US intel chief warns of Afghanistan political breakdown

The United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that Afghanistan is at serious risk of a political breakdown this year.

Clapper told the Senate Armed Services and intelligence committees Afghanistan is at serious risk of a political breakdown during 2016, occasioned by mounting political economic and security challenges.

“Waning political cohesion, increasingly assertive local power brokers, financial shortfalls and sustained countrywide Taliban attacks are eroding stability,” he said as several top American senators expressed their concern over the current situation in Afghanistan.

In the meantime, US intelligence chief described the Islamic State as the “pre-eminent terrorist threat.”

The militant group can “direct and inspire attacks against a wide range of targets around the world”, Clapper said.

Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the Islamic State will probably conduct additional attacks in Europe and then attempt the same in the U.S.

He said U.S. intelligence agencies believe IS leaders will be “increasingly involved in directing attacks rather than just encouraging lone attackers.”

Clapper also said al-Qaida, from which the Islamic State spun off, remains an enemy and the U.S. will continue to see cyber threats from China, Russia and North Korea, which is also ramping up its nuclear program.

But the Afghan government rejects US officials’ statements regarding Afghanistan’s political breakdown.

This comes as analysts are said to consider that US officials with declaring such statements are trying to
attract the attentions of Afghanistan donor countries for further assistances.

Sourse: Antnews

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