There is little doubt that Russia is actively seeking to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the us government, his ability to take any action and the unity of its goals. There are many well-founded suspicion how far the Russian government and its agents had intended or tried to go, when the Kremlin decided to intervene in the American elections in 2016. There are very strong suspicions that this process was gaining momentum, and America is split now by itself without any external assistance from Russia.
Largely here to blame so-called “Dossier on trump”, a collection of often dubious and sensational allegations about a former presidential candidate, which was prepared by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele (Christopher Steele). Acting is first-order Republicans-opponents of trump, and then the Democrats, and Steele did, which resulted in an odious portrait of the endlessly greedy, immoral, hopeless candidate, representing a great risk for political and public institutions of America.
In General, files quite accurately describes the warehouse of the President of the United States. The problem is that given in the file details about the alleged relationship of the tramp with Russia often raised questions and even could be refuted. Steele, a former agent handler, not visited Russia since the end of 1990-ies, wonderfully quoted by numerous sources with incredible access, including members of the leadership of the Kremlin. Russian, it was reported in the dossier, for years treated trump as a political agent of influence (this assumes that they possessed a remarkable gift of foresight), but then still gave this secret of the programs in the hands of the amiable but not always particularly cautious of the press Secretary Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov.
The problem of the “Dossier on trump” is that it is quite a recognizable product of a special environment: if you spend a couple of evenings in bars where they spend their free time in Moscow the blogosphere, you will hear about the same set of anecdotes about Putin and his presidential administration. Putin’s inner circle, a secret gay; Putin himself is a pedophile; in the country there was “a rapid coup d’etat”, in which Putin remains the nominal leader of the country. Moscow is fertile ground for conspiracy theories, as it is infinitely far from healthy or open society: decisions are made in a very narrow and under close control circle, the legislature is silent caricature of a Parliament; “public hearings” are under the watchful management; even such institutions as the Ministry of foreign Affairs, lost a real impact on policy. In such circumstances, all gossiping, speculating, competing for the choicest scraps of conversations around the samovar. Gossip, which is complete in “Dossier on trump,” the common currency in Moscow, though a very small portion was related to some power circles that are not a figment of the imagination of its author.
Any experienced observer learns to sift the gossip on the subject of useful keys, hiding sometimes in intricate threads of fantasy. However, the author of “Dossier trump” seems to painstakingly rewrite all the stories that are appropriate to a more General story about global scheme of the Kremlin on the construction of a trump for President of the United States.
The investigation dossier was not only a fatal overestimation of the Kremlin, but as a fatal understatement to his role. Contrary to popular clichés about Russians, Putin is not a strategist. He does not have a carefully calculated long-term schemes plan dozens of moves ahead. He and his people used to improvise and not to miss podvorachivaetsya possibilities. They are trying to create a lot of leverage and you never know which ones are useful and which are not. They enjoy the fact that they can carry out their operations in secret, to break the rules, to act without worrying about oversight of legislative or constitutional details.
They understand their craft. They are dangerous do not understand the functioning of Western democracies. It is not only that Russian attempts to interfere in the elections in Europe, from Austria to France, provided the loss of Russia’s favorites; these actions have also led to the race with these same partners, as Angela Merkel, and pushed previously divided the Russian-speaking minority in the Baltic States to loyalty to the existing government there.
The hypothesis that this conspiracy have been preparing for years, is highly questionable: one by one the people involved in the foreign policy of Russia, its national security, and the expert community in the past year told me that there’s no chance that trump will be elected to the presidency. Lead illustrative example of how members of the Russian establishment to stir things up, suggesting that Western-style democracy similar to the Russian pseudo-democracy: one person lightly convinced me that “the American establishment will not allow that to happen”.
But the Russian, like almost everything in the world, “knew” that President will be Hillary Clinton (Hillary Clinton); in contrast to the Western media and political circles, the Russian saw Hillary Clinton as a threat. In the Kremlin’s worldview, Clinton is a hawk among interventionists, an ardent supporter of the American “hybrid war,” policy regime change with the help of subversive activities and carefully stage-managed and orchestrated public protests. The Ukrainian Maidan, the other “color revolutions” of post-Soviet Eurasia “Arab spring” and antiasadovskie protests in Syria from the point of view of Moscow, all this was done in the USA and with the blessing of Hillary Clinton.
The aim of the Kremlin’s interference in the presidential campaign of 2016 was to achieve the election of a presumably hopeless in the election against trump, but to put a spoke in the wheel of Hillary Clinton. While the Patriotic bullshit in the Parliament opened champagne upon learning of the victory trump, serious political strategists in Moscow were rather shocked. The purpose of organized Kremlin campaign of disinformation to undermine the position of President Clinton, to distract her, to give her opportunity to obtain political consensus on the infringement of Russian interests, to which, as assumed in Russia, she tried. That’s why we should muddy the waters on its territory. To raise the question of its legitimacy. To light dozens of political fires to knock her out before she can even think about foreign policy.
