Russia’s recent mass-scale cyber intelligence operation, targeting multiple government agencies, corporations and think tanks, was a catastrophic event.
The Russians compromised vital U.S. infrastructure, defense and technology industries, and critical government agencies, such as the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, Energy and Treasury. The attackers exhibited highly sophisticated tradecraft, exceptional operational stealth, and extreme patience and determination.
What very few Americans realize is that this is but a single page out of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war plan for defeating America. The success of this operation resulted from a failure to recognize the systemic Russian threat to the United States and treat it with the seriousness it requires. While the American leadership class is focused on the long-range threat from China and fantasies about Mr. Putin deputizing President Trump as a secret agent, the present and ongoing danger from the Kremlin is frighteningly minimized.
A close reading of unclassified, often highly technical, Russian-language sources has convinced me that Russia expects eventual war with the United States and is preparing for it.