Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Review: Crafting an Information Warfare and Counter-Propaganda Strategy for the Emerging Security Environment

They just finished the hearing on “Crafting an Information Warfare and Counter-Propaganda Strategy for the Emerging Security Environment” by the US House Armed Services Committee.

The witnesses were Matt Armstrong, Michael Lumpkin, and Timothy L. Thomas.

The video was just posted and is available here:

The only shocker was Lumpkin saying the head of the GEC should be elevated to the equivalent of the NDI, for budget and authorities.

Good overall SA of Russian IW.  It’s really worthwhile to view the whole video.

Almost zero mentions of fake news, only one small mention of hacking, and the effect on the election was almost accurately portrayed.  I was honestly shocked at the discussion on MOE, it was fairly well covered by Michael Lumpkin (between 3,400 and 3,800 electronic measuring technologies are available).  He also basically decried the acquisition process for new technology, stating that new technology is two years old by the time the GEC got access.  The TAA discussion got a little bit fractured.  Over-simplifying Lumpkin, we need a different strategy for every country, but there was a subtle nod to merged strategies.

Another shocker was the statement and confirmation that the bureaucratic process at State was a major inhibitor to the current GEC.

The only disagreement was between Matt Armstrong and Michael Lumpkin if the GEC should (Lumpkin) or should not (Armstrong) be a USIA-like independent organization, as Matt stated that State has the proper organization already.  [Personal opinion: after 18 years, State fails to demonstrate any capability.]

The only thing that really warmed my heart when mentioned was the ‘mirroring’ of Russian IW organization was briefly mentioned for any efforts to counter propaganda or disinformation.

No real strategies were discussed but were definitely stated as necessary.

One Congressman almost seemed to feel DoD IO could handle it, he learned quickly that was not the answer.

The only thing I found inaccurate was about US polling and survey capabilities in Russia and China, it is possible and it was stated it is not. We are not necessarily bound to Levada, but the implication was Levada had to perform.  Also, Levada is back up and running again, that point was also not accurately stated during the hearing.

Overall, great job by everybody. But again, I’m waiting for action.

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