Immigrants as a Weapon is a investigative project by Yasha Levine that looks at the weaponization of nationalism and immigrant communities. Read this introductory post and sign up!

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Over the past 70 years, America has done more to promote nationalism and far-right ideologies around world than any other country on earth.

This newsletter explores that history.

Weaponizing nationalism and immigrant communities was a policy first unleashed by the United States against the Soviet Bloc as a way destabilize and foment insurgency and unrest among the region’s diverse, multiethnic population. But this strategy has outlived the Soviet Union and continues in all sorts of different forms today — deployed to meddle and subvert state institutions from Eastern Europe to Central Asia to Russia to China and beyond. 

Written and reported by immigrant and investigative journalist Yasha Levine, this newsletter looks at how these programs have been used in the past, how they are used today, and the effect they have on geopolitics. It also investigates the intersection between immigrant communities and American geopolitics, and the ways that immigrant, ethnic, national, and religious identity can be weaponized (or ignored and suppressed) in the service of American interests.

Immigrants as a Weapon is a mixture of original investigate reporting, archival research, and interviews — published here on between two to four times a month, depending on the material.

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Yasha Levine Yasha Levine is an investigative journalist and author. Born in Leningrad, he grew up in San Francisco, and now lives in New York. He has reported from all over the world — with a focus on America and the former Soviet Union.

He is the author of Surveillance Valley, a book about the forgotten counterinsurgency origins of the Internet. He’s also working on a couple of documentary projects, including this one.