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    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) quietly killed a $100 million project to build a National China Garden in Washington, D.C. just two miles from the U.S. Capitol as the intelligence community becomes increasingly concerned that Chinese investments in the U.S. are being is to increase their spying capabilities.  In 2017, local Washington officials and Chinese leaders celebrated a deal to build an ornate Chinese garden in the National Arboretum. The plan was to transform a 12-acre field in the arboretum with temples and pavilions and native Chinese shrubbery. It was believed that Chinese officials were eager to foot the bill for the project as a way to mend U.S.-Sino relations, the way that the Japanese did by gifting thousands of their cherry trees to D.C.  The National China Garden was to be modeled after the Ge Garden in Yangzhou  But U.S. counterintelligence officials dug into the project and later found the project could have an ulterior motive, according to a new CNN report.  They noted that the pagoda had been planned for one of the highest points in...
    A House subcommittee is prepping to hold its first hearing open to the public on UFOs in more than 50 years on Tuesday, with two top intelligence officials set to testify.  On Tuesday at 9 a.m. the House Intelligence Committee's Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will delve into details on reports of 'unidentified aerial phenomena.' Such high-level conversations have for the past half century been reserved for closed-door meetings among high-ranking military officials.  'The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks — especially those we do not fully understand,' the panel chair, Rep. André Carson, said in a statement on Tuesday. Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon's top intelligence official, and Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, will testify before the panel.  Last June, Congress requested a report on 'unidentified aerial phenomena,' another term for UFO, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) offered a preliminary assessment focusing on 144 incidents dating back to 2004. DNI was only able to explain one. ...
    Washington (CNN)The US intelligence community is carrying out a sweeping internal review of how it assesses the fighting power of foreign militaries amid mounting pressure from key lawmakers on Capitol Hill who say officials have failed twice in one year on the two major foreign policy crises faced by the Biden administration in Ukraine and Afghanistan. The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sent a classified letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Department and the CIA pointing out that the agencies broadly underestimated how long the Ukrainian military would be able to fend off Russian forces and overestimated how long Afghan fighters would hold out against the Taliban last summer after the US withdrawal from the country, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. They questioned the methodology behind the intelligence community's assessments, and the underlying assumptions behind them, the sources said.CNN has learned that one smaller intelligence agency within the State Department did more accurately assess the Ukrainian military's capability to resist Russia. But while that assessment was shared within the US government,...
    The U.S. intelligence community overestimated the capabilities of both the Afghan and Russian militaries, and the director of national intelligence pointed to the difficulties of assessing people’s “will to fight” as one of the main factors in getting these assessments wrong. The United States expected the Afghan army to withstand the Taliban for months, and officials expected the Russian military to conquer the capital of Ukraine in a matter of days. Both turned out to be significant overestimations of the respective militaries' performances on the battlefield. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, when they were questioned about the inaccurate timelines. IN VICTORY DAY SPEECH, PUTIN SEEKS RUSSIAN UNITY FOR LONG-TERM STRUGGLE AGAINST WEST "I would say that it's a combination of will to fight and capacity in effect, and the two of them are issues that are, as you indicated, quite challenging to, you know, provide effective analysis on, and we're looking at different methodologies for doing...
    Russian elites have hatched a plot to 'poison' Vladimir Putin and instil a successor who will restore trade ties with the West, according to Ukrainian intelligence. According to Ukraine's Chief Directorate of Intelligence at the war-torn country's Ministry of Defence, a 'group of influential' individuals in Russia have begun plotting to remove the dictator from office. The Ukrainian intelligence service says that FSB director Oleksandr Bortnikov is the chosen man to replace Putin - leading the agency which the successor to the fearsome KGB. The Ukrainian intelligence service says that FSB director Oleksandr Bortnikov is the chosen man to replace Putin Putin was the director of the Russian intelligence agency before he took the mantle of President and he and Bortnikov both served in the KGB together in Leningrad. The insiders are reportedly incensed by the invasion of Ukraine's effect on the Russian economy which has been hard-hit by sanctions. The Chief Directorate of Intelligence said: 'It is known that Bortnikov and some other influential representatives of the Russian elite are considering various options to remove Putin from power. 'In particular,...
    (CNN)As its troops fight on the ground in Ukraine, Russia is waging a parallel war of misinformation. Even before Russian forces crossed the border, Russian officials were crafting a narrative at odds with reality. Publicly claiming one thing while intelligence suggests another isn't unusual, but Russia has gone so far as to insist its actions don't constitute war or that it has no plans to impose forces even while Russian troops set off explosions in key Ukrainian cities and attempt to gain control of strategic sites. Most recently following an attack on a hospital in Mariupol, a key city in the south of Ukraine, Russian officials have repeatedly changed their narrative. First, they stated Russia would never attack civilian targets, then claimed it was a false flag operation conducted by Ukrainian rebels, but they never took responsibility. Here are five examples of Russian officials essentially trying to gaslight Western officials and the broader public regarding Ukraine. Mariupol hospital Russian statements Read MoreAfter the March 9 attack which wrecked Mariupol's maternity and children's hospital, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested...
