A new bill titled ‘Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018’, which senator Lindsey Graham submitted to Congress on Friday for himself and for the senators Robert Menendez, Cory Gardner, and Benjamin Cardin, envisions the setting up of a ‘national fusion center’ and a special fund, allocations from which will be made to counteract the alleged Russian influence.
This follows from the text of the document that a source at the US Congress provided.
"There is established a National Fusion Center to Respond to Hybrid Threats, which will focus primarily on such threats from the Government of the Russian Federation, and shall be chaired by senior United States Government officials from participating agencies […]," the bill reads.
According to the specification of its functions, the primary mission of the center will be "[…] to coordinate analysis and policy implementation across the United States Government in responding to the hybrid threats posed by the Government of the RF to the national security, sovereignty and economic activity of the United States."
This mission covers a wide range of presupposed activities of the adversary like "execution of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda campaigns" through traditional media and social media platforms; "formation, infiltration, or manipulation of cultural, religious, educational or political organizations or parties;" cyber and non-traditional threats targeting ‘public infrastructure’, government institutions, political organizations or actors; ‘coercive tactics’ and gray zone activities, including through paramilitary units, para-police, para-security services and militias.
The bill also mentions "covert transfers of illicit money" to facilitate "malign influence activities" through political parties and interest groups.
In addition, the ‘national fusion center’ will be entrusted with "overseeing the development and implementation of integrated policy responses" to the ostensible efforts of the Russian Federation "to undermine the national security, political sovereignty, and economic activity" of the US and its allies.
The bill mentions a fund, the finances from which will be channeled into struggle with the Russian influence. The senators plan allocating $ 250 million for the purpose in 2020 and 2021.
The allocations will go to the countries of Europe and Eurasia that, according to the US Department of State concept, are vulnerable to Russian influences. A part of the monies will go to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The document spells out its aim as the enforcement of sanctions in the format of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act [CAATSA], which considerably limited President Trump’s capability to lift of mitigate the sanctions without consent from the Congress.
Juan Pachon, the communications director at the Senate’s foreign relations committee told TASS earlier the committee members had not drafted a schedule for considering the bill on the sharp toughening of anti-Russian sanctions yet, but the bill had nonetheless been submitted to the committee.
Senator Cardin twittered that he "and a bipartisan team of senators introduced an aggressive new sanctions package against Russia." "Join us in calling on all Congress to defend America," he wrote.
Lindsey Graham twittered that the new bill "will increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation.".