Donald M. Bishop, "Quotable: David Ignatius on Russian grievance, cyber meddling, and destabilization," publicdiplomacycouncil.org
Thursday, September 22nd 2016
“Russian officials deny meddling in U.S. politics, but it’s clear from some of their comments that they think the United States shot first in this duel of political destabilization.”
Author: David Ignatius, Washington Post opinion writer
Source: The Washington Post
Date: September 15, 2016
- The Russians have a chip on their shoulder. They see themselves as the aggrieved party. The United States, in their view, has been destabilizing Russian politics by supporting pro-democracy groups that challenge President Vladimir Putin’s authority. To Americans, such campaigns are about free speech and other universal human rights. But to a paranoid and power-hungry Kremlin, these are U.S. “information operations.”
- Russian officials deny meddling in U.S. politics, but it’s clear from some of their comments that they think the United States shot first in this duel of political destabilization.
- This payback theme was clear in Russian hackers’ disclosure this week of information stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams. The Russians have been irate about the exposure of their own doping, which led to disqualification of many Russian Olympic athletes. And so — retaliation, in the disclosure that Biles and the Williams sisters had been given permission to use otherwise banned substances.
- If you’re a Russian with a sense that your country has been humiliated and unjustly maligned since the end of the Cold War — and that seems to be the essence of Putin’s worldview — then the opportunity to fight back in cyberspace must be attractive, indeed.
- How should the United States combat Russian cyber-meddling before it gets truly dangerous? I asked a half-dozen senior U.S. officials this question over the past few weeks, and I’ve heard competing views. The Defense Department’s cyber strategy, published last year, argues that the United States should deter malicious attacks by a combination of three approaches: “response . . . in a manner and in a place of our choosing”; “denial” of attack opportunities by stronger defense; and “resilience,” by creating redundant systems that can survive attack.