Financial Crisis Top Security Threat

As if the global recession wasn't a big enough pain already, now the nation's spy chief is warning that the economic crisis is a bigger threat to national security than terrorism. Testifying before the Senate yesterday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair warned that "high levels of violent extremism" and "regime-threatening instability" could take hold around the world if the economic downturn becomes prolonged. "Roughly a quarter of the countries in the world have already experienced low-level instability such as government changes because of the current slowdown," Blair said. Of course, the other stuff hasn't magically gone away either. Al Qaeda terrorists "remain dangerous and adaptive enemies," according to Blair, and Iran could be as little as a year away from a nuclear weapon.