Congratulations! You have been chosen to serve on the Intelligence and Counterintelligence Policy Coordination Committee (PCC). This is an eight-person committee consisting of the following leaders within our Intelligence Community (IC). Your role is to represent the interests of just one of them in your report!

1. Deputy National Security Advisor for Regional Affairs/Western Hemisphere (Chair)

2. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Central and South America

3. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

4. Deputy Director for the National Geospatial Agency (NGA)

5. Assistant Director for the National Security Agency (NSA)

6. Deputy Director, Joint Staff (J-2) (Brigadier General, Intelligence)

7. Deputy Director of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research

8. Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection

Your mission is to develop a counterintelligence policy recommendation based on the following reports. You need to write a one-page summary (with recommendations) that is to be submitted to the Deputies Committee (DC), who will then brief the Principles Committee (PC) who will then prepare a recommendation to POTUS and the National Security Council. (One tidbit of information: On one of the maps below, you will find a U.S. Air Base called Soto Cano in Honduras). This assignment is due by 5pm EST on Sunday, 26 February 2023, and is worth two points toward your final grade. Good luck!!

Will Nicaragua Become Russia’s ‘Cuba of the 21st Century?’

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 118


August 7, 2018 05:30 PM Age: 2 years

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Daniel Ortega (Source: YouTube)

The victory of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in the summer of 1979, made Nicaragua an essential element of the Soviet Union’s zero-sum competition against the United States in the so-called “Third World.” By the mid-1980s, annual Soviet aid to the Latin American country stood at $250 million (1984) in military support and $253 million (1982) in economic assistance. Following Moscow’s temporal withdrawal from the scene after 1991, a renewed wave of cooperation ramped up between 2007 and 2017, turning Nicaragua into Russia’s “main partner and ally in the Central American sub-region,” according to Russian ambassador to Nicaragua Andrei Budaev ( , July 25, 2017). The intensification of multidimensional cooperation between these two states inspired arguments in Spanish-language media that Nicaragua is rapidly turning into “Russia’s Cuba of the 21st century” ( , August 17, 2017).

The seriousness of the Russian government’s policy was underscored by a memorandum it signed with Nicaragua on May 8, 2018. The document is said to “mark a new step to boost political dialogue” in such areas such as “international security and cooperation within various international political platforms.” The Russian side also underscored its gratitude for Managua’s support on “such topics as Crimea, Donbas, the Caucasus,” which makes Nicaragua “an ally of far greater importance than just [within] the Central American region” ( , May 8, 2018).

Russian-Nicaraguan cooperation is built on four pillars:

– Military cooperation based on Nicaragua’s security needs. In the past two years, Nicaragua received from Russia a number of T-72 and T-72B modernized main battle tanks, four Mirage-class border patrol boats, two Molnia-class missile corvettes, and several Yakovlev Yak-130 light fighters. In total, Russia makes up 90 percent of Nicaraguan arms and munitions imports ( , December 13, 2017). The list of Russian exports also includes, among other weaponry, Mil Mi-17 helicopters, GAZ Tiger all-terrain infantry mobility vehicles, and ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannons ( , October 27, 2017). Arms sales (an integral part of both Russian and Soviet foreign policy toward economically weak dictatorships) are an effective tool to influence a country hardly able to sustain major military-related expenditures on its own.

– Para-military cooperation, reflected in training and knowledge transfer, which supplements and expends the above-mentioned policy. In 2013, the chief of Russia’s General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, inaugurated the opening of a Russian training center, named after Soviet Marshall Georgy Zhukov, on the territory of Nicaragua ( , April 22, 2013). And by 2016, close to 400 Russian military personnel were present in the country under the pretext of “joint military exercises,” “training of humanitarian and military operations,” and “anti-drug trafficking” (a new special center was established for this latter purpose). Allegedly designed to “train” local forces, these measures may be serving a different purpose—containing so-called “hybrid threats” (in particular, anti-government public protests) at their primary stage. Namely, in April 2018, Nicaragua experienced a surge of violent street demonstrations triggered by unpopular social reforms personally promoted by President Daniel Ortega that were crushed by the police and special forces ( , April 25, 2018).

