To: Vladimir Putin
From: J McNerney
Subject: The Lessons of History
Mr. Putin – You’ve probably already read this from my email outbox, but just in case you haven’t, I know the U.S. elections seem to be an easy target for your hacking machine. I also realize you believe that a weakened United States is in the best interests of Russia. I don’t mean to dispute any of these things. I do have one caution, however. Please recall that in 1917, the Germans tried to meddle in Russian affairs by allowing safe passage of Vladimir Lenin through Germany during the middle of the First World War to disrupt the Russian government, and consequently, its war effort. The effort was successful, at least in the short term. Lenin disrupted the Tsarist government and Russia pulled out of the war. Germany benefitted for a while. But then later, that action came back to bite the Germans in the next war, when Stalin and communist forces delivered massive German casualties and losses, contributing greatly to Germany losing the war.
So, how is this relevant today? Well, meddling with the U.S. presidential election may result in an unstable individual winning the election and becoming president. This may seem like an advantage to Russia today, but my caution is this: Be careful what you wish for and what you covertly try to accomplish, because you may actually get what you want, and the future is difficult to control.