The risk of inter-state conflict is higher now than at any time since the end of the Cold War, according to US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats.

The most immediate threats over the next year will come from North Korea and from “Saudi-Iranian use of proxies in their rivalry,”Coats said during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday.

“At the same time, the threat of state and non-state use of weapons of mass destruction will continue to grow,” he added.

His statement was accompanied with a detailed assessment of worldwide threats to intelligence community.

Cyber threats

Coats referred to Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea as the “greatest cyber threats” to the US in the next year. According to Coats the four nations are “using cyber operations as a low-cost tool of statecraft.”

“We assess that they will work to use cyber operations to achieve strategic objectives unless they face clear repercussions for their cyber operations,” he said.

cyberattacks” to be used against the US.
Speaking specifically of Russia, Coats said the US expects that “Russia will conduct bolder and more disruptive cyber operations during the next year, most likely using new capabilities against Ukraine.”

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