Top US general in Europe says there ‘could be’ an intelligence gap in US that caused US to overestimate Russia’s capabilities

ByGwen Catherine

Apr 5, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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When Russia introduced its invasion of Ukraine last month, US intelligence assessed that the region-huge assault could direct to Kyiv falling into Russian hands within days. But Russia’s armed service has been bogged down about the cash as the war has entered its next month, beleaguered by sustainability and logistics issues, along with an unexpected rigid resistance from Ukrainian fighters.

Testifying at a Senate Armed Solutions Committee hearing Tuesday, US European Command chief Gen. Tod Wolters was questioned by Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, if there was an intelligence gap that brought about the US to overestimate Russia’s power and underestimate the Ukrainian defenses.

“There could be,” Wolters responded. “As we have generally accomplished in the earlier, when this disaster is above with, we will accomplish a in depth following-motion critique in all domains and in all departments and come across out in which our weak places had been and make absolutely sure we can find approaches to make improvements to, and this could be one particular of those people locations.”

While US intelligence was spot on in predicting Russia was setting up to invade Ukraine — which the Biden administration aggressively unveiled to change worldwide sentiment versus the Kremlin — the intelligence neighborhood did not evaluate the very poor overall performance of the Russian navy.

In the opening several hours of the war, US officers offered to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flee the region as Russian troops moved toward Kyiv, fearing that he would be killed. Zelensky refused, inquiring instead for weapons to assistance Ukraine defend alone in opposition to Russia.

The US and NATO allies have continued to support re-provide Ukraine’s army with weapons, together with Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that have been applied from Russian forces. When estimates change broadly, resources common with the estimates say thousands of Russian troops have been killed in the conflict. US officers say they have anecdotal evidence of morale complications in the Russian military services.

More than a month into the war, Russia claimed on Tuesday that it would “dramatically cut down” its navy assault on the Ukrainian towns of Kyiv and Chernihiv immediately after talks took position in between associates of the two nations on Tuesday. US officials told CNN it was a “main” strategy change by Moscow, with Russian forces pulling again in some parts of the north and focusing on gains in the south and east.

At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing previously this month, Director of Countrywide Intelligence Avril Haines claimed that the US intelligence community assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was underestimating the very likely resistance he would confront from the Ukrainians forward of the invasion.”

“I feel we did nicely there,” she explained. “We did not do as nicely in conditions of predicting the navy worries that he has encountered with his personal armed forces.”

Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the head of the Protection Intelligence Company, stated that US intelligence assessments in advance of the invasion ended up based mostly on a quantity of factors, which include that the Ukrainians were “not as prepared as I believed they must be.”

“Consequently, I questioned their will to battle. That was a poor assessment on my component, due to the fact they have fought bravely and honorably and are doing the ideal thing,” he explained.

Requested by Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton about assessments on how prolonged Kyiv would keep out or how lengthy Ukraine could retain its air defenses, Berrier claimed the intelligence neighborhood “manufactured some assumptions about (Putin’s) assumptions, which proved to be pretty, very flawed.”

“His real exercise as he obtained into this struggle turned his procedure sort of on its head,” Berrier stated of Putin. “And what we’ve noticed is a devolvement, if you will, of the operations that he has likely on now.”

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