Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment: Armed Services Committee, United States Senate

MIDDLE EAST SECURITY CHALLENGESRegion, in my opinion, is now facing one of the most dangerous and unpredictable periods in its modern history. The security challenges have rapidly multiplied since 2011, as nations are confronted with simultaneous internal and external threats including terrorism, subnational armed groups, and conventional military threats. The region’s threat environment has become more dangerous and unpredictable with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) emergence, and many nations are using the rubric of combatting terrorists to eliminate their political or sectarian adversaries. Drivers of unrest — aging authoritarian leaders, lack of political transparency, corruption, insufficient economic opportunity, and sparse social mobility — will also remain, compounded by the consequences of the Arab Awakening: civil conflict, ungoverned spaces, social cleavages, instability spillover, and growing Iranian involvement. My comments on this volatile and important region will focus on Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Source: Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment: Armed Services Committee, United States Senate

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