Over the past decade, the Russia threat has loomed larger and larger in the minds of U.S. foreign-policy experts and officials, but the fear has especially grown in the wake of the Russian government’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. “It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here,” former special counsel Robert Mueller said of Russia’s election interference efforts during his recent hearing on Capitol Hill. “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.” “We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago,” one intelligence official told the New York Times in mid-June about stepped-up attacks on Russia’s power grid in response to Moscow’s hacking and disinformation campaigns.
But what if the biggest threat to Russia isn’t the United States, or any other foreign government for that matter, but Russia itself?