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Trump’s New NatSec Strategy Hits Russia: ‘Interferes in the Domestic Political Affairs’ of Nations

The White House unveiled a new National Security Strategy today, and it contains some notable passages about Russia.

China and Russia are singled out as the nations looking to “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”

President Trump briefly mentioned Russia during his speech on the National Security Strategy today, but did not criticize the Kremlin — instead he touted his recent call with Vladimir Putin.

Here are some notable passages about Russia in particular from the strategy, released by the White House:

A democracy is only as resilient as its people. An informed and engaged citizenry is the fundamental requirement for a free and resilient nation. For generations, our society has protected free press, free speech, and free thought. Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data. The American public and private sectors must recognize this and work together to defend our way of life.

Russia aims to weaken U.S. influence in the world and divide us from our allies and partners. Russia views the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) as threats. Russia is investing in new military capabilities, including nuclear systems that remain the most significant existential threat to the United States, and in destabilizing cyber capabilities. Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world. The combination of Russian ambition and growing military capabilities creates an unstable frontier in Eurasia, where the risk of conflict due to Russian miscalculation is growing.

Russia uses information operations as part of its offensive cyber efforts to influence public opinion across the globe. Its influence campaigns blend covert intelligence operations and false online personas with state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.”

Although the menace of Soviet communism is gone, new threats test our will. Russia is using subversive measures to weaken the credibility of America’s commitment to Europe, undermine transatlantic unity, and weaken European institutions and governments. With its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia demonstrated its willingness to violate the sovereignty of states in the region. Russia continues to intimidate its neighbors with threatening behavior, such as nuclear posturing and the forward deployment of offensive capabilities.

You can read the full NSS here, and watch a portion of Trump’s remarks on Russia above.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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