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FIRST ON FOX: CIA Director William Burns known as Russia a “declining” energy within the first episode of the intelligence company’s new podcast, whereas warning that China is a “central geopolitical challenge” for the United States.
The CIA’s podcast, “The Langley Files,” launched on Thursday, and featured Burns as its first visitor.
The podcast comes through the CIA’s seventy fifth anniversary — a time, Burns mentioned, for the company to “reflect on how we need to organize ourselves to navigate successfully what is an incredibly complicated international terrain.”
Burns warned that terrain encompasses a “major power competition with rising powers like China,” which he known as a “central geopolitical challenge.”
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Burns pointed to the CIA’s formation of the China Mission Center, which was created to counter Beijing and “best position” the company to handle present and future nationwide safety challenges posed by China.
Earlier this 12 months, Burns warned that China’s Xi Jinping has even served as a “silent partner” in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.
“We have to deal with declining powers, not just rising ones like Russia,” Burns mentioned. “And Putin demonstrates every day that declining powers can be at least as disruptive as rising ones.”
Burns pointed to Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and harassed the significance of CIA intelligence.
“We were able to paint a pretty clear picture of Putin’s plans to mount a major new invasion of Ukraine last fall, months before he actually launched that invasion on the 24th of February,” Burns defined. “That enabled us to help Ukrainians defend themselves. It helped us to build allied unity.”
“It helped to expose the fact that what Putin was about was a naked, unprovoked aggression, and we reinforced that by the President’s decision to declassify some of our secrets as well,” he mentioned.
Burns was referring to intelligence declassified by President Biden earlier this 12 months that exposed Putin’s plans to stage false flag assaults to function a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine.
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Meanwhile, Burns pointed to the “successful” U.S. counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan that killed the chief of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, final month, a strike that degrades the fear community’s capacity to function.
But Burns mentioned the United States nonetheless faces “the continuing challenge of terrorism.”
“It may take different forms today than it did over most of the last 20 years, but it’s still a significant challenge,” Burns mentioned. “We still have significant capabilities at this agency working with partners across the U.S. government, and that’s going to be another of our most important priorities.”
He added: “It’s a balancing act, is what it’s going to be.”
Burns went on to say that “ingenuity and dedication” are vital to the work of the CIA, but additionally harassed that the company is “apolitical.”
“[O]ur job is not to bend intelligence to suit political party or policy preferences or agendas. It is to deliver the best intelligence that we can gather, the best analysis that we can put together, with honesty and integrity,” Burns mentioned. “Our job is to tell policymakers what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.”
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Burns, who has labored below six presidents and each Republican and Democratic administrations, mentioned that with out working in an apolitical method, “we only get ourselves in trouble as a nation, and we make bad policy choices, when we forget those very basic truths.”
As for the CIA’s choice to launch the podcast, Burns acknowledged that intelligence businesses are “supposed to collect secrets and keep them and not talk too much about them.”
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“We do usually operate in the shadows, out of sight and out of mind,” Burns mentioned. “Our successes are often obscured, our failures are often painfully visible, and our sacrifices are often unknown.”
“We have a profound obligation to protect agents and officers who risk their lives in support of our mission, which is to help protect Americans,” he continued. “But I’m convinced, as I know you are, that in our democracy, where trust in institutions is in such short supply, that it’s important to try to explain ourselves as best we can and demystify a little bit of what we do.”