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Moscow Calls Out US Hypocrisy Amid Reports CIA is Planning Pivot to Focus on Russia, China

Sputnik News

Ilya Tsukanov

On Friday, informed sources told CNN that the Central Intelligence Agency was looking to overhaul the training and management of its spy network and operations to pivot away from 'counterterrorism' to focus more on its traditional and complex state adversaries China and Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused the US of hypocrisy in the wake of a CNN report on CIA plans to focus more on America's Chinese and Russian rivals.

"This is exactly what the US and NATO (as well as CNN) are accusing Russia and China of doing. So can one state engage in intelligence activities against others or not? It would be nice if CNN got an answer to this question from Washington," Zakharova quipped in a post on her Telegram page Saturday.

Earlier, CNN reported, citing sources said to be familiar with the situation, that after two decades focused on 'fighting terrorism,' the spy agency was overhauling its operations to "get back to the kind of traditional, quiet tradecraft needed to collect intelligence against complex nation-states," China and Russia.

According to the news channel, the shift is expected to improve the CIA's intelligence-gathering capabilities in remote areas, including places "seen as critical to the China mission," like West Africa, where the People's Republic has made significant economic investments. Agents are expected to receive improved geographic-specific training, with an emphasis on learning local languages and other knowledge necessary in a particular regional setting.

The CIA is also hoping to attract more speakers of Mandarin and put more focus on human intelligence, which is described as being "frustratingly poor" at the moment in the People's Republic "for a myriad of reasons."

CNN did not specify how the policy shift might impact its Russia operations.

The CIA launched a new China-focused mission center in October, concentrating on intelligence operations related to the People's Republic.

The new center joined existing specialized 'mission centers' for Korea, Africa, Europe and Eurasia (which includes Russia), the Near East, South and Central Asia, and the Western Hemisphere (including all of North and South America). The CIA also has separate mission centers specializing in counterintelligence, 'counterterrorism', global issues, weapons and counter-proliferation.

© Sputnik

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