Such bi-directional local campaign of misinformation — and not the only conspiracy aimed at the achievement of a specific goal, is methods, which in recent years Russia spetsializiruetsya. The Kremlin is practicing what I call “authoritarian entrepreneurship” instead of a ruthless centralized command and control inherent in the Soviet model. Putin and his circle outline in General terms the desired scheme developments, and their agents rush to fulfill these desires. From journalists to the press agencies, with the help of diplomats and spies, experts, and hackers, agents of the Russian government was engaged in undermining the legitimacy and consistent position of the United States.
The approach to the Kremlin information warfare and subversive activities sacrifices the possibilities of an authoritarian state to focus its resources on a single strategic objective. It can also lead to double waste of effort, and even fratricidal conflict — these are the current attempts to present Ukraine as a modern state, controlled by both the Jews and the Nazis. However, allowing the Kremlin to use as a weapon creative imagination of its agents and allies, this is dictated from above (but, in fact, uncontrolled) form of hostile activity creates a task that is often too vague, so that the enemy could predict or resist it. It’s not the great white shark information space, which is managed by the Moscow “centre”, a school of piranha, while you are reflected from them, the rest eat the flesh from your bones. What is the meaning of “debunk the myths” or “factchecking” false rumors and bogus stories one at a time, when neither of these subjects does not play a significant role to achieve the global goal, and thus a new breed tens?
The Kremlin’s invasion of 2016 in the information space of the United States was aimed at weakening Washington, and not on determining who will live in the White house. The Kremlin’s goal was not to win the political battle, but to make it more bloody and Pyrrhic, to provoke the maximum split in society, that is, to turn the election into a mess. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the possibility of achieving consensus — all that is the greatness of democracy, in Russia’s view, is a weakness that can be used during the organized on top of the information war. Objective truth has been buried under the rubble of rumors, lies, half-truths, falsifications and conspiracy theories. Existing social, political and racial lines of contention have been used and opened, often supporting both extremes at the same time.
Since the goal was not as simple as the election trump, and was to loosen the last global superpower, the campaign certainly isn’t over. On the contrary, it could exploit the variegated influence of the President of the trump. Some Russian news fighters and their convenient victims are now trying to discredit trump, harming thus the institutions of the state and part of an already questionable global leadership of America. Others, however, are among the most ardent of his supporters, especially in those issues where advocacy trump may be a way to undermine the credibility of the us intelligence community, which itself was split, and got into a fight.
This apparent variety of purposes can be confusing, but it is not so difficult to understand. Once in Moscow, RT broadcasting has offered a platform of far-right demagogues and the Texas separatists and leftist supporters of the movement “Occupy” activists for Palestine, its political and secret campaign began to undermine the foundations of the struggle for equal opportunity: at a party everyone is invited! Leaks about the trump of the intelligence community are demonstrated as proof that the mysterious “power block” undermines the democratic will of the people. At the same time, the Kremlin publishes photos taken by the Russian reporter in the oval office (sorry, White house), and, as he said in a conversation with me one Moscow source, “they will mock the Democrats, yet will not burn the White house, just to get the trump.”
The real tragedy from the point of view of the West, is that the passion for conspiracy theories and the polar positions could rapidly gain momentum. America is torn apart, mainly the Americans, they do it as his Patriotic duty to stand up to Moscow. Others are supporters of trump, they resent what they perceive to be a conspiracy, corrupting their character and weaken America. And those and others are right. And those and others lose sight of the larger goal of the campaign, where they serve as unwitting agents of influence. The damage that they cause to each other and the state and political institutions — is exactly what the Kremlin wants, self-developing process, eroding the democratic foundations of the country and reducing willingness to compromise and consensus, without a single hack, leak or operation of disinformation.
At the same time, the Kremlin also understands that he should be very careful in setting goals. It is tempting to assume that the Russians are now relaxed, crunched popcorn and having fun watching what is happening in America event. However, the truth is, they are concerned about.
I was in Moscow when the chemical attack in Damascus, or at least television reports about its consequences — forced trump to decide to launch cruise missiles at Syrian airbase Shirt. The next day, one of the representatives of the Russian Ministry of foreign Affairs were frankly dismal in his statement that justified all their worst fears: now they had to deal with an American President who can change and change the public policy of the United States in a completely unpredictable direction overnight, which does not consider it necessary to Telegraph in advance about their actions or ask in advance their intentions and is ready pretty quickly to go to the use of force.
Putin has long benefited from American restrictions and predictability. Take a role of a unpredictable player, running the risk, he expected that Washington will retain the role of responsible adult in the relationship. However, the Russian diplomat with whom I spoke expressed concern that these days already in the past, when the authorities turned out to be an American President who doesn’t feel the constraints of state institutions and does not trust even its own government, and does not feel the need or sees no possibility of reaching any bipartisan political consensus. A President with the perspective of a diplomat, is dangerous not only for the United States, but for all the others. The same could be said about continuing without external causes political fire that erupted in Washington now.