The United States has its hands full of international threats and may be low on resources to cope with the growing list of problems, says former CIA analyst Lisa Ruth.
Russia has re-emerged as a threat to the balance of global power with its ongoing destabilization of Ukraine, but al-Qaida issued a stark reminder that it is still a major threat to international security with the release of a new video that appears to show a recent major meeting of top-ranking officials in the mountains of Yemen.
"We have not thought about Russia this way for a very long time, and it's tempting to say this administration is at fault," Ruth told John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "Certainly, it has continued a policy, but really since the fall of the Soviet Union we have not looked at Russia as a huge threat. Our emphasis has been elsewhere. This shows that Russia is a threat."
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The al-Qaida video highlights what Ruth said has been a draw-down of intelligence resources targeting terrorist groups. That reduction in anti-terrorism intelligence capabilities will take time to reverse -- but it may only increase, given the ongoing flap over privacy between Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Central Intelligence Agency, Ruth said.
"When you cut off intelligence resources, when you cut off funding, when you cut off ability to operate, you can't then say, 'Why didn't you know this?' Well, we didn't know it because we don't have the resources to deploy," she said.
"Terrorist targets are really, really hard. It takes a very long time to recruit terrorists, to recruit terrorist sources, and at the point when you break that chain, it takes years and years and years to get it back. My guess is, again, we're operating behind. I don't think we have the resources on the ground."
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