( CNN) More than 100 Kremlin envoys in over 20 countries are in the midst of packing their belongings for their impending transfer back to Russia. But lost in the celebration of the show of force by Britain and its allies is an appreciation of the challenges these expulsions will ultimately pose to US intelligence agencies and the potential opportunity to truly impose costs on Moscow.

To be fair, the coordinated efforts of the West to respond in unison to the attempted murderof former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil should be applauded. In an era when extreme patriotism often breeds intransigence, it is a welcome sight to see America and its partners join the United Kingdom in publicly stressing the consequences of flagrantly violating a nation's sovereignty.

That said, in diplomacy, the ultimate goal of imposing costs is to drive changes in the behavior of the belligerent party — and to ideally do so in a manner that is not mutually destructive. As we contend below, based on our professional experience working to deter national security threats at home and abroad, the recent expulsions fall far short of the type of action needed to truly deter Russian aggression, and will present serious obstacles to the effectiveness of the US intelligence community.