– Non-military cooperation in the information space. The Russian Doctrine of Information Security distinguishes between “information” and “cyber” components and allows Moscow to act in these spheres on behalf of its allies (see EDM,  ;  ). The former element is primarily concerned with both the offensive and counteroffensive sides of “information confrontation.” For this purpose, Russia actively uses its own Spanish-language information outlets (with the key roles played by  RT and  Sputnik News) in Nicaragua and throughout Latin America, aimed at establishing a positive image of the Russian Federation and countering anti-governmental propaganda emanating from the opposition. The Russian authorities and intelligence agencies also actively employ social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), as well as “digital diplomacy” to “expose anti-Russian moods and Russophobia generated by the West.” On top of that, in November 2016, the Russian World Foundation ( Fond Russkii Mir), with active support from  Rossotrudnichestvo (the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation—a Russian federal agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), concluded an agreement with the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) establishing a “Russian Center” under the roof of the university ( , July 25, 2017).

– Non-military cooperation in cyberspace capabilities and Electronic Warfare (EW). One of the most notable developments in this area has been the construction, last year, of a Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) monitoring station in Nicaragua—the first of these ground-based facilities in Central America ( , April 7, 2017). Though said to serve “purely civilian purposes,” the GLONASS station alarms many experts, who fear it may allow Russia to gather valuable signals intelligence throughout the wider region and help Moscow expand its presence in the United States’ backyard. Similarly, with its growing offensive cyber capabilities boosted by the Ministry of Defense (via the establishment of so-called military “research units”—see EDM,  ;  ), Russia could use Nicaragua as a base for offensive cyber operations against the US and its regional partners.

This being said, another element must not be omitted—Moscow’s far-reaching interest in building the Nicaraguan Canal, seen as a potential direct competitor to the Panama Canal. The proposed project has three main stakeholders: Nicaragua, Russia and China. Moscow specifically plans to assume a security-related mission both during the construction phase and after its completion (see EDM,  ;  ). Commenting on this in 2015, Colonel General (ret.) Leonid Ivashov posited that involvement in Nicaragua will allow Russia to “get [physically] closer to the United States,” thus raising Moscow’s regional profile ( , January 12, 2015).

Well-known Cuban-American political scientist and writer Julio M. Shiling has argued that, in Latin America, Vladimir Putin’s Russia will primarily rely on Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, with the last state assuming the most important role. Shiling has noted that Russia’s activities in the region are aimed at undermining local democracies through the use of New Type war or “asymmetric warfare,” which includes various types of espionage ( , April 15, 2018). In the past decade, Moscow has intensified its penetration of Latin America, and the trend demonstrates that this is not a response to US “infringement” on Russia’s sphere of influence, but rather is part of a far-reaching strategy. Having lost much of its influence over Cuba since the end of the Cold War, Russia now perceives Nicaragua as its prime regional ally.

The Washington Post: The Americas: The Soviet Union fought the Cold War in Nicaragua. Now Putin’s Russia is back. By Joshua Partlow

