Trends in Putin’s Meddling Show Threat to National Security
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin commissioned and released a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic staff report on January 10, 2018, titled “Putin’s Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security.” This report outlines Vladimir Putin’s attacks on democracy over the last twenty years, as well as the threats to security and democracy posed by his continual “meddling.” The document also discusses the importance of U.S. Presidential leadership and recognition of the dangers to national security presented by Russian aggression and interference, so that the appropriate amount of support and strength is given to U.S. efforts to safeguard against such threats.
The staff report not only provides the history of malignant Russian operations and asymmetric tools, but also gives recommendations for how to best respond to the current threat landscape:
“To that end, this report recommends a series of actions that the United States should take across government, civil society, and the private sector – and in cooperation with our allies – to push back against the Kremlin’s aggression and establish a set of long-term norms that can neutralize such efforts to undermine democracy.”
The trends in Russia and Putin’s ongoing meddling, as discussed in the report, show threats to U.S. national security, especially through online platforms and democracy-eroding foreign funding. An action plan, as provided by suggestions presented in this document, is timely. The report offers a very thorough account of the asymmetric tools employed by Russia in efforts to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe, and potential methods for combating such tools.