STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD
WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT
ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Scott Berrier, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Chairman Gallego, Ranking Member Kelly, and members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to provide the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA’s) assessment of the global security environment and to address the threats confronting the Nation.
Strategic competition is intensifying because China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have become more confident in the force modernization they have undertaken for years and perceive more opportunity to advance their ambitions. Both China and Russia perceive that the United States is a nation in decline as pretext for executing their ambitions globally.
The United States faces challenges from competitors who have and are developing new capabilities intended to challenge, limit, or exceed U.S. military advantage. These state and nonstate actors are selectively putting those capabilities into play globally and regionally. The threats those capabilities pose span all warfighting domains—maritime, land, air/air defense, electronic warfare (EW), cyberspace, information, and space/counterspace. They include more lethal ballistic and cruise missiles, growing nuclear stockpiles, modernized conventional forces, and a range of gray zone measures such as ambiguous unconventional forces, foreign proxies, information manipulation, cyberattacks, and economic coercion. Such gray zone measures are below traditional combat thresholds and often afford plausible deniability, but they enable actors to wage campaigns of aggression.
Today, strategic competitors and other challengers are advancing beyond gray zone measures and exerting increasing military pressure on neighboring states. Russia has invaded Ukraine, China is threatening Taiwan, and Iran—through its proxies—threatens neighbors in the Middle East and U.S. forces, while enriching uranium to new levels. North Korea continues to threaten South Korea, Japan, and the United States with nuclear-capable ballistic missiles of increased range and lethality. The threat from terrorist organizations will persist.
The security landscape in Afghanistan has changed. The United States faces a variety of security challenges in South Asia following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as regional dynamics shift. Since the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, countries like China, Russia, and Iran are working to damage U.S. credibility internationally and engage with the Taliban to pursue or develop outcomes favorable to their interests and ambitions.
Rapidly evolving technology, advances in special materials, high-performance computing, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and biotechnology will augment our adversaries’ military capabilities, and pose additional challenges. China and Russia, in particular, are pressing ahead with advances in space and counterspace capabilities and using cyberspace to increase their operational reach into U.S. infrastructure. They continue to exploit the COVID-19 environment and conduct information warfare to undermine Western governments and compel economic and political outcomes in their favor.
Globally, terrorist groups have experienced significant losses; however, terrorism threats persist. COVID-19 will continue to threaten world health and stability and climate change will increasingly alter our operating environment. We must remain vigilant to protect our interests and those of our allies.
DIA officers fulfill the critical mission of providing strategic, operational, and tactical Defense Intelligence to our warfighters, defense planners, policymakers, and the acquisition community. The foundational intelligence that DIA, our colleagues across the Defense Intelligence Enterprise, and our allies and foreign partners provide on foreign military capabilities helps to translate national policy into executable military action and to inform the joint force.
I am privileged to lead DIA. My hope in this hearing is to help Congress and the Nation better understand the challenges we face and to support this committee in identifying opportunities to respond to these challenges. Thank you for your continued confidence. Your support is vital to DIA.