russian interference at home and abroad
We all know by now that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, which put our current Commander in Chief in the White House. Now, there are indications that Russia is interfering in operations of the military which the President is commanding, where the US and Russia are at odds – most notably, in Syria.
Four U.S. officials have confirmed that Russia’s military is adversely impacting American military aircraft in a hostile manner as tensions rise in the Syrian Civil War. Drones — unmanned military aircraft — used by the US Armed Forces to fight ISIS and provide cover for Syrian rebels are being jammed by Russia to the point where one expert predicts they may “malfunction or even crash“. NBC News reports:
The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating in the area, the officials explained.
The nature of the conflict in Syria is tenuous enough without additional Russian interference. What began as a series of demonstrations against President Bashar al -Assad in 2011 has escalated into a full-scale civil war in which the Syrian government has used Sarin gas against its own people. The United States has armed Syrian rebels but the majority of military operations in the country have been aimed at defeating ISIS — the jihadi organization that infiltrated Syria as the civil conflict expanded. Russia, on the other hand, has also targeted ISIS activity but has remained an ally of the Assad regime.
Naturally, American and Russian interests have crossed paths in the war. In February, roughly 200 Russian mercenaries fighting on behalf of Assad were killed when they launched an attack on a US-supported base in the Northeast, Kurdish-controlled section of Syria. But this is the first reported example of a hostile action between the two cold war adversaries without the involvement of other key players in the war.
Putin Is Waging A Shadow War
Not every Republican is delicately soft when it comes to confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin, however. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) released a statement denouncing the Russian interference and calling on American leaders to literally wake up:
.@BenSasse on news that Russia is jamming American drones in Syria: "Putin is already waging a shadow war with the United States but too many American politicians are asleep on the watch." pic.twitter.com/UMzGYQN5qw
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 10, 2018
As more search warrants are executed, more indictments handed down, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation concludes, America will begin to get the whole picture on exactly how the 2016 was manipulated by the Kremlin. Unfortunately, the fundamentals of American democracy are not the only vital organs that Putin has his sights set on.