Making the Most of the Worldwide Threat Assessment

FBI Director James Comey and Director of the National Intelligence James Clapper at the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on worldwide threats, Washington, Feb. 9, 2016 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).
FBI Director James Comey and Director of the National Intelligence James Clapper at the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on worldwide threats, Washington, Feb. 9, 2016 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).
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Every year in February, the heads of U.S. intelligence agencies present Congress with an unclassified threat assessment. The quality of the document this year is uneven, and it’s clear that intelligence leaders remain conflicted about how much of their knowledge belongs in the public domain. But the annual ritual has some value in pushing the intelligence bureaucracy to clarify its thinking on key issues, and can set a framework for a productive partnership with policymakers. Last week, WPR columnist Michael Cohen argued that the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, as the report and accompanying congressional testimony is known, amounts to fear-mongering […]

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