Former NATO Ambassador talks about Russia’s interference in presidential elections
Feb. 21, 2018
While the debate as to whether or not Russia interfered with the 2016 Presidential elections is over, the extent of their involvement is still a matter of controversy.
“I think the Russian intervention started early on, and it was to be disruptive and challenge America’s confidence in their own institutions,” says Kurt Volker, executive director of the ASU McCain Institute and former NATO ambassador. “That’s the heart of it… The fact that Russia was doing this is very aggressive, very intrusive, something that does need to come to light and something we need to take very seriously.”
Volker believes the various institutes investigating this situation are coming to the bottom of things and will expose them. He thinks this event will help in the long run because it will teach the American public what to look out for in the future and train them to have a higher degree of awareness and skepticism.
While Russia may view the United States as being weak because of how the country takes its time and has its own inside quarrels, Volker says it’s to the country’s advantage. He thinks those internal disputes makes us stronger as long as we remain transparent.
Russia has partnered itself with Iran and the Assad government in opposition to the Sunnis and anyone working with the U.S. Volker says it’s necessary for these groups to establish stable dividing lines and who owns what in order to decrease the blood shedding rates.
There was escalating tension between the U.S. and North Korea going into the Olympics. Volker mentions there was an effort from North Korea by joining their athletes with the joint Korean team. Volker wonders if it was an attempt to pull South Korea from the U.S., but he doesn’t see that happening. Vice President Mike Pence attempted a meeting with the sister of Kim Jong Un, but North Korea backed out.
“I think there’s more going on here,” Volker says. “There’s a combination of strength and trying to negotiate at the same times the people might not see.”