Editor’s note: Guest columnist Sarah Kreps is filling in for Steven Metz, who is out this week.
In a speech last month on threats to the United States “in an age of disruption,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen outlined the top five areas of concern in the so-called threat landscape. Some were familiar, some new. But one in particular stood out.
First, the “home game” and “away game,” as she put it, are no longer distinct. Enemies are not limited by geography in a borderless world, and the U.S. can no longer assume that fighting enemies “over there” means not fighting them at home. Second, terrorism and transnational crime “have spread across the globe at fiber-optic speeds,” while groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaida remain focused on executing major attacks. Third, there is a resurgence—a “re-rise,” in Nielsen’s words—of hostile nation states. Countries such as China, Russia and North Korea are trying to use asymmetric tactics such as cyber operations and disinformation campaigns to undermine American power.