The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) recently announced the top five global military threats, and they are North Korea, Russia, China, Iran and extremist organizations.
“We in DIA call these are no-fail missions because the risk is too high for us to fail in pursuing these missions,” Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart recently said.
Stewart and Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, discussing the threats.
North Korea poses an “increasingly provocative” threat and nuclear capabilities, Stewart explained.
“Since assuming power, Kim Jong Un has conducted three nuclear tests and the regime has tested an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles of varying ranges over the past year,” Stewart said. “If left on its current trajectory, the regime will ultimately succeed in fielding a nuclear-armed missile capable of threatening the United States homeland.”
Regarding Russia, Stewart said that country “sees military power as critical to achieving key strategic objective and the nation devotes significant resources to its military modernization program,” according to the release.
“The Russian government seeks to be the center of influence in what it describes as a multi-polar, post-West world order,” Stewart explained.
China stands as a “near-peer” U.S. competitor, Stewart said, as that country continues to build what evidence points to as new military bases.
“A key component of China’s strategy for a regional contingency is planning for potential U.S. intervention in a conflict in the region,” he said. Its navy remains on a course for 350 ships by the year 2020 and anti-access, area-denial capabilities continue to improve.”
In Iran, that country is putting resources into military priorities such as ballistic and cruise missiles, naval systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and air defense systems that could threaten the U.S., Stewart told the committee.
“Iran’s conventional military doctrine is designed to protect Iran from the consequences of its assertive regional policy,” he said. “We should expect Iran to continue to undermine the current regional security architecture using terrorist organizations and proxies to complicate U.S. efforts throughout the region.”
While the U.S. is making progress in the fight on terror, there “is still a long way to go,” Stewart said.
“We’ve killed many ISIS and al-Qaeda leaders, and numerous terrorist plots have been averted,” he said. But, “I’m particularly concerned about the long-term impact of returning foreign fighters and the potential for these groups to capitalize on the proliferation of armed unmanned aerial vehicles to do harm to U.S. and our allied interests.”
Watch the general’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee: