The Atlantic

Russia Has Americans’ Weaknesses All Figured Out

Election interference is one front in Moscow’s larger campaign to undermine the U.S. without prompting a military response.
Source: Alexander Nemenov via Reuters

What are Americans supposed to think when their leaders contradict one another on the most basic question of national security—who is the enemy? This is happening every day on the floors of the House and the Senate, in committee hearing rooms, on television news programs, and in President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. Is Russia the enemy, or was the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election just a slow-motion attack on the president and his supporters? Are Russian fake-news troll farms stirring up resentment among the American electorate, or are mainstream-media outlets just making things up?

U.S. military commanders, national-security officials, and intelligence analysts have a definitive answer: Russia is an enemy. It is taking aggressive action right now, from cyberspace to outer space, and all around the world, against the United States and its allies. But the public, and Trump has given Americans little reason to believe that their president recognizes Russia’s recent actions as a threat.

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