The past couple of decades haven’t been particularly kind to people like experts of anti-submarine warfare. The Taliban doesn’t have submarines, or a coastline even.
Since the end of the Cold War, a lot of transitions have come, with the military focusing more on counter-insurgency and the CIA moving away from spying to focus on assassinating people.
When US officials call the annexation of Crimea a crisis, what many of them really hear is opportunity, a chance to start up a new Cold War, and a chance for the aging cold warriors to find their specialties relevant once more.
That’s particularly true for spies with expertise in Russia, who are hoping to see a scramble back into a field that was lavished with funding for decades, but which in recent years just wasn’t as sexy as aiming drone strikes at people in rural parts of Pakistan.