USA Today is reporting on the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, officially stating Russia’s intent to to target the US mid-term elections in 2018, a continuation of Putin’s geopolitical desires to destabilize the United States and sow partisan division via various propaganda and other information warfare tactics:

In unequivocal language, Coats said Russian President Vladimir Putin was emboldened by Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential elections and is targeting the midterms.

“There should be no doubt that (Putin) views the past effort as successful,” said Coats who was joined Tuesday by the nation’s other top intelligence officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The national intelligence director’s comments came against the backdrop of congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s alleged interference in the presidential election and whether the Kremlin coordinated its activities with Donald Trump’s campaign.

Tuesday, Coats and the officials each affirmed a 2016 assessment of the entire intelligence community that concluded that Russia interfered in the election and has not relented in a strategy to undermine elections.

“This is not going to change or stop,” Rogers said.

Putin has been highly successful with these operations, and like the article states, feel emboldened to strike deeper this year. Considering the state of US politics, and how divided the nation is about suspected Russian involvement in the Trump campaign, the idea of putting salt on a wounded America is no surprise.

I suspect Russia may be even more successful in 2018 because of how many Americans consider the suspected Russian involvement to be fake news perpetrated by salty Democrats upset Clinton lost the election. An unbelievable proposition, but a fairly consistent story playing out in American politics.

The US is in a bad position right now, and needs to take some bold steps to thwart this huge threat to its democracy.