Lanhee Chen: The Long-Running Russia Disinformation Campaign

This past week, executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

For well over a decade, the Russians have spread disinformation and sought to influence the outcome of elections throughout Europe and elsewhere.

The obvious question is, “Why hasn’t more been done to respond to this threat?” Although multiple administrations bear the blame for this failure, it was the Obama administration that, for years, consistently underestimated the threat from Russia.

For example, Politico reported that, in 2014, President Obama’s national security team received reports warning about Russia’s capacity, history, and interest in disrupting political systems in Europe. It should have been clear that those capabilities could be used to attack the United States. But nothing was done.

Russian efforts to undermine American democracy did not end with the 2016 election. Put simply, this is one of the reasons why they continue to represent a serious threat to our national security. Now is the time to act quickly and decisively to ensure the integrity of our democratic system.