Putin’s Coup: U.S. Intelligence Failed To Warn Of Russia’s Crimea Invasion — “It was classic maskirovka.”

Peace and Freedom

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Russia might have evaded the U.S.’s eavesdropping in Crimea. Above, armed men outside Simferopol airport.  Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

By Adam Entous, Julian E. Barnes and Siobhan Gorman
The Wall Street Jounal

U.S. military satellites spied Russian troops amassing within striking distance of Crimea last month. But intelligence analysts were surprised because they hadn’t intercepted any telltale communications where Russian leaders, military commanders or soldiers discussed plans to invade.

America’s vaunted global surveillance is a vital tool for U.S. intelligence services, especially as an early-warning system and as a way to corroborate other evidence. In Crimea, though, U.S. intelligence officials are concluding that Russian planners might have gotten a jump on the West by evading U.S. eavesdropping.

“Even though there was a warning, we didn’t have the information to be able to say exactly what was going to happen,” a senior U.S. official says.

To close the information gap, U.S. spy…

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