FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director David Petraeus appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Iran is moving toward a nuclear capability but its intentions are unclear. Al-Qaida is weakened but remains dangerous. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are a determined adversary, but it may make sense to negotiate with them.
These were the highlights of the annual assessment of threats to U.S. security, delivered Tuesday on Capitol Hill by the nation's intelligence agencies.
The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, was also able list some accomplishments, beginning with the big triumph — tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden.
Unfortunately, though, the change doesn't apply to plans that enroll some of the sickest people: those who buy coverage in so-called high-risk insurance pools because they have medical problems that make them uninsurable in the private market.
The glitter of gold has provided some added luster to the Republican primaries in the past couple of weeks, as Newt Gingrich recently suggested it might be a good idea to re-establish the link between the value of the dollar and gold.
"I would appoint a commission to look into gold and to look into hard money, because a dollar you save today ought to be worth a dollar 30 years from now," Gingrich said while recently campaigning in South Carolina.