U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are probing what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.
The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates cyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russia’s ability to spread disinformation.
The effort to better understand Russia’s covert influence operations is being spearheaded by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. “This is something of concern for the DNI,” said Charles Allen, a former longtime CIA officer who has been briefed on some of these issues. “It is being addressed.”
A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at,” said one senior intelligence official who, as others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Officials are also examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats.
The official cautioned that the intelligence community is not saying it has “definitive proof” of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so. “But even the hint of something impacting the security of our election system would be of significant concern,” the official said. “It’s the key to our democracy, that people have confidence in the election system.”
The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
U.S. intelligence officials described the covert influence campaign here as “ambitious” and said it is also designed to counter U.S. leadership and influence in international affairs. 
One congressional official, who has been briefed recently on the matter, said “Russian ‘active measures’ or covert influence or ma­nipu­la­tion efforts, whether it’s in Eastern Europe or in the United States” are worrisome.
It “seems to be a global campaign,” the aide said. As a result, the issue has “moved up as a priority” for the intelligence agencies, which include the FBI and Department of Homeland Security as well as the CIA and the National Security Agency.
Some congressional leaders briefed recently by the intelligence agencies on Russian influence operations in Europe, and how they may serve as a template for activities here, have been disturbed by what they heard.
After Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) ended a secure, 30-minute phone briefing by a top intelligence official recently, he was “deeply shaken,” according to an aide who was with Reid when he left the secure room at the FBI’s Las Vegas headquarters.
The Russian government hack of the Democratic National Committee,disclosed by the DNC in June but not yet officially ascribed by the U.S. government to Russia, and the subsequent release of 20,000 hacked DNC emails by WikiLeaks, shocked officials. Cyber-analysts traced its digital markings to known Russian government hacking groups.
“We’ve seen an unprecedented intrusion and an attempt to influence or disrupt our political process,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee, speaking about the DNC hack and the WikiLeaks release on the eve of the Democratic convention. The disclosures, which included a number of embarrassing internal emails, forced the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Members of both parties are urging the president to take the Russians to task publicly.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) in a statement urged President Obama to publicly name Russia as responsible for the DNC hack and apparent meddling in the electoral process. “Free and legitimate elections are non-negotiable. It’s clear that Russia thinks the reward outweighs any consequences,” he wrote. “That calculation must be changed. . . . This is going to take a cross-domain response — diplomatic, political and economic — that turns the screws on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his cronies.”
Administration officials said they are still weighing their response.
Russia has denied that it carried out any cyber-intrusions in the United States. Putin called the accusations against Russia by U.S. officials and politicians an attempt to “distract the public’s attention.”
“It doesn’t really matter who hacked this data from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign headquarters,” Putin said, referring to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in an interview with Bloomberg News. “The important thing is the content was given to the public.”
The Department of Homeland Security has offered local and state election officials help to prevent or deal with Election Day cyber-disruptions, including vulnerability scans, regular actionable information and alerts, and access to other tools for improving cybersecurity at the local level. It will also have a cyber-team ready at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to alert jurisdictions if attacks are detected.
Last month, the FBI issued an unprecedented warning to state election officials urging them to be on the lookout for intrusions into their election systems and to take steps to upgrade security measures across the voting process, including voter registration, voter roles and election-related websites. The confidential “flash” alert said investigators had detected attempts to penetrate election systems in several states.
Arizona, Illinois and both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the DNC, have been the victims of either attempted or successful cyberattacks that FBI agents with expertise in Russian government hacking are investigating.
Federal law enforcement and local election officials say the decentralized nature of the voting process, which is run by states and counties, makes it impossible to ensure a high level of security in each district.
“I have a lot of concern” about this year’s election, said Ion Sancho, the longtime supervisor of elections in Leon County, Fla. “America doesn’t have its act together,” said Sancho, who has authorized red team attacks on his voting system to identify its vulnerabilities. “We need a plan.”
Sancho and others are particularly concerned about electronic balloting from overseas that travels on vulnerable networks before landing in the United States and efforts to use cyberattacks to disrupt vote tabulations being transmitted to state-level offices. Encryption, secured paper backups and secured backup computers are critical, he said.
Tom Hicks, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an agency set up by Congress after the 2000 Florida recount to maintain election integrity, said he is confident that states have sufficient safeguards in place to ward off intrusions. He noted that electronic balloting from overseas is conducted by email, not through online voting machines. The overseas voter “waives their right of privacy” by emailing the ballot, which is tabulated by election officials. The email may still be hacked, but it is not a systemic risk, he said.
Recently, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he favors designating the various voting systems used in the country’s 9,000 polling places as “critical infrastructure” — in other words as vital to the nation’s safe functioning as nuclear power plants and electrical power grids.
Such a designation could mean increased DHS funding to localities to help ensure that voter registration, ballots and ballot tabulation remains free from interference. But it won’t happen before the November elections, federal and local officials said.
Russia has been in the vanguard of a growing global movement to use propaganda on the Internet to influence people and political events, especially since the political revolt in Ukraine, the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia, and the imposition of sanctions on Russia by the United States and the European Union.
The Baltic states, Georgia and Ukraine have been subject to Russian cyberattacks and other hidden influence operations meant to disrupt those countries, officials said.
“Our studies show that it is very likely that [the influence] operations are centrally run,” said Janis Sarts, director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a Riga, Latvia-based research organization.
He also said there is “a coordinated effort involving [groups using] Twitter and Facebook and networks of bots to amplify their message. The main themes seem to be orchestrated rather high up in the hierarchy of the Russian state, and then there are individual endeavors by people to exploit specific themes.”
Sarts said the Russian propaganda effort has been “successful in exploiting the vulnerabilities within societies.” In Western Europe, for instance, such Russian information operations have focused on the politically divisive refugee crisis.
On the eve of a crucial post-revolution presidential vote in Ukraine in 2014, a digital assault nearly crippled the country’s Central Election Commission’s website. Pro-Moscow hackers calling themselves the CyberBerkut claimed responsibility, saying they were not state-affiliated, but the authorities in Kiev blamed Moscow. The Russians used a “denial of service” technique, flooding the commission’s Web server with a high volume of requests, which was meant to slow down or disable the network. 

Posts - 9.5.16

PR Journal: Is Puerto Rico Really A Failed State? -

Information and Cyber Wars - September - August 2016

News - Information and Cyber Wars - September - August 2016 - Google Search
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russia's intelligence war against west - Google Search
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information war - Google Search
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nato declares information war on russia - Google Search
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US Elections - 8.31.16

Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in U.S. Vote, and Seeks F.B.I. Inquiry - The New York Times
FBI says foreign hackers penetrated state election systems [Video]
Democrats ask the FBI to investigate Trump advisers’ Russia ties - The Washington Post
Democrats Want FBI Probe of Alleged Russian Efforts to Tilt US Vote
Top Democrats want FBI to investigate Trump advisers' Russian ties | Fox News
Russians Hacked Two U.S. Voter Databases, Officials Say - NBC News
NEWSWATCH: “Russians Hacked Two U.S. Voter Databases, Officials Say” – NBC – Johnson's Russia List
Sen. Harry Reid Says Russian Hackers Linked To Donald Trump Rigging The U.S. 2016 Election
Did Russia Really Hack U.S. Election Systems? | Foreign Policy
Former Bush defense official to endorse Clinton: 'There is no choice' - POLITICO
Paul Ryan just summed up Republicans’ Donald Trump problem in three lines - The Washington Post
Trump announces trip to Mexico for talks with President Peña Nieto | US news | The Guardian
America's problems aren't Obama's fault. They're George W Bush's | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian
Trump’s NATO Reboot Is Long Overdue | The Daily Caller
Clinton Gives Too Much Credit to Putin and Trump | Observer
How Vladimir Putin Is Using Donald...
Trump’s mob-linked ex-associate gives $5,400 to campaign - POLITICO
Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia | TIME
Analysis: Could hackers tip an American election? You bet - Chicago Tribune
Donald Trump is missing the real threat - Business Insider
donald trump as uncle sam - Google Search

US Elections and Russia - 8.30.16

FBI Chief Responds to Concern Over Cyberthreats to US Election System - ABC News
News - US Elections and Russia - Google Search
US Elections and Russia - Google Search
2016 presidential elections - Google Search
Google News
US Suspects Russia Behind Computer Hacking in 2 State Election Databases
How to hack- and rig-proof U.S. elections - The Washington Post
A Putin-sponsored October surprise? - The Washington Post
Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in U.S. Vote, and Seeks F.B.I. Inquiry - The New York Times
Russian hackers targeted Arizona election system - The Washington Post
EXCLUSIVE: Russia-Backed DNC Hackers Strike Washington Think Tanks - Defense One
How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President - Defense One
3 reasons Russia’s Vladimir Putin might want to interfere in the US presidential elections - Vox

