Intelligence failures have been blamed for the debacle in Afghanistan and for the bogus WMDs that resulted in the Iraq War. Former President Bush has revealed even more intelligence failures in a recent interview. (Language warning)
A Russian comedy team, Vovlan and Lexus, pranked George Bush by pretending to be President Zelensky. Bush was gullible enough to provide information that contradicts several narratives coming from Washington. These revelations included:
The expansion of NATO into Ukraine has long been planned
Commitments made by the US during Bush’s father’s administration don’t matter
The US denied NATO membership to Russia
The reason for the denial was that Russia wanted a purely defensive organization
Youtube recently banned the Russian comedians responsible for the prank. The link below includes a complete video and additional information related to the recent ban.
Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting that the White House is blaming looming Ukrainian defeats on “intelligence failures”.
I agree that intelligence failures are a serious threat to the nation, but the primary problem is not a lack surveillance. The problem is that the “smart people” in Washington have a displayed a profound lack of intelligence and common sense. Instead of a healthy skepticism, leaders blindly follow the experts who end up believing their own narratives. The policy correction only comes after bloody wars and the collapse of whole nations.
President Trump was bitterly attacked for not following the experts in the intelligence community, but he succeeded in avoiding new wars and in getting new agreements. Since Biden took over, he has made a point of deferring to the intel agencies. Since then we have also seen a collapse in Afghanistan, a major war in Ukraine, and pushing the debunked “Havana syndrome” in addition to rapidly escalating energy and food shortages.
Is it time to restore some healthy skepticism about the pronouncements coming from the George Bush Center for Intelligence?
Yes, it appears that the leadership in Washington is either clueless or under the domination of the intel agencies. Either way, our foreign policy appears to be what is good for the intel community and the military-industrial complex, not what is good for America or the world.
Bush effectively admitted that the US does not keep agreements with the Russians because “times change”. That statement shows that a negotiated settlement to the current war is unlikely. Anything less than a crushing defeat of Ukraine and NATO means that Washington would just ignore any settlement and restart the war at the next opportunity. Russia has every incentive to fight to get a decisive victory.
The uptake of the article is that the Ukrainian government is withholding critical information from the US Government, and the rest of the world supporting them, about the tactical situation, and their actual combat readiness issues (losses, current replacement and manning levels, equipment readiness and losses, munitions stock piles). And I don’t believe for a minute that DIA has a false image of the on the ground truth in Ukraine. You can’t see what the Russians are doing on the battlefield without seeing what the Ukrainian’s are also doing. You can’t pass accurate targeting data in close combat without knowing the difference between Russian and Ukrainian units. DIA’s order of battle guys know exactly what they are looking at when they see the data.
This is high level politicians and officers once again caught putting out a false narrative of success being exposed by the reality on the ground becoming obvious.
Yes, the intel failure is a result of unchallenged lies and misinformation coming from the intel community. Biden has made a point that he does not challenge their pronouncements. “Trust the experts” is his moto.
In addition to the satellite information, there US should have extensive human assets in Ukraine as well. The Ukrainian military and SBU (Ukrainian successor the Soviet KGB) have been funded, armed, and trained by the US or its NATO allies. American operatives permeate the Ukrainian government and would expect that US intel agencies have paid operatives throughout the military and the Ukrainian successor to the KGB.
In the case of Bush, his connections with the intel agencies began early. His father was the CIA director under Reagan, and the headquarters in Langley was named after him. Still, it is amazing that he was willing to freely contradict official narratives in a call with a comedian doing a bad imitation of Zelensky.
I don’t think the analysts at DIA are getting it wrong. I think what the administration has been telling the public has been a narrative that knowingly parts from the actual situation, as told by the raw data collected for analysis. It was, and is, necessary to sell that the situation in Ukraine isn’t a lost cause. The problem with false narratives is that reality will eventually disprove them. And blaming it on the intelligence is easy. The raw data can’t be released because it will reveal how it was collected, which aids foreign counterintelligence. But not releasing the data and the analysts conclusions, vs what the political appointees tell the public provides convenient cover for those same narrative pushing political appointees.
I would assume that most of the intel about the Ukrainian army is coming from the CIA. They seem to be the ones in charge of the paramilitaries that constitute the core of the army. The problem may be that concerns from the DIA have been ignored.
In London, a key leader with the Ministry of Defense has publicly come out with warning that the war in Ukraine is showing a similar problems as seen in past wars in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. General Lord David Richards published an op-ed on Saturday which describes why the war and has become counterproductive to the interests of the UK and NATO and is cementing an alliance between Russia and China. He includes this assessment about lack a coherent strategy:
There is, at best, what might be termed incremental strategy with again no early and decisive synchronisation of ends, ways and means. It is a let’s see how it goes’ strategy,’ in other words not really strategy at all. There is still little idea in London, Washington or elsewhere how `we’ want the war to pan out, or what sort of Russia we are seeking to shape, especially on the vital long-term issue of relations with China… Strategy is about choices and the more choices one needs to make to balance the ends, ways and means when pursuing the national interest, the more informed they need to be.