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Aug. 1, 2022

Opening Remarks: Worldwide Threat Assessment - 2022 (Senate Armed Services Committee, May 10, 2022)

Senate Armed Services Committee

LTG Scott D. Berrier, United States Army

Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

ATA Opening Remarks

Senate Armed Services Committee

May 10, 2022


Chairman Reed, Ranking Member Inhofe, and distinguished members of the Committee, it is a privilege to testify today as part of the Intelligence Community’s 2022 assessment of worldwide threats to U.S. national security. On behalf of DIA, I want to express how much we appreciate your support and partnership.

DIA fills a unique intelligence role by providing strategic, operational, and tactical intelligence to our warfighters, defense planners, policymakers, and the acquisition community. We examine conflict across all warfighting domains to assess foreign capabilities and understand our adversaries’ intent. DIA’s dedicated professionals—in partnership with our Intelligence Community colleagues, allies, and foreign partners—deliver timely and relevant intelligence on the threats and challenges facing our nation. DIA has a highly resilient workforce that has overcome difficult challenges posed by the pandemic. Today, my goal is to convey DIA’s insights to you—and the American public—on the evolving threat environment as we understand it.

As I look at the global landscape today, I want to begin with Russia and its invasion of Ukraine, which is now in its third month. Russian military capabilities have been used to violate the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and they pose an existential threat to U.S. national security and that of our allies. The invasion has demonstrated Russia’s intent to overturn the U.S.-led, rules-based post-Cold War international order, expand its control over the former Soviet Union, and reclaim what it regards as its rightful position on the world stage. Moscow’s underestimation of Ukraine’s effective resistance, Russia’s

substantial battlefield losses, and Western resolve to support Ukraine, has undermined Moscow’s assault on Kyiv and improved prospects that Ukraine can successfully defend its sovereignty. Moscow has now shifted its focus to eastern Ukraine, where it appears to be prioritizing defeating Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. In response to stiff Ukrainian resistance, Russia has resorted to more indiscriminate and brutal methods that are destroying cities, infrastructure, and increasing civilian deaths. Negotiations remain stalled as both sides focus on the outcome of the battle in the Donbas, while partnership with Ukraine and warning of potential escalation remain key priorities for DIA.

Turning to China, it remains a pacing threat and a major security challenge. Beijing has long viewed the United States as a strategic competitor. China is capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system. The PLA, which has already fielded sophisticated weapons and instituted major organizational reforms to enhance joint operations, is nearing the status of a global competitor to the United States, its allies and partners, and is a credible peer competitor in the region. China’s current nuclear force expansion is historic.

The United States faces military and intelligence threats from competitors, particularly China and Russia, who have and are developing new capabilities intended to contest, limit, or exceed U.S. military advantage. State and non-state actors are selectively putting these capabilities into play globally and regionally. These capabilities also span all warfighting domains—maritime, land, air, electronic warfare, cyberspace, information, and space. They include more lethal ballistic and cruise missiles, growing nuclear stockpiles, modernized conventional forces, and a range of gray zone measures such as the use of

ambiguous unconventional forces, foreign proxies, information manipulation, cyberattacks, and economic coercion.

Strategic competitors and other challengers are 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 also 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. Transnationally, the terrorist threat will also persist, and we need to understand more about the lessons learned from our experience supporting military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Turning back to my own organization, I take the health, safety, and well-being of my workforce seriously. DIA remains actively engaged in investigating Anomalous Health Incidents (AHIs). My agency has the processes and procedures in place to quickly respond to reports from employees or their families who believe they have been impacted by an AHI. We are also partnering with other members of the IC to determine the origin and cause of all reported events.

I am honored to lead DIA. My intent is that this hearing helps Congress and our Nation better understand the threats and challenges we face from foreign adversaries and competitors. I look forward to your questions and thank you for your continued confidence and support.