After extensively focusing on the War on Terror both at home and abroad, it seems that the US’s spying capabilities against Russia have taken a drastic hit.

In a major directional shift, a senior US intelligence official interviewed by The Washington Post claimed that although terrorism was a top concern, the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had now prioritized Russia on their list of intelligence priorities — the first time since the collapse of the USSR.

The US officials stated that while their respective intelligence agencies focused on other matters for the last several years, Russia had been upping its intelligence and military capabilities. Russia’s international moves over the past two years, such as its annexation of Crimea and interference in Syria, have caught the US off-guard and served to highlight how far the US’s intelligence capabilities have slipped in regard to monitoring Moscow.

During the USSR’s heyday, US spy agencies had allocated at least 40% of their manpower to monitor the Soviet regime. US intelligence agencies now devote approximately 10% of their budgets towards Russia, and an intelligence official asserts that they “are playing catch-up big time.”

According to the Post’s source, in order to address this issue, the US also plans on increasing and reallocating their intelligence assets so that it returns to a status similar to that at the end of the Cold War. This would include mobilizing clandestine CIA operatives, cyber-espionage capabilities, and satellite systems.

 

Read More: Business Insider

Featured Image – Russia’s intelligence services – European Council on Foreign Relations

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