Reporter's Notebook: It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World

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It was called the “Worldwide Threats” hearing on Capitol Hill.

With an homage to the 1963 comedy starring Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett and Ethel Merman, a better title for the hearing may have been “It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World.”

Two of the nation’s top intelligence officials — Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier — laid out for the Senate Armed Services Committee all of the trouble brewing around the globe. North Korea. Iran. The Philippines. The southern border. Central America. Even cyberspace. 

But one thing was clear from the hearing. Two countries represent two major flashpoints: Ukraine and Taiwan.

Haines and Berrier explained the problems facing these two nations as one hot war rages and the potential for another one simmers. Haines cautioned that China is willing to seize Taiwan militarily. She says Taiwan is entering a critical period between now and 2030.

“Whatever lessons China learns coming out of the Russia-Ukraine crisis might affect that timeline,” said Haines. “Taiwan’s capabilities, other decisions that will have to be made between now and then, that will affect the timeline.”

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