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Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 2009

Speaker: Dennis C. Blair, Former Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Command
Published February 12, 2009

Dennis C. Blair, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, provided this yearly threat assessment. The press release states,

"In public testimony today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of
National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair outlined the most significant global security threats facing
the nation. Recognizing that global threats comprise a diverse set of issues and factors, Director
Blair framed the analysis by identifying key areas of risk, concern and opportunity that could
have direct effects on the quality of life and security for Americans. The hearing also marked the first occasion where the Director, the leader of the nation's Intelligence Community, was the sole witness providing comprehensive analysis from all 16 intelligence agencies.

In his opening statement, Director Blair addressed several emerging areas of concern:

1) The global economic crisis and its destabilizing impact on allies and adversaries – including the likely decreased ability of our allies to meet their defense and humanitarian obligations;

2) The domestic and international impact of global climate change;

3) Access to secure and clean global energy resources and management of food and water
supplies, especially in light of a projected population increase of 1 billion by 2025; and

4) Cyber security and threats to the U.S. information infrastructure posed by both state and
non-state actors.

In referring to the global economic crisis that started in the United States and quickly spread to
other countries, Blair said, "Time is probably our greatest threat. The longer it takes for the
recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests."

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