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.