U.S. facing wide-ranging threats.Uneven economies, demographics and bad governance combined with the proliferation proliferation /pro·lif·er·a·tion/ (pro-lif?er-a´shun) the reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells.prolif´erativeprolif´erous
n. of missiles, weapons of mass destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or and large regional armies pose a significant challenge to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , said Kenneth Knight, chief of the defense warning office for the Defense Intelligence Agency Noun 1. Defense Intelligence Agency - an intelligence agency of the United States in the Department of Defense; is responsible for providing intelligence in support of military planning and operations and weapons acquisition
Knight, speaking at a missile defense Missile defence is an air defence system, weapon program, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defence against nuclear-armed ICBMs, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged conference, said that the United States is seen by its adversaries as the source of trouble in the world.
"We are the center of gravity in this emerging world," he said.
However, those views could change if the U.S. is successful in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
"Maybe [it will shake] future perceptions," said Knight.
Adversaries are becoming adept at coping with U.S. military power. They are learning how to exploit public opinion as well as fighting in asymmetrical ways--deploying in complex terrain and avoiding decisive engagements, he added.
Even outer space, which the United States has controlled, may soon be exploited by future enemies.
"Any potential adversary will have access [to space] through international consortia," Knight said.
Most of the regions and conflicts that America needs to be concerned about are in the Middle East, including Iraq (a continued terrorist threat), the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Knight is also concerned with development of and acquisition of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles intercontinental ballistic missile: see guided missile. and WMDs by countries around the world. For example, China is intent on expanding its strategic capabilities, he said.
"What does China hope to get nut of its nuclear capabilities? That's a concern to me," he said.
Russia, which has half the military strength of its Cold War days, still retains an effective deterrent--its nuclear capability, Knight said. "But will [Russia] rely on nukes with its military in disarray?"