Russian Reactions to US Elections 2016 - 8.31.16

Clinton’s ‘Malicious’ Attacks on Trump, Putin Paving Way For World War
From bad to worse: Clinton laying foundation for increasingly hostile relations with Russia — RT Op-Edge
Moscow Accused of Meddling in US Election, Kiev Actually Does It: Here's Proof
Love & Hate: What happened to Clinton-Putin relations? — RT Viral
Cold War 2.0: Hillary Claims a Putin-Led 'Alt-Right' Conspiracy is Against Her

Information and Cyber Wars - 9.1.16

9.1.16 - How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets - The New York Times
9.1.16 - Why Obama Is to Blame for Russia’s SpyWar on America | Observer
8.31.16 - Trying to Smoke Out the Players in the Hacking of the D.N.C. - The New York Times
8.16.16 - ‘Shadow Brokers’ Leak Raises Alarming Question: Was the N.S.A. Hacked? - The New York Times
NSA ‘Shadow Brokers’ Hack Shows SpyWar with Kremlin Is Turning Hot | Observer
NATO DECLARES INFORMATION WAR ON RUSSIA…(WW3 Underway!!) | RevolutionRadio.org
Why Obama Is to Blame for Russia’s SpyWar on America | Observer - Google Search

Russian Political Espionage in the US - 8.31.16

Russia's Cyber Warfare Has Bigger Aims Than Electing Donald Trump
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Russian-Style Media Warfare | US News Opinion
For Putin, Disinformation Is Power - The New York Times
Declassified Documents Reveal KGB Spies in the U.S. | US News
West must beware of interference by China and Russia – US envoy | Australia news | The Guardian

History of Russian Political Espionage in the US

7.26.16 - Russia’s Long History of Messing With Americans Minds Before the DNC Hack - The Daily Beast
Michael Weiss - The Daily Beast
michael weiss articles on russian intelligence - Google Search
VENONA - Google Search
8.23.16 - The Real Russian Mole Inside NSA | | Observer
8.24.16 - Commentary: Evidence points to another Snowden at the NSA | Reuters
Espionage History Archive | True Spy Stories from Russian Intelligence | Page 2
KGB Foreign Counterintelligence | Espionage History Archive
Political Espionage: An Interview with Ken Vogel of POLITICO · SpyCast · International Spy Museum
Category:Russia intelligence operations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Category:Espionage in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Category:Espionage by country - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
National security of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
History of Russian Political Espionage in the US - Google Search
Russian Political Espionage in the US - Google Search
Political Espionage in the US - Google Search
Political Espionage - Google Search
History of Political Espionage - Google Search
History of Russian Political Espionage in the US - Google Search

Manafort's Russian ties - July - August 2016

8.21.16 - How Putin’s Spies Infiltrated the Trump Campaign | The XX Committee
Manafort deputy may have had link to Russian intelligence - FT.com
8.13.16 - Vladimir Putin Has Already Won Our Election | Observer
News Reviews and Opinions: "We’re up against “the biggest counterintelligence threat faced by this country since the early Cold War..." - Vladimir Putin Has Already Won Our Election
Manafort’s man in Kiev - POLITICO
Analysis of intelligence expert John Schindler | As Putin spies Trumps campaign infiltrated - policy abroad - Bild.de

US accuses Russia of harassing diplomats - 6.30.16

Russian FSB guard attacked U.S. diplomat outside Moscow embassy - The Washington Post
Russia is harassing U.S. diplomats all over Europe - The Washington Post
Russian FSB attacks U.S. diplomat outside Moscow embassy – Washington Post | Belsat TV
U.S. Diplomat Said Tackled, Injured By Guard Outside Moscow Embassy
US accuses Russia of harassing diplomats - CNNPolitics.com
U.S. diplomat moscow - Google Search
Russian honorary consul puerto rico - Google Search
Former Russian Honorary Consul Hopes Closed Honorary Consulates Resume Work
Anastasia Kitsul - Google Search

Trump and the Reassessment of the US-Russia relations - July - August 2016

Donald Trump Is One of the Greatest Threats of Our Time - Opinion - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Donald Trump Is a Threat to the US and World Peace - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Reassessment of US-Russia relations - August 2016

Main Articles - August 2016

8.28.16 - A Partnership Between Russia and the West? Here's Why It's Not Happening
Reassessment of US-Russia relations - Google Search
8.24.16 - The Sources of Russian Conduct | The National Interest
Thomas Graham Jr., diplomat - Google Search
8.18.16 - There will be no ‘reset’ with Russia - The Washington Post
Angela Stent - Google Search
8.18.16 - Russia is now a threat. The U.S. should treat it like one. - The Washington Post
David J. Kramer - Google Search
:: Russian Pundits Say 'Reset' With USA Over, Mull Future Of Bilateral Ties - RUSSIA, PU.S.-RUSSIAN RELATIONS :: JRL 3/6/12
Why We Need Kremlinology Again - The American Interest
kremlinology 2 - Google Search
News Reviews and Opinions: M.N.: The state of the US - Russia relations and the planning for their future need urgent, comprehensive and in-depth reassessment.
News Reviews and Opinions: Russia Review - August 19, 2016
News Reviews and Opinions: There will be no ‘reset’ with Russia - The Washington Post Russia is now a threat. The U.S. should treat it like one. - The Washington Post

Thomas Graham Jr. (diplomat)

Thomas Graham Jr. (diplomat) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
thomas graham russia - Google Search
Former Assistant to Bush Jr.: ‘Issue of U.S.-Russia relations is not of much concern to most American voters’ — RealnoeVremya.com

Reassessment of US-Russia relations - 8.17.16

June 2011 - Reset Regret: US Should Rethink Relations with Russia
June 2016 - New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: Time to Stop the Damage to U.S. National Security
U.S.-Russian relations beyond Obama | Brookings Institution
The Future of U.S.-Russia Relations: Beyond 2012 - Carnegie
9.12.13 - The Confusing State of U.S.-Russia Relations | TIME.com
U.S. Russia Relations - huffingtonpost
Why Syria Won't Save U.S.-Russia Relations | The National Interest
8.9.13 - Obama says US will 'pause and reassess' relations with Putin and Russia | US news | The Guardian
Russia's Recurring Role in the 2016 Presidential Campaign - ABC News
Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief - The New York Times
Trump's embrace of Russia is very unusual - and it could cause future headaches | Election 2016 | stltoday.com
3 reasons Russia’s Vladimir Putin might want to interfere in the U.S. presidential elections | Brookings Institution
Trump invites Russia to meddle in the U.S. presidential race with Clinton’s emails - The Washington Post
Russia–United States relations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
US - Russia relations - Google Search
The state of the US - Russia relations - Google Search
Reassessment of the state of the US - Russia relations - Google Search
the state of the US - Russia relations needs reassessment - Google Search
the state of the US - Russia relations needs assessment - Google Search
russia intelligence analysis - Google Search
Mr. Trump's and his assistants' Russian shenanigans - Google Search
bipartisan approach to Russia - Google Search
bipartisan approach Russia - Google Search

Russia as military threat

8.30.16 - How big a military threat is Russia, really? - CSMonitor.com
Russia as military threat - Google Search
russia is threat - Google Search
is russia a military threat - Google Search
russia becoming more aggressive - Google Search
russia becoming more intrusive - Google Search
russian aggression under putin - Google Search
US military: russia is threat - Google Search
US military: russia is military threat - Google Search
How to deal with russia as military threat? - Google Search
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Trump and Russia - July -August 2016

How Vladimir Putin Is Using Donald Trump to Advance Russia's Goals
GOP lawmakers seek information on Team Trump's Russia ties | MSNBC
From Trump to Clinton to Russia: These political cartoons go for the Olympic gold - The Washington Post
Ivanka Trump and Wendi Murdoch go sightseeing in Dubrovnik
Trump adviser Michael T. Flynn on his dinner with Putin and why Russia Today is just like CNN - The Washington Post
A Former General's Case Against Trump - Defense One
trump and russia - Google Search
trump and putin - Google Search
trump and counterintelligence - Google Search

Trump and Russia: A Threat to National Security?

