China and Russia waging a “shadow war” against U.S., author says
His new book, “The Shadow War: Inside Russia’s and China’s Secret Operations to Defeat America,” highlights tactics he says both countries use to attack the U.S. and its allies, but fall below the threshold of starting a shooting war. Sciutto told “CBS This Morning” that the U.S. isn’t doing enough about it.
“It’s a war they’re waging, Russia and China are waging on the U.S., and we’re not fighting back. [I] only recently came to terms with it,” Sciutto said. “I think Americans are aware of some of the fronts of the war, certainly election interference, which continues, but they’re not aware of others … Russia and China have both put weapons in space: Lasers, kamikaze satellites. Kidnapper satellites. China has developed a satellite that can grab other satellites out of orbit. These are satellites we depend on for the way we live every day of our lives, GPS, et cetera, but also the military does, crucially.”
Sciutto, a CNN national security correspondent and anchor, also highlighted a “new great game” playing out under the waves with submarines.
“Submarines are quieter, they’re getting closer to U.S. shores. That’s a way to project nuclear power without warning right up to the U.S. homeland – multi-front war,” he said.
China, Sciutto said, is trying to surpass the U.S. as a world superpower – and they’re not shy about it. It’s something they’ve made clear in both public speeches as well as in national security documents.
“They want to achieve what they view as their rightful place on top of the world, and almost invariably, national security folks will say China is the bigger of the two threats. But Russia, a very big threat. Theirs is more of a zero-sum game. Any opportunity to stick their finger in the eye of the United States they view as a win,” he said.
FBI director Christopher Wray told “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell last year that his agency’s top counterintelligence priority is China, namely stopping Chinese spies in America from committing economic espionage.
“Thousands [Chinese spies] here – I spoke to the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence — and tens of thousands in China. He talked about it in terms of, they have a national service program almost for smart young people there to hack their way into U.S. public and private sector secrets and they do it with enormous success,” Sciutto said.
The Chinese are stealing information on everything from seed and medical technology to artificial intelligence, Sciutto said. Most crucially though, they’re spying on U.S. national security technology.
“Over the course of four years, before they were detected, a small team of four people stole secrets about the F-35, the C-17, and the F-22,” Sciutto said. “Today, China is flying planes that look remarkably like those planes.”
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