This week, Great Power began a series of pieces analyzing the final volume of the bipartisan Senate report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The goal is to dig into what “interference” really is, and how these hybrid influence campaigns work, based on the incredible documentation in this report.
The first piece, by former CIA officer and Great Power contributor John Sipher, is an introduction to how Volume 5 succeeds in showing the seriousness of the national security threat from the interactions between Russia and the Trump campaign where the Mueller report left many unresolved questions.
In the second installment, former CIA officer and Great Power contributor Steve Hall authors a beautiful piece that digs into the story of Paul Manafort, his relationships with Russian intelligence and with Kremlin-aligned oligarchs and dictators, what he hoped to gain, and what he understood he was doing by connecting the Trump campaign to players in the Kremlin. It’s a story that gets worse instead of better over time. Steve brings rich detail on how to understand the recent history of the region around Russia, how to understand the oligarchs as Kremlin functionaries, and how US intelligence officers understand guys like Manafort — all wrapped up in personal storytelling that will bring you vital perspective on what this looks like from the frontlines.