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Hong Kong Intelligence Report #124 Review of 2024 ANNUAL THREAT ASSESSMENT OF THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

Updated: Mar 31

Open-source intelligence (OSINT)


Hong Kong Intelligence Report #124 Review of 2024 ANNUAL THREAT ASSESSMENT OF THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY
FILE PHOTO: Teenagers group having fun together and waving american flags at skateboard park © Envato

🔻 IMPORTANT 【重要】2024 ANNUAL THREAT ASSESSMENT OF THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

 

▪️ 2024 ANNUAL THREAT ASSESSMENT OF THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (published on February 5, 2024) is basically an OSINT product based on open sources available to the global public online before January 22, 2024. In general, it gives us comprehensive knowledge of the view of the IC of the U.S., key categories behind the news media narratives and worldwide incidents of significant impact on our lives. Why does this insightful report have its importance and quality of intelligence on transnational influence in it? It’s simply because the U.S. is the greatest leading country on earth as a superpower. It gives the U.S. intelligence product border-lessness and concrete universality even though it’s their domestically consumed product in the system.  In other words, it’s a must-read for every citizen who is politically conscious and keeps track of what’s happening in the world and their domestic society, especially in relation with the world’s most sophisticated and admired nation, the United States of America. I highly recommend you to read it by yourself.  

 

▪️ There are several key points in the report. The most important one is the category, while our thought (knowing and thinking) is composed by concept, judgment, and inference (from the understanding to reasoning). A category is a concept that constitutes a certain system. And comprehensive understanding or total knowledge is impossible without the use of categories to grasp its moments in totality. There is also some significant advancement on both sides in terms of designation of enemies in contrast to extremist radicals in the establishment. The IC of the U.S. and HKSARG on Safeguarding National Security Ordinance moderately excluded the terms of enemies against each other, while every IC of every society must maintain mutual contact and cooperation to tackle transnational crimes or shared domains on a daily basis. Hence, there is no such thing as an enemy in bilateral relations as long as they are not in an officially declared war against each other. In fact, the U.S. is not at war with any other country on earth.  Unnecessary hostile narratives and biased approaches were restricted in the well-written report on adversaries.  Only paid influence actors of both sides abuse the term, enemies.

 

▪️Categories:

 

  1. State Actors (China, Russia, Iran, North Korea are designated as subjects who possess capabilities of global significance to threaten the U.S. interests including its allies and partners or whose actions are threatening the U.S. interests and its global superiority): Today, it doesn’t call them evil enemies but competitors accurately while not fully antagonizing against each other. 

  2. Conflicts and Fragility: it further divides into actual conflict, potential interstate conflict, and potential domestic turmoil in other countries. Here, subjects of each category are selected according to the scale of the impact and influences on world politics. The Gaza conflict is for actual conflict; China maritime, India-China, India-Pakistan, Azerbaijan-Armenia for potential interstate conflict; The Balkans, Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Sahel (a biogeographical region of Africa; it means seven African countries, such as Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Chad), Haiti, Venezuela for potential domestic turmoil. Here, conflicts are simultaneously their fragilities. And their domestic turmoil is also a domestic contradiction. This section is additional to the big four state actors, while major conflicts and fragility are mentioned in China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea in the previous chapter. Basically, all subjects are reported by the mainstream media. However, the Sahel region is less covered among them. 

  3. Transnational Issues: the term ‘international’ is less used today in contrast to the use of ‘transnational.’ It divides into three particular categories, such as a) Contested Spaces; b) Shared Domains; c) Non-State Actor Issues. 

  4. Contested Spaces: space here means a field even though nuclear weapons and outer space dominance are prime concerns. The particular category of contested spaces is further divided into three individual categories. A) Disruptive Technology; B) Digital Authoritarianism and Transnational Repression; C) WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction; chemical, biological and radiological agents). 

  5. Shared Domains: This category is one of the cooperative categories even with the state actors designated above, because this category is where unification of the U.S. and its competitors is realistically possible against the shared threats and interests. It’s further divided into three individual categories. A) Environmental Change and Extreme Weather; B) Health Security; C) Migration. 

  6. Non-State Actor Issues: Although this category can or can’t accurately include so-called NGOs/Societies while they could have been state actors in disguise for both camps, it refers to transnational criminal organizations, human traffickers, global terrorist organizations, private military and security companies. Plus, individual, lone actors of this category. This category is divided into four individual categories. A) Transnational Organized Crimes; B) Human Trafficking; C) Global Terrorism; D) Private Military and Security Companies. 

