Challenges for CIA's Burns: China, Russia, and Iran
There is no evidence that Iran’s leadership has taken a decision to pursue a nuclear weapon, CIA Director William Burns says.
At The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, CIA Director William Burns said there is no evidence that Iran’s leadership has taken a decision to pursue a nuclear weapon, noting that Iran showed seriousness at the table of negotiations during the recent Vienna Talks.
Refuting US claims of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, Burns stressed that “US intelligence agencies haven’t concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin will invade Ukraine.”
Nonetheless, Burns said that the White House reportedly is preparing a package of economic sanctions against Russia.
On US officials’ statements that Russia is amassing a force expected to total 175,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, the CIA Director commented by saying, “We don’t know that Putin has made up his mind to use force.”
On China, Mr. Burns said that Beijing is determined to make China a military and technological peer of the United States, adding that “recent Chinese military maneuvers near Taiwan reflect Beijing’s determination to eventually assert control over the island."
“We’re not sure, at CIA,” but the risk that Beijing will resort to force to absorb Taiwan will grow later this decade, he concluded.
US shared Intel to indoctrinate the EU
The Financial Times reported that the US actively shared intelligence in order to persuade the EU and NATO of Moscow's alleged plans to invade Ukraine.
The "unprecedented sharing" of US intelligence reports showing alleged Russian military deployments along the border helped persuade formerly skeptical European countries, including Germany, that Russia could "soon order its troops into Ukraine," officials told the US newspaper.
One official told The Financial Times that "many allies were not convinced that serious things were happening," adding that "we were surprised about this [intelligence] gap - how and why the US was seeing things that we were not seeing."
According to European defense and security officials, US President Joe Biden now has the support of NATO and the EU for possible retaliatory measures against Russia.