Threats the White House is Watching

DT and some other members of the team had the opportunity this morning to sit down at the White House with Deputy National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, and pick his brain for about 45 minutes.

While much of the conversation focused on the strategy surrounding the fight against al Qaeda (he’s the guy in the blue shirt sitting next to Hillary Clinton in the famous photo above), he did list out what he sees are the future threats facing the world beyond terrorism.

Topping his list of future threats is the problem of nuclear proliferation followed very closely to the threat of Iran getting its hands on some of that prolifered (is that a word?) nuclear material.

“We’re very focused on a test case on [non] proliferation, namely, Iran,” said McDonough. “The President has always entered this through the door of saying, Iran with nuclear weapon, and even an Iran with an illicit nuclear weapons program, is a threat to a whole host of U.S. national security interests, first among them, the global non-proliferation regime and agreement that’s served the world. . . we see it obviously as a big and grave threat.”

He added that counterproliferation and preventing Iran from getting nukes are worked on daily in his office.

He’s also concerned with “making sure that we’re watching the near-term developments as it relates to new weapons including cyber.”

“Those would be the three [issues] that we spend a lot of time on, Iran gets a lot of attention generally,” said McDonough. “I think the other two [proliferation and new weapons tech] don’t get an amount of public attention commensurate with the amount of time we spend on it or commensurate with the potential impact on the U.S. national interest.”

(I’ve got to say, maybe the general public doesn’t pay a ton of attention to new weapons tech but DT readers sure do.)

McDonough also mentioned possible conflicts over natural resources, and he’s wasn’t talking oil; he was talking about “coming challenges on natural resources including, for example, water in a lot of places, but that’s more a meta or longer term challenge.”


  • McPosterdoor


  • dddd

    I am somewhat comforted by the NSC’s focus on fresh water. Water scarcity is arguably the most under-reported story of the last decade.

    • blight_

      Quick, privatize. The free market will protect us.

      • Joe

        Enron tried it. Not much money in the provision of public services.

        • blight_

          Why is water a public service? It’s not in the Constitution.


  • sandy

    Be nice to Canada… we have all of it.

    • blight_

      Willing To Trade Ogalla for oil.

  • Wildfly

    Famous Photo ??? Because the White House had to admit it was faked and wasn’t actually a live situation like they first claimed.

    • ziv

      Are you kidding? Do you think the White House would fake a picture of the President cowering while other people look like they are doing yeoman work? Obama looks like a guy that is going to be carrying the coffee not like a President.

      • Haha

        Yeah, I know you mean. That’s the first thing I think too when I see a black guy in a room full of white people.

        • Haha

          Meant to say I know WHAT you mean.

          • ziv

            I hadn’t thought about race, I was looking at the posture and the clothing. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

          • Haha

            And sometimes it’s just a black guy sitting in a chair.

          • Musson

            The WH has admitted that the second woman in the picture - dark hair in the back - was photoshopped in. They did not want the Secretary of State to be the only female in the room.

          • Wildfly

            What? The Secretary of State is Female….. it has a bigger pair than the President.

    • Guy

      Indeed that was a staged photo Op. Moreover, it has been confirmed -by numerous sources- that there was NO LIVE FEED when that photo was taken. Even Hillary’s people have had to come out and say that she wasn’t reacting to a live feed on the montior (because there wasn’t one) but rather, she was stifling a yawn.

  • Rohan

    This place is a mess !!!!

    • passingby

      You mean the White House or

  • Richard

    Thanks McDontknow.

    • passingby

      He should be flipping burgers at the McDonald’s.

      • EW3

        He’d have to show his birth certificate and probably his college transcripts.
        Not likely.

  • Ara

    It’s good to know that they’re concerned about the far(not so far) future

    but for now it’s Iran that bugs me, although I think after we get rid of Iran we may be a bit uncomfortable about China’s activity

  • passingby

    The White House IS one of the biggest threats to America, for Christ’s sake!!

    • Haha

      You mean for Allah’s sake. Bin Laden agrees with you.

  • Krueger

    …’Denis McDonough’ is a career political hack with a Minnesota history degree — and zero military experience.

    His opinions (with or without normal WhiteHouse spin) are totally worthless.

    • passingby

      the shadow government doesn’t want people with real brains and real experience in the White House - it only wants puppets … people who are easy to control and get rid of.

  • @1913Intel

    “Topping his list of future threats is the problem of nuclear proliferation followed very closely to the threat of Iran getting its hands on some of that prolifered (is that a word?) nuclear material.”

  • TomUK

    I think that the greatest threats are climate change and resource competition (aka wars). Not much mention of those.

  • Mikeldy

    The second paragraph seems to infer that al Queda is the “guy in the blue shirt next to Hilary Clinton”. Most of us here on this forum know that what you meant to say because we all know that al Queda prefers those brown and corn colored shirts.

    • BetterstoriesPlease

      DT has become a shell of its former self since took it over. Way too much hyperbole about CNN accessible military big budget moves on existing Tech.

      Remember this:
      Defense Tech examines the intersection of technology and defense from every angle and provides analysis on what’s ahead.

      That statement does not reflect what this site has become!

      • Sgt_Buffy

        I agree, and while many posts are an analysis of the technology and future, many are just musings or mutterings of the author


    how soon everyone forgets about the southern borders, we have had spies from nations that hate us get caught crossing as mex. illegals adn they said how many did we not catch, they smuggle tons of drugs in one move, so , why not a few nukes as the cartel is paid well be terrorists to move spies and equip across our southern borders, wonder why obama is wanting to leave the border so wide open and unprotected ? ?

  • Hunter76

    Let’s not forget Romney has declared Russia is our no 1 threat.

  • timothy hooey

    I feel sorry for all the young people ,they have no one to look up too, like we had .I wish that I knew the right answers. The answers are in men and women,have faith people!


  • harvey

    what is that on the paper on top of the laptop?