(LibertySons.org) – The US declassified and disseminated information to allies ahead of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 to better prepare the country and surrounding nations for the onslaught. The decision was instrumental in thwarting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans for a quick takeover. It was the brainchild of CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, trusted advisors to President Joe Biden. On Friday, July 21, Biden asked Burns to join his cabinet.
In a statement, the president cited Burns’ ability to provide “clear, straightforward analysis that prioritizes the safety and security of the American people.” He highlighted the director’s expertise in handling an ongoing palette of national security conundrums from Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet bloc neighbors to rising tensions with China over Taiwan, North Korea, and trade issues.
Former President George W. Bush secretly sent Burns to Iran to negotiate the initial phases of what became the Iran nuclear deal that limited the country’s weapons development through economic incentives. President Biden trusted Burns as an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with government and Taliban leaders regarding timelines to fulfill former President Trump’s promise to withdraw troops from the country and end the nearly 20-year US occupation, according to The New York Times.
Biden also entrusted Burns with the task of warning Putin not to invade Ukraine in November 2021, sending the former ambassador with a personal request asking the Russian leader to consider the global consequences and the potential sanctions his nation might face.
Before serving as the CIA director, Burns served seven years as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace after serving as a distinguished career diplomat for 32 years under both Republican and Democratic administrations, including a stint as the deputy secretary of state under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, respectively. He also served as the US ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008.
Unlike many other Biden nominations, Burns received bipartisan Senate approval as director of the CIA. Burns joins DNI Haines on the Cabinet. As DNI, Biden included her as a cabinet member from the start of his administration to facilitate communications between agencies.
Haines welcomed Burns and said his addition to the Cabinet indicated Biden’s “reliance and confidence in Bill for his unique insights and advice,” according to her statement released Friday.
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