BBTI Political Warfare Cover
Spencer P. Boyer, Alina Polyakova

The Future of Political Warfare: Russia, the West, and the Coming Age of Global Digital Competition

The Kremlin’s political warfare against democratic countries has evolved from overt to covert influence activities. But while Russia has pioneered the toolkit of asymmetric measures for the 21st century, including cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns, these tools are already yesterday’s game. Technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and machine learning, combined with the growing availability of big data, have set the stage for a new era of sophisticated, inexpensive, and highly impactful political warfare. This paper outlines the current state of play in political warfare, identifies emerging threats, and proposes potential policy responses.

A publication within the framework of the initiative Brookings - Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative (BBTI).

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