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An adversary is

  • "[an] individual, group, organization, or government that conducts or has the intent to conduct detrimental activities."[1].
  • "[a] party acknowledged as potentially hostile to a friendly party and against which the use of force may be envisaged."[4]


An adversary can be any individual, group, organization, or government that conducts activities, or has the intention and capability to conduct activities detrimental to critical assets. An adversary could include intelligence services of host nations, or third party nations, political and terrorist groups, criminals, rogue employees, and private interests. Adversaries can include insiders, outsiders, or the two acting in collusion.

"An adversary differs from a threat in that an adversary may have the intent, but not the capability, to conduct detrimental activities, while a threat possesses both intent and capability. . . . Within the [omeland security community, detrimental activities are endeavors that (1) relate to terrorism; (2) present some other threat to homeland security; or (3) unlawfully interfere with the authorized missions of the Department [of Homeland Security], including its Components.[5]


See also[]