NATO Caught ‘Surprised’ By Russia’s Move Into Syria

This isn’t just a NATO problem, it’s an American problem.

It’s been oft mentioned here that it’s unclear which is scarier: The threats from every direction that a now-vulnerable America faces, or the fact that America’s unintelligent community is unable to see anything on their radar until after the fact. If it does get reported, then it’s manipulated into a happy story — because everything’s fine and just keep sho


Intelligence chief says the alliance members can’t even agree whether Moscow or ISIS is the greater threat — and there’s not enough ISR to go around.

When Russia sent military forces into Syria last weekend, it caught NATO by surprise and proved that its members can neither stay ahead of threats nor even decide which ones are the most pressing, the alliance’s intelligence director said.

“Are we keeping up with threats?…Absolutely not,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Brett Heimbigner Thursday. “The demands for intelligence… to accurately deal with some of these crises is clearly insufficient.”

Heimbigner’s latest frustration: “From an alliance perspective, what Russia is doing and the ability of Russia to surprise us on a very consistent basis.”

“We were able to get some warning, but did not see from a strategic perspective that one, necessarily, coming until just a couple days ago,” he said, speaking at the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C.Defense One is a media sponsor of the event, which is held by AFCEA International and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, or INSA.

On the mainstage later, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart confirmed media reports that Russian forces had moved into Syria, but he and CIA Director John Brennan said they were yet unclear as to their makeup or purpose.

As for NATO, Heimbigner described an alliance divided: its Baltic and eastern members worry more about Russia, while southern members are more concerned about the Islamic State, whose “growth is exponentially higher than what they anticipated.”

“In fact, we are now in a situation where, as an alliance, we can’t even come up with a coordinated threat assessment overall” because both groups want their concerns to take priority, he said.

Full article: NATO Caught ‘Surprised’ By Russia’s Move Into Syria (Defense One)

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