Image credit: Jason Lee/Reuters

October 04, 2017

5 Ways America Can Defend Itself from 'Nonphysical' Attacks

By Patrick M. Cronin and Harry Krejsa

Earlier this month it was revealed that Russian-linked Facebook accounts purchased more than $100,000 in divisive political advertisements on the social network during the 2016 election. Combined with Wikileaks coordination on other Russian meddling, the campaign revealed the fragility of our exposed democratic machinery in the information age. We can safely predict that it will not be the last time foreign actors attempt to disrupt American politics, and that the Russians will not be the only ones who try.

At the same time that foreign influence threatens the very fabric of our democracy, the integrity of American commercial institutions are also under siege. Vast breaches of sensitive data have become almost routine, exposing compromising information to bad actors motivated either by politics or mere profit. The scope and scale of these challenges are difficult to fathom, but collectively they comprise forms of irregular warfare that exploit the vulnerabilities of an open society and a free market, threatening the legitimacy of both. The United States needs a multidimensional counter-offensive to brush back this new wave of attacks on American institutions.

Read the full op-ed in The National Interest.

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