'Near-peer threat' just 3 Afghanistans in a trench coat

THE PENTAGON — A leaked intelligence report has revealed that the much vaunted "near-peer threat" the Defense Department has been preparing to do battle with is, in fact, just three Islamic Afghanistans stacked on each other's shoulders in a trench coat.

The Pentagon, however, has rushed to deny these claims.

"There is absolutely no way the most likely enemy our troops will continue to face in the future will be insurgents and other non-state actors who don't present a clear and well-defined national security threat we can use to justify ever-expanding expenses on useless weapons programs," said whoever happened to be Secretary of Defense at the time. "Obviously, this 'trench coat' guy knows nothing about the budgeting cycle."

The military has struggled to extricate itself from small wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria for decades, hoping instead for "good ol' fashioned shootin' wars" with major nation states like China and Russia. But the report shows that these near-peer threats actually tend to take the form of cleverly disguised proxy wars wearing mustaches, plastic noses, and fake bifocals.

"When you look at the intel on these guys, on the surface it seems like the threat will come from some of these near-peer players head-on," said intelligence expert Simon Galladay. "But when you read between the lines, you find out most of these near-peer threats are actually just Yemen standing on Somalia's shoulders in a dark alley with its collar popped and a fedora pulled down over its eyes smoking a Pall Mall."

"Sure, Iran might have loaned them some cash to buy the cigarettes, but they'll never admit to it."

At press time, Libya's attempt to disguise itself as a near-peer threat by donning high heels and a bleached blonde wig and stuffing its bust with newspapers wasn't fooling anybody.