The Russians have been and are coming – this time via the internet.  If you follow this blog and/or read Surprise Attack (the final chapter) you know that I take President Putin very seriously – largely because he is very successfully employing some of the most effective psychological and non overt warfare techniques developed during the decades of the Cold War. And this time around, we are far more naive about it than we were back then.

For younger readers, the title of this blog comes from a really great Cold War movie back in 1966, one that portrayed Russians as real people and people who were just fallible and afraid of an actual war as we were – great stuff for 1966.  See the movie at the link below.

But now its a few decades later, and we have the internet and while Putin and his top leadership continue to tout new weapons systems, especially nuclear weapons systems, they are largely using that as a screen for some far more effective geopolitical warfare which they are conducting via the internet.  And yes they are trying to manipulate the current American election, subtly, by influencing just enough rumor, gossip, angst and fear to disrupt the Democratic campaign.  And yes, Putin would truly love to see Trump as the American president, if you find that hard to believe….you need to do some study or we need to chat.  And if you think its the first time they have done it recently, its not, its working very nicely for them in Eastern Europe and across Europe in general where they are fragmenting governments just enough to create increased dysfunction. The is a type of tactic the Russian intelligence community has always been expert at, but before the internet they simply did not have the delivery vehicles to maximize it.  Now they do.  So when you read that next forwarded email about politics, from your friend….fact check it….it may well be a derivative of a well planted “spin” piece coming from foreign intelligence (the Russians are not the only potential sources, but at present seem to be leading the pack).

Now you may think this is nothing but a scare piece from a Cold War baby boomer….OK, fine….but do me a favor and listen to the experts on the subject at the link below.  It begins with the Russian hacking campaign in the headline now and goes on to give an in depth education on the real hacking dangers and the reality of  cyber warfare on the internet (vs in the movies).  As an American citizen you need to take that time and educate yourself, no need to duck and cover this time – the threat is much less obvious and coming to you not via a Russian ICBM or advanced sub launched cruise missile but  through your internet service provider.





About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

4 responses »

  1. Matt Kenny says:

    Thought the questions raised by this article were right up your alley. One of my favorite dimensions of ‘Surprise Attack’ is the thought that there is no training to be President. You frame it in a way that is fresh and, sadly, rings tragically true. I would encourage you to share this notion with as many policy makers as you can find before this next election (I write this knowing you likely have).

    Thank you for your work


    • Thanks Matt, it is indeed and it worries me that Trump apparently perceives himself as a quick study, working on his experience and intuition. Problem is there is absolutely nothing about that which would prepare him for the CIC position. He’s not even seen it or been around it as Clinton has. Its truly a different world and it requires a great deal of self control in terms of demanding data from multiple sources. As you pointed out, there is no training program for the new CIC and the political demands of their election almost always force them to become immersed in the political realities of forming a new administration. So if they have no experience and no exposure – it is high risk. Perhaps during certain years and times it is less so but now with Putin eager to push and test at any given opportunity, China pushing the envelope in the South China Sea and North Korea operating in an alternative dimension – there is going to be no time for a learning curve. If N Korea lands another missile within Japanese territorial waters or on land – enough said. I’ve tried to bring attention to this but although we have been reasonably successful getting Surprise Attack into places such as the DIA and a lot of government and college libraries, I got no interest from the media or from any of the campaigns in discussing these sorts of core issues. Which is bad because this is one of those periods that I would have to consider exceptionally high risk in terms of demands on the CIC. There is no reason at all that something comparable to the Cuban missile crisis could not emerge. The good thing is the military is probably better prepared for something on that order, the bad thing is that the reaction times will be much more demanding. In SA I discuss that it took hours, in fact the better part of the day to determine if the Soviet missile ships had stopped, were moving on towards Cuba or retreating as of JFK’s deadline. That at least gave JFK some breathing room, tense as it was. Next time around the time pressure on the CIC for immediate decisions will be far worse…

  2. I take this very seriously and fact check every thing even stuff I agree with. Is the Eastern Europe crisis with Putin bitching constantly against US encroachment near Russian borders as true or bad as our own media says nothing at all about this really accurate?

    Thanks HM.

    • Walter, I’ve tried to follow the Eastern European situation for a good bit and my judgement is there are real risks, not for Russia but for a whole new era of low level conflicts in the smaller adjacent states as local populations increasingly take sides. The factions have always been there but they are not being primed out of Russia…as a result of Putin’s need for for a strong military industrial complex and a high level of nationalism inside Russia. I discuss this a in the last chapter of Surprise Attack, because it seemed a corollary to the conversations we ordinarily have about the military industrial complex driving government. In Putin’s case he began using his own MIC, which was cash starved, and an appeal to rampant nationalism to save his political position. That worked so well he had to come up with some way to further feed it …otherwise it gets capped. And you can’t continue to feed the MIC and take money away from the public side without a fear factor. Now up to a few years ago nobody at all would ever have “feared” NATO, indeed it was rather laughable and had been for decades. Of course that was distinct from the growing influence of European money and culture on Eastern Europe, especially during the period when Russian had been in dire economic straits. Was the West gaining influence in the East, you bet. Was that any sort of military threat to Russia…ha, it is too laugh. But Putin and his former KGB cronies were always masters of internal propaganda and suddenly NATO became a huge threat, one to be met with brandishing of new nuclear weapons. Any Western encroachment was not territorial but rather in the arenas of deep politics, money, deals, political leverage, etc. It’s Europe, they do that, have always done that. Bottom line, I see no signs that Russia was under any sort of a threat except culturally in the border areas…but such fears have been used to advantage before. Hitler leveraged a defense of German cultural enclaves in surrounding territories quite nicely – coming to their defense as Putin is rushing to the defense of Russian speakers. Does Putin really care, no but it allows him to raise the fear factors, feed nationalism and pursue his own power agendas. And in doing so he has once again triggered the “mirroring” we saw in the Cold War…leading to a revived NATO military and the risk of cross border incidents and factional fighting triggering something dangerous.

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