Why do I bring this up? I voiced a bit of consternation by highlighting a Woods meme that talks about the world being concerned about "terrorism, disease and starvation while liberals are worried about allowing men to use female bathrooms".
Below are a few tidbits from the Threat Assessment....
The PLA remains focused on transforming the Army into a fully mechanized force. The PLA is converting its divisions into brigades to increase their lethality and improve their combat capabilities. China’s national-level training focus has been on brigade-level exercises that stress unit combat mission capabilities under realistic conditions, long distance mobility, and command and control. We expect these trends to continue.
Russia’s future force will be smaller and more agile, capable of handling a range of contingencies. During the next year, we expect continued efforts to improve joint operations capabilities and rearmament because of the high priority that Russian leadership places on these portfolios.
At the same time, Russian forces have conducted exercises and a record numbers of out-of-area air and naval operations. We expect these to continue this year to include greater activity in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.
Moscow affirmed its intent to improve the military’s capability to control the Russian Arctic region, stressing the area’s current and future strategic and economic importance. Recently, Moscow increased its exercise activities and established new airbases in its Arctic region. Russia also plans to establish additional air defense, coastal missile defense, and ground forces there. Highlighting the importance of the Arctic to Russian leaders, Moscow announced the 1 December activation of a Joint Service Command (OSK) North.
Russia will continue to place the highest priority on the maintenance of a robust and capable arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons. Priorities for the strategic nuclear forces include the modernization of its road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and upgrades to strategic forces’ command and control facilities. In the next year, Russia will field more road-mobile SS-27 Mod-2 ICBMs with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles. It also will continue development of the RS-26 ballistic missile, the Dolgorukiy ballistic missile submarine, and its SS-N-32 Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, and next-generation air- and ground-launched cruise missiles.
Al-Qa‘ida core is now focused on physical survival following battlefield losses. At the same time, the group is trying to retain its status as the vanguard of the global extremist movement, being eclipsed now by ISIL’s rising global prominence and powerful competition for adherents. Despite the fracturing of the global extremist movement, al-Qa‘ida core in Pakistan continues to retain the loyalty of its global affiliates in Yemen, Somalia, North Africa, Syria, and South Asia.Reality vs. Societal Fantasy.
Despite ongoing counterterrorism (CT) pressure and competition from ISIL, al-Qa‘ida will likely attempt to retain a transnational attack capability, and the group will continue to use its remaining paramilitary units, trained recruits, and extremist affiliates and allies to target Western interests in South Asia and worldwide. Al-Qa‘ida also will likely try to expand its limited presence in eastern Afghanistan as Western CT operations there decline, and in the face of continued CT pressure from Pakistan.
Beyond core al-Qa‘ida, I would like to highlight for the committee a handful of other violent extremist groups that are of particular concern to DIA.
Al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remains committed to attacking the West, probably by targeting commercial aviation with innovative explosives.
Al-Qa‘ida in Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) recently increased efforts to expand its operating areas across North and West Africa by working with, and through, other regional terrorist groups. AQIM almost certainly continues to plan attacks and kidnapping operations against U.S. allies in the region.
The Khorasan Group is a cadre of experienced al-Qa‘ida operatives that works closely with and relies upon al-Nusrah Front to provide personnel and space for training facilities in northwestern Syria. The group is primarily focused on transnational terrorist attack plotting. Coalition airstrikes in Syria probably killed a number of senior al-Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group operatives, but the group almost certainly has maintained some capability to continue plotting against Western interests.
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Lebanese Hizballah are instruments of Iran’s foreign policy and its ability to project power in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Hizballah continues to support the regime of Syrian President Asad, pro-regime militants and Iraqi Shia militants in Syria. Hizballah has sent trainers and advisors to Iraq to assist Iranian and Iraqi Shia militias fighting Sunni extremists there. Select Iraqi Shia militant groups also warned of their willingness to fight U.S. forces returning to Iraq.
Boko Haram (BH) is engaged in a brutal, multi-front offensive in northeastern Nigeria largely against the Nigerian government and continues to carry out near daily attacks. The Nigerian government has failed to improve its force-centric efforts against BH, let alone implement a whole-of-government counterinsurgency approach. If continued along the same trajectory, BH’s successes could grow into a significant regional crisis with implications outside of northwest Africa.
Society in the US and the West in general has been caught up in a type of fantasy land. Matters that I/We/silent majority (the irony of a black guy using that term is not lost on me) is being ignored and the focus has been on wedge issues when important items...items that pertain to national security are being ignored.
The above is just a small sample and doesn't even begin to hit on the major points that are covered by the National Threat Assessment...this is only the DIA's view of things which is narrow. From a national perspective it also includes Cyber Security, Drug and Human Trafficking, Terrorism, Transnational Criminal Organizations, Infrastructure, Weapons of Mass Destruction and other things.
Yet we are forced into a battle over transgenders use of either the bathroom that they're biological compatible with or whether we should allow them to use the one with which they identify.
It's madness! The real craziness? Transgenders are .3 (point three) percent of the US population! The US military is being asked to jump thru massive hoops for what....what is a good estimate of a transgender person that has the desire to join the USMC....mayb .001 percent of the population? And how many of those people will simply join so that they can get reassignment surgery and then bail?
Society has the luxury of being silly and fickle. A US military that is undergoing massive change (women in combat), reduced budgets and back breaking operating tempo does not. The Generals gave in to women in combat and it will take at least a decade (or more) for that drama to wind down. They cannot do the same on the transgender issue or the military will and truly break.
That's my take on the subject...what do you think?