Peering through the still lingering haze of the Cold War, U.S. intelligence officials and their allies have detected murky, ominous crisis sweeping the planet. As the mist of an uncertain future, driven by new “Great Power” conflicts, roll in, they have determined that a potent new strain of espionage is now their No. 1 1 threat, one that eclipses terrorism. This four-part series will look deep into the threats and the actors, and examine what the U.S. is doing about them. Part one sets the scene for what is a new existential threat, much like the former Soviet Union — but smaller, more diverse and equally as lethal.