12.12.16

Analysis: Russia did meddle in US election, but its goal was not to elect Trump

No person familiar with the theory and practice of intelligence will be shocked by allegations that Russia interfered in the recent American presidential election. On the contrary, the claim will strike experienced observers as a textbook case of covert operation —an intelligence activity designed to influence foreign political, military or economic developments. Far from being physically violent, most covert operations involve actions like secretly funding political parties, planting misinformation or propaganda in foreign media outlets and —in more extreme cases— bribing or extorting key political actors. During the Cold War, hardly a national election took place without attracting the covert attention of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its Soviet equivalent, the KGB. This practice continues today, as nearly every intelligence agency engages in covert operations of some form or other. It would thus be extremely unusual and highly uncharacteristic of Russian spy agencies if they did not launch at least a rudimentary covert campaign to target the 2016 US presidential election. To not have done so would mean that the Russian intelligence apparatus did not abide by its mission statement. Such an eventuality would be unthinkable, especially given the size and importance of the target. It should therefore be presumed that Russian spy agencies, in particular the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Main Intelligence Directorate, engaged in systematic efforts to meddle in last month’s US election. Indeed, the opposite would be strange.

The view that Russian spy agencies interfered in the US presidential election does not, for the moment, rely on publicly available evidence. The latter remains absent, though it is worth noting that, according to The Washington Post, US intelligence agencies concluded “with high confidence” that Russia meddled in the campaign over many months. It is always wise to treat claims in the media by unnamed “US officials” with some skepticism. But if The Post’s allegation is factual, then the words “with high confidence” are significant. The business of intelligence analysis is one of accuracy and precision. The term “high confidence” is rarely employed, and when it is it typically denotes an almost indisputable degree of confidence in an analytical conclusion. That the president-elect chose to automatically dismiss The Post’s allegations by describing them as “ridiculous” and denouncing the CIA in its entirety as “the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction” is worrying. It indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the intelligence profession and its role in executive decision-making. Ideally, the president-elect should have remained silent until he had an opportunity to confer with the CIA and examine the evidence behind the report. Instead, during a Sunday morning interview on Fox News, Trump said simply: “I don’t believe it”. But this has nothing to do with belief. It has to do with facts and data, which he ought to examine before summarily dismissing an entire agency.

What is more, the evidence behind these allegations must be presented to the American people, who were the ultimate targets of the alleged operation. This was not about the two presidential candidates. This was about the reputation of the American electoral process. In fact, the primary goal of Russia’s involvement in the US election —which, again, must be presumed— was not to empower a particular candidate, but to weaken the reputation of American political institutions as a whole. Those who claim that the Kremlin tried to promote Trump because the Republican candidate appears to be more favorably disposed toward Russia are wrong. They misunderstand the complex nature of Russian-American relations and underestimate Russian strategy. Moscow understands that its bilateral relationship with Washington rests on a set of longstanding geopolitical variables and does not depend on ephemeral personal relations between individual leaders. The Russian plan is to sow mistrust between Western civil society and Western political institutions, which, given the challenges currently being faced by European and American democracy, is not a far-fetched goal. The current state of American politics, which is characterized by an ugly sectarianism the likes of which has not been witnessed since the Vietnam War, favors Russia’s strategic goals. Many Americans are currently convinced that the president-elect and some of his most senior aides are influenced by Moscow. Instead of actively trying to alleviate these concerns, Trump has now gone on an all-out offensive against the US Intelligence Community while essentially defending Russia. Americans who care about the current state and future of the Republic must be seriously concerned with this picture, regardless of their political affiliation. It may be that the history textbooks of the future will record the Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election as one of the most successful covert operations of modern times.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis
https://intelnews.org/2016/12/11/02-584/

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Το Σηφαλιό έγραψε μια έκθεση ιδεών υπονοώντας ότι σε αντίθεση με τον εκλεγμένο πρόεδρο της Αμερικής κατανοεί τη λειτουργία των μυστικών υπηρεσιών. Αυτό που σίγουρα δεν κατανοεί είναι η πολιτική. Γιατί, δηλαδή, θα πρέπει ο Τραμπ να είναι ειλικρινής; Εξάλλου, ουδέν αναφέρει για την επικείμενη συνολική σύγκρουση με τη CIA που θα έχει αναγκαστικά ο Τραμπ, τους λόγους της και το αν αυτή, ως σχεδόν βέβαιο ενδεχόμενο, θα μπορούσε να επηρεάζει τη δημόσια εμφάνιση των αντιπάλων μερών. Εκτός αν κι ίδιος είναι τμήμα αυτής σύγκρουσης.

ΙΣΧΥΣ said...

ΦΥΣΙΚΑ ΕΧΕΙΣ ΔΙΚΙΟ. ΔΥΣΤΥΧΩΣ ΣΤΙΣ ΗΠΑ ΑΚΟΜΗ ΚΑΙ ...ΣΟΒΑΡΟΙ (ΑΣ ΠΟΥΜΕ) ΑΝΑΛΥΤΕΣ ΔΕΝ ΕΜΒΑΘΥΝΟΥΝ ΣΤΟ ΘΕΜΑ ΤΗΣ ΔΙΑΜΑΧΗΣ ΜΕΤΑΞΥ ΤΩΝ ΔΙΑΦΟΡΕΤΙΚΩΝ ΥΠΗΡΕΣΙΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΧΩΡΑΣ ΤΟΥΣ, ΟΥΤΕ ΚΑΝ ΑΝΑΡΩΤΙΟΥΝΤΑΙ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΥΣ ΛΟΓΟΥΣ ΠΟΥ ΑΥΤΗ (Η ΔΙΑΜΑΧΗ) ΜΠΟΡΕΙ ΝΑ ΣΥΜΒΑΙΝΕΙ, ΑΛΛΑ ΜΕΝΟΥΝ ΜΟΝΟΝ ΣΕ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΕΙΑΚΕΣ ΕΞΗΓΗΣΕΙΣ.

ΣΧΕΤΙΚΟ: https://isxys.blogspot.com/2016/03/cia.html

ΠΑΛΑΙΟΤΕΡΟ ΔΙΚΟ ΜΑΣ: ΗΠΑ: Ο ..."ΧΑΡΤΗΣ" ΔΥΝΑΜΕΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΠΟΘΕΤΗΣΗΣ ΑΥΤΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΥΠΗΡΕΣΙΩΝ ΑΝΑΛΟΓΑ ΜΕ ΤΟ ΠΟΙΟΥΣ ΕΞΥΠΗΡΕΤΟΥΝ:
https://isxys.blogspot.com/2012/11/blog-post_939.html

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