For those who understand what plans the Kremlin, the news is not very good. However, the events also gives us the opportunity to play their positions.
The whirlwind of news about the Russian espionage in the last few weeks have forced Americans to face issues that were never before possible except in books. Did the us elections some kind of foreign powers? Whether there are Russian compromising materials on the future President or secret communications with him? Did the victory of the Kremlin Donald trump? And why?
We’re not even sure all these questions are set correctly, and the main landmarks in the tangled history of the event, the controversial dossier, the tweets themselves have no special meaning. Meanwhile in the aggregate they are talking about a consistent campaign, which is very similar to what we have seen, Russia has tried to organize in other places. The last eight years, immediately after the Russian invasion in Georgia in August 2008, I was working in the countries on Russia’s periphery, and watched as the Kremlin, with its inner authoritarian rhetoric and aggressive ideology, systematically undermines the former enslaved countries, which perceives as a threat. What Russia attempted to do in the United States, is not an isolated action, but only one of the case examples continued expansive hybrid war, the Kremlin is waging against the West.
We are not talking about the hacks or scareware, or fake news. Not on BuzzFeed or new running the word “compromising”. In fact it is not even about Donald trump. The Kremlin leaders are not concerned about the fate of any of the Americans separately: we will win or lose. They need to lose left all of America.
On the margins of this new hybrid war, few people willing to admit that the advantage is on the side of Russia. Subversive campaign, the Kremlin continues to successfully split our society, denigrating a significant slice of our leadership, undermining faith in our institutions and throwing Russia into the center of American political life. She managed to turn us against each other and against our allies and make us lose confidence to the very instruments and institutions which are able to shed light on the threats we face. In the confrontation with the us, Russia has won a series of small but consistent wins, the combined effect of which is highly destructive.
However, the aggressive campaign of the Kremlin against the American people is also largely revealed the vulnerability of the aggressor. The power of the Kremlin mainly is the shadow character, it is difficult to identify and expose the tactics used and financing; consistently disseminated rhetoric to undermine our values and our confidence; in a wide network of supporters and principles, which he got for his campaigns to act indirectly and from many different perspectives.
After the statements and hearings, press conferences and tweets, latest news, and erotic revelations, we finally got lost in this noisy flow is what the Kremlin wanted. We now need to focus on what we know really. And instead of trying to evaluate it from their own point of view, we need to understand the tactics and goals of the Kremlin — and, through them, of the weakness of Russia.
What the Kremlin wants
Russian leaders have devoted considerable effort to, exaggerating the difference in personality between them and their American colleagues, to divert attention from the basic ideological differences between our societies. Samples of established American democracy and American society boggles the Kremlin: if Russia has one or the other, criminal, kleptocratic power of the modern police state would be done.
The global goal of the Kremlin still are to dismantle NATO, undermine the values of liberal, democratic world order and to weaken America’s influence in the world. So what do they hope to achieve through their intervention in the American elections? The specific aim of the campaign Putin was, in practice and in theory, represent America fragmented and inconsistent; the credibility of our system, our values and our institutions in the country and discredit them abroad; to deepen existing in our society; to deprive us of the ability to distinguish fact from fiction and make decisions in our own interests; and ensure that, whatever America is not out of the election, she should be less interested in dealing with global imperialist ambitions of the Kremlin.
An understanding of how the Kremlin is trying to achieve this goal, it is imperative. The much-discussed break-ins and leaks are, psychologically and technologically least complicated aspect of the campaign. The Kremlin, along with their agents and puppets, created and deployed a sophisticated information architecture, to use it against the American public. Although this architecture does sometimes spread misinformation, its main purpose was broader: activities, reflexive control and psychological warfare.
These three concepts are interrelated and partly overlap each other. Psychological warfare in this context is related to information and misinformation, the target of which are our values and beliefs. “Active measures” is a Soviet term for manipulating or political war or psychological information techniques, aimed at achieving concrete results. Reflexive control is a type of information warfare: he makes us a certain way to respond to specific types of information, in particular through the formation of our perception so that we voluntarily make decisions favorable to our enemy.
