The U.S. warned that Russia would try to “interfere” in the upcoming presidential election in the fall to sow discord in American society. The Department of Homeland Security admitted to failing to guarantee 100 percent election security. Soon the primaries will begin in the United States and the intensity of the political struggle will intensify. Why is the U.S. talking about the Russian threat again, rather than trying to sculpt the image of an external enemy from China?
The U.S. is preparing for attempts of Russian “interference” in the upcoming presidential elections in the fall. According to Chad Wolfe, the acting head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Russia wants to “sow discord in society and undermine democratic institutions” of the country. The official said America was ready to guarantee the security of the elections, but acknowledged that it is “not 100% unreal” to ensure “security.”
In addition to Russia, the threat to the United States is posed by China, which, through various “activities that affect economic prosperity and intellectual power” of the United States, seeks to “create a threat and undermine the United States.”
Last April, U.S. special prosecutor Robert Mueller concluded an investigation into “Russian interference” in the 2016 presidential election. He concluded that the “interference” allegedly took place through social networks and through hacker attacks. At the same time, the Russians colluded with Donald Trump’s team Mueller. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called U.S. accusations of Moscow’s alleged interference in the internal affairs of other states an illusion, as well as “a desire to give wishful thinking” to get some external adversary, the presence of which is helps to solve domestic political issues.
Trump sees allegations of Russian “interference” in the 2016 election as the greatest lie. He said Democrats had been obsessed with the delusional idea of “Russian interference” in the election for three years. “This is the biggest lie Americans have ever told,” Trump said in Atlanta during a Nov.
Late last year, Sergey Lavrov, who is now in the status of acting head of the Russian Foreign Ministry due to the recent resignation of the government, suggested to his American counterpart Mike Pompeo to fix the obligations of the countries to non-interference in each other’s affairs. But there was no reaction from Washington, Pompeo in response only told Lavrov that it was unacceptable to repeat the 2016 scenario, promising otherwise “response actions.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sakharova expects “bright PR actions” because the topic of Moscow’s alleged “interference” “has not gone anywhere” and is “warming up with all its might.” According to her forecast, 2020 “will be held under the banner of the American presidential elections, when external motives, external incentives, some factors that become factors of internal political struggle will be necessary.”The Pentagon came to the defense of the presidential election. As General Paul Nakasone, who heads three Pentagon special services – the U.S. Cyber Command, the Central Security Service and the National Security Agency (NSA) – started late last year, “we cannot relax” and “protect our elections are our daily responsibility for today and for the foreseeable future.”
Also at the end of the year, the U.S. military’s cyber command began developing anti-Russian tactics for information warfare. As The Washington Post reported, the purpose of such opposition may be representatives of the Russian ruling elite.
Since the beginning of the year, U.S. intelligence agencies have been clarifying whether Russia tried to interfere with the election of Democrat Joe Biden, who could be Trump’s main rival in the upcoming election. As Bloomberg reported, Americans are preparing for more “brazen interference” than in the 2016 election. Last year, Biden found himself at the center of a high-profile scandal over the release of Trump’s phone conversations with Ukrainian President Vladimir Selensky. Democrats believe that Trump demanded that Greensky launch an investigation into the activities of Biden, whose son was engaged in business in Ukraine. These accusations led to the impeachment of the President. In December, the House of Representatives approved the impeachment procedure, and this week the relevant hearings began in the Senate.
Alexander Domain, an expert-American professor at the Higher School of Economics, recalled that Biden had already announced a month ago about Russia’s “interference” in the elections. At the same time, he did not give any facts. “Such statements will work against the Democrats themselves. Nothing has changed.
Democrats have misunderstood this and have learned nothing in the last three years. Apart from Trump’s “Russian footprint” and “collusion” with Moscow, Democrats have no other explanation as to why their candidate Hillary Clinton was sent to the trash.
The Washington swamp that Trump promised to drain is fighting against him just as it fought against him in 2016. American liberals just as much hate Trump as they hate Russia,” Domain said.
The interlocutor recalled the beginning of the primaries in Iowa on February 3, the beginning of the active phase of the election campaign, so such accusations against Russia will take part. “It’s pure go-squirrel. The more often we say that Trump is a puppet of the Kremlin and that the President of the United States will be chosen by Russia, not by the great American people, the more it can cause,” Domain said.
In his turn, Boris Mezhuev, an assistant professor of philosophy at Moscow State University and an American political scientist, explained that the only rational sense of such statements is that in times of unprecedented division between Democrats and Republicans, elements need to be found Rallying. “To find such elements you need an external enemy. Wolfe says, guys, let’s keep on with decency. And if we behave completely unable, the bad guys will take advantage of it, who will interfere in the elections and will not give an opportunity to hold them honestly,” Mezhuev explained.
In the past, such tactics worked. After the 19th century civil war and the Great Depression in the first third of the 20th century, America’s internal cohesion was helped by the Cold War with the Soviet Union. “And when the Soviet Union was gone, we got what we got. Both forces in a different format and with new slogans again faced each other,” the expert noted.
Mezhuev believes that China does not pull on the role of America’s external enemy, because in Washington no one understands how to wage a Cold War with Beijing. “It is difficult to wage such a war, especially there is a huge economic interdependence, which was very clearly manifested after the signing of the trade agreement. And with Russia, U.S. economic ties are almost negligible. But Russia’s PR as a global aggressor and soup is easy, you can use the arsenal of the Cold War. Throughout this year, we will hear about the “Russian trail”, about terrible Russian hackers who have infiltrated somewhere. Given the internal difficulties that America is experiencing, it should be treated with understanding and not surprised,” Boris Mezhuev concluded.