The Pentagon has studied and researched the “body movements” of Russian President Vladimir Putin twice over the past six years in an effort to predict his future decisions and actions, defense officials revealed Friday.
The revelation came as U.S. officials try to get a handle on the crisis in Ukraine and Putin's moves in the disputed Crimea.
The program called the “Body Leads Project” released a 2008 report entitled “Movement, The Brain and Decision-making, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin." Pentagon researchers again studied the Russian president in 2012, Defense Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Since 1996, Pentagon researchers have studied the body language of 15 people, including Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, former Russian president and current prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and Putin. No Americans have been studied under the program, Kirby said.
Kirby stressed there is no current effort underway to read Putin’s current body moves in regard to the Crimea crisis. President Barack Obama has engaged in two tense phone calls with Putin in recent days, and yet the crisis in the Ukraine has only escalated.
While the results of the research is not classified, Kirby said Friday the Pentagon has no intention of publicly releasing the two previous reports on Putin to the media.
The body movement projects are conducted under the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment which provides updated thinking and insights regarding a wide range of military and foreign policy issues.
Since 2009, the Pentagon expanded the program and has paid $300,000 to outside contract researchers to study body movements of various world figures in an effort to determine their truthfulness and how they may react or what decisions they may make in a variety of circumstances.
— Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube