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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Partisan

I am still wondering why the Russians succeeded in interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and did not succeed in Continental Europe. There may have been some successful interfering in UK's Brexit though (see my 1 June 2017 blog).

On 8 June 2017, the former FBI director told the Senate Intelligence Committee: “It’s not a Republican thing or Democratic thing — it really is an American thing. They’re going to come for whatever party they choose to try and work on behalf of. And they’re not devoted to either, in my experience. They’re just about their own advantage. And they will be back.”

The decrease of bipartisan cooperation and the increase in partisan obstruction, in both the UK and USA, is at the heart of James Comey’s observation. Neither party trusts the other. In a partisan environment, the equation Knowledge = Power gets a new meaning. The Trump Administration’s official guidance of 1 May 2017 to ignore oversight requests from the (Democratic) minority party is an extreme example of partisan obstruction (a.k.a. partisanship).

Partisanship in US Congress is reflected in American society. Without the Electoral College, the USA would be dominated by left-wing Democrats. The self-proclaimed biggest democracy in the world does not have proportional representation. Small differences on State level may change an entire election. The 2016 U.S. presidential election is the worst example ever as Democrats won by a record national margin of 2.9 million votes but lost the presidency (Wiki).

U.S. partisanship has created an American society dominated by the Arrogance of the Left and the Ignorance of the Right. Reading articles in Bloomberg, CNN, NYT, Time, and WP is increasingly annoying because of the self-righteousness of the American Left. The closed mindedness, ignorance and stupidity of American Right media is often enough to ignore them.

In countries dominated by extreme Arrogance and Ignorance, it must have been easy interfering their elections. Half of the population (including politicians) hates and distrusts the other half. Interfering in elections in favour of the Ignorant Right was a stroke of genius. The Arrogant Left are whining on details but can't see the forest for the trees: a nation under attack.

Obviously, it helps that the UK and USA are English speaking countries. Hacking in Dutch, French or German elections may result in a lack of translation resources. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will overcome this current human resource issue. The Internet of Things will further provide ample resources to future hackers.

Heather A. Conley, senior VP at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and an author of “The Kremlin Playbook,” recently stated in the NYT: “This is part of what the Russians call ‘new generation warfare’. It’s a strategy of influence, not of brute force.” (eg, Aspen, NGA).

Trump's demands that European NATO countries must spend 2-3% of their GDP on military defence conflicts with Russian "New Generation Warfare". Spending lots of money on military equipment (eg, planes, ships, tanks) would be a burden on NATO's cyber defence. This would only benefit Russia. Trump's demands may need to be seen in that context.

The Partisan (1969) by Leonard Cohen - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2Wiki-3