Two senior government officials told Aksios that the Trump administration is declassifying unconfirmed intelligence, which has recently informed President Trump, which shows that China is willing to pay money to non-state actors in Afghanistan. Attack American soldiers.
Big picture: 21 days before the end of President Trump’s term, he vowed to increase pressure on China, and after several months of news reports that the Russians had secretly offered a bounty to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan. Unconfirmed intelligence.
- The Chinese Embassy in the District of Columbia did not respond to a request for comment. It is believed that Trump has not discussed the matter with President Xi Jinping.
- It is not clear whether any member of Congress or President-elect Biden has made a briefing, but Biden has now received the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB).
Behind-the-scenes: Officials said that the intelligence was included in the presidential briefing on December 1
- Administrative officials from multiple agencies are currently working to confirm preliminary intelligence reports.
- Axios cannot visually check any reports detailing intelligence. The official described the summary over the phone.
Why it matters: If this information is confirmed, it will represent a major strategic change in China, and the tension between China and the United States will escalate sharply. If intelligence cannot be proved to be correct, it will cause people to question the source of intelligence and its motives. Decided to decrypt it.
- For a long time, China has played a quiet diplomatic role in Afghanistan, inviting Afghan Taliban officials to Beijing to discuss plans for a peace agreement and encouraging Afghanistan-led solutions, even though Chinese-made weapons and funds sometimes flow there.
- Andrew Small, a senior researcher at the German Marshall Foundation who specializes in Sino-Arab affairs, seems “uncoordinated” against China’s provocative actions in Afghanistan.
- Small said that seeking peace in Afghanistan is “one of the rare areas where China and the United States are still willing to cooperate in important areas.” “They know that the drawdown is happening. We are not in any other situation where the US military is stationed in Afghanistan. There is no reason to put additional pressure on the US military.”
flashback: In June, the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (Kayleigh McEnany) lashed out in the New York Times, claiming that it had published “unconfirmed” allegations of Russian bounty intelligence.
- She suggested that “rogue intelligence officials” are undermining Trump and the security of the United States. She also insisted that Trump was not briefed because the intelligence has not been fully verified.
detail: A senior official involved in the latest China discussion described unconfirmed intelligence to Axios. He said: “Like all initial reports, we are cautious about the initial reports,” but “any intelligence reports related to the security of our troops are very important to us…”
- Another senior official with direct knowledge of internal discussions said that on December 22, officials convened a policy coordination committee (PCC) meeting to discuss the matter.
- The official said that the PCC’s focus is on two goals, namely, consultation with the International Court of Justice to verify the initial report, and consultations on the force protection posture of the remaining Afghan forces in the intelligence and defense fields.
Officials will not describe the source of the intelligence, nor will they disclose when or when the activity occurred.
- Someone said: “The United States has evidence that China [People’s Republic of China] Trying to provide economic stimulus or “bounty” to fund attacks by Afghan non-state actors on American soldiers,” he said, the National Security Council “is coordinating investigations by the entire government.”
- He would not say whether he was referring to the Taliban or was beyond the description of “non-state actors.”
- The timing of the alleged bounty offer is unclear. The source will only say that this happened sometime after the United States reached an agreement with the Taliban in late February. He also pointed out that there have been no American deaths in Afghanistan since then.
- He said that the government had obtained information on “weapons illegally flowed into Afghanistan” from China earlier.
Between lines: The British and American governments have previously complained about the use of Chinese-made weapons by the Taliban.
- Part of the interest in Afghanistan stems from Beijing’s desire to prevent Chinese Muslim separatist groups from using Afghanistan as a base.
- According to a report by The Times of India on December 25, Afghan security officials recently discovered a Chinese spy group allegedly operating in the country, apparently targeting Uyghurs.
do not forget: Trump was severely criticized when he admitted that he had not dealt with Vladimir Putin earlier this year, and unconfirmed intelligence reports claimed that Russia had been bribing the Taliban to kill American soldiers.
- General Frank McKenzie, the commander of the US military in Afghanistan, said in September, “It’s just that there is no proof that Russia can provide these rewards. This is enough to make me feel certain.” (The New York Times first reported that the information was published in the President’s Daily earlier this year).
- Mackenzie said: “We continue to look for evidence.” “I just haven’t seen it yet. But… this is not a closed question.”