I hope journalists across the nation and every member of Congress will read the Dec. 26 front-page article "Kremlin's trolls beset Web as U.S. dithered" and Michael Morell and Mike Rogers's Dec. 26 op-ed, "Russian cyberattacks never stopped." The sophistication and success of Russia's ongoing influence and propaganda campaign represent an existential threat to our national security.
Russia seeks to sow discord among our populace and undermine confidence in our institutions and our system of government. Aside from government actions to mitigate Russia's ongoing efforts, public education about Russia's campaign is vital so that government officials and members of the public can better evaluate information they are consuming. It also must be said that when elected officials — including members of Congress — and media platforms amplify propaganda disseminated by Russian trolls, they are aiding the Russians in their efforts.
John Cohen, Germantown
The writer is a former acting undersecretary
for intelligence and analysis at the
Department of Homeland Security.
Perhaps the Dec. 26 article "Kremlin's trolls beset Web as U.S. dithered" and the op-ed "Russian cyberattacks never stopped" will help to make clear to the American public the nature of the adversary we face in Russia. Unfortunately, the public may infer that the danger is only in cyberspace. That is not so.
It is necessary to understand that Russia is not a state like others. It is simply in an unending war against the world. How else to explain that since World War II, it is has taken over or occupied territory from at least seven countries (Finland, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Japan)? How else to explain that it has engaged in dangerous and provocative military actions violating the air, sea and/or territorial sovereignty of Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Britain? How else to explain Russia's illegal and harmful behavior in attempting to influence free elections in France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and, of course, the United States?
The nature of the Russian regime has changed little from the past — whether czarist, Soviet or Putinist. It remains engaged in never-ending propaganda and quasi-military actions with the purpose of causing mischief for other nations without necessarily even achieving anything positive for itself. As a result, we must understand this challenge and fully deploy all of our capabilities — diplomatic, economic and, if necessary, military — to respond.
Russia remains as dangerous and committed an adversary as it ever was.
Alan Neuschatz, Chevy Chase