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Wed Sep 9, 2020, 07:02 AM

We must stop helping our enemies undermine our democracy

Opinion by Susan M. Gordon

Susan M. Gordon spent 31 years as a U.S. intelligence officer and was the principal deputy director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019.

As you read this, foreign adversaries and competitors are actively seeking to manipulate the outcome of our elections.

There is zero doubt about this.

But the elections are the battlefield, not the war. The objective of these attacks varies by actor; in aggregate their intent is to disrupt our institutions, erode our internal and external power base, and undermine the most fundamental strength of our nation — our belief in ourselves and our system of government.

Let’s stop helping them.

We — the government, business leaders, and most importantly, individual citizens — must be better educated about the threats we are facing. When we turn on ourselves rather than seek accountability, when we tear down our own institutions rather than insist on better performance, and when we turn real social issues into divisive rhetoric rather than work for change, we are doing exactly what our rivals hope.

Until we understand the intent of our adversaries and shine a light on their activities as part of a concerted effort to defeat them, foreign governments will continue to use the digital public square — and our elections — as the vehicle to sow instability among us in order to further their nefarious intentions.


"Republicans must stop helping our enemies undermine our democracy" would be a more accurate title.

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