CIA announces mission that pivots to China, focuses on technology

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  • CIA Director William Burns on Thursday announced the creation of the “China Mission Center”.
  • The spy agency is also focusing more on technology.
  • It is initiating efforts to create tech-related positions and this will make it easier to recruit new talent.

WASHINGTON – The CIA announced a major internal restructuring as it seeks to hone its technical strength and capabilities to beat rival spy agencies.

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CIA Director William Burns on Thursday announced the creation of a “China Mission Center” “Address the global challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China,” which Burns called a “major opponent.”

The CIA is moving to focus more on technology. Burns announced that the intelligence agency would create a chief technology officer position and create a nerve center for its technology-related intelligence, called the “Transnational and Technology Mission Center.”


The changes will include increased hiring efforts for technology-related roles and policy changes to make it easier for the agency to recruit talent.

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“Throughout our history, the CIA has stepped up to meet the challenges that come our way,” Burns said, according to a news release. “And now facing our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry, the CIA will be at the forefront of this effort.”

CIA tries to make ground

Long the world’s premier intelligence agency, the CIA has found itself behind in many high-profile cases, both allied and rival intelligence.

Although the agency and sibling intelligence groups, such as the National Security Agency, still boast a technological edge over rivals, the CIA has been criticized by allies for its lack of visibility into priority countries, According to The New York Times, and have seen top talent leave the agency at higher rates in recent years, Per Just Security.

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The weakening of intelligence networks has led policy makers to turn a blind eye to key topics of interest, such as the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in China Or The stability of the Afghan government in Kabul.

The latest changes follow a New York Times report that Revealed an internal CIA memo highlighting the agency’s failures In building espionage networks in China, Iran, Russia and Pakistan.

The memo found that the CIA, like the broader US national security community, had been focusing on counter-terrorism efforts over the past two decades and had become lax in investigating sources.

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As a result, rival intelligence agencies became more proficient with new technologies such as facial recognition, artificial intelligence and surveillance, learning how to breach CIA intelligence networks within their countries.

The CIA’s announcement is part of a broader plan by the Biden administration to withdraw US military, diplomatic and intelligence bodies to better compete with rival countries such as China, Iran and Russia while addressing the needs of the United States and its allies. Is.

Follow Matthew Brown Online @mrbrownsir.

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