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The New Cold War
The importance of effective Counterintelligence
The relationship between the United States and China has evolved into a complex, competitive and nuanced affair. From cyber warfare to economic espionage; the threat that China represents to the United States is real. The purpose of this post is to further expose the China Target as the primary reason for the United States to place high value on the effective use of counterintelligence at this point in history.
While the Cold War era that inspired so many works of fiction depicting the USA led West versus the former USSR East may be on the surface over; in my opinion the delicate “game” being played out between the United States and China is much more dangerous. In the previous Cold War the adversaries at odds with one another were clear; Judeo-Christian Western Civilization with its progressive views of Capitalism and Democracy facing off against the godless and oppressive Communist from the East.
However moving forward the United States & China’s awkward “friendship” revolves around and relies on the fragile fabric of economic realities in the early 21st Century, the competition between the two “super powers” may demand a level of counterintelligence vigilance that had not yet existed in the previous Cold War.
In the powerful book, Vaults, Mirrors and Masks: Rediscovering US Counterintelligence Sims, Jennifer and Gerber, Burton I discovered the following definitive statement made by the chairman of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission who echoed this view, testifying that China’s espionage activities were “the single greatest threat to U.S. Technology and strain to the U.S. counterintelligence establishment.” (Sims, Gerber, intro:p.3)
From a civilian perspective it is easy to envision why masses of American citizens would find China to be a non- threatening friend that merely shares the same type of ambition that has fuled Western Civilization throughout world history; the fundamental human desire to prosper. However the ancient glory that China once possessed is a powerful motivating factor that may drive the regime in Beijing to feel they have the “right” to inflict its will on all other cultures and nations, including the United States of America.
My perception of the threat China poses to the United States and Western Civilization as a whole is the type of threat that demands vigilance not only from our military and intelligence community but also by the citizens of the United States and the citizens of our allies led by members of large Western multi-national corporations and wealthy Western entrepreneurs that eagerly include China as a “friend” and business partner. At some point the “bottom-line” of financial gain must no longer be viewed as a higher priority than the safety and well being of our citizens, nation and culture.
In my opinion the following statement found @http://www.ncix.gov/publications/policy/CIStrategy.pdf speaks to the overall need for effective counterintelligence as the primary tool, strategy and weapon within the United States intelligence community in its endless effort to keep America and her citizens safe:
“The United States faces substantial challenges to its security, freedom, and prosperity. Transnational terrorism, continued proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), asymmetric warfare, extremist movements, and failed states present severe challenges to a just and stable international order. Our ability to meet these challenges is threatened by the intelligence activities of traditional and non-traditional adversaries. Our adversaries –foreign intelligence services, terrorists, foreign criminal enterprises and cyber intruders – use overt, covert, and clandestine activities to exploit and undermine US national security interests. Counterintelligence is one of several instruments of national power that can thwart such activities, but its effectiveness depends in many respects on coordination with other elements of government and with the private sector.”
In my amateur opinion America has now been plunged into a “New Cold War” with the chief adversary being the Peoples Republic of China. I perceive that the answer to this threat is not mere verbal bravado and rhetoric; China is technologically advanced, with the largest military in the world and possesses strategic nuclear capabilities. Therefore coordinated efforts within the United States intelligence community is paramount with the highly effective use of counterintelligence to ferret out and thwart threats to the United States and our allies that may be perpetrated by the China Target and the various enemies of the United States that most certainly exist.
Vaults, Mirrors and Masks: Rediscovering US Counterintelligence Sims, Jennifer and Gerber, Georgetown Press, Washington D.C. 2009.