William Burns, the director of the CIA, warned that China will carefully examine all of Russia’s failings in the Ukraine, which would help Beijing decide how and when to attack Taiwan.
Burns conducted a comprehensive interview during the forum, covering a variety of subjects from Iran’s nuclear program to Brittney Griner’s detention by Russia. But the most of his time was spent talking about the two biggest enemies of the United States.
He focused particularly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including Putin’s mindset and the causes of Russia’s numerous failures to end the fight swiftly and decisively, as well as any lessons China can learn from the incident as it considers an invasion of Taiwan.
“The Ukrainians have suffered as well, probably a little less than that, but significant casualties is the big picture. Russia is planning to dig in and keep hammering Ukraine and believe that when winter comes and the fuel costs are so high in Europe, that NATO solidarity will weaken.”
Burns said that he thought the most recent U.S. intelligence assessments would suggest about 15,000 Russian forces dead and maybe three times as many troops injured. This would imply that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a strategic disaster. It was the first report on potential Russian losses from any intelligence source in months.
Burns believes that Putin’s inability to destabilize NATO will prove to be his biggest error. Finland and Sweden will be added to the alliance, strengthening its deployments.
With its concentration concentrated on the Donbas area, Russia has instead returned to a cozy kind of warfare, depending on long-range weapons to establish a standoff and make up for human deficiencies.
China may have been more wary of using force after watching Putin bringing the United States and Europe closer together.
Burns also addressed the threat posed by global warming, stating that it was a similar obstacle to China’s.
Additionally, the CIA director reiterated earlier this month’s French foreign minister’s warnings regarding Iran’s accelerated pursuit of a nuclear weapon.