All this is quite complex concepts, learning and discovery, which military experts and intelligence specialists dedicated many years of his career. It’s not “fake news”, even though our growing tolerance for misinformation gives them strength. It is an elaborate, complex surgery performed in American society and the media, which we still do not know. It is intended to implement in our information environment ideas, thus depriving us of the opportunity this process to control and subvert the idea of the existence of objective truth.
As noted in an unclassified intelligence report, apparently, the purpose of the Kremlin campaign effects in elections has changed many times depending on the assessment of public opinion. This is perhaps one of the most important and least debated points of the report. It means that although some times the Kremlin was clearly in favour of trump, he could never be sure that trump will win, and perhaps it was all the same. In some sense, it doesn’t matter, I wanted the Kremlin to see trump as President or loved Russia Hillary Clinton or feared her. It is important that Russian leaders believed that to change the American way of thinking, meanwhile, how are we going to be in the dark about their efforts in this direction, they hoped, therefore, the next us government may be limited in the choice in relation to Russia.
What made Russia
Probably, we keeps in mind the following: it does not matter what is true, what is not, and no matter what information ultimately could be confirmed or disproved, the Kremlin managed to create the impression that it has a direct influence on the elected President of the United States and that he makes decisions in the interests of Russia. It is from this experience of the Buddha will be extremely difficult to escape in the absence of consistent and clear political attitude in relation to the Russian threat to our country.
Russia suddenly has acquired a leading role in all our political discussions. When channel C-SPAN suddenly starts to broadcast RT, and during the hearing on confirmation of the new head of the CIA the lights go out, we see a Russian demon, backstage waiting for his entrance on stage. This is an extremely strong effect on the perception of the Russian authorities.
Today, next to the President elect position is sympathetic to the Kremlin ideologues, and their views have infiltrated the mainstream. Sometimes unwittingly, elements of the Kremlin’s rhetoric assimilated both right and left. They’ve infiltrated our media via Internet leaks and through repeated mention of official representatives of political campaigns and liaison with the public.
Both within the country and beyond its borders raises questions about the legitimacy of our elections, our electoral process, as well as coming into office of the American President. Russian state-run media willingly cover these issues for its home audience. Our European allies are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Isolated, nationalist America helps the Kremlin to achieve their goals. Acting alone, the American President nationalist tendencies accelerates this process.
Sometimes you see elected President trapped in his own echo chamber, surrounded by his family and its advisers, with real views trump is not clear even by his nominees. It’s still true mainly in relation to the views on Russia, which contributes little to somehow weaken suspicions of colluding with the Kremlin sponsors. The President-elect is now in open conflict with the secret services — those institutions that are necessary for himself and our country to unravel the nature used against us by Russia tools.
And not just in trump: our current President and intelligence seem to have been so slow, secretive and vague in the official estimates of Russian interference in the election that really could help Americans understand the tools that are used against them. In a sense, our guide, what aspect take, has been accused of failing to see the threat to our democracy or to provide the American public of vital information.
This is a profound failure, resulting from fragmentation and mistrust, and encourage information environment only helped his appearance. So, the Kremlin used its information campaign during the European elections to give the forces of extreme right, extreme left and other extremist elements, as it did in many other places to spread political views, opposition to the establishment. In some cases, this involved the representation of marginal groups and attitudes — the new “white nationalists”, environmentalists, hard-line, and other — how much more expansive and powerful in American society than it really is.
This was done to promote specific messages that are important for both domestic consumption and for Kremlin propaganda around the world. At home and abroad, it seeks to create a moral equality, it is not that Russia is better, but that America has the same disadvantages. In America also there are Nazis. American elections are also rigged. American society is not without prejudices. America is a police state, perhaps even more so than Russia itself. American oligarchs have tremendous power and can do whatever they please. Supposedly free American press is corrupt, biased and worthless, which, paradoxically, shows its willingness to overlap with the information from the Kremlin, when it is given in her right hand.
All of this willingly trumpeted by the Russian state media during the election campaign — they didn’t leave out a single moment when trump praised on Putin as a big, smart, or powerful leader or when his advisors heralded the death of the party of Reagan. In turn, the Russian laughed at a recent press conference, trump, in this case over the failure of trump to control their journalist pool, and marveling at the paradoxical situation they themselves have been living in a world where all the troubles of Russian society see the machinations of the Americans — in which the American media on their own initiative focused on Russia’s manipulation of the United States.
