Eliot Cohen on The Ukraine War and Western Intelligence

Eliot Cohen on The Ukraine War and Western Intelligence

Wed, 29 November 2023

The exceptional success of Western (chiefly American) intelligence in anticipating that Russia would attack Ukraine in February 2022 was only matched by the no less exceptional failure to adequately assess Russian and Ukrainian military capacity. There are lessons not only about what matters in assessing military performance, but also about the ways in which expert communities can, and do, sabotage themselves.

Eliot A. Cohen is Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Robert E. Osgood Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His books include, most recently, The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule, and Fall. From 2007 to 2009, he served as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s senior adviser, focusing chiefly on issues of war and peace, including Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and his commentary has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and on major television networks.