US weakness to blame for Russian interference — they exploited our vulnerabilities

05 Mar 2018

(The Hill) From spy thrillers at the box office, to a Trump campaign aides recent guilty plea tied to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, ominous news about Russia seems to be everywhere.

But while Russia’s election meddling was very real, and the implications of this intervention quite serious, it is also important to avoid hysteria about an overstated Russian menace.

As a political scientist who conducts research on Russia, I believe that the key lessons to be learned from Russia’s successful election meddling operation have less to do with Russian strength than with U.S. weakness in an era of rapidly changing security threats.

To be sure, Russia’s ability to project power is greater now than it has been at any point in the quarter century following the collapse of the Soviet Union. [...]

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