manafort the kingmaker - Google Search
Manafort The (KGB) Kingmaker - Google Search
Clinton leads Trump by 5 points in Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters
national security officials and trump - Google Search
statement by former national security officials - Google Search
A Letter From G.O.P. National Security Officials Opposing Donald Trump - The New York Times
US fears over Donald Trump's connections with Vladimir Putin's Russia
Is Donald Trump Working for Russia? -- NYMag
Why Russia Supports Separatist Movements | NBC Bay Area
Transcript: Donald Trump at the G.O.P. Convention - The New York Times
russia is the greatest threat to US security - Google Search
Transcript: Donald Trump on NATO, Turkey’s Coup Attempt and the World - The New York Times
trump and russia - Google Search
melania trump - Google Search
melania trump and russia - Google Search
Melania Trump's extraordinary journey from Communist's daughter to potential First Lady | Daily Mail Online
trump business interests in russia - Google Search
trump as a threat to national security - Google Search
Trump's NATO comments 'unprecedented' - POLITICO
Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack - The New York Times
Russia’s ugly treatment of Americans - The Washington Post
Donald Trump: The candidate of the apocalypse - The Washington Post
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Appears on ‘Real Time’ and Asks Bill Maher, ‘Why Am I Here?’ | Video | TheBlaze.com
Lt. General Michael K. Flynn Goes on Real Time, Asks ‘Why Am I Here?’ - YouTube
Michael Flynn - YouTube
Does Trump have enough of the wrecking balls to be The Trump? - Google Search
Michael Morell's op-ed - Google Search
strategic intelligence assessments - Google Search
Strategic Intelligence: A Handbook for Practitioners, Managers, and Users (Security and Professional Intelligence Education Series): Don McDowell: 9780810861848: Amazon.com: Books

Manafort - Kilimkin affair - 8.21.16

Top Trump aide lobbied for Pakistani spy front [Video]
manafort, ISI and jihad - Google Search
manafort, Pakistani ISI and jihad - Google Search
Mystery man: Ukraine's U.S. fixer - POLITICO
Trump’s campaign manager linked to Panama Papers | Fusion
Pakistan behind rise of international Jihadi forces: NYT - The Hindu
Manafort deputy may have had link to...
Manafort deputy may have had link to...
Paul Manafort’s man on the inside: Meduza profiles Konstantin Kilimnik, the right hand of Donald Trump’s former campaign head — Meduza
Rinat Akhmetov - Google Search
Rinat Akhmetov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oleg Deripaska - Google Search
Obama’s Russia Delusions and Trump’s | commentary
Donald Trump’s campaign aide Paul Manafort QUITS over allegations about cash payments | Daily Mail Online
Donald Trump exclusive: Russian mob-linked fraudster a 'key player' in presidential hopeful's business ventures
Yes, America Spies Really Think Trump is Putin’s Guy | The XX Committee
August | 2016 | The XX Committee
Manafort and Ukraine - Google Search
manafort and kilimnik - Google Search
paul manafort russia - Google Search
manafort ukraine - Google Search
manafort - Google Search

Trump urges Russia...

Trump urges Russia to find 'missing' Clinton emails, drawing ire | Reuters
Donald Trump Calls on Russia to Find Hillary Clinton’s Missing Emails - The New York Times
Trump invites Russia to meddle in the U.S. presidential race with Clinton’s emails - The Washington Post
Trump to Russia: Uncover, release deleted Clinton emails - AP
US election: Trump 'encourages Russia to hack Clinton emails' - BBC News
The other remarkable, pro-Russia thing that Donald Trump just said - The Washington Post
Republicans have a problem: Trump-Putin - The Washington Post
After Russia Email Remarks, Democrats Say Trump a Danger on National Security | US News
Donald Trump to Russia: hack and publish Hillary Clinton's 'missing' emails | US news | The Guardian

Russia Review

News - russia ukraine - Google Search
russia ukraine - Google Search
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Russia international behavior - Google Search
News - Reassessment of the state of the US - Russia relations - Google Search
Russia and Presidential Elections of 2016 - Google Search
russia as mafia state - Google Search
Turkey and Russia - Google Search
no US-Russia deal - Google Search

Russia - 9.2.16

Russia's Putin: I have no idea who hacked U.S. Democratic Party - BBG | Reuters
Putin Denies Hacking DNC
Putin Vs. Putin
Vladimir Putin Says DNC Hack Was Public Good, Denies Russia Link - Bloomberg Politics
Интервью международному информационному холдингу Bloomberg. Часть 4 • Президент России
Wikileaks documents disclosed by Julian Assange 'often benefit the Kremlin' | Daily Mail Online
‘Conspiracy, not journalism’: WikiLeaks blasts NYT story on ‘Russian intel’ behind DNC hack — RT News
Why there's "nothing to suggest" Russia killed ISIS leader, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani - CBS News
Infuriating News For Saudi Arabia, Russia Refuses To Play Oil Game
Rights Group: Situation in Chechnya Continues to Deteriorate

Russia - 9.1.16 Th

Russia Claims Credit for Killing Senior ISIS Leader in Syria - The New York Times
US Rejects Russia's Claim of Credit for ISIS Leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's Airstrike Death - Yahoo
U.S., Russia fight over who killed ISIL leader
Abu Mohammad al-Adnani
ANALYSIS: Why Would Russia Hack Voter Lists and What Should We Do About It? - ABC News
Oil Wars: Can Russia Hold Off Middle Eastern Oil In Eastern Europe | OilPrice.com
8.22.16 - Lawsuits Against Russia: Ukraine prepares lawsuits against Russia - foreign minister
8.22.16 - Ukraine opens criminal probe of top Russian officials - The Washington Post
8.22.16 - Amid rising tensions, Ukraine opens criminal probe of top Russian officials - CSMonitor.com
8.24.16 - Dueling Indictments As Russia, Ukraine Target Each Other's Military Leaders
8.24.16 - JURIST - Ukraine prosecutors file charges against 18 top Russia officials
Tensions mount between Russia and...
Promised Prosperity Never Arrived in...
Russia-Ukraine Crisis Prompts Meeting With Putin at G-20 Summit | Vestnik Kavkaza
the wiretapping of Putin's Adviser could be "leaked" to Ukraine from Russia | News from Crimea and Ukraine
Eton boys given private audience with Vladimir Putin - BBC News
Russia is the most unequal major country in the world: Study
Mysterious genealogy of Russian President Putin - PravdaReport
Путин был прав: как Шойгу превратил русскую армию в высокотехнологичные войска
Uzbek President Misses Independence Day Speech Due to Illness
Modern Ukraine is 25 yrs old, but is it actually independent? — RT Op-Edge
Ukraine marks 25 years of independence a riven nation despite the flags | World news | The Guardian
Ukraine's first president Leonid Kravchuk: Crimea is already part of Russia - UPI.com
U.S. imposes sanctions on 'Putin's bridge' to Crimea | Reuters

Russia - 8.31.16

Putin is the “grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism” (H. Clinton) - Google Search
Russia's Got A New Iron Curtain, This Time With Missile Tech | The Daily Caller
Political issues weigh on upcoming G-20 summit in China | Fox News
The lurking Russian threat | TheHill
Kremlin blindsides Tokyo with premature announcement of Putin visit | The Japan Times
State Dept. 'not worried' about stronger Russia-Japan ties | Washington Examiner
France to become Russia's key European ally after presidential election - PravdaReport
Vladimir Putin and the Shiite Axis
Russian oil privatization saga points to limits of Putin's power | Reuters
Russia: Pre-election Crackdown in Chechnya | Human Rights Watch
Opposition Leader Calls Putin's United Russia Party 'Criminal'
Alexei Bayer: Obama’s legacy of fragile stability

Russia - 8.30.16

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Politics Of Extortion (Transcript)
Here's How Russia Turn Foreigners Against Their Governments | The Daily Caller
Tashkent Denies Death of President Karimov as Supposed Successor Reportedly Arrested
Ъ-Газета - Американские спецслужбы подошли к россиянину по прибору ночного видения
Russia is a serious threat. The US should treat it like one. - Chicago Tribune
Vladimir Putin Secret War: Ukraine, Syria - ValueWalk
Florida man Vladimir Putin arrested on trespassing charges

Middle East and Turkey - 8.31.16

It is Russia, not IS or al-Qaeda, that poses primary threat to US | Middle East Eye
Russia says it killed ISIS leader Mohammad al-Adnani | National News - KCCI Home
Senior ISIS Strategist and Spokesman Is Reported Killed in Syria - The New York Times
Questions Arise About Turkey’s Operation Inside Syria
Kurds East of Euphrates Now, Top US General Says
Leaked intelligence reveals Iranian spymasters' HQ in Syria codenamed 'GLASSHOUSE' | Daily Mail Online
JK Alternative Viewpoint » Blog Archive » Russia and Iran: Historic Mistrust and Contemporary Partnership-Source: DMITRI TRENIN
Russia and Iran, ready to give their relationship another try | Russia Direct
With eyes on the ball, it's been a Putin kind of year in Mideast: Nahlah Ayed - World - CBC News
turkish coup 2016 - Google Search
turkish coup 2016 and russia - Google Search
turkish coup 2016 and russia - Google Search

