According to a report from Voice of America, military leaders at the Pentagon are growing increasingly concerned with the popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin within the military ranks due to the influence of Russian propaganda and Donald Trump’s boosterism.
The report states, “While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members. The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally. Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.”
That same survey links Putin’s increasing popularity to the election of President Donald Trump.
“Pollsters found the positive views of Russia seemed to be ‘predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia,’ according to an executive summary accompanying the results,” VOA reports.
At the same time, Washington Monthly reports, “Now, due to purely partisan interests, the nation’s military is being warped into supporting the hostile foreign power–against our own values, geopolitical interests, and intelligence services It’s like the plot from a bad spy novel, except that it’s happening right out in the open. This is the situation as it stands between Trump, Russia, the Republican Party and Ukraine.”
“U.S. defense and security officials have told VOA that Russia has been targeting U.S. military personnel, specifically, with a ramped-up influence campaign, as far back as 2017 in preparation for the November 2018 midterm elections,” VOA reports. “Russia’s goal, they said, was not so much to swing the result of the elections but to seed U.S. military personnel with the right type of disinformation so that they would be predisposed to view Russia and its actions in a more favorable way in the future.”
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