 

In general, the entire report is just about both state actors and transnational issues, the two universal categories. And the U.S. and the four state actors are and can be in cooperation on shared domains and non-state actor issues.


Thus, the impacts of Safeguarding National Security Ordinance must be calculated in these terms / categories.

 

1.     If Safeguarding National Security Ordinance will enhance or advance the state actor (China)’s capabilities and influences on Hong Kong against the superiority of the U.S. and its allies?

2.     If Safeguarding National Security Ordinance will disrupt or even restrict the cooperation between Hong Kong and the U.S. on shared domains and non-state actor issues?

 

🔻 NEWS / FACTs 【新聞/事實】                                                                          


▪️The category of the state actor is further divided into various particular categories. Again, categories are about how they or us understating a subject at stake. Thus, it is not just a point but a moment, a series of moments in the course of reasoning. Although China only put focus on its own related part in the report, I pick up some interesting and curious parts from each major category of the report which does not intend to do the whole summarization. On the subject, the state actors are placed in order of primacy and their degree of rivalry which corresponds to their national power against the U.S. Hence, the number one state actor is China, second is Russia, the third is Iran, and the fourth is North Korea. Presumably, the U.S., at least its IC carefully avoided military accelerationism here. And one of the blind spots of China – at least to its public – is that it doesn’t necessarily recognize Taiwan as a nation in sheer violation of the One-China Policy both at present and the future, while it only needs to support or maintain the social resiliencies of Taiwan or prevent early unification of the Taiwan Strait under circumstances if the rivalry continues. In each contradiction, state actors against third countries or non-state actors naturally being subject to political exploitation of the U.S., its allies and partners is totally rational without any question or antagonization. Again, the avoidance of military accelerationism is the common feature of the IC of the U.S. in contrast to the conspiracy theories or mainstream media narratives of both camps. Furthermore, the IC doesn’t even hide the intentions and potentialities of political exploitation of conflicts and fragilities of the state actors.

 

A state actor is analyzed and depicted in categories below: 

 

  1. Regional and Global Activities

  2. Economics 

  3. Technology 

  4. Weapons of Mass Destruction 

  5. Military 

  6. Space 

  7. Cyber 

  8. Malign Influence Operations: it refers to the expansion of global covert influence of state actors to achieve their goals. 

  9. Intelligence Operations: it refers to monitoring, data collection, and advanced analytic capabilities. 

  10. Challenges 

 

The full categories can be seen in the analysis of China. The following part is highlighted because the efforts of the Chinese government is often only seen from the narrow point of view of Hong Kong, especially in recent SNSO legislation. In fact, it’s from the grand state policy and context unlimited to this tiny part of the nation. 

 

Beijing’s growing national security focus has generated new laws on data security and anti-espionage targeting foreign firms, driven a crackdown on PRC technology companies, and calls for all of China’s society to participate in counterintelligence activities. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.13.

 

On Russia:

 

It’s true that the Russian casualties in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War far exceeded the Russian casualties (26,000) of the Soviet–Afghan War. Hence, in this part, the IC proved their historical insightfulness.  

 

Russia has suffered more military losses than at any time since World War II—roughly 300,000 casualties and thousands of tanks and armored combat vehicles.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.15.

 

PMSCs are broadly in use by the state actors to avoid direct involvement of their regular military forces. And PMSCs are no longer antagonized as hidden arms of imperialist forces in propaganda, while both sides normally use them at present.

 

Russia will rely on private military and security companies (PMSCs) and paramilitary groups to achieve its objectives on the battlefield in Ukraine, to augment Russian forces, to move weapons and to train fighters, to hide Moscow’s hand in sensitive operations, and to project influence and power in the Middle East and Africa. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.16.

 

On Iran:

 

Below is the best analysis of what Iran is, in contrast to silly commentaries by paid Hong Kong media commentators on Middle East affairs. In fact, Iran itself is avoiding any direct war against the West by themselves by using the networks of terrorist groups at their hands. In this perspective, it’s easier to grasp the Gaza Conflict. On this, who is the peacemaker? It’s Israel and the U.S..

 

Decades of cultivating ties, providing support, funding, weapons, and training to its partners and proxies around the Middle East, including Lebanese Hizballah, the Huthis, and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, will enable Tehran to continue to demonstrate the efficacy of leveraging these members of the “Axis of Resistance”, a loose consortium of like-minded terrorist and militant actors. Tehran was able to flex the network’s military capabilities in the aftermath of HAMAS’ attack on 7 October, orchestrating anti-Israel and anti-U.S. attacks from Lebanon to the Bab al-Mandeb Strait while shielding Iranian leaders from significant consequences. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.18.

