Tuesday, January 17, 2017

foreign interference in elections

The Russian hacking in order to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump was outrageous and effective -- but not unprecedented. Great Powers have long tried to promote their interests by such actions, though rarely against a superior power. Colonial rulers practiced divide and rule. Everybody practiced propaganda.

The United States admitted giving money to political parties and publications in Europe after World War II, and no doubt similar tactics have been used more recently. The Soviet Union supported communist movements across the globe and now the Russians show their skills with new clients in new places.

Sometimes, of course, friendly countries try to help their allies using the same tactics. That's what the British did  in the United States before and during World War II, as this helpful article reminds us. They sided with the interventionists against the isolationists -- and against Nazi Germany's own propaganda and spying efforts. The "great game" wasn't just in South Asia.

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