By Andrew Korybko
Intelligence-affiliated NGOs have become a major security risk to the sovereignty of multipolar states, and they can directly be blamed for assembling Color Revolutionary social infrastructure and managing its regime change logistics. After the first (post-Soviet) and second (‘Arab Spring’) waves of Color Revolutions, targeted states have finally wised up to the West’s game and are now actively seeking ways to innovatively defend themselves from this destabilizing threat. Russia has been at the forefront of this movement and mandated that foreign-funded NGOs in the country declare their status as foreign agents and register with the government. The latest legislative move coming out of the country also gives prosecutors the right to shut down undesirable NGOs , which is a step in the right direction of strengthening state sovereignty. In order to complete the process of defending the state from America’s latest asymmetrical weapon of regime change and wipe out the leftover hostile forces conspiring against the government, it’s time for Russia and its multipolar allies to begin a campaign incentivizing NGO whistleblowers to come forward and reveal their organizations’ previously undisclosed illegal activity.
This article begins by discussing the strategic nature of foreign anti-government NGOs, before describing how they spread across the world so rapidly in the first place. Then, it briefly documents their patterned deployment and then characterizes the new hybrid warfare techniques that the US has rolled out in Syria and Ukraine. After establishing the danger that NGOs pose to global stability, the piece then proposes the inside-out approach for fighting these organizations from within, before concluding with an explanation for how it would all work out in practice.
NGOs operate as the vanguard for regime change operations, and they’ve usually embed themselves within the state’s social fabric long before the directive is given to launch their coup attempt. Often times, they may not explicitly operate as an open force of anti-government activity, instead choosing misleading names that associate their brand more with social work than political agitation. This is also seen through their promoted activities, which seek to exude a ‘neutral’ vibe such as feeding the jobless and sheltering the homeless. Via these disarming mechanisms, they’re able to expand their web of support and dupe advocates into believing in the non-political nature of their activities. In and of itself, there’s nothing necessarily ‘illegal’ about this process, no matter how unethical it may be for a political organization to hide behind the veneer of social activity, but the problem becomes paramount when such a front organization is under foreign influence.
Foreign-funded political NGOs hiding behind a social mask clearly have ulterior motives, and it’s their secretive intentions and connections with various intelligence agencies that worry state leaders. They know that a widely established and highly ‘reputable’ social NGO could already impact the public discourse, and if such an organization suddenly decides to politicize itself, it’s likely that most of their recruits and broad network of supporters will follow in tune, thereby creating a sizeable political movement supposedly out of ‘nowhere’. In reality, that was the intent all along – to politicize a disparate network of seemingly unconnected social NGOs into a unified political force of regime change – but if the public and its decision makers aren’t aware of this ahead of time, the resultant black hole of social chaos can be strong enough to pull in more supporters while simultaneously collapsing the central gravity of state power.
The Cancerous Growth Of Color Revolutions
This process was unleashed with devastating success in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan in the first wave of deployment, while the entire Mideast became mangled after the ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions targeted the theater during the second tsunami of upheaval. As a result of witnessing such destructive carnage during the latest tidal wave of turmoil, Russia and its decision makers finally opened their eyes to the superweapon of social destabilization that the US had constructed right under their noses.
Since the end of the Cold War, the US has tinkered with the weaponization of social movements in order to create an active fifth column of deployment against targeted states. Caught up in the naiveté of the 1990s ‘liberal-democratic’ new world order, many states and their citizens remained oblivious to the possible manipulation of NGOs by foreign intelligence agencies, brainwashed in the belief that the label ‘non-government’ bestowed some sort of ‘holy’ connotation that no government would dare to violate. The US fully exploited this gullible sentiment to proliferate its outwardly benign NGOs to almost every corner of the newly opened post-Cold War planet, all the while prepping scenarios to test their militarization.
Unleashing The Beast
The perfect opportunity emerged when US propaganda outlet CNN rhetorically and ridiculously questioned in 1999 whether Slobodan Milosevic was ‘ the new Adolf Hitler ’. This obvious declaration of regime change intent conditioned the Western psyche into accepting his eventual removal, which illegally occurred one year later during the ‘Bulldozer Revolution’, a kind of proto-Color Revolution. After gathering all sorts of data and intelligence through the management of this groundbreaking operation, the US made the decision to expand its scope directly into the post-Soviet territory of Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, with the eventual goal of directing its regime change inertia against Russia itself. While the final scheme never panned out (and is currently being countered and rolled back), the US was successful in overthrowing the governments of the three aforementioned countries, and accordingly, gained even more real-time feedback about its new superweapon. This aided its political technicians in perfecting the regime change technology and managing an integrated, simultaneous, theater-wide Color Revolution push popularly known as the ‘Arab Spring’.
Hybrid War, Western Style
The key innovation here was the unveiling of a hybrid strategy that used a Color Revolution as the basis for sparking an Unconventional War, as was seen in Libya and is still ongoing in Syria. The same thing was attempted in Ukraine shortly before the February 2014 coup, when the western reaches of the country were in full-scale armed rebellion against Kiev. The US already indoctrinated the global masses to accept such a scenario through Newsweek’s announcement that Ukraine was on the verge of actual civil war. As a double innovation, however, sniper attacks were ordered in the capital at the same time that part of the country was gearing up for a total revolt, and this double whammy of pressure broke the personal resolve of Yanukovich in resisting the regime change operation. As a result, he unexpectedly capitulated to the Color Revolutionaries, but in a move that no one could have anticipated, the ‘opposition’ staged a coup not even 24 hours after the ink was dry on Yanukovich’s surrender agreement. This surprise regime change success canceled the Unconventional War plans being hatched in Western Ukraine, but it’s salient to note that had it not been for the unforeseen sniper attacks and consequent coup, the US was ready to turn Ukraine into Syria via the application of its hybrid regime change warfare that was originally spearheaded by foreign-funded anti-government NGOs.
