The War Without Bullets: Russia's Covert Assault

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin has been engaged in war with the United States since... well, since it was the Soviet Union.

Make no mistake, the Cold War did not end with the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In fact, one can argue the Cold War never ended, especially given Russia’s repeated aggressive actions during Vladimir Putin’s questionably long tenure.

Unverified assassinations aside, Putin openly engages in intelligence warfare to gain political and military advantage over his domestic and international foes. The most egregious violation to date has been Russia’s interference in the recent US Presidential election. Even more concerning, however, is President Trump’s public embrace of Russia and apparent affinity and admiration of Putin.

The Obama administration issued strict sanctions against Russia on December 29th for election tampering, yet Trump’s incoming national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, USA (Ret.), informed Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kiselyak, hours later that the sanctions would ease after Trump’s inauguration. Let’s be clear, the communication between Flynn and Kiselyak took place the same day the sanctions were imposed. It is also important to note that Flynn was a civilian at the time, which may have severe legal implications.

The conversation between Flynn and Kiselyak became public after the Department of Justice revealed it had warned the Trump administration of the possibility that Flynn had been potentially compromised by Russia. The Justice Department’s briefing came shortly after Trump’s inauguration. The transcript of the Flynn-Kiselyak conversation, recorded by the FBI, has not been released to the public, but the Trump administration appears to be reeling from the political fallout nonetheless.

Conflicting information, ranging from Vice President Pence’s public defense of Flynn on national television to Flynn’s premature resignation after a mere 24 days in office, seem to simply be the tip of the iceberg. The resignation itself can be described as odd at best. Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway reported the administration had “full confidence in Flynn,” yet an hour later, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a conflicting account emphasizing Trump’s “evaluation” of the situation.

Then there’s the issue of the actual resignation letter. Flynn openly apologized for “misleading” the Vice President, yet failed to apologize to the President directly. The glaring omission has raised eyebrows across the political spectrum.

Was the President misled?

Was he aware of Flynn’s conversation prior to the DOJ briefing?

Was Flynn’s conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kiselyak, with regard to sanctions specifically, at the behest of Donald Trump?

Only Flynn knows for sure...and possibly Trump.

Democratic and Republican officials alike have both called for a thorough inquiry, and Congress seems poised to initiate an official investigation. It is safe to assume most Americans hope congressional hearings, which are given under oath, will glean more light on the issue.

Even more troubling are Russia’s recent, blatant, acts of aggression. From the annexation of Crimea, to Russian fighter jets regularly encroaching on US assets and airspace, to the political assassination attempts ordered by Putin himself; Russia is clearly courting an escalation of hostilities. Just today, a Russian spy ship was observed “loitering” 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut, which undoubtedly has the Defense Department on edge. Mind you, these are not unconfirmed reports from your mother’s tabloids, these are substantive intelligence reports substantiated by the US Government. Trump has confirmed the reports as well, with his conspicuous attempt to pivot to the “bigger issue” of illicit illegal leaks.

America, as a nation, has never been more vulnerable and unprepared for war as she is now, and ironically, the enemy is not a brown-skinned, turban-clad, Quran-thumping radical. America’s greatest security threat, at this very moment - while US armed forces are actively engaged overseas and immensely strained after a 16-year ‘war on terror’ - is not Osama bin Laden, Hassan Rouhani, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sympathizers; it’s Vladamir Putin - a blonde haired, blue-eyed “Christian,” who has spent his entire political career perfecting his craft. Trump is literally meddling in a lion’s den, completely unaware that America’s national security is at stake. God help us all.