‘Distractions happen’: Top US intelligence chief’s China admission

He said he took Chinese President Xi Jinping at his word when he said he wanted to reunite Taiwan with the mainland, possibly as early as 2027 and by force if necessary.

“I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that they will do it by force, but they certainly seem to be building the military capacity to do that,” he said.

Requested by The Sydney Morning Herald and The age if the DIA had waited too long to pour its resources into the region, Berrier agreed that they should have refocused a decade ago.

“If you remember President Obama told us in 2013 about pivoting to the Pacific, well, in 2023 we’re actually doing it,” he said.

“This whole idea about turning and when to turn, I think everyone had the intention of doing it, but distraction happens well and our operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other places, really, really drain our intelligence resources.” he said.

Obama was critical of his predecessor George W. Bush for not focusing enough on Asia and in a 2011 speech to the Australian Parliament, he announced that the United States National Security Team was prioritizing the region.


“The United States is a power in the Pacific, and we’re here to stay,” Obama said at the time, noting that the “tide of the war” was “receding” as U.S. troops left Iraq and the transition to the Afghan authorities was underway.

But it was Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden, who would oversee the end of the United States’ role in Afghanistan more than a decade later.

While respecting an agreement made by his predecessor Donald Trump, the chaotic exit allowed the Taliban to regain control of the country in days, undoing two decades of democratic advancements introduced to the country created.

Berrier said leaving Afghanistan, as well as misjudging Russia’s ability to launch a successful invasion of Ukraine, were areas where the intelligence community had work to do.

He refused to predict an end to the war in Ukraine any time soon, despite the fact that Russia was pushed back from Kherson.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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