He, sure as hell, knows what he is talking about, being former CIA himself. Reviewing the piece in NYT (same piece I reviewed earlier today) he notes:
Then he proceeds to explain why it is an alarming piece, which it is. Read it, it is a great professional piece which explains how this whole "narrative" is a complete bunk.
Frankly, I find it hard to believe that there are not solid analysts at the Defense Intelligence Agency who know the answers to all these questions. The real problem may not be a lack of intelligence. Nope. It is the fear of telling the politicians hard truths they do not want to hear. Given the billions of dollars the United States is spending on “intelligence” collection systems, it is time for the Congress and the American public to demand that the intelligence services do their damn job.
I am on record constantly--there are still plenty of smart people out there, but it what is highlighted in yellow which matters the most. Which, BTW, brings us to Anatol Lieven still promoting his acquaintance from Carnegie Endowment, and RT's darling, Mr. Trenin as an "intellectual."
Why Russian intellectuals are hardening support for war in Ukraine. Horrified by the invasion, centrist elites like Dmitri Trenin nonetheless sense the US is using the conflict to destroy their country.
The fact that Lieven characterizes openly pro-Western and grossly overstated as militarily "educated" (he is a former military interpreter from Moscow's Military University which is a "humanitarian", that is humanities, officer school for interpreters, JAG, financiers and music conductors) Trenin as "intellectual" completely disqualifies Lieven from speaking on any matters related to Russia and Russia's politics. Post-graduate degree in history is NO substitute for knowledge which is required today to have to even remotely grasp geopolitical, let alone military-strategic and operational issues Russia faces today. Neither Trenin nor Lieven have even remote understanding of these issues. Yet, Lieven has the audacity to proclaim:
There seems to be a growing belief in the Russian elites — including many who were horrified by the invasion itself — that the vital interests, and even perhaps the survival, of the Russian state are now at stake in Ukraine. Unlike the Russian masses, these well-informed figures have not been brainwashed by Putin’s propaganda. Most of them see quite clearly the appalling mess in which Russia has landed itself in Ukraine and the terrible suffering inflicted on ordinary Ukrainians. But the only way they seem to see out of it is through something that can at least be presented as a victory.
Lieven better take a course in basic strategy and operational art (an impossible task for him) before parading his military and political ignorance of Russia, let alone operational realities of SMO, or, for that matter, any military campaign to such an appalling degree. But then again, if Trenin is "intellectual" for Lieven, there is no surprise that Lieven gravitates to grants and sinecures such as those in Carnegie Endowment and Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. How about Responsible Reporting of the realities, instead of parroting same old BS talking points of US MSM, who "suddenly" begin to "change" the narrative on Russia. But we already know that, considering what Lieven counts as "intellect", my calls on Lieven to simply remove himself as professionally inadequate observer of modern Russia from already barren Western "Russia Study" field will not be understood.
For those who want to understand what I am talking about, feel free to read some "assessments" of gang-rape of Yugoslavia in 1999. This phrase alone betrays in Trenin the man who had no idea what he was talking about.
Translation: Russia's adjustment to this situation has proved particularly difficult due to the prolonged and deep economic downturn and the growing disparity between the residual great-power mentality of a large part of the elite and the state's greatly diminished capacity.
The absurdity of this statement only underscores how far this "intellectual" was removed from geopolitical and military realities of aggression against Yugoslavia and that the only salvation for Russia WAS precisely in returning to herself a status of a great, in fact, global power and it was this mentality which saved Russia, the fact neither Trenin nor Lieven like much, but Trenin is simply following his instinct and changing his tune when faced with realities of the West in general, and the United States in particular, which he never knew and never bothered to study. In this sense, hm, maybe Lieven is right, Trenin IS "intellectual" in full meaning of this word--a Western "Intellectual", which is hardly a badge of honor, knowing a history of contemporary Western "intellectuals".