 

On North Korea:

 

The IC of the U.S. is conscious of the rationality behind Kim’s strategy from the side of the state actor. Thus, it doesn’t depict his moves as madness in the way of propagandists. Here, the IC is not ignorant about what he’s doing, in contrast to media reports and commentaries. Only accuracy serves national security, not political correctness in analysis.  

 

North Korea’s military will pose a serious threat to the United States and its allies by its investment in niche capabilities designed to provide Kim with options to deter outside intervention, offset enduring deficiencies in the country’s conventional forces, and advance his political objectives through coercion. Kim remains strongly committed to developing capabilities intended to challenge regional missile defense, diversify options to deliver nuclear warheads, and enhance second-strike capabilities.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.22.

 

▪️The category of ‘Conflicts and Fragility’ is defined below:

 

This is seen as a dialectic contradiction not treated separately while they’re in interactions. Moreover, conflicts and resulting fragility could be opportunities for political and business exploitation. Hence, they’re targets or essence of subsequent operations, not just diagnosis of a counterpart. It’s hard to imagine that some operation comes out of nothingness.  

 

Conflicts, particularly those that disrupt global trade and investment flows, might lead to rising energy prices and increased economic fragility even in countries that are not directly involved or are far removed from the conflict.

 

For example, tourism, which is a major foreign exchange earner for Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, has fallen sharply since the onset of the Gaza conflict and disruptions in Ukrainian food exports in 2022 helped to fuel rising global food prices.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.24.

 

On Gaza Conflict:

 

The following insightful part is the opposite of the most paid commentators of the Hong Kong media. Anti-Semitic Chinese influence actors are fuelling China’s military accelerationism and aggressive intervention in the ongoing conflict against both Israel and the U.S. 

 

Israel and Iran are trying to calibrate their actions against each other to avoid escalation into a direct full-scale conflict. We assess that Iranian leaders did not orchestrate nor had foreknowledge of the HAMAS attack against Israel. 

 

Since October 2023, Iran has encouraged and enabled its various proxies and partners—including Hizballah, Iranian-backed groups in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen—to conduct strikes against Israeli or U.S. interests in the region. 

 

Hezbollah is calibrating this pressure on Israel from the north while trying to avoid a broader war that would devastate Hezbollah and Lebanon. Hizballah’s leadership, though, probably will consider a range of retaliatory options depending on Israel’s actions in Lebanon during the upcoming year. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.24.

 

On Potential Interstate Conflict:

 

China's maritime issue is moderately calculated in contrast to propagandists. And it’s acceptable to both sides, because none of either side is acting like a warmonger at present.  

 

Beijing’s efforts to try to assert sovereignty claims over islands in the South and East China Seas will result in persistently high tension between the PRC and its neighboring competing claimants and increase opportunities for miscalculation, even though Beijing probably prefers to avoid direct conflict.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.25.

 

On Potential Domestic Turmoil (of Other Countries):

 

The word, interstate, means between states in the United States originally, but here it mainly means international, between different countries. And the term should have been potential domestic turmoil while it’s about domestic turmoil in other countries. 

 

This term best fits Hong Kong, where the domestic turmoil is still severe and even aggravating day by day after 2019. The two major deep-seated contradictions of Hong Kong are the U.S.-China Conflict and the conflict between a speculative economic model (the ‘economic competitiveness’ in question: ultra-high land prices, ultra-high housing prices, ultra-high rent, ultra-high commodity prices driven by real estate oligarchy and speculators) and the vulnerable.  

 

Intrastate turmoil—whether grounded in domestic unrest, economic discontent, or governance challenges—can fuel cycles of violence, insurgencies, and internal conflict.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.27.

 

The below point is highlighted by RT recently on Africa, thus the IC’s grasp of the African affairs is accurate on conflicts of interests and changes on political bloc.

 

Mounting crises are beginning to fray regional institutions, further hampering their ability to develop effective regional security responses. In 2023, juntas in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger formed a separate alliance to buck pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), historically one of the most consistent bodies in trying to uphold anti-coup norms in the region. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, pp.28-29.

 

▪️On Transnational Issues, threats from state actors and non-state actors, and shared interests are analyzed. For Disruptive Technology, major concerns are both AI and biotechnology. In fact, these technologies were originally not covered by SNSO of Hong Kong. And it’s still vague about regulating them, while no specification is made against them. Thus, it's obvious that the HKSARG didn't read the report before the unusually speedy legislation. 

