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U.S. intelligence retools for new focus on emerging Chinese threat, influence ops

In this Oct. 1, 2019, photo, spectators wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 ballistic missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing.
FPI / September 15, 2021


China’s rapid advancement on the conventional and nuclear fronts, in space, in cyber warfare and especially in influence operations have led to a major retooling of U.S. intelligence agencies, the chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said.

“When we talk about existential threats, the nuclear triad that the Russians have is credible and it’s effective, and I think the Chinese see that nuclear triad as a goal that they would like to have,” Army Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said during a Sept. 14 conference with five other senior intelligence leaders.

The intel chiefs said that China‘s rise poses new challenges for the U.S. on an increasing number of security, economic and political fronts, according to a report by security correspondent Bill Gertz.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, said China remains a key focus of electronic spying.

Nakasone said China in particular is engaged in influence operations aimed at creating divisions within American society and targeting efforts to battle the Covid pandemic, according tot he report for the Washington Times.

Berrier said Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping has launched a three-pronged strategy of disciplining leaders of both the ruling Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army, financing the national power with the Belt and Road Initiative, and pursuing a vigorous buildup of the military.

China‘s nuclear triad includes the deployment of up to 400 new long-range missiles in silos recently disclosed in commercial satellite photos in western China. The silos will house China‘s new DF-41 missile that is expected to be armed with up to 10 warheads for each missile.

Other elements of the Chinese nuclear triad include new missile submarines and new nuclear-capable stealth bombers.

The U.S. officials appeared at the Intelligence and National Security Summit hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electrons Association International and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance at the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor.

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paradedf41 by Mark Schiefelbein is licensed under AP / File N/A

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