Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair delivered the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment briefing to the Senate intelligence committee today, and somehow, the prospect of swarthy men detonating a mall in Sheboygin didn’t make the grade. Walter Pincus:

"Roughly a quarter of the countries in the world have already experienced low-level instability such as government changes because of the current slowdown," Blair told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, delivering the first annual threat assessment in six years in which terrorism was not presented as the primary danger to the country.

Read through and you’ll see there’s a rather nuanced assessment of Al Qaeda capabilities, particularly in Yemen, where the organization is expanding in an alarming way. What Blair doesn’t do is treat terrorism as an undifferentiated phenomenon that’s already snuck up behind your unsuspecting grandparents. The prospect of a global depression will have multifaceted security implications — the last one contributed, you know, to a world war — and it’s only sensible to explore their prospects. Still, expect the right to denounce Blair’s report and warn us that the only thing we have to fear is the lack of fear itself.

Crossposted to The Streak.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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