The Director of national intelligence of the USA James Clapper addressed the Congress with an annual report on assessment of the major global threats to U.S. security. The text of the report (.pdf) published on the website of the organization, coordinates the work of all U.S. intelligence, the Director is responsible for the work of the intelligence community before the President of the country.
Russia in the report is mentioned in the analysis of the seven main threats. The first two threats, said Clapper, connected with the protection of cyberspace. According to American intelligence, Russia has the ability to conduct network reconnaissance operations to defeat critical infrastructure, collecting information, conducting “operations impact”. Moscow and Beijing, said Klepper, considering the effects on cyberspace as an important geo-strategic tools and will continue to develop them, thus they will be discussing ways to limit such impacts.
In addition, through cyberspace Russia seeks to influence people’s opinions, in order to change the direction of discussions on important issues and to support their supporters. In particular, the report States that Moscow places on commercial sites with disinformation for the purpose of influencing online media to change the discourse and the intentional creation of confusion.
The third item on Clapper called Russia’s violation of the Treaty of missiles short and medium range. The head of the U.S. intelligence community notes that Russia denies violation of this agreement.
Next time Russia in the report is mentioned in connection with the assessment of threats in space. It is noted that Russia and China continue to improve the capabilities of their military and intelligence satellites. With it operations becoming more “sophisticated”, says the report, but as examples of Russian space images used to support military operations in Syria. In addition, Beijing and Moscow, according to the Americans, actively develop space weapons, which may in coming years become a threat to military, civil and commercial space systems USA.
Clapper referred to the Russian military, which, he said, admitted the existence and deployment of “jamming” of the signals from the satellites, and the development of laser weapons for the purpose of “blinding” U.S. reconnaissance satellites and spacecraft.
The fifth threat the report identifies the actions of “traditional” intelligence services of other countries, in the first place by the degree of risk identified actions of special services of Russia and China.
The sixth risk the report identifies the actions of Russia in the Arctic, where she “will continue to maintain a military presence along the Northern shoreline” to improve protection of the border and to ensure control over its “exclusive economic zone”.
Extensive the last paragraph, in which Russia is mentioned as a threat on regional conflicts where Moscow is mentioned in connection with events in Ukraine, in Syria and Turkey, as well as the policy of Russia towards the neighboring countries. “Despite the economic slowdown in Russia, the Kremlin intends to continue to pursue a tough foreign policy in 2016. “Russia’s willingness to secretly use military and paramilitary forces in the neighboring country continue to cause anxiety in the countries around Russia, including members of NATO,” according to U.S. intelligence.
“With the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, Moscow has redoubled its efforts to strengthen its influence in Eurasia,” reads the report, while Russia called “undisputed hegemon” in Eurasia and she said Clapper will tend to increase the pressure on neighbouring countries with the purpose of involving of the Eurasian economic Union.
There is also a concern of Turkey in connection with the desire of Russia to help the Kurds and to exert more influence in the region. Military participation of Russia in Syria is likely to help the regime of Bashar al-Assad to regain control over “key” areas, such as Aleppo, but “foreign aid” the Assad government will not be able to fundamentally change the balance of power and their position, the report said.