I'm an ESL teacher trying to help my student parse this sentence:
And as they have come together, the imperative among participating countries to cloak their technological capacities and weaknesses has proved irresistible, at times hindering the search, military analysts say.
My question is about the phrase "at times hindering the search" — I'm not sure what it modifies. It begins with an adverb phrase "at times," before a participial phrase "hindering the search."
Is it an adjective phrase, modifying "imperative?" Or is it an adverb phrase, modifying "to cloak?"