The Inside-Out Approach
Confronted with the proven danger that foreign-funded NGOs are to state security and regional stability, Russia initiated the legal moves that have allowed it to more robustly combat this superweapon and neutralize its potency. While long overdue, their importance lay in the fact that the Russian establishment finally recognizes the problem that’s been brewing all around it and has taken resolute steps in trying to stamp it out. What it now needs to do, however, is initiate the final, crippling blow of destroying these regime change organizations from the inside-out, and it can do that by announcing an NGO whistleblower campaign.
Regime change NGOs are perfect practitioners of waging asymmetric social insurgencies against their targeted governments, but their major vulnerability is that they’re unable to defend against this exact same strategy. Right now, the authorities are pushing back with state-on-NGO action, or an outsider-on-insider dynamic, but by heralding in an NGO whistleblower campaign, the government can spark an insider-on-insider type of conflict that could destroy the remaining regime change NGOs from within. Put another way, the state attempts to provoke a ‘Color Revolution’ within the Color Revolutionary organizations themselves, putting them on a defensive footing that’s almost impossible for them to react to or recover from.
A Reverse Color Revolution
A Color Revolution can conceptually be defined as an ‘inside-out’ campaign, whereby externally managed internal elements push out against the established structure in order to bring about its collapse. With this in mind, incentivizing NGO insiders to become whistleblowers of their entity’s illegal anti-government activity turns the plotters against one another and against their administration, just as a Color Revolution is meant to turn the citizens against each other and against their government. Foreign-funded regime change NGOs are already under a lot of pressure in Russia because of the recent legislative changes, and inserting the inside-out virus into the remaining holdouts could very realistically lead to their complete destruction once and for all.
Let’s look at how NGO-initiated Color Revolutions against the state compare to state-initiated ‘Color Revolutions’ against the hostile NGOs:
The NGOs and their legions turn people against the state and push them to commit shameless treason.
The state and its proponents encourage foreign-funded NGO followers to betray their external patrons and become repentant patriots.
The supporters of regime change are motivated by a sense of ‘adventurism’ and ‘risk’, two unstable sentiments glorified and propagated by Hollywood so that the West can more easily exploit vulnerable global youth.
Supporters of state sovereignty are motivated by patriotism and historical memory, two inspiring concepts that are being rejuvenated by Russia and the multipolar world as asymmetrical armor against Color Revolutions.
The minions working for foreign-funded NGOs are dedicated to rapid revolutionary activity, be it social, political, or economic, and each of which is directed towards the goal of state destabilization along varying degrees of chaos.
Believers in law and order stand for the reinforcement of democratic principles in enacting social, political, or economic change, and are thus inherently in favor of peace and stability.
Individuals associated with these foreign-funded movements want to see their home countries turn into ‘Westernized’ caricatures of themselves, firmly believing that they have nothing worthwhile to offer to the world and must accordingly have their national identities replaced with Western simulacra.
People adhering to patriotic principles want to reaffirm their country’s expression of its unique national characteristics and in no way want to see the imposition of foreign models on their society.
Making It Work
If Russia or any of its allied multipolar partners makes the decision to deal a death blow to foreign-funded NGOs and adheres to the policy prescription in this article, then this is what their NGO whistleblower campaign could look like:
Public Service Announcement:
The government and its affiliated media outlets inform the public of the new anti-crime policy focusing on illegal NGO activity. NGO employees are urged to come forward with any evidence of anti-government activity, regime change intent, and/or breaking/sidestepping of relevant legislation. Through coordinated information outreach activities, the state disseminates its initiative view radio, web, and print media. Official comments from high-ranking public officials could also be effective in raising awareness about the campaign.
Law Enforcement Management:
The campaign is not a ‘political witch hunt’ but a comprehensive law enforcement initiative, and as such, the public service announcement must emphasize the legal principles underlying it and how they relate to citizen security. As such, the entire operation must be managed by law enforcement and state security bodies in order to increase its effectiveness and detract from dissenting rhetoric about supposed political motivations.
Without the proper rewards for encouraging NGO defections, it’s not likely that the campaign will amount to anything other than a rhetorical success. It’s thus suggested that aside from financial rewards, informants may receive prosecutorial immunity if they themselves were complicit in major illegal activity, provided of course that their testimony and procured evidence results in other convictions. If need be, compliant individuals can also be entered into a witness protection program to ensure their safety.
Foreign-funded regime change NGOs are finally on the defensive for the first time in their history, and Russia is making exemplary progress in their neutralization and eradication. The final step in the state’s sovereign counter-offensive must be to turn the NGOs and their employees against one another via a Reverse Color Revolution in order to inflict a death blow on them in the near future. These nifty entities should be assumed to have adaptive methods in perpetuating their existence, and while the state may succeed in eliminating them from public view, they won’t be able to completely destroy them unless they can provoke paranoid infighting between their members.
The unveiling of a highly publicized NGO whistleblower campaign is designed to do just that, and it’s the final step that’s needed to complete the anti-NGO triad of legislation in identifying (foreign agent law), targeting (undesirable NGO law), and dismantling (whistleblower campaign) these destabilizing networks. If Russia can completely free itself from the influence of foreign-funded regime change NGOs, then it can set a liberating precedent that can be followed in all other multipolar states affected by this embedded threat, possibly leading to a domino effect that eliminates the danger of weaponized NGOs once and for all.