On January 19, 2021, intelligence expert and IWP alumna Rebekah Koffler appeared on The Washington Times podcast entitled “Bold and Blunt” to discuss the drastic, and surely dangerous, American underestimation of Russian capabilities. Particularly in the wake of recent Russian cyberattacks, Ms. Koffler identified Russia as the #1 U.S. foreign policy threat to date, not China.
Washington Times online opinion editor and host of the podcast, Cheryl Chumley, specifically drew from Ms. Koffler’s written piece for The Washington Times titled “Cyberattack on U.S. government is just a part of a vast and ignored Russian threat.” In a similar vein to the piece, they discussed the inherent dangers of improperly assessing this threat. The December 2020 Russian cyber breach has compromised numerous government and intelligence networks, giving Russia leverage should it continue engaging in aggressive acts of cyberwarfare and espionage. Ms. Koffler believes the Russian threat has been “underestimated, politicized, and overall ignored,” in large part due to the overall lack of deep expertise of Russian leadership and intentions among U.S. officials.
More generally, Ms. Chumley and Ms. Koffler pointed to a new age of American youth and their misguided sentiments regarding the true nature of socialism and communism. Born and raised in the Soviet Union, Ms. Koffler experienced the atrocities and oppression that communism entails and hopes future policies reflect the urgency of maintaining a strong stance on Russia, emphasizing anticipation, prevention, and preemption. Despite this, she foresees the new Biden administration to be a continuation of mild, primarily reactionary policies.
At IWP, Ms. Koffler has given lectures on “Russian Strategy and Cyber Influence Operations Against the United States” and “Russian Cyber Doctrine and the Targeting of U.S. Critical Infrastructure.”