Turkey, Syria, Kurds - 8.30.16

Turkey, Syria, Kurds - Google Search
syria kurds russia - Google Search
Turkey threatens US-backed Kurds in Syria - Google Search
News - Turkish forces deepen push into Syria - Google Search
Turkish forces deepen push into Syria - Google Search
Recep Tayyip Erdogan exploiting failed Turkey coup to crush dissent, tighten grip on power - Washington Times
Knowing the Risks, Some Syrian Rebels Seek a Lift From Turks’ Incursion - The New York Times
Turkey threatens US-backed Kurds in Syria; Fighting intensifies in Libya; Russia’s disinformation wars; 51 debates worth havings; and just a bit more. - Defense One
Carter Calls on Turkey to 'Stay Focused' on Islamic State
Turkey pushes into Syria, draws criticism from US for not targeting ISIS - Business Insider
8.24.16 - Syrian rebels capture Jarablus - Business Insider
Fight for Syria's Aleppo exposes limits of Russian air power | Reuters
The disastrous nonintervention in Syria - The Washington Post

Iran and Latin America - 8.23-29.16

News - Iran, Russia, and Latin America - Google Search
Iran, Russia, and Latin America - Google Search
Reports: Iran Recruiting Jihadists, Sponsoring Terror Through Latin American Embassies - Breitbart
State Dept.: Hezbollah, Islamic State Maintain Presence in Latin America - Breitbart
Joseph Humire: Iran's Embassies in Latin America Function More as Intelligence Centers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT
Iran Expanding Terror Network In Latin America
News Reviews and Opinions: Iran Expanding TerrorNetwork in Latin America - by Adam Kredo - Tuesday August 23rd, 2016 at 10:58 AM
Iran's Strategic Penetration of Latin America: Joseph M. Humire, Ilan Berman, Marta Lucía Ramírez, Leonardo Coutinho, Joel Hirst, Diego C. Naveira, Julián M. Obiglio, Adrián Oliva, Alex Pérez, Jon B. Perdue, Martin Rodil, Iván Witker: 9780739182666: Amazon.com: Books
News Reviews and Opinions: Iran's Strategic Penetration of Latin America
Iran's foreign minister begins Latin America tour with Cuba visit | TheHill
Tidd: Global Terrorist, Criminal Networks Southcom’s Biggest Threat > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article
iran and latin america - Google Search
News - iran and latin america - Google Search
Mohammad-Javad Zarif - Google Search
News - Mohammad-Javad Zarif - Google Search
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen - Google Search
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Russia Review - August 19, 2016 | Putin Rex and S. Ivanov's Resignation | Trump and Russia | Manafort

Russia - 8.29.16

Here is why Turkey launched its operation in Syria | Russia Direct
Ivanov: rustication with respect, from a good friend but a poor patron | In Moscow's Shadows
Ъ - Петр Порошенко поменял главу на переправе

Russia - 8.28.16 - Articles

A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories - The New York Times
Ukraine Taking Russia To Court...Again

Russia - 8.27.16

The Strongman of Instagram - WSJ
May must explain Tory donor's links to Russia, says Labour MP | Politics | The Guardian
The Average Joe Accused of Trying to Sell Russia U.S. Secrets - The Daily Beast
Russia can no longer afford to alienate the EU | Russia Direct
Putin Is Building a Great Russian Firewall - Bloomberg
North Korea defection: Kim Jong-un's trade diplomat in Russia defects to South Korea | Daily Star

Recent Articles and Reviews on Russia

News Reviews and Opinions: What Is Really Going On in Vladimir Putin’s Head? - Newsweek | Is Russia hacking the US election? - BBC News | 'A very dangerous game': Russia vs. Ukraine showdown reaches risky new level - World - CBC News | Putin places troops along with armoured vehicles on Russia's border with the Ukraine | Daily Mail Online | » Russia ups the ante in Ukraine with eye on G20 18/08/16 11:19 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: Trump’s embrace of Russia is very unusual — and it could cause future headaches - The Washington Post | Trump shakes up struggling campaign | Reuters
News Reviews and Opinions: How Russia Saw Donald Trump’s Big Speech On Foreign Policy
News Reviews and Opinions: Chappatte on Trump’s Affinity for Putin | Ukraine's Savchenko Condemns Russian ‘Slave Mentality’ | Russia's Solitary Man | Vladimir Putin and Wendi Deng - Google Search | » Ivanka Trump Is On Vacation With Vladimir Putin’s Girlfriend | » путин и венди денг - Google Search 16/08/16 09:54 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: Vladimir Putin and Wendi Deng - Google Search
News Reviews and Opinions: Russia: Preparing an Offensive or Maneuvering for Easing of Sanctions? | » Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief 15/08/16 05:04 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: » Russia May Be Preparing New Offensive in Ukraine 14/08/16 07:47 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: The historical task of measuring The Fidel's Cigar | » Military Officials Distorted ISIS Intelligence, Congressional Panel Says 13/08/16 10:06 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: FBI Said to Have High Confidence Russia Behind Democratic Hacks - Bloomberg Thursday August 11th, 2016 at 2:52 PM
News Reviews and Opinions: Trump's Russia problem | Fox News | Laser technology fights unwanted geese in Canada Wednesday August 10th, 2016 at 7:38 AM
News Reviews and Opinions: Obama in tough spot with Russia | Trump campaign teeters on the brink - BBC News
News Reviews and Opinions: What is Donald Trump's connection to Vladimir Putin? | The Briefing | Yes, American Spies Really Think Trump Is Putin’s Guy | Observer
News Reviews and Opinions: » Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia | TIME 03/08/16 15:35 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: Glenn Beck: ‘Russia Is Trying to Take Down Hillary Clinton’ to ‘Foment Revolution’ Here
News Reviews and Opinions: Russia's President Fights to Keep Control - STRATFOR
News Reviews and Opinions: Russia continues to shadow Trump | Donald Trump Long Sought a Real-Estate Foothold in Russia - WSJ
News Reviews and Opinions: The Kremlin factor in the White House race | Islamic State calls on members to carry out jihad in Russia | Reuters | » The Briefing: Putin’s Purge 01/08/16 08:14 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
News Reviews and Opinions: Allen Christopher Ivanov, mass shootings, and video games as online manipulation and recruiting tool

Putin Rex and S. Ivanov's Resignation - 8.12-14.16

Putin’s incredible shrinking circle; Ivanov’s departure leaves few voices able to speak truth to Putin – Johnson's Russia List
Экс-глава администрации президента Сергей Иванов: досье | Справка | Вопрос-Ответ | Аргументы и Факты
News Reviews and Opinions: Putin Rex: S. Ivanov's resignation and the rise of Putin as "The Tsar" - by Michael Novakhov
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Putin personal dictatorship - Google Search
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8.14.16 Su

Russia May Be Preparing New Offensive in Ukraine
Crimea tension: What is Russia's end game? - BBC News
Alleged Russian involvement in DNC hack gives U.S. a taste of Kremlin meddling - The Washington Post
Another DNC hack: Why Russia may want to influence the US elections - CSMonitor.com
Hack of Democrats’ Accounts Was Wider Than Believed, Officials Say - The New York Times
U.S. Marines, sailors flex their amphibious muscles in Russia's backyard
Eastman Police Department Officer Tim Smith Shot, Killed in Georgia - NBC News
Fires Burn in Milwaukee After a Fatal Police Shooting - The New York Times
Milwaukee violence after police shoot dead armed suspect | US news | The Guardian
Leaders of New York City mosque killed in daylight shooting - The Washington Post
Imam and second man killed after prayers in New York | World news | The Guardian
Once in control of their party, conservatives agonize over the election and beyond - The Washington Post
Once Skeptical of Executive Power, Obama Has Come to Embrace It - The New York Times
Why Ecuador is now letting Sweden question Julian Assange - CSMonitor.com
Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones – review | Books | The Guardian
Силовик вне кланов: Сергей Иванов из преемника Путина превратился в клерка — Meduza
Время личнообязанных: Почему Путин сменил Сергея Иванова на Антона Вайно: Carnegie.ru — Meduza
Андрей Пионтковский: Путин теряет равновесие - Политический блог - Владимир Путин - Сергей Иванов - Россия | Обозреватель
S. Ivanov is not corrupted - Google Search
August 11, 2015 | The Ukrainian Weekly
How to Start a Russian Purge | Foreign Policy
The Kremlin's Game Of Thrones (UPDATED)
Putin 2: rise of the tsar - YouTube
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Russia: Putin accepts Ivanov’s resignation as Head of the Presidential Administration - YouTube
Ivanov and Volodin - Google Search
Turkey and Russia - Google Search
slant - Google Search
Ivanov and Volodin - Google Search
National Guard activated after Milwaukee protests over suspect's death | Reuters
Putin Replaces Top Adviser In Major Kremlin Shake-Up