    (CNN)Russia's strategy in its war on Ukraine is shifting toward a "slow annihilation" of the Ukrainian military, US and other Western officials tell CNN, warning that Russia could focus on a bloody and deadly bombardment of cities and civilian targets as the conflict becomes a grinding war of attrition.Ukrainian forces have so far been able to stave off Russia's initial push, maintaining control of Kyiv and other major cities. But they remain massively outgunned and outmanned. And Russia is now bringing in heavier, more destructive weaponry and increasingly striking civilian infrastructure, after an initial focus on military targets, the officials said. The shift in strategy likely reflects a recognition by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his initial plan to quickly topple Kyiv has failed, said one senior Western intelligence official -- in part because the Ukrainians have put up a stiffer than anticipated fight and in part because logistics and supply missteps have slowed the Russian advance.But Western officials now expect that Russia will ramp up heavy weapons bombardment of Ukraine's cities and potentially march in "tens of thousands" of...
    Top military advisers from the Biden administration fended off questions Tuesday from lawmakers as they struggled to defend decisions made in the weeks before the disastrous troop withdrawal from Afghanistan ended on Aug. 31. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, and head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie faced questions from members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on everything from specific tactical movements to broad diplomatic strategies in the region during an hourslong hearing that, at times, grew heated. But their testimony ultimately shed little light on some of the biggest mistakes that cost U.S. and Afghan lives in the final days of the evacuation from Kabul, which the military leaders continued to describe as a historic success. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the hearing. BIDEN’S RECOMMENDATIONS To deflect criticism of his decision to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of August, President Joe Biden has portrayed his Pentagon brass as unanimously supporting him. However, Milley and McKenzie both suggested during their testimony that they advised...
    (CNN)Kabul could be isolated by the Taliban in the next 30 to 60 days, increasing the potential that the Afghan capital could fall under the control of the militant group, according to a senior administration official familiar with one US intelligence assessment.Another assessment puts the potential collapse within 90 days, according to another US official.Officials warn that there are multiple assessments with differing timelines. However, such a collapse would represent a stunning defeat after the United States' costly two-decade military campaign in Afghanistan. It would likely lead to the fall of the Afghan government and could imperil the US' diplomatic presence on the ground, which Biden administration officials have vowed to maintain even after the troop withdrawal is complete. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said he would not comment on any intelligence "assessments coming out of Afghanistan," at the beginning of a news briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday. Read MoreDrawdown of US embassy in Kabul is under discussion, sources say, as Taliban makes rapid gains in Afghanistan"We continue to monitor the situation in Afghanistan closely," Kirby said. "We are mindful...
    Any student of American politics presently watching Donald Trump would never guess in a million years he was running for reelection as president of the United States of America. After years of disparaging the U.S. intelligence agencies charged with keeping Americans safe from foreign and domestic enemies alike, Trump kicked off the final stretch of the 2020 presidential election by making war on the nation's most overt line of defense: the U.S. military.  During a Labor Day press conference Monday, Trump accused top military officials of wanting "to do nothing but fight wars" so "the companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.” In other words, the military's top brass is sacrificing the lives of service members for corporate profits.  Wow. Trump, who wrapped himself in the American flag in 2016 and brags constantly about his administration's military spending, is now accusing U.S. military leadership of the grossest form of corruption. "We're at a point now, Nicolle, where the commander in chief is attacking his own military out in the open, and everyone in the...
    American and European allies need to “merge” the intelligence gathered by national security and law enforcement officials in order to fend off nontraditional threats from China and Russia, according to a senior Pentagon official. “Most of what our competitors and adversaries are doing in Europe to undermine our resilience and undermine our political cohesion is in the law enforcement realm,” Michael Ryan, one of the Defense Department’s top officials for European and NATO policy, told the European Union Defense Washington Forum. “We need to find a way to merge that military intelligence and law enforcement intelligence, so that working between NATO and the EU, we get all of our tools moving in the right direction to deal with those efforts.” Ryan’s solution, in the broadest terms, involves enhanced “intelligence-sharing” not only between allied governments but between traditional national security entities and law enforcement agencies empowered to work within a country. His comments underscore the U.S. perception that China and Russia are targeting Western allies through nonmilitary means. “A huge amount of these challenges are coming in private...
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