 

New technologies—particularly in the fields of AI and biotechnology—are being developed and are proliferating at a rate that makes it challenging for companies and governments to shape norms regarding civil liberties, privacy, and ethics. The convergence of these emerging technologies is likely to create breakthroughs, which could lead to the rapid development of asymmetric threats—such as advanced UAVs—to U.S. interests and probably will help shape U.S. economic prosperity.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.30.

 

On Digital Authoritarianism and Transnational Repression, the concept is in fact applicable to everyone, while every administration is doing the same thing against its own threats. 

 

Foreign states are advancing digital and physical means to repress individual critics and diaspora communities abroad, including in the United States, to limit their influence over domestic publics. States are also growing more sophisticated in digital influence operations that try to affect foreign publics’ views, sway voters’ perspectives, shift policies, and create social and political upheaval. 

 

[…] During the next several years, governments are likely to exploit new and more intrusive technologies—including generative AI—for transnational repression. From 2011 to 2023, at least 74 countries contracted with private companies to obtain commercial spyware, which governments are increasingly using to target dissidents and journalists. 


Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.31.

 

On WMD, the nuclear weapons in China and Russia are the prime concerns of the U.S., of course:

 

China and Russia are seeking to ensure strategic stability with the United States through the growth and development of a range of weapons capabilities, including non-traditional weapons intended to defeat or evade U.S. missile defenses. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.32.

 

▪️Shared Domains are where the U.S. and even the designated state actors can cooperate to tackle problems globally. Hence, national security could be more easily in jeopardy while one-sidedly antagonizing rivals in world politics.

 

On Environmental Change and Extreme Weather:

 

It’s true that Southern China, including Hong Kong, has been experiencing droughts for several months. This can be confirmed by the declining water level of major dams in HK. Although it still has distance from a social crisis, the IC report is true on the matter.

 

Droughts are decreasing shipping capacity and energy generation in Central America, China, Europe, and the United States, and insurance losses from catastrophes have increased 250 percent during the past 30 years. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.33.

 

On Health Security, the IC generally avoids any jingoistic conspiracy theory against any state actor. This is positive, while there is no evidence on it, no matter if it is about COVID-19 or anomalous health incidents (AHIs). The latter is about 'Havana syndrome. '  

 

We continue to closely examine anomalous health incidents (AHIs), particularly in areas we have identified as requiring additional research and analysis. Most IC agencies have concluded that it is very unlikely a foreign adversary is responsible for the reported AHIs. IC agencies have varying confidence levels because we still have gaps given the challenges collecting on foreign adversaries—as we do on many issues involving them. As part of its review, the IC identified critical assumptions surrounding the initial AHIs reported in Cuba from 2016 to 2018, which framed the IC’s understanding of this phenomenon, but were not borne out by subsequent medical and technical analysis. In light of this and the evidence that points away from a foreign adversary, causal mechanism, or unique syndromes linked to AHIs, IC agencies assess those symptoms reported by U.S. personnel probably were the result of factors that did not involve a foreign adversary. 


Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, pp.34-35.


On Migration, this category is also intimate for Hong Kong citizens, specifically without any explanation. The term is crystal clear, as the following: 

 

The key word is domestic public discontent.

 

Conflict, violence, political instability, poor economic conditions, and natural disasters will continue to displace growing numbers of people within their own national borders and internationally—straining countries’ capacity to absorb new arrivals and governments’ abilities to provide services and manage domestic public discontent. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.35.

▪️Besides the category of Shared Domains, this category, Non-State Actor Issues, is one of the important fields of mutual cooperation between the U.S. and the designated state actors, in contrast to the politically biased views of ordinary public opinion. The first particular category is Transnational Organized Crime, which is a major cooperative field of the U.S. and Hong Kong law enforcement even under the present political constraints between China and the U.S. This is why political designation of the IC of the U.S. as ‘enemies’ is wrong, inappropriate, and moderately corrected in SNSO.

 

On Foreign Illicit Drugs:

 

China remains the primary source for illicit fentanyl precursor chemicals and pill pressing equipment. Brokers circumvent international controls through mislabelled shipments and the purchase of unregulated dual-use chemicals. However, Mexico-based TCOs also are sourcing precursor chemicals to a lesser extent from other nations such as India. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.36.

 

Note: The term TCO means transnational criminal organization.

 

On Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

 

It’s rarely mentioned but recent discoveries and reports proved that TCOs in financial and smuggling crimes commonly use victims’ telephones and personal information to avoid direct exposure of their own involvement. Thus, it’s childish to think that TCOs use their own communication devices. In most cases, they use victims even for direct criminal acts that are done by threatened victims. It only adds to their criminal sins. Hence, the common bias is that TCOs commit crimes as their own is not reality, while they use victims to commit crimes safely. 

