One of the (many) problems is that America’s intelligence community has been intentionally rendered into an unintelligence community by the Obama administration.
Analysts whose internal reports tell the real story of what’s transpiring in the field are now having their reports heavily redacted, edited, polished up and portrayed as happy news for public consumption. This is why you hear America is “winning” the war against ISIS, even though America’s military leadership says otherwise. This has lead to rifts and even an open revolt within the unintelligence community.
If you diminish the quality of your intelligence community, it leads to failures and blunders such as the one this article points out. All the signs were there, the threats were already known and correctly assessed, but a blind eye was turned at the top of the hierarchy.
That’s the front page headline of today’s Washington Post (paper edition). The story is about signs in August that Putin was mobilizing for a military offensive in Syria. Despite these signs, the Obama administration was “caught flat-footed” when the Russian offensive materialized two months later.
In a larger sense, “Russian intent” has long been clear. Putin has said he consider the fall of Soviet power a geopolitical catastrophe. He wants to restore Russian influence to the maximum extent feasible.
With Obama’s ascent to the White House, the “maximum extent feasible” increased dramatically. Putin figured this out in 2009 when Obama visited Russia. As I wrote at the time, his visit left the Russians giddy with the realization that they could steal the American president’s pants.
Russia isn’t the only American adversary whose “intent” Obama has failed to grasp. Iran is an equally dramatic case. Obama somehow came to believe that reaching a nuclear deal favorable to Iran would lead to improved relations with the mullahs and to arrangements to help “stabilize” the region.
But this week, as Scott has discussed, Iran’s “Supreme Leader” banned any further negotiations with the United States. What’s left to negotiate? They already have Obama’s pants.
Let’s return, though, to the Post’s story about signs in August that Russia was preparing to take military action in Syria. According to Post reporters Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung:
Among the first clues that Russia was mobilizing for a military offensive in Syria were requests Moscow began making in mid-August for permission to cross other countries’ territory with more and larger aircraft.
“We were getting the word the Russians were asking for inordinate overflights,” a senior Obama administration official said, referring to reports from U.S. allies receiving the requests. Russia was seeking clearance for not only cargo planes but also “fighter aircraft and bombers” that Syrian pilots had never been trained to fly, the official said. “It was clear that something pretty big was up.”
Something big was, in fact, up. By October, the Russians were pounding Syria rebels with air strikes.
Full article: “Early signs of Russian intent” (Powerline)