One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Washington, as he announces that a U.S. airstrike killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan. One year after ending the war in Afghanistan, Biden and top national security officials speak less about counterterrorism and more about the political, economic, and military threats posed by China as well as Russia. (Jim Watson/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency's counterterrorism center, the CIA's No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority - but that the agency's money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China.

One year after ending the war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden and top national security officials speak less about counterterrorism and more about the political, economic and military threats posed by China as well as Russia. There's been a quiet pivot within intelligence agencies, which are moving hundreds of officers to China-focused positions, including some who were previously working on terrorism.

Intelligence officials stress that the counterterrorism fight is hardly being ignored. Just a week ago it revealed a CIA drone attack killed