Putin’s Next Step

It is December 2019. The impeachment vote is coming. The U.S. Senate is fully expected to dismiss the impeachment of Donald Trump in spite of overwhelming evidence.

Presuming Trump is not impeached and removed, barring health issues or further political complications it is onward and upward for the 2020 U.S. election with Trump as the Republican nominee.

Putin has been extraordinarily successful installing his stooge in the White House. It is safe to say that he has no vested interest in Trump other than how Trump can serve Putin’s needs to protect his oligarchs, create chaos and dissension in Western Countries and thereby increase his personal power and to a lesser extent, Russia’s. In addition Trump serves Putin’s interest to promote right wing causes throughout Europe and North America.

Putin recognizes that he will be ill-served by a Democratic president or Congress. Yet Trump faces significant obstacles to being re-elected. Faced with this what is the best approach for Putin to extend his bonanza of wealth by having Trump re-elected?

Clearly Putin wants to see Trump re-elected thereby continuing to serve his needs. We should see three major aggressive actions taken by Putin:

  • Continue to shore up Trump’s base through a campaign of disinformation using existing propaganda tools that have worked well in the past.
  • Target those weaker areas so called purple states, with intense propaganda.
  • Attack any weakness in the U.S. election technology structure by manipulating election voting data.

There is one additional area worth considering if Trump loses. That is maximizing Putin’s agenda to destabilize the United States by sowing chaos using planted false scenario to feed the American public’s suspicion and confusion. There is nothing new here, but the tactic changes to create a fictional narrative that the Ukraine has interfered with the 2020 U.S. election thereby helping to install a Democratic president. We already have baseless propaganda of Ukrainian interference promulgated by Putin with the ignorant masses in the U.S. claiming there is a Deep State conspiracy.

The first element of this is to focus on an area where the vote is expected to be close and that is vulnerable to technological attack. Then make some minor data changes in the results in favour of the Democrats. Then, if Trump loses the election leak information from ‘somewhere’ [i.e. the Kremlin] demonstrating the Ukraine may have meddled by altering results to favour the Democrats. Included is an intelligence trail created by the Russians, pointing to the Ukraine.

Overnight we would have chaos and Trump could claim a fake election. If the Ukraine interfered with these results to what extent did they alter others? The entire system could be thrown into disrepute. The FBI would in all probability trace the interference not to the Ukraine but to Russia. Any FBI findings would be dismissed by many because they would be seen as part of the Deep State conspiracy. Trump supporters would be outraged claiming a false election.

The goal of Putin is to sow chaos and it is hard to imagine a better plan, barring the reelection of Trump. Trump could claim the entire election was rigged for the Democrats. The Democrats would point to the FBI assessment that Russia is behind it all, in spite of superficial evidence planted by Russia that it was the Ukraine.

Meanwhile Putin would again bask in the glory of “Mission accomplished”.