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.