One of my main philosophies regarding Intelligence is that “intelligence failures” often aren’t. They are used to cover bad command decisions or policies via the politics of the bureaucracy and this story is no exception. Obama’s policy is failing miserably in the Middle East, therefore, blame the Intel community.
U.S. lawmakers have begun investigating possible intelligence lapses related to Russia’s ongoing military action in Syria, it was reported early Thursday, as NATO defense ministers held a crisis meeting in Brussels.
Reuters, citing congressional officials and other official sources, reported that the House and Senate intelligence committees were looking at whether the intelligence community misjudged or overlooked signs of Moscow’s action, which began in earnest Sept. 30 with airstrikes supporting Syrian government forces.
The officials told Reuters that intelligence analysts were specifically caught off guard at the speed and aggression of Russia’s use of air power, as well as the Moscow’s targeting of Western-backed rebel groups as opposed to the Islamic State terror organization (ISIS).
“They saw some of this going on but didn’t appreciate the magnitude,” one official told Reuters. One source suggested that U.S. experts initially thought that Russian military buildup near the Syrian port of Latakia was for a snap military exercise as opposed to a prolonged show of force. Another source told Reuters that there had been a lag time of “about a week” before spy agencies began voicing alarm about Russian military operations.
The wire service reported that a senior Obama administration official insisted that there were “no surprises” in Russia’s actions, and added that policymakers were “comfortable” with the intelligence they received prior to the Russian military action.
The Pentagon inspector general’s office is already investigating allegations by civilian intelligence analysts that top officials at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) altered reports about ISIS to give a more optimistic account of the year-old U.S. airstrike campaign in Iraq and Syria