This brings us to the latest revelations: a dossier on trump, released a 35-page document incriminating information about alleged ties trump with Russia, gathered his political opponents. The real value of this dossier is not what we think. This information is real, but unconfirmed? Whether it was deliberate misinformation from opponents of trump? Was it a deliberate misinformation provided by the FSB, who was engaged in collecting the necessary information for the report? In the current information environment it does not matter. Important information, and, what is the aim of the act of its introduction.
Based on what we know about the former MI6 agent responsible for this memo, he either believed in the truthfulness of his report, or were involved in a tremendous work of misinformation from the Russian counterintelligence at the head. Of course, this was not the first time the Kremlin has taken care to ensure that information that could undermine the trust were transferred to the opponents. Thus, when it is published, it can be disassembled to pieces; and the deconstruction of the target provides a kind of immunity against future charges and can sometimes be used to mask a much more incriminating information that otherwise could be detected. Of course, there is the likelihood that Russian intelligence knew about this job and tried to disrupt it. The only thing we can say with confidence: the Kremlin wants us to believe like they have something to trump. And the trump yet very anxious to correct this impression.
When we try to understand what it all means, motives for other information appear even more vague. Example: a member of Israeli intelligence said that us intelligence officials asked them not to provide information to the administration of tramp — it should be regarded as a reasonable warning or as a deliberate misinformation introduced with the purpose to strengthen the gap between trump and his intelligence community that will be profitable in the first place Russia? It’s a real puzzler, and nothing can be taken at face value. In General, the campaign against the American people proved to be very successful.
So really looks like sabotage. We don’t understand what happened. We are not able to know who worked where and how, or what was intended for certain actions or steps. We don’t know if we are waiting for something else or it’s all over. We don’t know who is at risk and who is not.
Now the only one who can end this cycle, Donald trump.
How much it costs Russia
The offensive of the Kremlin may be successful from time to time, but Russia, too, in many respects, exhausts its resources. Now for the discovered manipulation of Russia is necessary and must seek the appropriate value.
The first and most important: now we have a clearer idea about the real threat posed by Russia — for us and our allies. Views of Russia may have become twisted litmus test for supporting elected President, but a new recognition that the Kremlin is actively trying to undermine our interests was evident during the hearings on the approval of nominees of the Cabinet of trump. President Barack Obama largely failed to mitigate and dampen the positions of the Democratic parties in Russia: the loyalists for a long time proclaimed successes of the “reset,” even though she long ago lost the tangible sense. All these eight years, Obama tried to convince Americans that Russia was a weak regional power, which attacks on others to divert attention from their own shortcomings. That’s the understatement of the major threats to our people has deprived us of the most important to protect against it.
If Putin managed to keep their information operations and subversive tactics in secret, whoever the future President of the USA Clinton, or trump it most likely would have survived the current political trend, and the idea that Russia can in some way cooperate. However, the discovery of Russian intervention means that the “Democratic Caucus” is no longer divided by how its members relate to Russia, but grew stronger in opposition of Putin and his manipulation. Republicans, adhering to the most rigid of positions, is also actively preparing for battle. The intelligence community and the State Department intensified on many issues that we have not seen for a long time. Our military clearly indicate that ahead of us is a multidimensional threat. Trump will be much harder to stick to his new softer approach to the “partner” of Russia, and any attempts to follow it will cause issues.
This has the effect of trickle down and affect other aspects of the policy that antagonized Russia: the need to take the side of Ukraine and to ensure its protection; the importance of the new NATO deployments in the Baltic States and the new troops in Poland under the leadership of the United States, as well as the need to deploy strategic assets in the region to create resilience against potential Russian incursions; the need to renew the NATO Alliance as a whole; the need to clearly see that Russia is doing in Syria and the middle East and that Russia cannot be a real partner in the destruction of ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia).
Today we have a better understanding of how Russia gained allies and supporters in the West, in particular through financial and commercial interests, but also by other influential groups. It is a deep and expansive phenomenon, as evidenced by the fact that the consultants are close to both pre-election campaigns, could be associated with interests, which are shared by the Kremlin.
