Top U.S. intelligence official, C.I.A Director William J. Burns, landed in Israel for high-level talks on Sunday, the New York Times reported, citing US officials.
The visit marks the beginning of his numerous progressive stops in the region. His arrival comes against a backdrop of escalating geo-political tensions, as the United States seeks to encourage a more targeted Israeli response to Hamas activities, according to U.S. official sources.
A U.S. insider familiar with Burns’s itinerary highlights the goal of the visit, underscoring the resolve to bolster American commitment to robust intelligence collaboration with regional partners. The visit is also projected to deepen the U.S.’s intelligence network with Israel, focusing on sharing critical information concerning hostage whereabouts or potential Hamas retaliatory attacks.
With Gaza crisis at the focal point, Burns is slated to visit multiple Middle Eastern nations. These strategic visits aim to facilitate dialogues on the ongoing hostage negotiation process, preventing the Gaza war from spiraling into a wider regional conflict, and drawing lessons from past American experiences in the region, notably the Iraq War and the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
William Burns, the CIA director, arrived in Israel on Sunday for discussions with leaders and intelligence officials, the first stop in a multicountry trip in the region, according to U.S. officials. https://t.co/UKLxrKYcoU
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 5, 2023
New York Times reported:
A spokeswoman for the C.I.A. said the agency does not comment on the director’s travel.
Mr. Burns, who has extensive experience in the region, visited as key intelligence leaders in Israel have been heavily criticized for failing to detect the attack and the threat from Hamas more broadly.
Mr. Burns’s visit to Arab countries may be as important as his meetings in Israel.
His exact itinerary is unclear, but he is expected to visit Jordan. King Abdullah II canceled a meeting with Mr. Biden after a blast at a Gaza hospital led to high casualties. While the United States and Israel have blamed Hamas for the explosion, Hamas has said Israel is responsible. Much of Jordan’s population is ethnically Palestinian, putting the country, a close U.S. ally that has a peace treaty with Israel, in an especially tricky position as it navigates the fallout from the war.
Mr. Burns has a particularly close relationship with King Abdullah. He was the ambassador to Jordan when King Hussein died and Abdullah ascended to the throne. King Abdullah recently wrote a letter praising Mr. Burns’s diplomatic skills for a ceremony honoring the C.I.A. director.
Burns’ visit coincides with the arrival of Ohio-class submarines in its area of responsibility (AOR), as The Gateway Pundit previously reported.
“On November 5, 2023, an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” U.S. Central Command wrote on X/Twitter.
The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) includes 21 countries:
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uzbekistan, Yemen.
The Ohio-class submarines are the largest submarines ever built by the U.S. Navy. They are 560 feet long and 42 feet wide, and displace 18,750 tons when submerged.
The Ohio-class submarine has nuclear weapons. The 14 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) carry about half of the United States’ active strategic thermonuclear warheads that are capable of erasing a country from the map.
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