CIA chief names biggest threat — Analysis

The intelligence boss called Beijing the “greatest challenge”, even as he noted a “nuclear threat” posed by Russia

CIA Director William Burns has outlined major threats facing the United States, pointing to China’s rise on the world stage and Russia’s ongoing military offensive in Ukraine as top challenges, while declaring that US intelligence had entered a “new era.” 

Burns made his first speech in his new role as CIA director at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Thursday. “an increasingly adversarial China and a pugnacious and revisionist Russia”The intel agency was forced to close its doors. “reimagine itself to compete successfully in this new age.”

“Xi Jinping’s China is our greatest challenge, in many ways the most profound test the CIA has ever faced,”Burns went on. “As an intelligence service, we have never had to deal with an adversary with more reach.”

It wants to take over in virtually every area, including economic power and military power as well as space and cyberspace.

China is called a “silent partner” in Russia’s “aggression”The intelligence chief said that Ukraine’s ongoing military operation was a threat to his country. “immediate threat,”This suggests that “desperation”A nuclear exchange could be triggered by President Vladimir Putin’s actions.

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“None of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,”He said.

Burns noted, however that even though “rhetorical posturing” from Moscow – which placed its nuclear forces on a higher alert status soon after launching its attack on Ukraine in late February – US intelligence agencies “haven’t seen a lot of practical evidence of the kind of deployments or military dispositions that would reinforce that concern.”

Since taking office, US President Joe Biden has repeatedly presented China as Washington’s top adversary, continuing a series of hostile policies carried over from the Donald Trump administration. American warships regularly deploy to the South China Sea disputed waters, making almost monthly transits through the Taiwan Strait. Officials in Beijing have voiced their objections. 

US remarks on China’s possible attack Taiwan

Russia also features prominently in White House rhetoric. This has been intensified recently as Biden accuses Russia’s counterpart of war crime. “genocide,”In a speech from last month, even the speaker implied that he was calling for regime change.

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