Another victim is a long-developed by Kremlin, the network of so-called “whistle-blowers” like WikiLeaks, which was published as a cover for Russian intelligence. Attempts to create similar networks in the future will involve a more thorough inspection, and as a result it will become harder to enter information received by the intelligence services, in our information flows. However, how our media would prefer to deal with this information, we have yet to learn.
Most importantly, the Kremlin has shown how deeply he wants us to fail and how significant the threat can be provoked, they split and subversive tactics. Any operation is to some extent a failure, if the network that you weave, is on everyone’s mind. Future against us campaign, I hope, will face more scrutiny and more active resistance, and the American experience will become a serious warning to the French and the German public, as well as other allied countries, whose elections are the Kremlin in the list of targets this year.
Escaping from the trap
In the current shadow war, the Kremlin had won a significant victory. Not because he won the trump, but because Russia has achieved its strategic goal of weakening our faith in its own democracy and values and deepening the information divide that is tearing our nation. Of course, not everything should see the Kremlin’s hand. However — as evidenced by the echoes from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and so on — that’s exactly what it looks like when Russia takes over. This is a diversion: we are more willing to see enemies among our neighbors than in the assets of operations of foreign intelligence.
But the victory in this battle, the Kremlin has also exposed himself. This means that the war it is won.
Regardless of whether to recognize trump’s support for the Kremlin campaign or not, the information architecture, created by Russians will not go away. There is no guarantee that it will continue to act in favor of trump; it’s as dangerous for him, any American legislator and officials how dangerous it is for American society. And who will be the next target in this insidious information war, it is impossible to know.
A collection of combinations of the KGB/FSB perfectly copes with the task of building traps, of which they wish to assure us, it is impossible to get out. Now they are working hard to convince us that trump already got. Regardless of what turns out to be true and whether compromised trump, his position was weakened by their attempts at manipulation. In response, failing to see here an existential and not a political threat, a large part of the political elite plays a role that is defined for them in the script. Our country looks weaker and more vulnerable, our political decision-making will become more divided and obstructionist, and our relationships with allies will be less open — as long as the President-elect will not act.
Oddly enough, leaving the most contentious in the living memory of elections, trump thinks to unite us against an enemy that has made clear that he wants to destroy everything we stand for in history. If trump will leave his defensive stance and absorb the obvious offensive strategy is refuting the belief in the Kremlin that he has complete freedom of action, interfering in the Affairs of our society and our politics — he could become the architect of a bipartisan consensus on foreign policy issues, which could be the beginning of reconciliation of the numerous differences in our politics and in the country. It would be a good example, reminiscent of world and American critics that our system better, stronger and stronger, because it is able to adapt and prosper despite all the horrors. This would strengthen our leadership in the Alliance, as well as the values on which they are based.
Trump has the tools to help him in this fight, if he decides to use it. Perhaps he will find this battle a better warrior than his candidate for defense Minister, retired General James Mattis. And Congressman Mike Pompeo at the hearing on the approval of the Director of the CIA, presented the developments related to “furnished complex threats” to our country and our intelligence needs to adapt to these threats. On this issue, trump will also receive the support of the strongest voices in Congress as allies and critics.
All this requires a clear policy of confrontation rather than indulging the worst instincts of Russia. So trump could be released from devious traps, and America — to take the first step forward.
Putin’s mistake, and probably Donald trump in an underestimation of the Americans and how firmly we believe that the price of our sacrifice, were created the best world, and how much we believe in the values that represent. We are under attack, and is now beginning to understand.
Attack Putin was not committed to Hillary Clinton, and American society. We, the citizens, are also the first line of defense and the nucleus of the future resistance. The worst element of Obama’s foreign policy — and, paradoxically, it seems, trump sometimes shares those views — is the idea that sometimes we are powerless to do anything about it, used it to soothe a burning moral carelessness, when we say that it does not always have to be us. While we are manifesting our own helplessness, participate in this Kabuki theater, it is allowable to form an environment where Putin freely sculpts the world in accordance with the Kremlin’s interests — and continues to destroy the legacy of American power and sacrifice in the world.