The first female director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Gina Haspel said during her first public speech after taking office that the CIA was monitoring China’s global ambitions. The undisguised expression of the head of the CIA reminds people of the “spy war” closely related to the “Cold War”.
The Trump administration’s strategic focus has been adjusted since the release of the first National Security Strategy (NSS). The various departments of the US government have turned their own operational tracks to the so-called “great-power rivalry” with China and Russia as their main targets. Suddenly, confronting China and Russia became a form of “political correctness” among the US officials. Therefore, it is not surprising that Haspel, as the head of the CIA, made such statement.
The CIA is the most well-known US “spying leader” in the US government intelligence community. Prior to the “9.11 Incident”, the CIA was the coordination unit for analyzing and processing intelligence information.
However, due to a higher demand for comprehensive information processing and the limitations of the integrating resources since the launch of the US war on terror, the intelligence department has to be reorganized. The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was established in order to effectively conduct counter-terrorism intelligence analysis.
In addition, the US has always valued the importance of intelligence consulting. As the US premier intelligence agency, the CIA not only has world-class intelligence technology, but also a large number of intelligence personnel around the world due to its ample funding. These intelligence personnel contributed significantly to overseas counter-terrorism operations during America’s war on terror.
However, counter-terrorism operations are different from great power competition. If counter-terrorism intelligence is time-sensitive, then the emphasis of strategic intelligence is more on the fundamentals and the overall situation. The source, collection, processing and distribution of these two intelligence products are completely different.
As Haspel said that the CIA needs in-depth intelligence with higher quality. Based on the current performance of the US government and the strategic competition among countries will inevitably lead to the restructuring and resource integration of the intelligence agencies.
As a matter of fact, the scale of intelligence gathered against China, Russia and other countries has never been reduced and the process has never stopped even if no strategic adjustment made by the US. Haspel’s remarks can be seen as a form of political mobilization for American society, and such mobilization has shaped a certain “Cold War” atmosphere that is urgently required by “great-power rivalry.”
In view of the above, China must keep calm and objectively take comprehensive defensive measures including counter-espionage measures to safeguard national security. China has no room to back down on the issue of fundamental interests.
Disclaimer: The author is Wang Qiang, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Military Operations Other Than War of the PLA National Defense University. The article is published on the Global Times and translated from Chinese into English by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.