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Russian foreign intelligence veteran sees career flameout for CIA Director Burns — letter

Leonid Reshetnikov noted that the CIA director’s statements were detached from reality and revealed a blinkered understanding of global processes

MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Retired Lieutenant General Leonid Reshetnikov, a veteran of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), in an open letter to US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns predicts a sudden end to the American spymaster’s career, pointing to his attempts to paint intelligence failures as successes.

In particular, Reshetnikov commented on Burns’ January 30 op-ed for Foreign Affairs magazine titled "Spycraft and Statecraft: Transforming the CIA for an Age of Competition." "I think it is entirely possible that you, Mr. Burns, may believe that the Democratic administration [of US President Joe Biden] is now on its last legs, and so you are seeking to secure your own legacy in the annals of the Central Intelligence Agency by presenting your failures and miscalculations as achievements and masterfully constructed clandestine ploys. I would like to point out, however, that wherever you were assigned ‘on a mission’ - be it Afghanistan, Russia or Ukraine - the situation there started to veer off the desired path in terms of US strategic interests," the SVR veteran noted.

"If my impression is correct and your article, Mr. Burns, represents a swansong of sorts, then good luck to you in to your next position. The most important thing is that your job contributes to ensuring peace and stability on the planet," Reshetnikov stressed.

He noted that the CIA director’s statements were detached from reality and revealed a blinkered understanding of global processes. According to the Russian intel veteran, the US is trying to paint global events as a confrontation between the so-called democracies, which presumably include the US and its allies, "and ‘autocracies,’ primarily represented by Russia, China and Iran, that is, those countries that consistently and effectively defend their sovereignty."

"Such a one-dimensional, ideological approach seems to have been counterproductive even in the era of a bipolar world order. Moreover, in my view, this is exactly what set the scene for the United States’ loss of the unrivaled supremacy for which the White House pines so nostalgically. However, given today’s realities, this [black and white] Manichaean view of the world borders on a deficient perception of the situation, which is unforgivable for the head of one of the world’s most influential intelligence agencies. Notably, there is no place on your chessboard for the global majority of Asian, African and Latin American countries, Mr. Burns. For you, [such countries appear to be merely] some sort of amorphous ‘middle buffer zone’ that must be carefully watched over in order to prevent conflicts between ‘the bigger powers' from getting out of control," Reshetnikov concluded.