Although the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991 and Russia has long since abandoned communism, some things haven’t changed. Russia, now a right-wing champion of crony capitalism led by President Vladimir Putin and his oligarch allies, still has imperialist goals — and according to a July 1 report by Rolling Stone’s Ryan Bort, the Pentagon fears that the U.S. is helping Putin achieve them.
Although the bad blood between Putin and President Barack Obama’s administration was obvious, President Donald Trump has been much more favorable to Putin than his predecessor. Trump had a downright sarcastic tone when, during the recent G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, he told Putin, “Don’t meddle in the election, president. Don’t meddle in the election.” Putin was amused, as he knew Trump was being sarcastic and that the U.S. president believes former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation never should have happened.
But Pentagon officials, Bort notes, consider Putin a threat — and Politico obtained a copy of a 150-page Pentagon report describing, in detail, the Russian government’s plans for global economic domination. In that report, which the Pentagon gave to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in May, Navy Rear Admiral Jeffrey J. Czerewko is quoted as saying that in the future, “economic competition, influence campaigns, paramilitary actions, cyber intrusions and political warfare will likely become more prevalent.”
The report details the Russian Federation’s imperialist goals, which include a desire to “secure Russia’s influence over former Soviet nations,” achieve “worldwide recognition as a ‘great power’” and “gain economic, military and political influence over nations worldwide.”
One of the contributors to the Pentagon report was Anna Borshchevskaya, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy — and according to Borshchevskaya, the Russian government believes it cannot achieve its goals without the downfall of the United States. But the U.S., Borshchevskaya warns, lacks a “comprehensive strategy” for combating Russian government goals.