While Putin’s objectives through these “active measures” have been multi-faceted, I believe one of Putin’s key, strategic goals from the get-go has been to drive a wedge between the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. political leadership — not to mention the American public. By creating this wedge, Putin likely surmised that new constraints would be placed on the U.S. Intelligence Community by our political leadership — thereby providing him more freedom of maneuver to pursue his other objectives.
There are three bits of information over the last two weeks that demonstrate to me that Putin may already be winning.
First, on March 7, Wikileaks dumped the “biggest ever” leak of classified documents that outlined alleged CIA hacking tools and capabilities. This is significant because it was intended to subtlety raise questions about whether the CIA uses these capabilities against Americans — given the common nature of the products that it alleged the CIA could hack: Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows, and Samsung smart TVs.
In fact, one has to look no farther than Edward Snowden’s tweets to understand the real objectives of this dump: scaring the American public.