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GIOR REPORT: New Alliance Between US Conservatives & European Nationalists a Potential Vehicle for Russian Influence

February 26th, 2022 07:47

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has pub­lished the first in a series of reports on glob­al influ­ence oper­a­tions, titled “The Nation­al Con­ser­vatism Alliance: An Oppor­tu­ni­ty for Russ­ian Influ­ence?” The report is cen­tered on a new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists, a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a plat­form. Accord­ing to the report synopsis:

Rus­sia is a pro­lif­ic actor in the influ­ence oper­a­tions are­na, both in the US and Europe. Russ­ian Pres­i­dent PUTIN has expressed an inter­est in Rus­sia becom­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal cen­ter of a new glob­al con­ser­v­a­tive alliance, and Euro­pean far-right lead­ers have tak­en pro-Russ­ian posi­tions based on a sim­i­lar ide­ol­o­gy. Hun­gary is at the cen­ter of a devel­op­ing alliance between Euro­pean far-right nation­al­ists and Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tives that Rus­sia could poten­tial­ly exploit for use in infor­ma­tion war­fare. This alliance oper­ates under the rubric of “Nation­al Con­ser­vatism,” cen­tered on nation­al sov­er­eign­ty, cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty, and oppo­si­tion to glob­al insti­tu­tions and rep­re­sent­ing a poten­tial­ly rad­i­cal change for the US con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment away from long-held Rea­gan-era philoso­phies. In the US, the Nation­al Con­ser­vatism alliance is being spear­head­ed by the EDMUND BURKE FOUNDATION, head­ed by an Israeli aca­d­e­m­ic who had his ori­gins in a lit­tle-known Israeli-Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tive nexus. This foun­da­tion has spon­sored five unusu­al inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences bring­ing togeth­er a wide vari­ety of US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean right-wing nation­al­ist politi­cians, aca­d­e­mics, and oth­ers for the first time. The most promi­nent of these was Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor ORBÁN, who took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to rail against “the com­mu­nist way of think­ing.” Oth­er promi­nent speak­ers have includ­ed FOX News star Tuck­er CARLSON and three Repub­li­can US Sen­a­tors. The con­fer­ences were said to have an “apoc­a­lyp­tic” tone, with speak­ers assail­ing var­i­ous alleged left-wing attempts to destroy nation states, fam­i­lies, and local cul­tures, and anti-immi­gra­tion sen­ti­ments were also expressed. The MATHIAS CORVINUS COLLEGIUM, a Hun­gar­i­an edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ty, is a key part of the ORBÁN government’s strug­gle to con­trol Hun­gar­i­an high­er edu­ca­tion and the cen­ter of Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive activ­i­ty in the coun­try. This facil­i­ty, fund­ed by a mas­sive gift of stock from the ORBÁN gov­ern­ment, has spon­sored events and teach­ing posi­tions for promi­nent US right-wing fig­ures. Rus­sia has already begun to employ Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive themes in its influ­ence oper­a­tions which will like­ly find a more recep­tive West­ern audi­ence than in the past. Hun­gary is par­tic­u­lar­ly fer­tile ground for Russ­ian exploita­tion of Nation­al Con­ser­vatism giv­en the exist­ing close rela­tion­ship between Russ­ian and Hun­gar­i­an elites and an exten­sive pre-exist­ing Russ­ian influ­ence network.

Down­load the full report here.