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Key takeaways from annual US intelligence threat assessment

CIA Director Gina Haspel accompanied by Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats arrive to testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Top U.S. security officials warned Congress on Tuesday of an increasingly diverse range of security dangers around the globe, from North Korean nuclear weapons to Chinese cyberespionage to Russian campaigns to undermine Western democracies.

Here are the key takeaways from their 2019 report on worldwide threats to U.S. national security:

— Threats will expand and become more diverse in the coming year, driven in part by China and Russia in a race for technological and military superiority.

—China and Russia are “more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s,” and their relationship is likely to strengthen as some of their interests converge.

— Some U.S. allies and partners are seeking greater independence from Washington in response to their perceptions of changing U.S. security and trade policies.

— North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear arsenal.

— China, Russia, Iran and North Korea use cyber operations to “threaten both minds and machines” to steal information, influence U.S. citizens or disrupt critical infrastructure.

— Iran is not violating the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. and other Western countries. Its adherence to the deal has extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon from a few months to about one year.

— Russia is positioning cyberattack “assets” to allow it to disrupt or damage U.S. civilian and military infrastructure during a crisis.

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