New Report on Russian Propaganda and Aggression

A new report issued on January 10 by the Democratic staff of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations warns of Putin’s Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security. Senator Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, opens his letter transmitting the report to Congress:

For years, Vladimir Putin’s government has engaged in a relentless assault to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe and the United States. Mr. Putin’s Kremlin employs an asymmetric arsenal that includes military invasions, cyberattacks, disinformation, support for fringe political groups, and the weaponization of energy resources, organized crime, and corruption. The Kremlin has refined the use of these tools over time and these attacks have intensified in scale and complexity across Europe.

The report makes more than thirty recommendations for U.S. action to combat Russian disinformation and aggression, including exposing and freezing Kremlin-linked kleptocrats’ dirty money; publicizing Russian meddling and aggression; supporting democratic institutions; reducing European dependence on Russian energy; and working with NATO “to  lead a coalition of countries committed to mutual defense against cyberattacks, to include the establishment of rapid reaction teams to defend allies under attack.” The report urges President Trump to:

demonstrate presidential leadership by declaring it is U.S. policy to deter all forms of Russian hybrid threats and begin to mobilize our government in defense. He should establish a high-level inter-agency fusion cell, modeled on the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), to coordinate all elements of U.S. policy and programming in response to the Kremlin’s malign influence operations.

Related Reading:
Press Release by Senate Committee on Foreign Relations with full report, preface and executive summary, summaries and illustrative examples, and appendices.

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