(National Sentinel) National Security: Russia has decided that one of the best ways it can oppose a technologically superior United States is through the use of information warfare, though Moscow is nevertheless pouring resources into the modernization of its conventional forces as well, according to a new assessment from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“Moscow’s long-term goal is building a military prepared to conduct the range of conflicts from local war through regional conflict to a strategic conflict that could result in massive nuclear exchange,” the 116-page report, “Russia Military Power,” states.
The Washington Free Beacon reported further:
The report was published last week and is the first of its kind since the 1980s, when the Reagan administration directed DIA to begin highlighting the strategic threat posed by the Soviet Union. Those reports were called “Soviet Military Power” and were published annually for more than a decade.
The latest report includes new information on Russian information warfare operations, including the cyber-enabled psychological warfare operations.
“Russia views the information sphere as a key domain for modern military conflict,” the report said. “Information warfare is a key means of achieving its ambitions of becoming a dominant player on the world stage.”
Interestingly, the report is devoid of any reference to Moscow’s security and military information ops targeting the 2016 presidential elections, the Free Beacon noted, adding:
The FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency reported in January that Moscow engaged in a “cyber-enabled” influence operation against the American election by hacking private emails and disseminating them to pro-Moscow outlets.
However, DIA points to Russian information operations against Ukraine, including the use of so-called “little green men”—Russian military special forces operating in the takeover of Crimea without Russian military insignia on their uniforms.
The report provides new details on Moscow’s capabilities for conducting similar technical-cyber activities, including the use of private hacker groups, government-backed internet trolls, and automated computer “bots” capable of flooding websites with pro-Moscow propaganda.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, the DIA director, warned in the report’s preface that Russia’s military threat will only increase in the coming years.
“Within the next decade, an even more confident and capable Russia could emerge,” Stewart said. “The United States needs to anticipate, rather than react, to Russian actions and pursue a greater awareness of Russian goals and capabilities to prevent potential conflicts.”
Michael Waller, an information warfare expert, told the Free Beacon the report makes a very important contribution to the public debate about Russian information operations.
“This is an important development, because the U.S. military has not adequately addressed the fact that Russia has a global psychological strategy to compensate for its relative military weakness,” said Waller, who is vice president of the Center for Security Policy.
Obviously, with the revitalization of this DIA report after decades, President Donald J. Trump and his national security team have taken a page from the Reagan administration playbook — engage with Russia, but do so in a manner that never undermines U.S. national security.
Also, by renewing this report, the Trump White House has clearly acknowledged that it understands the strategic threat Russia poses and is preparing to meet it, a direct contradiction of media reports this weekend surrounding Trump’s first face-to-facw with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit, which portrayed Trump as a diplomatic lightweight and buffoon just waiting to be played by the Russian leader.