Friday, January 29, 2010

I Spy? Not Anymore
The National Security Council has ordered that the intelligence community downgrade China from a first to a second priority. It’s another victory for an American adversary.

The Obama National Security Council has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to downgrade China as an intelligence collection priority. Though the president has made no secret of his desire to mend fences with America’s adversaries, this decision to “see no evil/hear no evil” from Beijing is cause for concern. The answer to any request to “please stop spying” should be simple: “No.”
The decision to downgrade China as an intelligence collection target (first reported by Bill Gertz in The Washington Times) is wrongheaded for what should be reasons obvious to the Obama administration: Since the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Chinese military spending has nearly quadrupled.

That spending has transformed what was once dismissed as an ineffective military force into a formidable and heavily armed one. China’s air force can now establish air dominance over the Taiwan Strait and possibly over Japan. Its missiles can strike U.S. bases as far away as Guam. Its navy has commissioned more than 30 new submarines since 2000 and is now pursuing an aircraft carrier fleet. And the People’s Liberation Army has conducted successful missile defense and anti-satellite weapon tests. In short, China is fielding a force designed to keep U.S. military assets out of the Asia-Pacific and that places special emphasis on attacking America where it is weak—in space and cyberspace.


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