8.13.16 Sa

Ukraine joining NATO would trigger war with Russia
Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin - The New York Times
Trump says presidential campaign has boosted his business - The Washington Post
huffington post - Google Search
Puerto Rico Zika Crisis Prompts Public Health Emergency Declaration
Why Putin Fired His Chief of Staff and Longtime Ally
Ъ-FM - «Назначение практически неизвестного чиновника вполне в стиле нынешней власти»
Vladimir Putin dismisses his chief of staff Sergey Ivanov
Putin sacks Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov | Russia & India Report
Сергей Иванов может стать новым премьер-министром вместо Дмитрия Медведева - Русская планета
The Rise and Fall of Sergey Ivanov - The American Interest
Protester heckles Trump: 'You're Putin's b----' | TheHill
This Is Why Vladimir Putin Is Accusing Ukraine of Terrorism | TIME
DIA said thank you to Deputy Director Doug Wise at a farewell ceremony > Defense Intelligence Agency > Article View
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Is Hillary Clinton Medically Unfit to Serve?
Fidel Castro's 90th birthday marked with 90-metre cigar - BBC News
90 m cuban cigar - Google Search
Vladimir Putin Fires His Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov | TIME
On 90th birthday, Fidel Castro thanks Cuba, criticizes Obama - The Washington Post
FBI widens hacking probe as more are Democrats targted in wide-ranging cyber attack: reports - Washington Times
Hacker Releases More Democratic Party Documents - The New York Times
Putin gets new right-hand man as chief of staff exits | Reuters
Has Donald Trump hit bottom? - The Washington Post
Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia: Peter Pomerantsev: 9781610394550: Amazon.com: Books
Muslim cleric, second man killed in New York shooting | Reuters

8.12.16 F

Russia's Putin sacks chief of staff Sergei Ivanov - BBC News
Russian president Vladimir Putin FIRES his ex-KGB chief of staff Sergey Ivanov in dramatic Kremlin purge - Mirror Online
Ъ - Сергей Иванов сдал пост Антону Вайно
TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy - Putin sacks Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov
TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy - Putin says Russia’s political system needs new blood
Key Interview Confirms Sergey Ivanov, Putin's Chief of Staff Is Russia's #2
Putin, Security Council discuss security measures in Crimea — Kremlin | Russia & India Report
TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy - Sergey Ivanov: Don't think the Kremlin always decides everything, sometimes it doesn't
сергей иванов - Google Search
sergey ivanov - Google Search
Commentary: As Ukraine tensions soar, Putin is doing what Putin does best | Reuters
Incursion, Desertion, Skirmish: What Really Happened in Crimea?
Ukraine's president seeks talks with Putin, Western leaders amid tensions | Reuters
Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran – Mondoweiss
Donald Trump’s tone-deaf embrace of Russia - The Washington Post
Timothy Ash: What's behind Russia's escalation of conflict with Ukraine?
Ukraine troops on high alert amid growing tension with Russia - CNN.com
World Powers Call for Calm in Crimea After Russia Warns Ukraine - Bloomberg
Signs of Trouble in Ukraine Prompt Question: What’s Vladimir Putin Up To? - The New York Times
Сергей Иванов заявил о желании «так же активно» трудиться на новом посту :: Политика :: РБК
Shoigu at 60: The Man Who Would Be Russia's King?
Putin: 'Ukraine Is Choosing Terrorism'
Two Soldiers Dead in Crimea As Russia Alleges 'Terrorist' Activity
Largely Unnoticed, Full-Scale War May Be Returning to Ukraine
Seven Ukrainian Soldiers Killed in Clashes with Pro-Russian Separatists
Implementation of Minsk-2 Ceasefire Agreement 'Lamentable' — Kremlin
Ukraine troops on high alert as tension with Russia grows - BBC News
‘Chaos in Kiev’: Ukraine trying to distract attention from Donbass conflict, says Russia’s UN rep. — RT News
Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Latest: NATO concerned by Russia, Ukraine tensions | Fox News
Fears Mount of Full-scale Ukraine-Russia Clash
Canada security questioned after FBI tip thwarts attack | Reuters
Russia deploys advanced S-400 air missile system to Crimea: agencies | Reuters
Donald Trump’s ISIS-Obama Comments First Came From the Russians and Crazy People - The Daily Beast
GOP insiders: Trump can't win - POLITICO
Crimea tensions in Russia, Ukraine media - BBC News
The Rio Olympics are a distraction – Russia is positioning itself for further action against Ukraine
Military Officials Distorted ISIS Intelligence, Congressional Panel Says - The New York Times
Putin Dismisses Chief of Staff in Surprise Move - The New York Times
Turkey seeks 32 fugitive diplomats in post-coup inquiry | Reuters
Trump allies, WikiLeaks and Russia are pushing a nonsensical conspiracy theory about the DNC hacks - The Washington Post
Что может означать новое обострение в Крыму - Газета.Ru
Сергей Иванов: от ФСБ до администрации президента - Газета.Ru | Фото
Путин сменил главу своей администрации - Газета.Ru
соцсети [Россия] ^ MediaMetrics: свежие котировки новостей
Путин объяснил отставку Сергея Иванова
Владимир Милов. Чем провинился экс-глава администрации президента
Who will succeed Vladimir Putin?
New Crimean War in the making: Russia readies to break diplomatic ties with Ukraine - PravdaReport
Putin Dismisses a Strong Ally as Chief of Staff in Favor of a ‘Servant’ - The New York Times
Trump allies, WikiLeaks and Russia are pushing a nonsensical conspiracy theory about the DNC hacks - The Washington Post
Putin Dismissed His Chief of Staff. What Does It Mean for Russia? | Foreign Policy
Russia Hints It Might Hide Nukes in Syria | Observer
Biden urges Ukraine president to avoid escalating tensions with Russia: White House | Reuters
McCain Should Stop Meddling in the Bergdahl Case - The New York Times
Donald Trump’s Missteps Risk Putting a Ceiling Over His Support in Swing States - The New York Times
How Community Policing Can Work - The New York Times
Pieces of Silver - The New York Times
Trump demanded Obama’s records. But he’s not releasing his own. - The Washington Post
A massive new study debunks a widespread theory for Donald Trump’s success - The Washington Post
Trump allies, WikiLeaks and Russia are pushing a nonsensical conspiracy theory about the DNC hacks - The Washington Post
US Warns Russia Against ‘Provocative Rhetoric’ on Ukraine
Pakistan: Intelligence Cooperation Deal With Afghanistan Can Help Counter Terrorism
Ъ-Газета - Антон Вайно выбился из сильных
Ъ - Бывшего директора ФСИН отдали под суд
Почему Сергей Иванов ушел с поста главы кремлевской администрации. Все версии
Сергей Иванов: разведчик, министр, администратор и защитник леопардов | РИА Новости
ВЕДОМОСТИ - Сергей Иванов остался в измененном составе Совета безопасности
Сергей Иванов освобожден от должности главы администрации президента
Унижение Сергея Иванова
Ukraine Under Attack: Militants increase attacks, shell Ukrainian border guards positions
Fighting Intensifies as Putin Sends More Troops to Ukraine
Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Is Ivanov’s Dismissal Putin’s Leningrad Affair?
US Declares State of Emergency in Puerto Rico Over Zika

Shoigu - 8.15.16

Master of emergencies | The Economist
К переговорам по Карабаху подключился Сергей Шойгу? - ИА REGNUM
Resignation of Putin's chief of staff is just political routine | Russia Direct
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Inside Russia’s intelligence services

Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services | European Council on Foreign Relations
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Vitaly Primakov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Global Security

