William Burns, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), admitted the al-Qaeda and Taliban could regain control of Afghanistan after the U.S withdrawal. The U.S spy chiefs declared China as the ‘severe threat’ for the United States.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, CIA Director William Burns, the heads of the Defense Intelligence Agency and FBI testified before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
William Burns, CIA director, agreed with the Republican Senator Marco Rubio that the U.S. departure could lead to the Taliban regaining control of the country and al-Qaeda reestablishing a base there.
“No one can deny it’s going to have serious security implications for our country for years to come,” the Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in his opening statement. If the Taliban take control, he said, “it’s almost certain that al-Qaeda will return to Afghanistan.”
William Burns, the CIA director, agreed with the remarks of the Republican Senator. “There is a significant risk once the U.S. military and the coalition’s military withdraw,” he said.
In her opening remarks, Director NIA Avril Haines called China an “unparalleled priority for the Intelligence Community.” FBI Director Christopher Wray said his agency is so focused on China that it opens a new investigation tied to the country every 10 hours on average. He called Beijing the most “severe threat” facing the U.S.
That echoed comments from Senator Mark Warner, the committee’s chairman, who said the Chinese Communist Party is increasingly focused on displacing American dominance in technology and its influence in Asia, as Beijing seeks to exert greater influence in places such as the South China Sea.
“As China grows in power and stature, the CCP has sought to undercut the U.S. as the world’s leading technological power,” Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said in his opening statement. He cited China’s “reliance on both strategic investments and traditional espionage to acquire intellectual property” and “their modernization of traditional and asymmetric military capabilities, including in the cyber and space domains.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the top Republican on the Senate panel, said the majority of America’s threats boil down to five areas: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and global terrorism.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines admitted that the US intelligence agencies still do not know “exactly where, when, or how Covid-19 virus was transmitted initially” in China but remain focused on two primary theories, that “it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident.” That statement also said definitively the virus “was not man-made or genetically modified.”