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Ukraine: A massive intelligence fail for Russia, China and the USA

Written By | Apr 22, 2022
Russia, Ukraine, Zelensky, Biden, Energy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at Ukrainian “front” April 8, 2021/Image courtesy of Presidential Press Office

WASHINGTON, DC: The war in Ukraine has been a massive intelligence failure not only for Russia but the United States and China as well. Putin and his generals thought they would seize Kyiv within days. They were certain Zelensky and his government would flee to the West. The United States thought the same thing. The Chinese were so certain that they used the Winter Olympics to stage a Putin – Xi Jinping summit. To announce a strategic partnership between China and Russia with “no bounds.” Just days before the invasion commenced. They were all wrong. How is that possible?

The United States was certain Russian troops would be in Kyiv within days.

The US emptied the Embassy and evacuated its personnel. Destroying records of a decade of American involvement with its Ukrainian client state. All while loudly pronouncing the imminent Russian invasion as a certainty. Undermining the Zelensky government in the process.

Vladimir Zelensky encapsulated the anger and resentment toward the West as the White House was urging him to evacuate Kyiv. “I need ammunition. Not a ride”, he said.

It was the Churchillian moment that transformed a problematic inexperienced politician into a unifying national figure of international status.

Thus far the war has been a strategic disaster for the Russian armed forces.

Over 20000 Russian troops have been killed. Over a dozen Russian Generals and other senior officers have perished in battle. Hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed. The Moskva, flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, is sunk. The battle for Kyiv was a disastrous route for Russian troops. The Ukrainian forces have put up a fierce opposition that somehow no one expected. How is that possible? How can it be that no one saw this outcome as probable? Not the Russians, or the Americans, or the Chinese.

In Moscow as well, the results of the war have been catastrophic.

Senior members of the FSB security services have allegedly been arrested. The Russian military has been totally discredited.  An army that once was seen to be ten feet tall has been shown to be incapable of coordinated ground air operation. A failure at logistics. And as the experts say”this is becoming a war of logistics.”

Russia is unable to secure air superiority and they are fighting with undisciplined and poorly trained troops. A complete lack of morale among conscripts facing motivated angry Ukrainians defending their homeland.

No one in the Kremlin saw the Ukrainian resistance coming.

They actually thought they would be welcomed as liberators in Eastern Russian-speaking Ukraine. Now they have poisoned the ground for a hundred years. The repositioning of troops from Kyiv to focus on the Donbas region and a land bridge to Crimea is an admission of failure.

The devastation of Kharkiv and Mariupol and a trail of war crimes and civil deaths make any Russian success an empty pyrrhic victory.

Who is to say the new assault on the Donbas will go any better than the rest of the invasion? Why will the Russian army gain any more confidence or capability in combat than it has already shown? While Ukrainians actually have a chance to deliver a battlefield defeat to Russia in Ukraine. In the Donbas.

The shockwaves will be felt from Moscow to Beijing.

Joe Biden and The United States created the conditions for the current crisis.

The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan put American weakness and lack of resolve at center stage. There is a direct line between Afghanistan in August and Putin’s willingness to launch a land war in Europe in February. Just as the abandonment of the Shah in Iran by Jimmy Carter led Brezhnev to invade Afghanistan in 1980.

Imagine if in August the United States had transferred the $83 billion dollars in first-class American military equipment to Ukraine instead of abandoning it to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I defy anyone to produce one shred of paper from the CIA, NSA, and National Security Staff of the White House saying anything other than Ukraine would fold like a paper napkin when Russia invaded. But Joe Biden and the same cast of characters that were in power when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014 are in power now. And they are making the same mistakes.

America is used to client states that won’t actually fight.

If the Biden White House was so sure Russia was about to invade Ukraine why didn’t they actively arm them sooner? Because they honestly believed they would be overrun. This after eight years of training their army and air forces, but starving them of the weapons they really needed.

They expected Zelensky to run, not fight.

From Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan the United States was used to client states that wouldn’t actually fight.

The White House expected Zellensky to pull an Ashraf Ghani, who fled Afghanistan ahead of the Taliban with a helicopter full of cash. It would have been in Hunter Biden’s, and Joe’s, best interest for Ukraine to fall.

