Faulty China in­tel

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The an­nual re­port by the con­gres­sional U.S.-China Eco­nomic Se­cu­rity Re­view Com­mis­sion, re­leased re­cently, calls for im­prov­ing U.S. intelligence on China’s mil­i­tary buildup.

“The com­mis­sion rec­om­mends that Congress in­struct the di­rec­tor of na­tional intelligence, work­ing with the De­part­ment of De­fense, to for­mu­late and es­tab­lish a more ef­fec­tive pro­gram for as­sess­ing the na­ture, ex­tent and strate­gic and tac­ti­cal im­pli­ca­tions of China’s mil­i­tary mod­ern­iza­tion and de­vel­op­ment,” the re­port stated.

The rec­om­men­da­tion is a rare open crit­i­cism of U.S. intelligence re­lated to Bei­jing’s grow­ing mil­i­tary buildup.

De­fense of­fi­cials tell us the main cause of poor U.S. intelligence es­ti­mates and analy­ses of the Chi­nese arms buildup is a per­va­sive bias among se­nior U.S. intelligence and pol­icy-mak­ers who have sought to play down or dis­miss China’s mil­i­tary ef­forts as non­threat­en­ing.

Among the key play­ers is Thomas Fin­gar, a China spe­cial­ist who is the deputy di­rec­tor of na­tional intelligence for anal­y­sis and chair­man of the Na­tional Intelligence Coun­cil. An­other is Lon­nie Hen­ley, the deputy na­tional intelligence of­fi­cer for East Asia, who was re­cently in­ves­ti­gated for sup­port­ing a for­mer De­fense In­telli- gence Agency an­a­lyst who il­le­gally re­tained clas­si­fied doc­u­ments and passed top-se­cret intelligence to the Chi­nese mil­i­tary. A third key fig­ure in nu­mer­ous intelligence fail­ures on the Chi­nese mil­i­tary is White House Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Asia Di­rec­tor Den­nis Wilder, who for years headed CIA analy­ses of the Chi­nese mil­i­tary and whose ca­reer is marked by fre­quent un­der­es­ti­mates of the buildup.

The com­mis­sion rec­om­men­da­tion re­flects a highly clas­si­fied intelligence re­port pro­duced last year that con­cluded U.S. intelligence an­a­lysts missed more than a dozen key mil­i­tary de­vel­op­ments re­lated to China’s mil­i­tary for a decade.

Among the fail­ures were China’s de­vel­op­ment of a new long-range cruise mis­sile; de­ploy­ment of a new war­ship equipped with a stolen Chi­nese ver­sion of the U.S. Aegis bat­tle man­age­ment tech­nol­ogy; de­ploy­ment of a new at­tack sub­ma­rine that was missed by U.S. intelligence; de­vel­op­ment of pre­ci­sion-guided mu­ni­tions; and the im­por­ta­tion of ad­vanced weaponry, in­clud­ing Rus­sian sub­marines, war­ships and fight­er­bombers.

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