Voice of America Outs US Military Families as Putin’s Unwitting Agents
Putin got to them!
VoA reports that US military families have far more favorable view of Russia than the public at large:
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.
The government-funded outlet even identifies the obvious reason why this is so:
Generally, the pollsters found the positive views of Russia seemed to be “predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from President Trump about Russia,” according to an executive summary accompanying the results.
However, that’s not the line the US government mouthpiece is really interested in so they primarily blame something else:
Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military.
While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concerned.
“There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion,” Defense Department spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason told VOA.
“This is not only through discordant and inflammatory dialogue but through false narratives designed to illicit sympathetic views,” she said, adding, “we are actively working to expose and counter Russian disinformation whenever possible.”
Concern among U.S. officials runs deep, partly because other surveys have also found a growing willingness in the U.S. to view Russia positively.
For example, a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults by the Pew Research Center from September 2018 found 35% of Americans wanted more cooperation with Russia.
However, there is more to the fears than just polling data.
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.
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.
“We know it goes on,” said Ed Wilson, then deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, said at the time. “That’s why we’ve amped up and increased the attention that we’re paying.”
So there you go, if you’re part of a military family and don’t think Russians are a threat or an enemy — it’s not because you know a thing or two about the world, or even just because you still think that’s Trump’s line — it’s because you have come under Kremlin’s dark spell. I bet you feel very stupid now.