The non-stop drumbeat of news about the Trump campaign and Putin’s Russia accelerates the context is easy to forget. An in-depth examination of the history and current events provides a unique perspective for those wanting to know more. One of the authors is David Remnick, the current editor of The New Yorker, and has appeared on several television and radio shows discussing this piece. Decide for yourself if this is the standard on the subject and enjoy Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War…
“Free societies are often split because people have their own views, and that’s what former Soviet and current Russian intelligence tries to take advantage of,” Oleg Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general, who has lived in the United States since 1995, said. “The goal is to deepen the splits.” Such a strategy is especially valuable when a country like Russia, which is considerably weaker than it was at the height of the Soviet era, is waging a geopolitical struggle with a stronger entity.
In early January, two weeks before the Inauguration, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, released a declassified report concluding that Putin had ordered an influence campaign to harm Clinton’s election prospects, fortify Donald Trump’s, and “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.” The declassified report provides more assertion than evidence. Intelligence officers say that this was necessary to protect their information-gathering methods.
Critics of the report have repeatedly noted that intelligence agencies, in the months before the Iraq War, endorsed faulty assessments concerning weapons of mass destruction. But the intelligence community was deeply divided over the actual extent of Iraq’s weapons development; the question of Russia’s responsibility for cyberattacks in the 2016 election has produced no such tumult. Seventeen federal intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia was responsible for the hacking.
In testimony before the Senate, Clapper described an unprecedented Russian effort to interfere in the U.S. electoral process. The operation involved hacking Democrats’ e-mails, publicizing the stolen contents through WikiLeaks, and manipulating social media to spread “fake news” and pro-Trump messages.