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Selected Posts

The U.S. and Global Security Review: The U.S. and Global Security Review
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: Syrian Kurds call Iraqi brothers to the flag against Turkey | Information and Cyber Wars - 9.1.16 Update: Why Obama Is to Blame for Russia’s SpyWar on America | Observer
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: Information and Cyber Wars - September - August 2016
8.30.16 - NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: This is Cyber "War" Today -- Information Operations
News Reviews and Opinions: I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton - By MICHAEL J. MORELL: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." | » For Putin, Disinformation Is Power 05/08/16 09:05 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
8.24.16 - News Reviews and Opinions: All of this is a concerted, well planned, thought out, organized and coordinated campaign on the part of Russia and her Intelligence Services
8.21.16 - News Reviews and Opinions: M.N.: This recently emerged "Manafort - Kilimkin affair" is another wake-up call, in a series, for the US Counterintelligence Community, politicians, the political observers and the political scientists. It needs a deep and comprehensive investigation. I think, it shows how far reaching the Russian efforts and activities are at subverting and destabilizing of the US political system. These efforts are unbelievably brazen and at the same time crude, and hopefully inefficient. However, their danger, scope, and hostile intents should not and cannot be underestimated: Manafort’s man in Kiev - POLITICO | Manafort deputy may have had link to Russian intelligence - FT | Manafort and Kilimnik - Google Search
8.5.16 - News Reviews and Opinions: M.N.: Putin's Plan:"Shock and awe" them, terrorize them to fear and disorientation, infiltrate everything, pull all the strings, incite social disorder and revolution, install The Putinoid Dictator, and rule America and The West; turning defeat into the victory. | Elections 2016 as a political theater (not bad or good but just how it is): "Sure. Nobody cares. They want to dream. They want a spectacle. They want gold and towers. They want me to get tough. Fact-checkers! Is that even a job?"
7.31.16 - News Reviews and Opinions: M.N.: The Birth of The Salesman: this is not vulgarity, it is The Trump-garity: "show them the flesh (the suitable one), they will love you (by association) even more (that what Trump craves after), and that's how you will be able to sell yourself (to the suitable customers, such as the voters or Putin, for example). The Ultimate Salesman (this birth deserves the dramatic powers of the Millerian quill), The Ultimate American Narcissist, ?The Ultimate and the new breed of American Politician: Melania Trump’s Nude Picture Released – Is This How Potential First Lady Will Be? | After Trump insults mother of slain soldier, NY Post distracts with nudes of Melania | The “Russia threat” | Dallas police department applications triple after fatal shooting of five officers | US news | The Guardian
News Reviews and Opinions: Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia | TIME
8.29.16 - PR Journal: The "rude awakening" for Puerto Rico and the US National Security
Behavior and Law: Analyze zis, to your hearts' content! No "Goldwater rules"! We use zi "Hot Water Rules"! - "The American Psychiatric Association issues a warning: No psychoanalyzing Donald Trump" - WP | "Could America Elect a Mentally Ill President?" - POLITICO Magazine
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Russia Review - 8.31.16
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Putin is the “grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism” (H. Clinton) | Political issues weigh on upcoming G-20 summit in China | Fox News | Russia says it killed ISIS leader Mohammad al-Adnani | National News - KCCI Home | Leaked intelligence reveals Iranian spymasters' HQ in Syria codenamed 'GLASSHOUSE' | Daily Mail Online | It is Russia, not IS or al-Qaeda, that poses primary threat to US | Middle East Eye
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Reassessment of the US-Russia relations - Main Articles - August 2016
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Why We Need Kremlinology Again - The American Interest
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Reassessment of the US-Russia relations - August 2016
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: News Reviews and Opinions: Russia Review - August 19, 2016
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: The Lessons of History | The Origins of the WWI or: "Did the Russians Off Archduke Ferdinand?!"
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: M.N.: The very strange and puzzling case against V. Bukovsky...
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Fifth Moscow Conference on International Security, MCIS - April 27-28, 2016
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: "What Panama? - Какая Панама?" - Putin and the Panama papers leak - Review
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin | News | The Guardian
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Где, король, твоя одежда?

Obama pledges to help Turkey after coup attempt, gets no red carpet in China 

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President Obama pledged Sunday to help Turkey prosecute the plotters of its attempted coup, while the fallout continued over Mr. Obama's rough arrival at the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, China.
Mr. Obama told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the U.S. is committed to "investigating and bringing the ...

Obama seeks to curb China's expanding clout, move beyond past on Laos visit

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BANGKOK — When President Obama becomes the first American president to visit communist Laos this week, he will arrive in what is the most heavily bombed country on earth, a country where people still face a daily danger from U.S. explosives dropped during the Vietnam War more than 40 years ...

Obama, Putin, agree to continue seeking deal on Syria

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President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to force a breakthrough in negotiations over a cease-fire for
Syria Monday, but agreed to keep looking for a path to provide humanitarian relief to thousands of besieged civilians in the civil war-ravaged country.
"Given the gaps of trust that exist, that's ...

Happy Labor Day 

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Happy Labor Day from all of us at the Washington Free Beacon.
The post Happy Labor Day appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Intelligence community investigating covert Russian influence operations in the United States - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Intelligence community investigating covert Russian influence operations in the United States
Washington Post
The effort to better understand Russia's covert influence operations is being spearheaded byJames RClapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. “This is something of concern for the DNI,” said Charles Allen, a former longtime CIA officer who ...

and more »

Hillary Clinton was right about the vast right-wing conspiracy - MyStatesman.com

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Hillary Clinton was right about the vast right-wing conspiracy
Hillary Clinton herself had come to Washington fresh out of law school to work for the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry of Richard M. Nixon. Watergate produced new levers against corruption. After Nixon's resignation, the Freedom of ...
Presidential Campaign at a Turning PointYated.com

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Syrian forces advance on southern Aleppo, retake armament academy

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Syrian government forces are advancing further on Aleppo amid an offensive to gain control over parts of the northwestern city that are held by Takfiri terrorists.

FBI notes raise more questions in Clinton email controversy - CBS News

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CBS News

FBI notes raise more questions in Clinton email controversy
CBS News
September 5, 2016, 7:09 AM |Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go to Cleveland for Labor Day events to kick off the fall campaign. The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll shows Clinton leading by eight points in Pennsylvania and four points in ...

For the Record's week in review: Clinton's FBI interviewUSA TODAY
Several Hispanic Trump surrogates reconsider supportPolitico

all 2,198 news articles »

Russia, Saudi Arabia pledge to stabilize oil output

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September 5, 2016, 3:56 PM (IDT)
The world's two largest oil producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday agreed to act together to stabilize global oil output, though it's unclear what that might entail.
Energy ministers Alexander Novak and Minister Khalid al-Falih met Monday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 nations' summit in China. A joint statement released by Russia said both ministers "recognized the need to restrain an excessive volatility of the oil market" and agreed to act together "in order to stabilize the oil market."
Novak and al-Fatih said they would chair the first Russia-Saudi task force on oil and gas in October.

Five bomb attacks, claimed by ISIS, kill 40 people in Syria

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September 5, 2016, 4:54 PM (IDT)
 Four of the attacks targeted government-held areas and one a Kurdish town in Syria early Monday.The deadliest claimed 30 civilian lives outside Tartous, which is home to a Russian naval base, in two waves. The first was a car bomb, the second a suicide belt detonated against the first responders. An army checkpoint in Homs was hit at the same time by a car bomb. Two officers were killed. There was another explosion near the town of al-Saboura outside Damascus. In Hassaka, a Kurdish-dominated area, an explosives-packed motorcycle was blown up at the Marsho roundabout, killing three Kurdish security personnel and two civilians. . 

Understanding the military buildup of offensive cyberweapons

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"Shall we play a game?"
"Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War?"
True geeks will recognize the above exchange as one of the seminal pieces of dialogue from the 1983 film WarGames, where a young hacker named David Lightman nearly starts World War III after gaining access to a powerful military supercomputer. The film was a critical success, and set the stage for a variety of films that explored the relationship between cybersecurity and the military.
WarGames, and films like it, were meant to be perceived as fictional. As time has gone on, though, the line between what kinds of cyberwarfare are possible, and what are science fiction has begun to blur. Computer programs like the Stuxnet worm, for example, have taken down large portions of government infrastructure, including centrifuges used in Iran's nuclear programme.
But, when and how did this happen? The rise of offensive cyberweapons has changed the landscape of cyberwar, from protecting against data theft to defending against physical destruction. To understand this rise, it's helpful to look at the history of such weapons.