But Zelensky instead rallied the world to his cause and scored actual victories against Russian forces.

He skillfully spoke to Parliaments, Congress, and the Knesset. Awakening the free world from slumber on the verge of an actual WWIII. It is Zellensky, and the Polish, Czech and Slovakian governments that are the new leaders of the free world. Pulling Germany, France, Great Britain, and the USA along in their wake through the sheer courage of their actions. Shaming them into action.

The first job of America in Ukraine was deterrence. It failed.

The intelligence failure of the United States to properly understand Ukrainian defense potential has undermined deterrence itself. The first job of the American President is to deter war in Europe. To prevent the breaking of the peace that has lasted 77 years. Biden has clearly and completely failed in this most important mission.

Now war has been unleashed.

Make no mistake that we are fighting WW III with global power at stake.

Some people say this is year three of WWIII, counting its inception with the leak of the Covid virus from the Wuhan lab. It is, in the end, a war against both authoritarian and globalist elites.

There is no telling where events will lead once. WWI started as a campaign by Austria-Hungary to “punish the Serbs” for the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Several months later the shelling of Serbia had erupted continent-wide into a worldwide transformative disaster.

Xi Jinping is equally surprised by the turn of events in Ukraine.

China was certain the Russian army would roll over Ukraine. Zelensky would fall. The West would be set back on its heels. Ukraine would set the stage for China’s own invasion of Taiwan some months later. The bond between China and Russia would have “no bounds.” Yet China fell victim to the same intelligence failure.

Now China is embarrassed by events in Ukraine. Putin and Russia are visibly weakened on the world stage. The Russian Army is a well-armed, badly trained, paper tiger. Incapable of fighting at an elite status. Poorly led. Unable to execute complicated combat maneuvers. At the first sign of actual combat, reality set in. The Russian military is more like 4 feet tall, and frequently inept.

Russian failure in Ukraine taints Chinese prospects in Taiwan.

Russian failure also weakens China on the world stage. Ties them to war crimes and atrocities. Makes them the target of US sanctions. And it undermines Xi Jinping as he heads into the CCP party congress in October.

Rest assured all is not well in China. Xi faces considerable if unseen opposition as he seeks an unprecedented third term as party Chairman. A Russian loss in the Ukrainian war could lead to instability in Russia and China. Undermining both Putin and Xi Jinping.

How could all three world powers be so wrong about Ukraine?

How could Russia, China, and the United States miscalculate the situation so overtly? And each in their own way? With their own perspective warping their decisions? It doesn’t bode well for Russian or Chinese leadership. Of course, America has had defective intelligence on foreign policy for decades.

From Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq we propped up puppet regimes who had no actual intentions of defending their countries.

America fomented the war in Ukraine with reckless CIA intervention in 2014. Followed by a succession of corrupt Ukrainian Presidents. While Soros funded NGOs and the Biden family sunk their claws into billions in American aid and contracts.

But the Russian invasion supersedes whatever came before in Ukraine.

They have turned a great country in the heart of Europe into a wasteland of Russian aggression and war crimes. That substantively changes the face of the war. That it was a disastrous mistake for Russia to invade is unambiguous. They have set their country back 30 years, and created eternal enmity with their Slavic brothers.

All while making themselves into modern-day Nazis and war criminals.

That the Biden administration failed to deter Russia is an abomination. Biden wouldn’t even pick up the phone to call Putin in the month before the war. The fact that Putin and Xi felt comfortable launching such a war is unthinkable. Does anyone honestly believe that any of this would have happened if Donald Trump were President? Of course not.

Russia, China, and the United States have all miscalculated, creating the most dangerous conditions for war in my 65 years on the planet. It gives me no comfort to think that the same people are in charge in the uncertain days ahead. Making more of the same mistakes as the world hurtles toward mindless catastrophe.


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L.J. Keith

LJ Keith is a non-partisan commentator taking aim at all aspects of governmental domestic and foreign policy and the American socio-political landscape with an eye toward examining the functional realities of the modern age, how they can be understood, and what context to view the changing face of life in America and its place in the world at large.