Surprising information gap: US intelligence agencies know more about Putin’s forces than Ukraine’s military – Politics

The United States supports the defense of Ukraine with weapons worth billions of dollars. Just last week, US President Biden confirmed that he would introduce the HIMARS missile system, which can be used to launch projectiles with a range of several hundred kilometers.

Surprisingly, after more than 100 days of war, according to the New York Times, US intelligence services have little information about the war strategy in Ukraine and the planned operations. New York Times officials say that much is known about the Russian military: plans, operations, successes, and defeats in Russia are known.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

As the head of US intelligence, Avril D. Haines, testifying before the Senate last month: “Maybe we have more information on the Russian side than on the Ukrainian side.”

So far, the Ukrainian government has provided Washington with little secret information about military action. Ukrainian officials also admit that they do not inform the United States of all plans. On the Ukrainian side, there are concerns that Russian forces may exploit information about military strategies.

American intelligence mainly focuses on hostile governments, and Russia has been a priority for American spies for 75 years. In Ukraine, on the other hand, the focus was on building intelligence services and not spying on the government.

There is another intriguing explanation: bad weather also prevents, for example, satellite photoreconnaissance.

It is difficult to assess the requirements for weapons in Ukraine

The United States should gather information about Ukraine’s planned actions from other countries, from Ukrainians who have received US military training and from Zelensky’s public statements, writes “The New York Times.”

Intelligence chief Haines says the resulting information gap may make it more difficult for the US government to make targeted decisions about needed military assistance. It is difficult to say how many weapons Ukraine actually needs.

However, according to US Department of Defense officials, there is a reliable way to get the right weapons to the right places. Ukraine will order the weapons first, and the US will then assess what form of military assistance is needed and can actually be guaranteed.

More on Ukraine war on Tagesspiegel Plus:

Ukraine’s strategic approach to the Donbass is now crucial to further arms shipments. Will Zelensky withdraw his forces there or risk being surrounded by Russia? One expert told the New York Times that Ukraine should justify both decisions to the United States.

In the past few days, the Ukrainian government’s communication strategy appears to have changed somewhat. In a public statement, Silinsky described the fighting as very difficult and commented on the heavy losses of the Ukrainian army.

These statements are unusual because, according to US officials, the Ukrainian president wants to appear strong towards the public and his partners. That is why he rarely shares information that might indicate the defeat of his forces. Ukrainian officials fear that Western partners may then reduce their arms supplies.

Despite Ukraine’s good reasons for wanting to keep some information secret, a former employee of the intelligence service of the New York Times warns that there are information gaps. There is little talk about whether Ukraine can even defeat Russia. Ultimately, the secret services can be held responsible for not providing a complete picture of the situation.

Leave a Comment