Washington, Nov.15 : The deepening global financial crisis could weaken fragile governments in the world's most dangerous areas and undermine the ability of the United States and its allies to respond to a new wave of security threats, warn experts.
The Washington Post quoted American government officials and private analysts as saying that the economic turmoil has heightened the short-term risk of a terrorist attack.
They warned that a protracted financial crisis could threaten the survival of friendly regimes from Pakistan to the Middle East while forcing Western nations to cut spending on defense, intelligence and foreign aid. The crisis could also accelerate the shift to a more Asia-centric globe, as rising powers such as China gain more leverage over international financial institutions and greater influence in world capitals.
Analysts said that they were also worried about the impact of plummeting crude prices on oil-dependent nations such as Yemen, which has a large population of unemployed youths and a history of support for militant Islamic groups. Annual spending for U.S. intelligence operations currently totals 47.5 billion dollars, a figure that does not include expensive satellites that fall under the Pentagon's budget.
Intelligence officials, however, say they have no hard evidence of a pending terrorist attack.