The U.S. intelligence community has launched a large-scale internal review following pressure from members of Congress, who accused it of failure to correctly assess the situations in Ukraine and Afghanistan, CNN has reported, citing several informed sources.
According to CNN, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a classified letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Department and the CIA on May 10, pointing out that the agencies underestimated how long the Ukrainian military would be able to repel Russian forces.
It also said U.S. intelligence overestimated how long Afghan army would be able to resist Taliban fighters after the U.S. withdrawal from the country in the summer of 2021.
CNN’s sources said that members of the U.S. Senate questioned the methodology of the intelligence community and the assumptions made on its basis.
CNN reports that one “smaller intelligence agency within the State Department” – the U.S. Bureau of Intelligence and Research – more accurately assessed the capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to resist Russian aggression, but although this assessment was shared within the U.S. government, it “did not override the wider intelligence community’s predictions.”
Critics say the United States could have started arming Ukraine earlier and provided heavier weaponry if the intelligence community had made a different conclusion about the capabilities of the Ukrainian military. According to CNN, before the full-scale invasion of Russia, U.S. intelligence predicted that Kyiv would “likely fall within three to four days.”
The Ukrainian General Staff reports that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and as of May 14, Russia has lost 27,200 military personnel, 1,218 tanks, 200 aircraft, 163 helicopters, 13 ships and boats, 411 UAVs, and other military equipment.
On May 11, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said that Ukraine had won the first phase of the invasion stage of the war waged by Russia – the invaders failed to achieve any of their goals and suffered heavy losses.
On May 13, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Ukrainians were facing extremely difficult weeks of full-scale Russian invasion, and that Ukraine was entering a long-term phase of the war.