The director of the US Central Intelligence Community has admitted to waging an “information war” against Russia.
Burns, who previously served as US ambassador to Russia, argued that President Vladimir “Putin is losing” this information war.
“In all the years I spent as a career diplomat, I saw too many instances in which we lost information wars with the Russians,” Burns lamented.
But “in this case, I think we have had a great deal of effect in disrupting their tactics and their calculations,” he added. “So this is one information war that I think Putin is losing.”
Neoconservative Republican Senator Marco Rubio agreed, stating in the hearing, “I think there has been such a good job done at defeating them [the Russians] in the information space.”
CIA Director William Burns admitted the US is waging an “information war” against Russia. In a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, he claimed “Putin is losing” that information war over Ukraine.
— Benjamin Norton (@BenjaminNorton) March 17, 2022
The CIA has since 2015 been training Ukrainian special forces and paramilitaries to “kill Russians,” according to a former official.
The CIA trained many of these Ukrainian militants inside the United States, although the spy agency has also had operatives in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region advising anti-Russian fighters.
A former CIA officer admitted the spy agency is training far-right Ukrainian nationalists to “kill Russians” and wage an “insurgency” against Moscowhttps://t.co/Awtotoylnz
— Multipolarista (@Multipolarista) January 25, 2022
In the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Burns argued that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began this February 24, has backfired and hurt the country.
He also claimed, without citing any evidence, that Moscow may carry out “false-flag operations” in this war.
The CIA director said his spy agency is focusing “more and more attention and resources on major power adversaries like China and Russia.”
Burns warned that Beijing and Moscow have become close strategic partners, and he emphasized that the CIA has created a new mission center focused especially on China.
In order to challenge China, Burns called “to deepen partnerships with the private sector” in order to develop new technologies. To help facilitate this, he noted that the CIA has created the position of a “chief technology officer” for the first time.
US spy agencies list China, Russia, Iran, North Korea as top ‘threats’
This same Senate hearing also featured the US director of national intelligence, Avril Haines. She summarized the US intelligence community’s 2022 Annual Threat Assessment report.
Haines dubbed the People’s Republic of China the top “threat” to Washington, saying Beijing “remains an unparalleled priority for the intelligence community.”
In the list of so-called “threats” identified by the US intelligence community, China was followed by Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Responding to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Haines said US spy agencies are working to “hold Russia and Russian actors accountable for their actions.”
She warned that Russia “may escalate the conflict, essentially doubling down to achieve Ukrainian disarmament and neutrality, to prevent it from further integrating with the United States and NATO.”
The US intelligence chief boasted of the devastating impact that Western economic warfare has had on Russia.
“The reaction to the invasion from countries around the world has been extraordinarily severe,” Haines said. “Western unity in imposing far-reaching sanctions and export controls as well as foreign commercial decisions are having cascading effects on the Russian economy.”
Haines noted approvingly that the Russian currency, the ruble, is “in free fall” and has “lost about 40% of its value.”
She added, “It is extraordinary to watch the stock markets, the fact that they’ve had to close down so much of their economic industry, and also the private sector impact has been extraordinary.”
The director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Paul Nakasone, acknowledged that the agency has “worked very, very hard with Ukraine over the past several years,” especially since 2015.
“We have had hunt forward teams from US Cyber Command in Kiev,” Nakasone said. “We worked very, very closely with a series of partners at NSA and the private sector.”
Republican Senator Ben Sasse used the intelligence hearing to refer to Russian President Putin as a “jackass.”