State of the World: National Security Threats and Challenges

[wcm_nonmember]In this Dispatch… (360 words)

  • Recent comments on the ongoing challenge posed by revisionist powers
  • Geopolitical issues that affect the national security of the US


  • SubBanner

    This content is for subscribers only. To continue reading, please log in or subscribe here. [/wcm_nonmember]

    [wcm_restrict plan =”fo-osint”]

State of the World:  National Security Threats and Challenges

Senate Armed Services Committee

Selected Notes


General (Ret.) Petraeus:

  • Sequestration has negatively affected military readiness
  • Failure to pass timely defense budgets have negatively affected the military
  • Agrees that there’s a present threat to the established international order
  • ‘Revisionist Powers’ include the Islamic world, China, and Russia.  (Analyst Comment: Revisionist Powers want to revise or remake the world order currently dominated by the West.)
  • If America ceases to sustain the world order, then it will fail
  • America’s global dominance is diminishing
  • The US will have to work with China and other powers to reshape the world in cooperation, and not in conflict
  • Eighty percent of the time when a status quo power (the US) is challenged by a revision power (China), there’s a conflict
  • Sees the fight against extremist Islam as Muslims vs. Muslims, not Us vs. Them
  • Information operations against the Islamic State are not working


Former Dep. Dir. CIA, McLaughlin:

  • World currently experiencing the diffusion of powers; managing coalitions will be key to future success
  • Demographics: the West is growing older and having fewer children.  The rest of the world is young and poor.
  • There’s a growing discontent with governance, re: Trump, Arab Spring, European nationalism
  • Islamic State overall is weaker than before, however, their reach and influence still threatens Western nations
  • Technological breakthroughs have allowed nefarious actors to weaponize technology
  • Odds are high that North Korea will achieve nuclear ICBM status within four years
  • The outcome of the Syrian conflict will change how the US, Turkey, Iran, and Russia are looked at internationally
  • Europe is under a “real threat of collapse” as it stands due to economic, migrant/refugee issues
  • China is moving swiftly to become most influential in Asia and bring Asian nations within its economic orbit
  • Iran is still working on its nuclear weapons program; UN is not reporting violations of the US deal
  • America is moving towards energy independence in the next 20 years, and will be a net exporter of energy
  • Believes that America will not lose its strategic power, despite potential tactical and operational losses
  • Putin needs an adversarial America to maintain popularity and nationalism, thus support for his military adventures
  • Trump does not know the secondary and tertiary effects of his policies


Photo via Luke Price

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

Join nearly 7,000 people already receiving the Forward Observer Dispatch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *