Russian President Vladimir Putin (The Kremlin)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

A recent report from the Vietnam Veterans of America says that American vets are targeted by Russians and other adversarial governments online. Specifically, there are many Facebook pages and other social media catering to vets that are really operated by foreign entities.

Some may ask, so what? If the pages are fun, why does it matter who runs them? The intelligence officer in Moscow isn't running a Facebook page for American veterans because he has an intense interest in motivational t-shirts and YouTube rants in pickup trucks.

He's doing it to undermine the political and social fabric of the United States.

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U.S. Army armored units in Poland. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Michael Eaddy)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

At the beginning of 2017, after Dutch fighter pilots deployed to Lithuania on a Baltic Air Policing rotation called home using their own phones, their families started getting sinister phone calls.

The men on the calls, made with pre-paid sim cards, spoke English with Russian accents, according to reports in Dutch media, and would ask the recipients questions like "Do you know what your partner is doing there?" and "Wouldn't it be better if he left?"

Later that summer, after U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher L'Heureux took command of a NATO base in Poland, he returned to his truck after a drill to find someone had breached his personal iPhone, turning on lost mode and trying to get around a second password using Russian IP address.

"It had a little Apple map, and in the center of the map was Moscow," L'Heureux, who was stationed not far from a major Russian military base, told The Wall Street Journal in 2017. "It said, 'Somebody is trying to access your iPhone.'"

Those incidents and others like them reflect ongoing efforts by Russians to misinform and intimidate civilians and troops in Europe and abroad.

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Twitter/USAWTFM6

A NATO ally dismissed as fake news claims that a U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle accidentally ran down and killed a child during a road march through Lithuania in early June, Reuters reports, citing the rumor as an effort to undermine the Saber Strike 2018 joint military exercises currently underway in eastern Europe.

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