to America. The “Sunni violent extremists” remain cause for concern for America and its allies. Homegrown violent extremists also remain cause for concern because of their “immediate and direct access” to their home countries. Thousands of radicals from all over the world have traveled to the Middle East to join jihadist groups like ISIS / ISIL. The majority of them have traveled to Syria to join in the ongoing conflict.
There are countries like Russia and China who try to intercept, infiltrate and disrupt intelligence activities in America. “Nonstate entities” like organized criminals and terrorists, are also likely to be a problem, and will continue to increase their counterintelligence work in order to try and evade government social and economic systems. Additionally, “trusted insiders who disclose sensitive US Government Information without authorization” are listed as being major threats to the country and its intelligence work.
Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are all mentioned as being involved in some of the largest infiltrations in recent history, including activity against American financial institutions and destructive attacks on corporations. Due to our reliance on electronic systems for our nation’s infrastructure, a single major breach able to take out critical infrastructure such as banking, power grids, communication networks, supply lines, water treatment, military assets or nuclear facilities could cause major disruptions, financial depressions, and/or stock market collapse which can lead to complete chaos and social meltdown.
>> What can we do to protect our families?
Good question! We subscribe to the self reliance camp. We’ll do what we can to be prepared for natural and manmade disasters by first being aware, then maintaining adequate supplies of critical needs like food, water, and medicine. We think about our mindset and how we might need to be first responders in times of emergencies. Having a plan and being prepared, getting adequate sleep and exercise to build our immune system, and developing a survival mindset is about the limit of what we can do as citizens living in uncertain times. Make your list, develop a plan, and then rest easy knowing that you’ve done all you can.