US intelligence agencies warn of threats from new and old foes

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in March 2018.

Washington (CNN)US intelligence agencies are grappling with the "most complex and diverse threats ever seen" from a host of adversaries, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Tuesday while unveiling his office's new National Intelligence Strategy.

Among those named in the strategy were the expected -- Russia, China, North Korea and Iran -- as well as a raft of non-state actors and terrorist threats that "pose challenges within traditional, non-traditional, hybrid, and asymmetric military, economic, and political spheres."
The new strategy, which sets the agenda for the country's 17 intelligence agencies and has been released every four years, also placed on emphasis on the need for the intelligence community to be more transparent and to ensure its voice is heard in the national security conversation.
    "One of the things that's awesome about America is that people hate being duped," a senior official in Coats' office told a gathering of journalists after Coats addressed around 180 members of the office's staff.
    While many of the stated strategic goals in the 36-page report remains similar to years past, the document released Tuesday outlines how the US intelligence community must address evolving threats "particularly in the realm of space, cyberspace, computing, and other emerging, disruptive technologies."
    "We face significant changes in the domestic and global environment; we must be ready to meet 21st century challenges," Coats wrote in a letter that accompanied the document. "To navigate today's turbulent and complex strategic environment, we must do things differently."
    Senior officials told reporters that Russia and China are collaborating on artificial intelligence and also highlighted the growing influence of Beijing as it forms strategic partnerships with Latin American and African nations.
    The US intelligence community must become more "agile" and use the most "advanced technology" available in order to implement three guiding parts to its mission, according to Coats: Value-based integration, innovation, transparency.
    As for the four countries named at the top of the report, the strategy asserts those nations "will continue attempts to gain and assert influence, taking advantage of changing conditions in the international environment --- including the weakening o