The birth of offensive cyber

There's much confusion around some of the language used when referring to elements of cyberwarfare. According to Ewan Lawson, senior research fellow for military influence at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute), it's important to clarify that offensive cyberweapons don't typically deal with passive activities like data collection or surveillance; rather, a cyberweapon is something that is "deliberately designed to do damage or destruction."
Bob Gourley, co-founder of the cyber security consultancy Cognitio and former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency, echoed that sentiment. According to Gourley, at least in the US, "offensive cyber weapons are not designed to take information, but to degrade, disrupt or destroy systems."
Cyberwarfare, and these offensive weapons associated with it, have been around for a long time. Gourley, and others, would argue that these weapons have been around since the US Civil War, when both sides began destroying the telegraph lines that carried vital information. As technology progressed, military targets continued to be attacked, but civilian infrastructure did as well, Gourley said.
"I would suspect that, since the beginning of networking, there's been cyberwars going on, but we just haven't known about them," said Forrester analyst John Kindervag.
More recently, though, major cyber attacks have come to light showcase just how powerful cyberweapons can be. Perhaps the most notable of these is aforementioned Stuxnet, a computer worm that caused some centrifuges involved in Iran's nuclear programme to self-destruct.
"Stuxnet is interesting in that it was one of the first incidents where cyber accesses, effectively, were used for destructive purposes," said RUSI's Lawson. "Prior to that, there might have been some deletion of data, there have been DDoS-type attacks, but Stuxnet is one of the first where you see actual, physical destruction as a consequence of an attack through cyberspace."
Of course, that's just the surface-level effect. Stuxnet also proved how far some entities are willing to go to successfully carry out an offensive cyberattack. Forrester's Kindervag said that tools like Stuxnet were obviously not built overnight, and some experts on the development of such tools have estimated that, if it was to be built as a commercial product, the development costs would be around $100 million.
The Stuxnet worm was uncovered by accident, when its source code escaped into the wild. According to Scott Warren, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs who specializes in cybersecurity, this presents another serious problem.
"The worry here is that it has mapped a blueprint for the next generation of cyberwarfare. From the previous being focused on corporations and individuals -- and which were primarily financially motivated -- to one where an attack on a city's infrastructure is now possible," said Warren.
Still, Stuxnet isn't the only attack of its kind to make headlines. Around the same time that the famous Sony hacks were coming to light, a cyberattack was used to cause massive destruction at a German steel mill, Lawson said. And, even more recently, hackers were able to attack Ukraine's power gridand shut off power in some areas.
Despite these things seeming to happen more often, it doesn't necessarily mean that the world is seeing a rise the availability of cyberweapons. Lawson argued that it's a matter of more opportunities presenting themselves, while Kindervag said that it could just be a matter of increased awareness.
On the flip side, Warren would argue that there is evidence of a rise in the use of cyberweapons. However, he said, it's important to understand the semantics around some of the phrasing.
"Under the UN definition, there have been very few attacks that would qualify as 'cyberwarfare,'" Warren said. "Perhaps many of the other examples are more 'cyber-terror', where individuals act in a coordinated fashion -- such as 'hacktivisits' -- to disrupt or destroy infrastructure."
Whatever the terminology, the fact is that offensive cyberweapons are here, and are bound to become more prevalent and more powerful in the future.

The reality of cyberwarfare

One of the other big questions to answer is: Who has these weapons? The short answer is, no-one is entirely sure. When it comes to traditional weapons, like nuclear missiles, there are measures in place to track their origin of launch, or to measure how much enriched uranium a country has stockpiled. For cyberweapons, these things are far more difficult to track.
So far, we know that the US and UK have declared programs, Lawson said. China, Russia, Israel, and North Korea are all typically regarded as potential major players in cyberwarfare as well. But, it's also plausible that many more groups are involved.
"My instinct and experience tells me that every nation state is involved in this," Kindervag said.
Even though it's unclear what capabilities many countries have, their responses to the rise of cyberwar have been more public. The US is especially open about this, declaring that it has twocyberspace weapon systems available and elevating its Cyber Command to a Unified Combatant Command (UCC). The US government has even declared cyber as the fifth domain of warfare -- land, sea, air, space, and cyber.
Around the world, though, jobs have been popping up for government roles in cyber. Lawson said that the UK model tends to be mostly government-based, while the US model is a mix of contractors and government. The Russian model, he said, appears to be a combination of formal military service organizations and a willingness to use non-state groups and activists. China, on the other hand, is very military-focused. What's interesting to note, Lawson said, is that the approaches to cyber among these countries are very mixed.
However, there's still no governing body that deals with issues related to cyberwarfare, Warren said.
"If a country goes rogue with chemical weapons, there will be sanctions placed on it by the UN or others," Warren said. "This is not yet the case for cyberwarfare. Proving who was behind a given attack is also difficult, with some countries pointing the finger at a group of patriotic hackers. No government has admitted any role in Stuxnet, for example."
These risks affect business and consumers as well: if a business is working with the government, or providing a product for them, it will be targeted. For example, Lockheed Martin had its plans for the F-35 stolen, Lawson said.
SEE Network Security Policy Template (Tech Pro Research)
The potential for attacks on infrastructure pose a challenge for both businesses and consumers. Attacks such as one that would shut down a power grid would be early aims in a cyberwar, Lawson said. And while the effects are often temporary, a cyberattack on a power grid could cost billions of dollars.
Critical national infrastructure like water and power come into play, but non-traditional infrastructure will also be targeted, Lawson said.
"What about things like food distribution networks in the West, where everything is 'just enough just in time?' It wouldn't take much to disrupt those to the point where there's no food on the shelves," Lawson said.
Despite the increased risk brought about by cyberwarfare, some experts would argue that there is an intrinsic value that comes with its rise. Both Gourley and Kindervag made the argument that the use of Stuxnet possibly saved the involved parties from a ground war. One could hypothesize, Kindervag said, that Israel might have felt it necessary to attack the nuclear refineries in Iran if they hadn't first been disabled by Stuxnet.
An additional argument would be that, if war has to happen, it would be better if it was perpetrated in cyberspace instead of the real world.
"If we're going to have warfare, the cyber world is a pretty bloodless place to do it," Kindervag said.
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The Ordinary and Unique in Russia’s Electoral Information Warfare Game

