How badly the intelligence companies received it mistaken is topic to debate. Forward of the invasion, Ukraine consultants “clearly and repeatedly” advised policymakers within the White Home and Congress that Ukraine’s authorities and folks “in all probability would resist a Russian invasion,” a U.S. official mentioned.
However intelligence experiences are often hedged. And beneath questioning from Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, the director of the Protection Intelligence Company, mentioned this month that, earlier than the invasion, he had thought the Ukrainians weren’t as prepared for an assault as they wanted to be.
“Due to this fact, I questioned their will to struggle. That was a foul evaluation on my half as a result of they’ve fought bravely and honorably,” Common Berrier mentioned.
In an interview, Mr. Cotton mentioned the intelligence companies had been at their greatest assessing Russia within the lead-up to the invasion. As soon as the invasion started, the assessments of Ukraine’s capabilities and Russia’s army had been “lower than stellar.” Nonetheless, he mentioned, judging how efficient a rustic’s defenses can be forward of a possible assault is difficult.
“Will to struggle shouldn’t be a discrete space of intelligence you possibly can exit and acquire on it,” Mr. Cotton mentioned. “It’s not like what number of working fighters did an air drive have? There’s numerous subjectivity.”
Current counteroffensives by the Ukrainian army counsel that the nation’s leaders are resolved to do greater than merely defend Ukraine in opposition to the Russian invasion. Over the past week, Ukrainian forces have used tanks and fighter jets to assault Russian positions outdoors Kyiv and different cities in a means that demonstrates that their goal is to not take again territory, however to destroy Russian forces. It’s a signal of not solely savvy technique however a transparent intent by Ukraine to defeat the Russian army and win the battle.
Consultant Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Home Intelligence Committee, mentioned it was straightforward to overstate what the intelligence neighborhood received mistaken, each in Ukraine and Afghanistan. Final summer season, intelligence companies repeatedly warned that the Afghan authorities would collapse and that army leaders had been surrendering to the Taliban, Mr. Schiff mentioned.