Russian intelligence and security services have been waging a campaign of harassment and intimidation against U.S. diplomats, embassy staff and their families in Moscow and several other European capitals that has rattled ambassadors and prompted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to ask Vladimir Putin to put a stop to it.
At a recent meeting of U.S. ambassadors from Russia and Europe in Washington, U.S. ambassadors to several European countries complained that Russian intelligence officials were constantly perpetrating acts of harassment against their diplomatic staff that ranged from the weird to the downright scary. Some of the intimidation has been routine: following diplomats or their family members, showing up at their social events uninvited or paying reporters to write negative stories about them.
In the next paragraph is evidence of a particularly insidious– and effective– form of harassment called “gaslighting.”
But thank God we have a strong hand at the helm of state, who can stand up to this assault on our diplomats and their families and face down the Bear:
There was a debate inside the Obama administration about how to respond, and ultimately President Obama made the decision not to respond with similar measures against Russian diplomats, [former ambassador] McFaul said.
There does not appear to have been any response at all. It would be a refreshing change if the American President were to act as if he were an American, with America’s interests first in his heart and foremost in his mind.
Say what you like about the Russians, but they play to win. If only we did too.
Any else feeling fundamentally transformed?