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Vladimir Putin has been busy this summer and the name of the game is information warfare. One of the most recent episodes is a Russian-sponsored disinformation campaign targeting Sweden. The operation involved the dissemination of false stories regarding the consequences for Sweden of entering into a military partnership of some sort with NATO. The fabrications included NATO’s intention of stockpiling nuclear weapons on Swedish soil, exemptions that would allow U.S. soldiers to commit heinous crimes free from prosecution, and more. The obvious objective is to sow mistrust between Sweden and NATO in an effort to weaken and limit the reach of the alliance.
Earlier this summer on the other side of the Atlantic, Russia embarked on a different kind of information warfare: Interference in a U.S. presidential election. In July, evidence emerged that Russia hacked the servers of the Democratic National Committees, turning over roughly 20,000 e-mails to Wikileaks, which promptly published the materials online. One likely motivation for the hack, assuming that it was indeed a state-sponsored intrusion by Russia (which seems likely), was to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign by embarrassing top Democratic officials and furthering the image that Clinton — and the political apparatus supporting her — are corrupt and untrustworthy. The timing of the hack lends credence to this sort of motivation.
Russia’s attempts at information warfare, especially the efforts to influence the presidential election, are certainly cause for concern. But it is important that we take a step back and ask whether the conditions rendering this kind of operation desirable and feasible are something we can expect from Russia in the future or if this is something closer to an aberration. My money’s on the latter.
Meet the New Electoral Manipulation, Same as the Old Electoral Manipulation
The first thing to note about Russia’s use of information warfare and electoral interference more broadly is that the tactic, if not the target, is nothing new. As students of intelligence and security studies know well, these kinds of covert operations — propaganda, deception, and political action — were practiced regularly by the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War as a means of swaying elections, changing hearts and minds, and the like. The scale and scope of this behavior, examined in a recent article by Don Levin, is striking:
Between 1946 and 2000, the United States and the USSR/Russia intervened [to manipulate foreign elections] 117 times, or, put another way, in about one of every ninecompetitive national-level executive elections during this period.
Of the 117 electoral interventions that Levin identifies, the United States was actually the worse offender, having intervened in two-thirds of these cases.
The rough contours of American and Soviet interference in Chile throughout the 1960s and early 1970s provides a small window into what some of these episodes looked like. The Central Intelligence Agency used propaganda and channeled millions of dollars to the Christian Democrats during the 1964 elections in an effort to ensure that Eduardo Frei, rather than Salvador Allende, attained the presidency. After Allende’s popular victory in September 1970 (but before Chile’s Congress formally elected him) the Nixon administration embarked on a two-pronged strategy, one of which involved fomenting a military coup. The Soviets provided money and support to Allende, their preferred candidate, before and after his election as president.
This kind of electoral interference was not strictly confined to relatively weaker countries in the developing world. To take one prominent example from Western Europe, the United States covertly interfered in Italy’s national elections in 1948 in order to reduce the number of seats won by left-leaning parties. The Soviets reciprocated by providing support to the Popular Front.
It is certainly true, of course, that electoral manipulation and information warfare in particular may be easier than ever in the digital age. Spreading disinformation on the Internet or stealing and disseminating troves of private e-mail correspondence by hacking into servers is a relatively new phenomenon. Nevertheless, while the tools available to states interested in interfering in foreign elections may have evolved, the overall interest in doing it far predates the digital age.
Trump as Motive
A second, and perhaps more important, thing to note about Russia’s use of information warfare in this election cycle is that 2016 may be something of a rare bird. The specific nature of the two candidates running for president provides Putin with a powerful motive to do information warfare as well as an unprecedented opportunity to hope for some measure of success. These conditions, which may be quite unique, aren’t all that likely to recur anytime in the near future.
Let’s begin with Donald Trump. Put simply, a Trump presidency would likely represent a net gain for Russia, providing Putin with a potent incentive to undertake information operations to try and tip the election in Trump’s favor. As is well known by now, Trump famously claimed that he would “get along very well” with the Russian strongman. In early July, the Trump team reportedly proposed that if elected president, he would not provide arms to the Ukrainian government in order to combat Russian and Russian-backed rebel forces, “contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.”
The Obama administration’s current policy has the United States providing no more than training and non-lethal support to Ukraine. But there is no indication Trump is even interested in continuing that, particularly in light of his bizarre remarks in late July, in which he said, “[Putin’s] not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.” At the very least, if Putin is interested in backing a candidate that is presently and firmly committed to giving him free rein in Ukraine, Trump is clearly the safer choice.
Trump’s apparent pro-Russian statements and policy platforms extend far beyond Ukraine and Crimea. Perhaps most strikingly, Trump appeared to cast doubt on whether the United States, under his leadership, would automatically come to the aid of its NATO allies. Instead, Trump intimated that the provision of support might be contingent on whether members “have fulfilled their obligations” to the United States. While there remain open questions about whether Trump is truly Putin’s puppet, it is relatively clear that the Republic nominee, at least relative to his Democratic competitor, would benefit Russia.
Clinton as Opportunity
The prospect of a Trump presidency provides Putin with a powerful motive for electoral intervention. But motive alone is not enough. In order to be successful, information warfare also requires the right opportunity. The information has to resonate with the intended audience. That’s where Hillary Clinton comes in. Since the beginning of her campaign, Clinton has faced significant trust issues. Polls taken in late June found that 62 percent of voters saw Clinton as dishonest and untrustworthy and that number climbed to somewhere between 67 percent and 68 percent by July.
Regardless of whether one views them as legitimate or illegitimate, the sources of Clinton’s untrustworthiness are many and varied. They include the controversy surrounding Benghazi, her use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as secretary of state (as well as inconsistencies between her statements and FBI Director James Comey’s), Bill Clinton’s private visit to Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the midst of the e-mail investigation, and more.
My purpose in pointing out some of the major factors contributing to Clinton’s trust issues is not to throw support behind her critics. Neither, however, is my purpose to exonerate Clinton. Rather, my point is simply that the deep mistrust surrounding her campaign afforded Putin a unique opportunity to leverage the leaked DNC emails to fan the flames of voters’ skepticism about the Democratic nominee and the Democratic party more generally. Counterfactually, were Clinton deemed more trustworthy, the information warfare game Russia is playing — e.g. disseminating embarrassing information about Clinton and the Democratic Party — might not have resonated nearly as widely or as quickly as it did.
Whether Putin’s strategy has meaningfully contributed to a worsening of Clinton’s trust issues — or, more significantly, whether it will actually sway the election — is an open question and one that scholars and practitioners alike should take seriously.
The Weaponization of Information
The foregoing discussion has significant implications for how we understand and talk about the “weaponization of information” as a form of statecraft. Information warfare of the sort Russia is practicing today is more dangerous than it otherwise would be during another, more “normal” U.S. election. Not only does Putin have powerful incentives to back one candidate over another, but he also has a prime opportunity to spread the gospel of one candidate’s untrustworthiness to an audience that is predisposed to listen.
It is worth pointing out, however, that unlike some previous episodes of covert electoral interference, we are aware of (at least some of) what Russia’s been up to in real time rather than in retrospect. Furthermore, much of this activity is available in the open source environment. All of this creates a unique opportunity for U.S. officials and other interested parties to devise targeted solutions that might actually help to mitigate, and even guard against, some of the most potentially-damaging Russian activities.
Should the United States make it through this experience relatively unscathed, there is a silver lining: The 2016 cocktail — a pro-Russian candidate like Donald Trump on one side against a candidate with profound  trust issues like Hillary Clinton— is unlikely to be replicated in futureU.S. elections. As has been thoroughly documented, “Americans’ distaste for both Trump and Clinton is record-breaking.” While that’s relatively bad news for American democracy this go around, Russia’s capacity to influence U.S. elections has probably already peaked.
Michael Poznansky is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs and Intelligence Studies in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Poznansky holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter: @m_poznansky.
Image: Kremlin.ru
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Russia launches major military exercise between Black and Caspian Seas

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Russia launches major military exercise between Black and Caspian Seas
DEBKAfile September 5, 2016, 1:57 PM (IDT)

The Russian Defense Ministry announced Monday that a long-planned major military exercise -- called Caucasus 2016 --  involving annexed Crimea on the Ukraine border and Russia's Black Sea and Caspian fleets - had got underway. He said that 12,500 troops would take part including also armored units, infantry and paratroopers. DEBKAfile: The 10-day maneuver’s start is tied to the failure of Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin to reach agreement on the Syrian crisis. The exercise will take place under the command of Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, head of the Russian southern military district and, until a month ago, commander of Russian forces in Syria.

FBI Director Explains Agency's Quest to Be Cool Enough to Recruit Hackers

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The FBI has struggled for years to attract enough fresh hacker talent to defend America's computers.
One problem? A culture clash between elite coders who are attracted to casual - or even rebellious workplaces - and the agency's bureaucratic reputation.
Or, as FBI Director James B. Comey recalled his daughter's explanation of the issue at a recent speech: "Dad, the problem is you're 'the Man,' " she said. "Who would want to work for 'the Man?' "
His daughter was right, he said. But the agency is trying to get more hip to attract recruits who will help the agency keep pace with a digital landscape in constant flux, according to Comey.
"We're working very hard inside the FBI to be a whole lot cooler than you may think we are," he said during his remarks at a Symantec Government Symposium this week.
The agency hasn't added "beanbags and granola and a lot of whiteboards" - stereotypical hallmarks of West Coast start-up culture - at least not yet, Comey said.
"But we're working very hard at marching in that direction, so that when this talent comes into our organization we are open to having them make us better - in a way that connects us and them to our mission more closely," he said.

Despite outreach at high profile hacker conferences like Blackhat and DefCon, recruitment of tech whiz kids by law enforcement and intelligence agencies has been hampered in recent years. One issue is that they have to compete with private sector gigs that can offer better salaries and benefits.
But fallout over surveillance programs revealed in Snowden documents and the FBI's legal battle to get Apple to help it break into a locked iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks has also made government work a hard sell to some.
And another cultural staple of hacker culture has further limited the FBI's recruitment pool: Marijuana use. Comey even addressed the issue during remarks at the White Collar Crime Institute in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," he said.
The FBI was "grappling with the question" of how to approach cannabis and coders at the time, he said. But current hiring rules still require applicants to be pot-free for three years before joining the agency - so it doesn't look like the FBI's quest for cool has pushed it to change its tune about blazed candidates just yet.
© 2016 The Washington Post
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Obama says he doesn't want 'wild West' cyberwar with Russia

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Despite evidence of Russia hacking into U.S. election systems, President Obama said Monday that he doesn’t want to escalate into a “wild, wild West” cyberwar with Moscow.
Emerging from a 90-minute meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China, Mr. Obama acknowledged that the Russians have been attacking U.S. institutions on the Internet.
“We’ve had problems with cyber intrusions from Russia in the past, from other countries in the past,” Mr. Obama said.
But he suggested that he doesn’t want to retaliate.
“Our goal is not to suddenly in the cyber arena duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to other arms races in the past, but rather to start instituting some norms so that everybody’s acting responsibly,” Mr. Obama said. “What we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the wild, wild West, where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in unhealthy competition or conflict through these means.”
U.S. officials said last week that election systems in Illinois and Arizona have been hacked, and Russia was most likely responsible. Russian hackers also have been blamed for intrusions into records of the Democratic National Committee and the House Democrats’ campaign organization.
Mr. Obama said cyber warfare was “a topic of conversation with President Putin, as it has been with other countries.” But he said he doesn’t want to take part in a cyber arms race.
“We’re going to have enough problems in the cyber space with non-state actors who are engaging in theft and using the Internet for all kinds of illicit practices,” Mr. Obama said, adding that he has pushed for foreign governments to adopt “norms” for online activity.

“We’ve started to get some willingness on the part of countries … to adopt these norms,” he said. “But we’ve got to make sure we’re observing them.”

Intelligence community investigating covert Russian influence operations in the United States

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Is Puerto Rico Really A Failed State? - YouTube

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Published on Aug 17, 2016
Should The U.S. Let Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt? http://bit.ly/2blOZqv
Should Puerto Rico Become A State? http://bit.ly/2aZOocU
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Puerto Rico is holding $72 billion in debt after decades of borrowing and overspending. Can the country survive another disastrous default?

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