WEBINAR: An American Voter’s Guide to National Security Issues, 2020

In this installment of the Center for Security Policy’s voter education webinar series, J. Michael Waller, the Center’s Senior Analyst for Strategy, and David Satter, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, held an in-depth discussion on the threat from Russia.

Waller started the discussion by noting that the national security debate circling the Trump administration was framed around the now-discredited Russia collusion narrative. Waller noted that Satter immediately recognized the Steele dossier as Russian disinformation.

Satter said that the Steele dossier used standard FSB tactics of disinformation, and that any knowledgeable, experienced Russia expert would have understood it to be a Russian provocation. Satter believes antipathy for Trump, the lure of positions in a potential Clinton administration and the lack of experience and knowledge created fertile ground for Russian disinformation.

“The Steele dossier set the Republicans and Democrats against each other and the people who benefited were those who want nothing but ill for our country,” Satter said.

The conversation then shifted to the threat from Russia.

“Looking over the past 30 years, with our aid even, [Russia] has managed to build up a qualitative and quantitative advantage with a brand-new strategic missile force,” Waller said.

“That isn’t even the real danger from Russia, in my opinion,” Satter replied, “The real issue is the power and structure of Russia is unstable. As the protests in Belarus show, nobody can stay in power forever, and they have very little choice but to stay in power forever.”

Satter and Waller also discussed Russian election interference, the troubling national security leaks during this administration, the Russo-Ukrainian war, NATO and the protests in Belarus, and more.