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china and usa national flag waving against clouds blue sky side view of natural color of people republic of china and united states of america us state symbols isolated for design copy space template

Our Enemies Couldn’t Get a Better Operating Environment

Originally published at Townhall

The Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) convened its fifth anniversary summit meeting in Washington, D.C. on January 25, less than a week after the World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded its meeting in Davos. 

It is striking that CPDC’s factual output is so voluminous compared to WEF. Much of CPDC research, writing and video production is done on a minimal budget with a large voluntary input from former intelligence and military officers, while WEF’s nearly $375 million annual budget does little more than produce propaganda narratives to induce fear and the need for radical transformation of society and the world. Essentially, WEF’s agenda is to bring about draconian control over people’s lives, global depopulation, and replacement of individual nation-states with some kind of unwieldy and unaccountable new world order run by elites.

The main reason that the CPDC came into being five years ago, was the failure of the government at many levels to adequately address the China threat. And this became so much clearer after the Hunter Biden laptop was turned over to the FBI in December of 2019, some ten months before the November election between Trump and Biden. Through the incriminating evidence in that laptop’s extensive files, the FBI had access to verifiable information and evidentiary proof of Chinese elite capture and control of the Biden family. If that information had been known by the American public prior to the 2020 election, polls show that Trump would have won a second term, even with factored-in vote fraud. The FBI was silent, and the rest is history. 

The New York Post was able to get a hold of a copy of the Hunter Biden Laptop’s hard drive, and about three weeks before the election, the Post broke the explosive story. Within days, 51 former intelligence officials, using the institutional weight of their former esteemed roles, signed a dishonest letter, charging the Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story with having “all the classic earmarks of a Russian disinformation operation.”  

This and so many other inexplicable developments during the first three years of the Biden Administration have caused a vast number of Americans to wake up and recognize that their country is going off the rails and headed for ruin and collapse. 

In fact, people are having difficulty in “unseeing”: 1) the invasion of our southern border that has increased each of the last three years; 2) the inability of correcting election irregularity and vote fraud that undermines the legitimacy of the U.S. government; and 3) the transformation and destruction of our cultural institutions and history.  As a result, American people sense that, without borders, without trustworthy elections, and with no respect for its heritage, America is no longer a country. 

Discussed at this year’s CPDC meeting was the fact that the Chinese Communist Party has a $15 billion budget to fund a range of active measures to subvert the U.S. That $15 billion annual budget can achieve a lot of harm for the simple reason that bribery and elite capture are far cheaper and more undetectable than other types of subversion and direct action that trigger people in the target country to wake up. 

Elite capture goes way beyond Washington. In 2021, a member of the CPDC was tipped off about irregularities surrounding the Chinese company Fufeng Group acquiring 300-plus acres of land in close proximity to the Grand Forks North Dakota Air and Space Force base and the plans to build a corn-milling plant that could double as a Chinese espionage out-post on America’s most advanced drone communication technology.  

Research on the background of the chairman of the Finance and Development Committee of the Grand Forks City Council who was pushing the project against the will of the majority of citizens who opposed it revealed that he had been involved in prior lucrative recruiting efforts to bring Chinese to North Dakota and Arizona for pilot training and also that he initiated the “Unmanned Aircraft System” curriculum for the U.S. Airforce/Spaceforce MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper drone software training systems development at the University of North Dakota. This background provided all the earmarks of a city official who would be the target of Chinese elite capture. By late 2022, there was so much pressure from outraged locals that the Finance and Development City Council Chair caved, and the Chinese lost their $2.3 million sunk into land that couldn’t be permitted for Fufeng commercial development. 

Another part of the CCP unrestricted warfare budget has funded AI operations to build a database of all registered voters in the seven swing states that include every detail of voting IDs,  including perfect matching signatures. The Chinese also have in place the practical printing capabilities to produce whatever number of ballots—complete with matching signatures—are needed to “fix” elections in each of the key states. 

Part of the CCP unrestricted warfare budget is targeted at destroying the U.S. southern border by helping the Mexican and other criminal cartels engage in fentanyl, drug, and human trafficking. The cartels run their trafficking criminal enterprises across the American border and are now buying political protection in multiple states. In Arizona, the political and judicial system corruption is so pervasive that it’s almost impossible to explain without accounting for the roles of elite capture and bribery.     

A senior member of CPDC made the case that the CCP has effectively decapitated the U.S. through elite capture. In addition to the capture of politicians, notably President Biden, the warfighting capability of the U.S. military, which has already been in decline for many years has accelerated with the embrace of CRT and DEI during the Obama administration and now even more so in the Biden administration. In 2020, the behavior of the top U.S. military authority, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, in calling his Chinese counterpart Li Zuocheng both ahead of Trump’s election defeat and after the result to reassure him that the U.S. would not attack China, but if such an attack was eminent, that he would alert him ahead of time was a total violation of chain of command and would have been seen as treasonous in almost all prior periods of U.S. history. Milley’s behavior certainly conforms to the pattern of elite capture. Current Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has done more to undermine U.S. military stature that any prior counterpart due to the 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, the 2023 Chinese spy balloon free ride fiasco, and his 2024 unaccountable AWOL behavior without a succession plan.

Whether more a result of ill fortune or elite capture, America gives every appearance of no longer being a country. Our enemies could not ask for a better operating environment. 

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.