“Russia and China’s capabilities pose mortal threat to US” – American intelligence chief

While US vice-president Joe Biden has been visiting Moscow to reaffirm the US-Russia reset, the US Director of National Intelligence says Russia’s and China’s nuclear capabilities pose the greatest threat to the US.

President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has claimed that Russia and China are a “mortal threat” to the US "from a capabilities standpoint”. The assessment came during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Clapper said he based his assessment strictly on the strategic nuclear capabilities of nation-states that have the potential to be mortal dangers to the US.

James Clapper is a retired Lieutenant General of the US Air Force who has 47 years of experience in the intelligence community. Being the Director of National Intelligence, he has access to some of the best intelligence that the US$80 billion American spying bureaucracy can offer.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has just wrapped up his visit to Russia trying to capitalize on the “reset” in Russia-US relations.

The White House came out to clarify Clapper’s comment.

"Obviously, Russia and China are two of the three largest nuclear powers in the world. Therefore, they have dangerous weapons and have the capacity. But he made clear that we do not view Russia and China as a threat," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.