As Russia worked to overthrow the US election and create tensions between the American people, Congress directed that an intelligence center be set up to lead efforts to stop the interference of foreign enemies.
But two years later, the center is not yet open.
Experts and intelligence officials generally agree that the Center for Foreign Affairs is a good idea. The U.S. it does not have an integrated strategy to combat effective operations, they say, without adequate communication between national security organizations. Enemies who tried to interfere in the last two presidential elections continue to infiltrate the American people with dirty and conspiracy theories during the crisis of democracy in the U.S. and worldwide.
But the intelligence community and Congress are still divided over institutional work, budget and size, according to current and former officials. Although various efforts to combat the disruption continue, the person identified this year as a potential director has been relocated and the facility will likely not be reopened anytime soon.
A report from the Senate Intelligence Committee states that Trump's campaign was intended to receive foreign aid
"It really is a gift to Russia and China and to others who are obviously not only looking at the mid-term elections but also in ongoing campaigns to undermine American society," said David Salvo, deputy director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and Chief Executive Officer of the German Marshall Fund.
The national intelligence chief had spoken to the institution before taking office. National Intelligence Director Avril Haines last year participated in the German military force the Marshall Fund supports. In a statement, spokeswoman Nicole de Haay said the director's office was "focused on creating a support center and coordinating the intelligence community's efforts to address the negative foreign influence."
But some lawmakers are concerned about further expanding the work of the Office of the Director of Intelligence. ODNI was initially thought of as a small co-ordinating body to deal with the failure to share intelligence prior to the September 11 attacks. It has many institutions that critics say are well-intentioned efforts to solve problems but end up creating unnecessary duplication.
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner said although he supported the institute, "there are some valid questions about how big such an organization should be and where it could fit" and the government's current efforts to combat foreign interference.
"We want to make sure that this institution develops those efforts rather than duplicate them or put them in unnecessary offices," the Virginia Democrat said in a statement. "I have no real doubt that we will eventually stop the center in the near future, but we have to make sure we fix it."
It was not immediately clear who would lead the center. Separately, there is also the vacancy of a new electoral threat after the former chief of staff, Shelby Pierson, ended his term and returned to another spy position. Pierson has been under scrutiny for the past year after giving lawmakers a closed forum on Russia's efforts to intervene in the 2020 elections in favor of President Donald Trump. That infuriated Trump, who criticized the former director of intelligence and later replaced him. Trump encouraged lies about the election and pressured Republicans to follow his lead.
Democrats have long warned that what the government calls a "bad influence" is a threat to national security. Social media has helped make disinformation a cheap and powerful strategy for opponents who can push fake or distorted stories, videos and photos, and magnify the lies already being spread among Americans to promote their interests and create chaos.
The US and other Western authorities have accused Russia of spreading new information about coronavirus and vaccines, stealing information from local and provincial election servers, and emphasizing false stories aimed at exploiting racial divisions and human rights. Intelligence agencies have found that Russia used the influence of influence to disrupt the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump's campaign and continued operations in favor of Trump in 2020.
The United States surveyed China ultimately did not interfere in the 2020 elections, but Beijing has been accused of promoting false ideas about the COVID-19 epidemic and trying to destabilize businesses and all levels of government. Iran has been accused of backing emails designed to intimidate Democratic Alliance-backed voters in favor of Trump.
Experts say the new center could warn Americans of interference and produce policy makers better information. While the FBI, the National Security Agency and other government agencies have long been working for foreign intervention, "we are not organized in such a way that we create a tangible picture of the threat," said Jessica Brandt, an expert on foreign interference and disinformation. Brookings Institute.
But there are dangers in the intelligence community which includes monitoring their what Americans see and read. The FBI and NSA are accused of illegally spying on Americans. That history has contributed to many Americans' distrust of the intelligence community, such as Trump's crackdown on intelligence and what he has ridiculed as a "deep-seated state."
Opponents point out that the US also has a history of secret foreign intervention and helped overthrow governments that are considered to be anti-American. A column published by the Kremlin-sponsored RT.com states that the proposed center "is simply the official cover for American intrusion into domestic politics."