Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Russia must pay a heavy price for blatantly interfering in American democracy and Donald Trump’s obstinate refusal to punish Russia for this interference must stop.
The U.S. government also hasn’t done enough to deter Russia from using cyber and information operations to again interfere in American democracy, said Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency (NSA); Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Chief of the Central Security Service (CSS).
Sanctions and indictments targeting Russians for tampering with the 2016 presidential campaign, haven’t “changed the calculus or the behavior” in Russia, said Adm. Rogers.
“They haven’t paid a price at least that’s sufficient to get them to change their behavior,” he said, noting that “we’re taking steps, but we’re probably not doing enough.”
Adm. Rogers said he hasn’t received any direction or additional authority from the White House to take specific action against Russia for the meddling. U.S. intelligence agencies are unanimous in their agreement that Russian meddling was aimed at helping Trump defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency in 2016.
Adm. Rogers’ dire estimate echoed that of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats who said on Feb. 13 that “there’s no single agency in charge” of blocking potential Russian meddling in this year’s midterm elections. Primaries begin in March in Illinois and Texas.
He said USCYBERCOM is doing “some specific work” countering Russian meddling and is helping to provide insight on Russian threats.
Russian dictator Vladimir “Putin has clearly come to the conclusion there’s little price to pay here,” and the Russian leader thinks, “I can continue this activity,” said Adm. Rogers. “If we don’t change the dynamic here, this is going to continue and 2016 won’t be viewed as something isolated” but instead it will be “sustained over time,” he said.
“The notion that you have not been given this mission to stop this from happening this year is outrageous,” said Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). “The only entity that can go after Russia is the United States military.”
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