The US Congress avoided the shutdown by, among other reasons, removing aid to Ukraine. There are talking points that both the radicals in the House and Russians agree on. The intersection moves to a loud, pro-MAGA minority that hears these talking points in their spaces. None of this is accidental.
First, discuss Russia and its history of intervening in Western democratic countries. No, it did not start in 2016. Nor in 2012, though the current intensification did. Or, for that matter, in 2000. It’s been a long tradition since at least Soviet times. So, when the Russians talk about propaganda in the Federal budget, you should know it is not limited to internal matters. It includes influence operations abroad.
This is a small amount when you convert to dollars. Nor is this the total amount. Like us, the FSB and SVR have dark budgets. And if you think they are not playing with massive disinformation campaigns, you need to pay attention.
Russians have been engaged in a hybrid war with us for years. It’s not Valery Gerasimov. It goes further back to Yevgeny Primakov. It marked a shift from accommodation and living with the West to an open challenge of the rules-based order. This screencap comes from this article by the Carnegie Endowment:
I recommend reading the whole piece. We do not understand what’s happening because we don’t fully conceive of modern-day Russia as an enemy. Never mind, they clearly see us as such. It worries me that policymakers seem resistant to this. Or that the MAGA side of the Republican Party is openly endorsing the following talking points. Incidentally, the person posting these is not a policymaker, but her post on Twitter echoes exactly what Matt Gaettz and Marjorie Taylor Green are saying, for example.