By Christiaan van Huyssteen (@cvh23)
Another US intelligence failure.
“[Director of National Intelligence James Clapper] has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Obama said.
“Essentially what happened with [ISIS] was that you had al Qaeda in Iraq, which was a vicious group, but our Marines were able to quash [it] with the help of Sunni tribes,” Obama went on. “They went back underground, but over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you had huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos.”
“The president admits that ISIS caught him by surprise. Nearly $100 billion a year on gathering intelligence, and no warnings of an event of this magnitude is incredible. Of course, if we were given no warning of the rising Islamic State by the CIA, why would we expect an accurate assessment of the intelligence reports now regarding the size and danger of the Islamic State?” – Ron Paul
For comparison, the US spends as much on intelligence services as South Africa spends in its entire budget.
It is remarkable that the threat of ISIS was not predicted or foreseen by intelligence services, despite the US being actively deployed in the region.
But let’s not forget that the American intelligence community was completely wrong about the Iraq situation in 2003. They also failed to respond to the increased threat of terror prior to 9/11, and didn’t see the breakup of the soviet union coming.
And now that ISIS is a threat, how can we know to what extent it is a threat?
And how can the US government, and their intelligence services in particular assess this threat, and come up with ways to deal with it if they didn’t even see it coming in the first place?
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