According to the 2013 Worldwide Threat Assessment, the nation’s number one threat is that our government will provoke a cyber attack by Russia or China. No kidding, the primary danger facing America, according to the 17 intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA and Defense Intelligence agency that make up the Intelligence Community, is that our policies will frighten another country into believing they have no choice but to attack. Here’s what James Clapper, Director of National Security says in this year’s assessment about our new number one threat, now more of a danger than Al Qaeda:
Increasing Risk to US Critical Infrastructure
We judge that there is a remote chance of a major cyber attack against US critical infrastructure systems during the next two years that would result in long-term, wide-scale disruption of services, such as a regional power outage. The level of technical expertise and operational sophistication required for such an attack—including the ability to create physical damage or overcome mitigation factors like manual overrides—will be out of reach for most actors during this time frame. Advanced cyber actors—such as Russia and China—are unlikely to launch such a devastating attack against the United States outside of a military conflict or crisis that they believe threatens their vital interests.
America’s #1 threat worldwide is that our leaders will do something mind-numbingly stupid – attack or threaten the vital interest of a nation with the power to damage us. They’ve done it before. The Cuban missile crisis, the closest the world came to thermonuclear war, happened because the US threatened the national security of the Soviet Union. President Kennedy provoked the crisis by placing, ‘cuz he could, nuclear-armed Jupiter missiles in Turkey, within easy striking distance of the Soviet Union. Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev was not amused and responded by placing nukes close to us in Cuba. 19 Arabians attack on 9/11 only after the US placed an ever-provocative US military base in Arabia.
US military knuckleheadedness seems without limit. The past threescore years are littered with pointless, provocative confrontations that cost us our trillions we could have used for healthcare, education and roads, like modern, civilized countries do. We look back at the attacks on Nicaragua, Vietnam, Iraq, et al and can only ask “What were we smoking?”
This year’s assessment is a cry for help. It is the sane, nonpolitical people in Washington in their own, understated, bureaucratic way screaming, “We have no enemies but our insane policies may get us attacked anyway, Stop them!”