The Daily Beast

How Russia’s War Revealed a Blindspot in U.S. Intelligence

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

For much of the past three quarters of a century, the U.S. intelligence community has had one job that was more important than all others: assessing the capabilities of the Russian military. In all that time, the most significant deployment of that military is what we have seen during the past month, as part of the invasion of Ukraine.

While U.S. intelligence has gotten a lot right associated with this war, like virtually every other country in the world, we have been surprised that Russia has been so strikingly unsuccessful in achieving its initial goals since the current operation began on Feb. 24.

Many (including those in Moscow, judging from the current logistical issues Russian forces are facing) expected Russia to achieve air and sea superiority hastily which, in turn, would give Russia a big advantage in pursuing its objectives on the ground.

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