Secondo il Wall Street Journal di un paio di giorni fa, l’Intelligence americana sarebbe stata colta di sorpresa dalla velocità dei successi militari dell’organizzazione sunnita iraqena.
Scrivono i giornalisti Gorman e Barnes:
The struggle to understand the capabilities of the group reflects the difficulty of collecting detailed intelligence on its internal planning. “Collection is tough,” one senior U.S. official acknowledged.
That is the challenge facing intelligence officials and the U.S. military as American warplanes launch waves of airstrikes. The success of the strikes may depend in part on how well the U.S. is able to read the group.
A decline in U.S. spy resources after the U.S. military pulled out of Iraq in 2011 has limited American intelligence capability in the region. In some cases, intelligence officials have been frustrated by the Obama administration’s reluctance to get more involved in Iraq and Syria, current and former U.S. officials said. […]
The Islamic State’s rapid takeover of Mosul prompted the U.S. to step up intelligence collection, the senior U.S. official said, ramping up surveillance coverage of the group and establishing a joint-operations center so U.S. and Iraqi forces could more quickly share intelligence.
U.S. efforts provided better warnings a week ago when the militants began advancing on Erbil, capital of the Kurdish semiautonomous region.
Nonetheless, the U.S. was once again caught off guard by the effectiveness of militants and their ability to defeat the Peshmerga, seen as the most capable of Iraqi forces.[…]
An intelligence official said that spy agencies have been tracking the Islamic State fighters and their predecessor groups for years and have chronicled their rise in detail, as well as the weakness of Iraqi forces.
“This wasn’t a U.S. intelligence failure,” the official said. “It was an Iraqi military failure. The job of the intelligence community is to warn. We did that. If there was a surprise, it was in just how quickly Iraqi forces initially disintegrated when the shooting started.”