x Preface topics [italics added],” Lavrov declared, turning the diplomatic tables. “For example, we are following with interest the persecution of those per- sons who are accused of the riots on January 6 this year” in the U.S. Capi- tol Building. The Russian official continued, “A lot of really interesting things are happening from the point of view of the rights of the opposi- tion and protecting those rights.” Journalists covering the story noted that “Lavrov’s comments echo some Republican responses to the Capitol riot, with some conservatives having sought to downplay the significance of the riot and portraying the federal investigation into the attack as a bid to persecute ordinary conservatives.”2 Russian actions have demonstrated a keen ability to inflict pain in diverse ways. This has apparently included the recent exploitation of U.S. physical reliance and infrastructure vulnerabilities through the use of criminal ransomware. It also entails the use of official comments on U.S. domestic affairs topics, primed to fuel internal dissention and recrimi- nation regarding issues that are sore points in part because of digitally vectored information operations. On the U.S. political left, Lavrov’s com- ments seemingly certify what some partisans have for years insisted: that the Kremlin is occupied by the ally or even the keeper of the Republicans’ most recent standard bearer. On the U.S. political right, Lavrov’s state- ment casts a foreign (and in particular, an adversarial) flavor on another assertion that has also gained momentum in recent years: that the political left, media outlets, and Big Tech have formed a bloc bent on censoring and even persecuting their opponents. In an atmosphere of mistrust, barbed statements can encourage the suspicions and furies on multiple sides of a divisive subject. Thus, a short statement by a top Kremlin official can sharpen and exploit bad feeling that already exists, which had in some measure been previously fostered and fed by earlier Russian information campaigning. Effectively countering Russia’s concerted and multifaceted adversarial activities in the digital realm depend on a principled and unwavering com- mitment to identify and counteract foreign adversarial actions, whether they are technical or psychological in form. Just as much, it depends on the same degree of principled commitment, among all sides, in resisting the temptation of trying to bundle domestic political opponents ipso facto with invidious foreign powers. Relatively early in America’s involvement in World War II, General Dwight Eisenhower famously noted that “anger cannot win, it cannot even think clearly.” A later President, Eisenhower, striving to shape secu- rity policy in the new space domain, intrigued me and was the subject of my dissertation and first book. Many of his ideas carried real merit, and this particular quotation may be among his most important. Indeed, fury, frustration, and confusion are not synonymous with one another but the borders between them can be porous. One of the most
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