April 8, 2017 MANAGUA, NICARAGUA — On the rim of a volcano with a clear view of the U.S. Embassy, landscapers are applying the final touches to a mysterious new Russian compound. Behind the concrete walls and barbed wire, a visitor can see red-and-blue buildings, manicured lawns, antennas and globe-shaped devices. The Nicaraguan government says it’s simply a tracking site of the Russian version of a GPS satellite system. But is it also an intelligence base intended to surveil the Americans? “I have no idea,” said a woman who works for the Nicaraguan telecom agency stationed at the site. “They are Russian, and they speak Russian, and they carry around Russian apparatuses.” Three decades after this tiny Central American nation became the prize in a Cold War battle with Washington, Russia is once again planting its flag in Nicaragua. Over the past two years, the Russian government has added muscle to its security partnership here, selling tanks and weapons, sending troops, and building facilities intended to train Central American forces to fight drug trafficking. The Russian surge appears to be part of the Kremlin’s expansionist foreign policy. In other parts of the world, President Vladimir Putin’s administration has deployed fighter planes to help Syria’s war-battered government and stepped up peace efforts in Afghanistan, in addition to annexing the Crimean Peninsula and supporting separatists in Ukraine. “Clearly there’s been a lot of activity, and it’s on the uptick now,” said a senior U.S. official familiar with Central American affairs, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation. As the Beltway world untangles the Trump camp’s links to Moscow, American officials are also puzzling over Russian intentions in its obscure former stomping ground. Current and former U.S. officials suspect that the new Russian facilities could have “dual use” capabilities, particularly for electronic espionage aimed at the United States. Security analysts see the military moves in Central America as a possible rebuttal to the increased U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe, showing that Russia can also strut in the United States’ back yard. American officials say they are not yet alarmed by the growing Russia presence. But they are vigilant. The State Department named a staffer from its Russia desk to become the desk officer in charge of Nicaragua, in part because of her prior experience. Some American diplomats dispatched to Nicaragua have Russian-language skills and experience in Moscow. Nicaragua’s president’s office, the foreign and defense ministries, and the police all refused to address Support journalism you can trust when it matters most. Get one year for $29 / questions for this report. The Russian Embassy in Managua also failed to respond to several queries. Spy games and Washington-Moscow power struggles are old hat for Nicaragua, a country the size of Alabama with a rich Cold War history. The Soviet Union and Cuba provided soldiers and funding to help the government of Daniel Ortega and his leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front after they overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator Anastazio Somoza in 1979. The CIA jumped in to back rebels known as the “contras” fighting the Sandinistas in a war that killed tens of thousands. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought an end to such Cold War conflicts. But in the past decade, and particularly under Putin’s rule, Russia has sought a bigger world footprint. In Latin America, Russia has sold billions of dollars in weapons to Venezuela. Russian helicopters are used by militaries in Peru, Argentina and Ecuador. While U.S. and Chinese trade in Latin America is far larger, Russia has intensified economic ties with several countries, including Mexico and Brazil. When Ortega was reelected in 2006, after 16 years out of power, Nicaragua once again became a Russian friend in the region. The new relationship initially had a civilian focus, with Russia donating wheat and sorghum to Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Russia gave hundreds of boxy buses to Ortega’s government and is building a factory to manufacture vaccines. “The economic cooperation was a facade,” said Roberto Orozco, executive director of the Center for Investigation and Strategic Analysis, a think tank in Managua. “What the Russians really wanted is an active military presence.” In the past few years, the partnership has been militarized. In 2015, Nicaragua’s parliament, dominated by the Sandinistas, passed a resolution allowing Russian warships to dock in Nicaraguan ports, following earlier agreements to permit patrolling in coastal waters. Russia began supplying armored personnel carriers, aircraft and mobile rocket launchers. It provided 50 T-72 tanks to Nicaragua, which Ortega paraded through Managua, generating criticism from the public. The country’s military leaders already had an affinity with Russia, having used Soviet-supplied equipment fighting the contras and received training in the Soviet Union. While Venezuela has nearly collapsed economically and Cuba has improved relations with the United States, Ortega’s government has emerged as Russia’s most stable ideological ally in the hemisphere. “The most fruitful political relationship that Russia has, and where it’s made its greatest advances, has been Nicaragua,” said Evan Ellis, a professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College. He and two U.S. customs officials were expelled from Nicaragua last year, with the government saying it should have been notified of their presence. Nicaraguan security experts estimate that Russia has about 250 military personnel in the country. Jacinto Suarez, president of the Nicaraguan parliament’s foreign affairs committee, and an ally of Ortega’s, said in an interview that the relationship with Russia is the natural outgrowth of the ties the countries developed in the 1980s. He dismissed those worrying about “nonexistent military threats.” / “Look at the commotion with the Russian tanks,” Suarez said. “And nothing happened. They said that war was coming when those tanks arrived.” Current and former U.S. officials have a variety of theories about Putin’s intentions in Latin America. Some consider Russia’s military actions a response to the Obama administration sending more U.S. troops and weapons to NATO countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Others worry that Russia could be pursuing ambitious spy goals, such as intercepting Internet traffic in the ARCOS 1 fiber-optic cable that runs from Miami down the Caribbean coast of Central America. Speculation is rife that the new Russian satellite site on the lip of the Laguna de Nejapa crater will be a spy facility, even though Nicaraguan officials have said it will be used for GLONASS, Russia’s equivalent of GPS. Juan Gonzalez, who was deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs during the Obama administration, said he had generally been skeptical about theories that Iran, China and Russia were posing a security threat with their increased activities in Latin America. But he has changed his mind over the past couple of years because of Russia’s activities in Nicaragua and neighboring El Salvador. (The Salvadoran foreign minister visited Moscow last month to discuss trade and investment deals.) “The United States and countries of the region should be concerned,” Gonzalez said. “Nicaragua offers a beachhead for Russia to expand its intel capabilities and election meddling close to the United States.” Hugo Torres Jimenez, a retired Nicaraguan brigadier general and a member of the opposition, said Ortega was encouraging the Russia ties because “he has an obsession with the international spotlight, and he sees in Putin’s government the reincarnation of the old Communist Party.” The Russian buildup in Nicaragua has coincided with deteriorating relations between Washington and Managua. Last summer, Nicaragua’s supreme court and electoral council, both seen as loyal to Ortega, blocked the leading opposition candidate from participating in the November presidential election and forced opposition lawmakers out of the National Assembly. Ortega cruised to victory, winning a third straight term, in an election the State Department described as flawed and undemocratic. House legislation known as the “Nica Act” was reintroduced this week, an attempt to block funding for Nicaragua from international institutions unless the Ortega government makes democratic reforms. Last year, the Obama administration quietly pressured the Inter-American Development Bank to postpone a $65 million loan to Nicaragua to show displeasure with the election, according to a former U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Russian presence has generated mixed reactions among Nicaraguan citizens. Some consider Moscow a long-standing ally. Others worry that the Nicaraguan government could use the new Russian equipment to spy on its domestic critics. Nelson Perez, a 53-year-old bus driver, wished that Nicaragua had just received a better brand of bus than the Russian-made KAvZ he was maneuvering through Managua traffic. / “They’re not good for this climate; they overheat,” Perez said. He complained about the narrow passageway, the rattling mirrors, the leaky roof and windows. “These are not comfortable.” In the upscale neighborhood of Las Colinas, a gleaming four-story Russian-built counter narcotics center appears nearly completed. A security guard at an apartment building next door doubted any good would come from it. “They say it’s an anti-drug mission, but who knows,” he said. “Poor people have not received any benefit from Russia.” Ismael Lopez Ocampo in Managua and Gabriela Martinez in Mexico City contributed to this report.  357 Comments Joshua Partlow Joshua Partlow is a reporter on the The Washington Post’s national desk. He has served previously as the bureau chief in Mexico City, Kabul, Rio de Janeiro, and as a correspondent in Baghdad.

