POLITICS

The World Is So Scary Because The Soviet Union Fell, Intelligence Boss Says

What would Ronald Reagan say?

WASHINGTON -- Maybe count Director of National Intelligence James Clapper among the aging spies who kinda miss the Cold War.

That's after Clapper, the nation's top intelligence official, told senators on Tuesday that the main reason the world is so dangerous today is the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Clapper laid out what he called the "litany of doom" facing the United States.

The threats come from all over the globe, from outside the U.S. and within, from cyberspace and outer space, from terrorist groups and lone wolves, and of course from numerous enemy states, including Russia, Iran, China and Cuba.

"It's certainly the most diverse array of challenges and threats that I can recall," Clapper testified.

He's made similar claims about the threats before, and noted that he left it out of his prepared testimony this time because it's practically become a cliche. 

But the dire situation piqued the interest of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who wanted to know why the world has become so dangerous for America.

Clapper's answer was essentially that the fall of what Ronald Reagan called the "Evil Empire" uncorked all sorts of new evils to bedevil the U.S.

"Frankly, it's somewhat a function of the change in the bipolar system that did provide a certain stability," Clapper told Cotton. "When that ended, that set off a whole range of, a whole group of forces, I guess, or dynamics around the world."

Clearly, life was simpler when all we faced was mutual assured destruction.

Watch the exchange above.