Hamilton 68 co-founder Clint Watts recently admitted that he is no longer “convinced on this bot thing,” telling BuzzFeed he believes the narrative is “overdone.” Watts isn’t alone in having a bit of a rethink. This week, Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Affairs Prague, admitted that the so-called “Gerasimov Doctrine” that countlesspunditshave cited as evidence of a Russian plan to undermine the West does not exist. “I feel I can say that because,” wrote Galeotti, “to my immense chagrin, I created this term, which has since acquired a destructive life of its own, lumbering clumsily into the world to spread fear and loathing in its wake.”
Blaming domestic turmoil on a foreign adversary also serves as a useful and welcome diversion on the part of neoliberal elites against whose policies voters are at long last rebelling. It lets them off the hook for letting Wall Street off the hook in 2008 and likewise allows European leaders to deflect from their failure to protect their working and middle classes from the depredations of German-imposed austerity.