Feb. 11, 2014 —
DIA Director Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn joined Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in providing members of the Senate Armed Services Committee with an overview of potential threats and concerns facing the United States. The hearing was the third and final Annual Threat Assessment, following similar briefs to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
As in previous testimony, Clapper provided an opening statement focused on cybersecurity, counterterrorism, the impact of intelligence compromises and regional conflicts. Flynn also delivered an opening statement highlighting three areas of particular concern: the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-state actors and the proliferation of these weapons to other state actors; the emergence of foreign militaries with capabilities approaching those of the U.S. and our allies; and increasing tensions in the Pacific.
In their opening statements, Sens. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and James Inhofe thanked Clapper and Flynn for their service and asked the directors to pass on their thanks to the men and women of the intelligence community — both in uniform and civilians — for their commitment and sacrifices on behalf of the nation. These words of gratitude and appreciation were echoed by all of the 16 other senators who spoke at the hearing.
During the two-hour session, senators asked extensive questions about terrorism, cybersecurity and the impact of data compromises. They also singled out certain nations for additional focus, including Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Russia and China.
A subsequent classified session of the hearing may be scheduled in the coming weeks to address certain sensitive topics that could not be addressed in this open session.
In addition, though this is the final threat assessment hearing of the year, Flynn is expected to meet with the committees as part of the budget process this spring.