Berto Jongman: WSJ on US Intelligence Collection Failure In Relation to Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea

Corruption, Government, Ineptitude, Military
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

U.S. Scurries to Shore Up Spying on Russia

In Crimea, Russia May Have Gotten a Jump on West by Evading U.S. Eavesdropping

EXTRACTS:

U.S. military satellites spied Russian troops amassing within striking distance of Crimea last month. But intelligence analysts were surprised because they hadn’t intercepted any telltale communications where Russian leaders, military commanders or soldiers discussed plans to invade.

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Some U.S. military and intelligence officials say Russia’s war planners might have used knowledge about the U.S.’s usual surveillance techniques to change communication methods about the looming invasion. U.S. officials haven’t determined how Russia hid its military plans from U.S. eavesdropping equipment that picks up digital and electronic communications.

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European Command officials again asked for more intelligence-collection resources. The military increased satellite coverage of Ukraine and Russia but couldn’t steer too many resources away from Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran and other hot spots, U.S. officials say.

. . . . . . .

Inside Crimea, Russian troops exercised what U.S. officials describe as extraordinary discipline in their radio and cellphone communications. Remarks that were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies revealed no hint of the plans.

. . . . . . .

There were no Americans on the ground in Crimea to check reports of Russian military movements, U.S. officials say. The U.S. also didn’t have drones overhead to gather real-time intelligence, officials say. That increased the U.S.’s reliance on satellite imagery and information gleaned from an analysis of social media, which was muddled by Russian disinformation. State Department officials declined to discuss any technical-intelligence activities.

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Phi Beta Iota: On balance the analysts appear to have done well with the mediocre to non-existent collection they had to work with. NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE 1988. Over a trillion dollars later, the US is still deaf, dumb, and largely blind.

See Also:

2013 Intelligence Future

1989+ Intelligence Reform

Graphic: Global Intelligence Collection Failure

Graphic: Global Intelligence Processing Failure

Graphic: OSINT and Full-Spectrum HUMINT (Updated)

USA Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Scorecard 1.1

Graphic: US Intelligence Six Fundamental Failures Over 25 Years – $1.25 Trillion