Report: Russia Building Spy Base in Nicaragua, by Cathy Burke.

The Russian government is building a spy base in Nicaragua in a startling Cold Warlike buildup of both its military and intelligence presence in the West, The Washington Free Beacon reports. Beacon writer Bill Gertz, citing unnamed defense officials, reports a recent deal between Moscow and Managua also involved the costly sale of 50 T72 Russian Tanks. Nicaragua is still headed by the White House's onetime Cold War nemesis leftist Daniel Ortega. Retired Navy Cdr. Daniel Dolan, writing in the blog USNI News, stated that the cost of the tanks, an estimated $80 million, is $9 million more than the entire Nicaraguan defense budget for 2015, Gertz writes. Gertz writes no details could be learned of where the spy site will be located but notes it "could be disguised as a Russian GLONASS satellite navigation tracking station" that's nearing completion — "the Russian version of the Global Positioning System network of satellites used for precision navigation and guidance." Gertz notes some reports indicate the GLONASS station may be situated near Laguna de Najapa, north of the capital of Managua — or along the Caribbean coast. "While any nation has the right to choose its international partners, we have been clear that now is not the time for business as usual with Russia," an unnamed State Department official tells Gertz. Southern Command spokesman Lt. Col. David Olson tells Gertz the United States respects the right of nations to modernize their defenses. "We're aware of Russian engagements in our hemisphere," he said. "The nature of Russia's engagements in our hemisphere isn't new and similar to engagements with other nations. We are confident that our partner nations understand our desire to be their security partner of choice, as well as our commitment to work side by side with them in support of our shared interests and democratic values." News of the deal comes as three Americans, working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, were expelled from Nicaragua without explanation, the Free Beason and Daily Mail both report. Former Pentagon policymaker Mark Schneider tells Gertz the tanks deal appears to be part of a Russian strategy to expand weapons sales to create opportunities for military bases — and to ramp up influence in the region. "In general, Moscow openly covets new foreign bases in Latin America, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Balkans, and the Middle East," Schneider tells Gertz. "Russia is comfortable with Marxist states. Russia will sell arms to just about anyone and will seek to achieve influence and military advantage. There is obviously no relationship between the sale of T80 tanks reported by Jane's and drug smuggling." 10/5/2016 Print Template http://www.newsmax.com/PrintTemplate.aspx/?nodeid=735694 2/2 Roger Noriega, a former State Department Latin Affairs policymaker, calls spending on tanks a poor use of resources for a very poor country. "Apparently this is part of Ortega's 'cashforclunkers' program to seal political ties with Russia while engaging in purchases that allow both sides to bury payoffs on both sides of the deal and have some hardware," Noriega tells Gertz. He also took a shot at President Barack Obama, calling it "too bad" he "isn't the least bit interested in anything that is happening in Nicaragua — which is fortunate if you're in the drugs or dictatorship business." Related Stories: Contras Return to Nicaragua to Fight Ortega Kissinger Blasted Kerry in 1980s for Interfering in Nicaragua © 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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