US intelligence chiefs are sounding alarms about an even more perilous future for the United States, one in which Washington is in danger of losing friends and its global influence, GlobalSecurity.org reported on January 29.
Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, along with the chiefs of five other top intelligence agencies, delivered the grim assessment to lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying: “We face significant changes in the domestic and global environment that has resulted in an increasingly complex and uncertain world and we must be ready.”
He emphasized that China and Russia “are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s” and, pointing at activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization, did not believe North Korea would ever give up its entire nuclear arsenal.
CIA director Gina Haspel told the lawmakers that the regime in Pyongyang was also “committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that would pose a direct threat to the United States.”
CNN reported on January 31 that president Donald Trump “seethed … as he watched the highlights of his intelligence chiefs testifying on Capital Hill” and singled out Coats by name as one of the officials who had contradicted him.
Apart from presenting a different view of North Korea and denuclearization, the intelligence chiefs also refuted Trump’s claim that the Islamic State has been defeated in Syria.
The CNN report was based on “two people with knowledge” of Trump’s outburst against Coats. According to CNN, Trump made his displeasure with the intelligence team clear on Twitter on January 30, but did not mention Coats by name in his tweets as he did verbally in the closed meeting.