Why Is GOP Headed By President Trump Enabling Russia’s Efforts To Undermine Democracies?

Rachel Maddow on her 8/14/2019 MSNBC TV show shared details from a recent Pentagon white paper about how Russia secures its influence over other countries’ politics and notes that the US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s played a role in facilitating an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in his home state of Kentucky, among other things, aligns with Russia’s strategy.

See: Speaker Pelosi Is Within Her Rights To Tag Senator McConnell With Moniker, #MoscowMitch

As per 6/30/2019 Hill report, “A Pentagon white paper says the U.S. is underestimating the scope of Russia’s aggression.

“Prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff by the Pentagon and independent strategists, the paper details Russian efforts to undermine democracies. The study points to Russia’s use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

 

“It also highlights the danger of alignment between Russia and China, both of which fear the United States’ international alliances and share an affinity for “authoritarian stability.”

“The study recommends the State Department spearhead “influence operations,” including sowing divisions between Moscow and Beijing.”

“The study does does come amid weakening U.S. global alliances.”

“The “Strategic Multilayer Assessment” lays out national security threats posed by Russia.”

Image result for Pentagon white paper about how Russia secures its influence over other countries' politics
Pentagon Warns That America Is Enabling Putin’s Plan for Global Dominance

“In this environment, economic competition, influence campaigns, paramilitary actions, cyber intrusions, and political warfare will likely become more prevalent,” Navy Rear Adm. Jeffrey Czerewko, the Joint Chiefs’ deputy director for global operations, writes in the preface to the report.”

“Such confrontations increase the risk of misperception and miscalculation, between powers with significant military strength, which may then increase the risk of armed conflict.”

Here’s the rest of the story…

Summary from (May 2019 Pentagon Russian Strategic Intentions/A Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) White Paper):

Excerpts:

There is broad consensus among the contributors that Russian President Vladimir Putin is indeed adhering to a global grand strategy, which aims to achieve the following goals:

• Reclaim and secure Russia’s influence over former Soviet nations
• Regain worldwide recognition as a “great power”
• Portray itself as a reliable actor, a key regional powerbroker, and a successful mediator (Katz; Borshchevskaya) in order to gain economic, military, and political influence over nations worldwide and to refine the liberalist rules and norms that currently govern the world order (Lamoreaux)

Related image
PENTAGON

“According to Dr. Robert Person, these goals are motivated by Russia’s deep-seated geopolitical insecurity. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has struggled to find its place in the global community, which has left the leadership with a lingering desire to regain the influence and power that it once had. In particular, Russia seeks to regain its influence over former Soviet states, which it claims are in its rightful “sphere of influence” (Lamoreaux; Person; Marsh).”

“As a result, one of the United States’ core goals, namely promoting and protecting the international liberal order, comes into contention with the goals of Russia’s grand strategy. This underpins the Kremlin’s belief that it must contain and constrain US influence and activities in Europe and elsewhere across the globe. As Ms. Anna Borshchevskaya’s contribution suggests, the Russian leadership’s worldview is zero-sum; it believes that in order for Russia to win, the US must lose. However, Dr. Christopher Marsh’s
contribution suggests that this world view is not necessarily shared by the Russian population or its elite.”

Image result for Pentagon white paper about how Russia secures its influence over other countries' politics

“As evidenced by the range of “gray zone” activities it engages in, a number of the expert contributors argue that the Russian leadership sees itself as at war with the US and the West as a whole. From a Russian perspective, this war is not total, but rather, it is fundamental (Goure)—a type of “war” that is at odds with the general US understanding of warfare. Russia believes that there is no unacceptable or illegitimate form of deterrence, compellence, or escalation management (Goure).”

“It also does not believe in the continuum of conflict that the US has constructed. Like Russia’s perception of its competition with the US, its perception of conflict is dichotomous: one is either at war or not at war. ”

Image result for Pentagon white paper about how Russia secures its influence over other countries' politics
Polar powers: Russia’s bid for supremacy in the Arctic Ocean

“To fight and win this war, Russia believes that the successful integration of all instruments of state power (Goure), as well as the orchestrated employment of non-military and military means to deter and compel (Flynn), are paramount. Furthermore, Russian military concepts include options for employing preemptive force to induce shock and dissuade an adversary from conducting military operations and to compel a de-escalation of hostilities (Flynn). The authors observe that Russia’s strategies are continuously evolving and expect that the discrepancy between the Russian and the US understanding of “conflict” and “war” will continue to grow, leading to a higher risk of escalation in future situations involving both nations.”

“Overall, Russia’s influence abroad is growing, and the Kremlin has mastered the use of “hybrid warfare” in driving Russia’s foreign policy (Lamoreaux). Russia utilizes a variety of gray zone tactics around the globe. These include the use of paramilitary forces and other proxies, interference in political processes, economic and energy exploitation (particularly in Africa), espionage, and media and propaganda manipulation. Putin is also adept at blending military and civilian elements for maximum impact (Weitz).”

Image result for Pentagon white paper about how Russia secures its influence over other countries' politics

“The specific tactics of hybrid warfare that Russia uses vary by region. In Europe, for example, Russia has utilized propaganda, an increasing dependence on external energy resources, and political manipulation to achieve its primary goals (Schindler; Lamoreaux). In contrast, in the Middle East and Africa— important sources of minerals and other natural resources from a Russian perspective1”

“Russia has primarily utilized economic exploitation tools (Katz; Borshchevskaya; Severin). In Central Asia, Russia maintains a much more limited presence, due to China’s geographic proximity and the current levels of economic and security engagement by other regional actors (Kangas). Nevertheless, Russia does retain influence in the Central Asia, as a result of its historical, linguistic, and cultural connections to the region (Laruelle; Dyet).”

“Likewise, in Latin America, Russia lacks a sufficient amount of deployable resources to fully implement its strategy or to extend its influence very far (Ellis). However, as Dr. Barnett S. Koven and Ms. Abigail C. Kamp observe, Russia makes up for its shortcomings by engaging in episodic and reactive endeavors to disrupt US influence in the region.”

“Although Russian tactics vary significantly, in all regions of the world energy has been a key source of Russian power and influence (Weitz; Lamoreaux; Borshchevskaya; Devyatkin; Pyatkov; Werchan). Globally, many countries have developed a strong relationship with Russia when it comes to energy.”

“Russia’s energy priorities extend worldwide, and European nations in particular have become dependent on Russia for access to these resources. Africa and the Arctic have also become significant as Russia looks to exploit opportunities for energy-related commerce.”

“Despite the strength of Russia’s growing influence abroad and the diverse array of gray zone tactics it uses to achieve its strategic goals, the US can still limit the results of this grand strategy. There is broad consensus among the contributors that countering Russian provocations will require the use of all instruments of national power. In particular, US success will be reliant both on its ability to influence populations, states, and non-state actors, and on its ability to minimize Russia’s influence on these actors (Bragg).”

“Creating effective narratives in each of the regions covered in this white paper will be critical for achieving this goal (Kangas; Bragg). Furthermore, the US can counter specific
Russian gray zone activities, such as diversifying energy sources to reduce European nations’ dependence on Russia (Pyatkov; Werchan) and counteracting propaganda by creating both resilient democratic institutions and populations abroad, particularly in Europe (Pyatkov).”

“Finally, it is imperative that the US establishes a consensus definition of “gray zone” (Bragg) and reevaluates old paradigms defining war and peace, as we enter a “new era of international politics which is defined by shades of gray” (Weitz). Once defined, a federal agency dedicated to gray zone activities may be required in order to implement a true whole of government approach to combatting Russian ……”

See entire report: Pentagon white paper

2 comments

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.