 

TCOs are defrauding individuals, businesses, and government programs, while laundering billions of dollars of illicit proceeds through U.S. financial institutions.

 

TCOs still rely on traditional money laundering methods and bulk cash smuggling operations to repatriate drug proceeds from the United States, while some money launderers are using cryptocurrency transactions. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.36, 37.

 

On Cyber Crime:

 

This is indeed one of the concerns in SNSO of Hong Kong, yet it only covers and protects governmental structures and domains in general, not the public and individuals. Here, the IC of the U.S. designates TCOs as non-state actors independent of any state actor, thus it requires cooperation not confrontation with any other country. This is also moderate and acceptable for anybody.

 

Transnational organized criminals involved in ransomware operations are improving their attacks, extorting funds, disrupting critical services, and exposing sensitive data.  

 

Absent cooperative law enforcement from Russia or other countries that provide cyber criminals a safe haven or permissive environment, mitigation efforts will remain limited. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.37.


On Undermining Rule of Law:

 

Although TCOs and criminal gangs are juxtaposed here, they are all TCOs because the concept of TCO inevitably involves any criminal accomplices and outsourced perpetrators, even if they purely act within a border.

 

TCOs and criminal gangs undermine the rule of law through exploiting corruption networks, committing acts of violence, and overpowering regional security forces.  

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.37.

 

On Human Trafficking:

 

The U.S. almost routinely criticizes HKSARG in this grave category simply because human / sex traffickers=smugglers of all kinds(drug, human, weapons, luxury goods, etc.)=money-launderers=fraudsters=triads=TCOs (they are often the same particular organizations) are rampant in HK undeniably. If the U.S. doesn't criticize it, no one will dare to reprimand HKSARG on this issue. Unfortunately, poor migrants are subject to trafficking in the end.


Furthermore, the concept of forced labor in general is seen in this category in the establishment.

 

TCOs and criminal actors view human trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced labor, as low risk crimes of opportunity.  

 

Some migrants, who voluntarily use human smuggling networks to facilitate their travel to the United States, are trafficked during their journey. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.38.


▪️On Global Terrorism, this is also a field in which CT cooperation between the U.S. and the designated state actors is possible. It’s further divided into several particular categories.  CT here means counterterrorism.  

 

  1. ISIS (ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, and the one recently assaulted Moscow, ISIS-Khorasan, which is designated as an enemy to Afghanistan's Taliban regime)

  2. Hezbollah 

  3. Transnational Racially or Ethnically Motivated Extremists (RMVEs): RMVE stands for racially motivated violent extremists, such as the lone actor and a small cell. 

 

Lone actors are difficult to detect and disrupt because of their lack of affiliation. While these violent extremists tend to leverage simple attack methods, they can have devastating, outsized consequences. 

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.39.

 

▪️ For Private Military and Security Companies, Hong Kong is the paradise for international PMSCs undoubtedly. Today, there are extensional or alternative armed forces for governments of both camps in contrast to voluntary militias from the working class.  Even consultants for big scale social uprisings are from PMSCs, but usually it’s hard to imagine that they target hosting governments at the cost of losing the whole business. Under extreme circumstances, PMSCs help smuggle fugitives or important clients.

 

Many governments will look to PMSCs to play an important role as a force multiplier for their conventional militaries—filling highly technical or manpower-intensive tasks such as maintenance, logistics, or fixed site security—or in some cases providing highly specialized, turn-key direct-action capabilities absent in their forces.

 

Source: 

 

2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

Author: United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Issuing body)

Publisher: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, [Washington, D.C.], 2024, p.40.

 

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🔻 COMMENT 【評語】

 

In short, the 2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community is moderate and based on scientific calculations from open-sources in early 2024 which showed the professionalism of the IC of the US in key categories of global affairs. The highlighted feature is avoidance of military accelerationism and self-restriction of political biases to achieve accuracy of intelligence analysis. Besides, the latest sanction against HKSARG officials who are in charge of the legislation of SNSO (US to put new visa limits on Hong Kong officials after Article 23 national security law passage) proved that the U.S. still does see Hong Kong citizens friendly and people with common universal values. This view is shared between U.S. officials and even U.S. dissidents in Hong Kong.  

 


 

Hong Kong Intelligence Report #124 Review of 2024 ANNUAL THREAT ASSESSMENT OF THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

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