So in the games that nations play, spy games is #1 on the hit parade.
Of course, it's about using information to get a strategic advantage.
It runs the gamut from pure espionage in terms of stealing state secrets and intellectual property to conducting stealthy subversive acts to undermine enemies and competitors.
Whatever spies do, it's all about compromising assets...whether they be human, information, or critical infrastructure.
From turning patriots into traitors, words into info warfare, or critical infrastructure in trojan horses ready to im/explode...whatever leads to getting the upper-hand or advantage.
What one nation comes to rely on for their sustainment and survival is instead exploited and turned against them like a trojan horse or modern-day malware.
And with people, using money, sex, ideology, compromising material (Kompromat), or threats against loved ones--it's simply about appealing to either opportunism or extortion.
So truly defense means protecting not only what before one's eyes, but also what in the rear and at the flanks.
When the over 21 million personnel records and background investigations where stolen from OPM on virtually all federal employees (civilian, military, and intelligence personnel) a door was left open and the demon is still hiding and waiting to cross the threshold, infiltrate, exfiltrate, and compromise.
As an society that meaningfully values an open and transparent democracy, we can perhaps too easily become lured or lax to common sense safeguards and vigilance, but that does not excuse negligence, incompetence or stupidity.
Rich people and countries around the world can unknowingly falter by becoming overly comfortable and full of themselves...to the point where many don't fully care about their jobs or their country, as they sit in their mansions, designer clothes, and with busting bellies.
From the need to vastly improve our competencies in cyberwarfare to defending ourselves from a tidel wave of global terrorism to upgrading the U.S. nuclear triad against resurgent superpowers and dangerous rogue dictators, we have let our guard down to compromise.
Is expelling 35 Russian diplomats an effective strategy against their technical attempts to subvert our free and democratic elections or does it just underscore how vulnerable we continue to be?
When as a country and with our leadership, we decide to get serious rather than stay scared and war weary then we will not only stand firm again, but fight against weakness and compromise of ourselves. ;-)
(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)