CounterPropaganda · Information operations · Information Warfare · Public Diplomacy · Strategic Communication · Strategic Communications

Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy “Seen on the Web” – 24 June 2017


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This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. government international broadcasting, and information operations.  The editorial intent is to:

  • share with busy practitioners the academic and policy ferment in Public Diplomacy and related fields
  • from long speeches, testimonies, and articles, flag the portions that bear on Public Diplomacy
  • provide a window on armed forces thinking on the fields that neighbor Public Diplomacy such as military public affairs, information operations, inform-influence-engage, and cultural learning, and
  • introduce the long history of Public Diplomacy by citing some of the older books, articles, reports, and documents that are not available on the internet.

Public Diplomacy professionals always need a 360-degree view of how ideas are expressed, flow, and gain influence.  Many points of view citied here are contentious, partisan, and/or biased; inclusion does not imply endorsement.

Edited by

Donald M. Bishop, Bren Chair of Strategic Communications, Marine Corps University

Jeffery W. Taylor, University of Mary Washington, Assistant

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

In The News

  1. IN THE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

[ELECTION 2016 CONTROVERSIES]

[ATTACK ON CONGRESSIONAL BASEBALL PRACTICE]

Instruments of Informational Power

  1. INFORMATIONAL POWER
  2. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
  3. BROADCASTING

Professional Topics

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA ▪ INTERNET
  2. 6. CYBER
  3. BIG DATA
  4. DISINFORMATION, FAKE NEWS
  5. SOFT POWER
  6. GERASIMOV DOCTRINE
  7. HYBRID WARFARE
  8. INFORMATION WARFARE
  9. WHATABOUTISM
  10. COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
  11. NARRATIVES
  12. HISTORICAL NARRATIVES
  13. IDEAS, CONCEPTS, DOCTRINE

Countries and Regions

  1. RUSSIA
  2. UKRAINE
  3. THE BALTICS
  4. MACEDONIA
  5. CHINA
  6. NORTH KOREA
  7. PHILIPPINES
  8. BANGLADESH
  9. PAKISTAN
  10. QATAR
  11. SAUDI ARABIA
  12. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
  13. ISLAMIC STATE

Toolkit

  1. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Table of Contents

In The News 

  1. IN THE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

[ELECTION 2016 CONTROVERSIES]

  • Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg, June 13, 2017

  • . . . the known facts do not support a Russia-Trump plot to defeat Hillary Clinton. Russia’s actions are consistent instead with an attempt to turn Americans against each other and sow distrust between the president and the American intelligence services.

From Russia With Chaos

David Satter, The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017

  • Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election

Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim, The Intercept, June 5, 2017

  • . . . 2016 represented a system-wide failure to inform the American public about Russia’s extensive efforts to hack and corrupt our democracy. And it doesn’t just fall at the feet of the intelligence community—journalists and elected officials extending all the way up the White House bear some responsibility for the fact that voters walked into voting booths last November virtually in the dark about Russian interference.

View from the Left: Russia was ‘coming for America’ and nobody told us

Kerry Eleveld, Daily KOS, June 10, 2017

[ATTACK ON CONGRESSIONAL BASEBALL PRACTICE]

  • . . . that hasn’t stopped Wednesday’s shooting from turning into a rorschach test of our current political moment—an abstract image that you can look at and derive whatever meaning you want. If you support gun control, the point of the story is that we need to make it harder for someone like Hodgkinson to get a firearm. If, on the other hand, you dislike Bernie Sanders, the right reading is that #FeelingTheBern leads to homicidal mania. Meanwhile, if you’re a troll, well, you can use the shooting to troll. Most of what went around this week in response to the shooting was just finger-pointing and punditry at its worst. But there were also plenty of untruths being spread.

The Steve Scalise Shooting Generated Boatloads of Fake News

Mike Pearl, Vice, June 17, 2017

Instruments of Informational Power

  1. INFORMATIONAL POWER
  • Anytime I have a conversation with anyone who is not conversant in Inform and Influence Operations, Information Operations, Public Diplomacy, Strategic Communications, International Broadcasting, or Influence Operations, it seems, they eventually always ask: who is in charge and who is doing what? What is the United States doing to respond to Russian Information Warfare, propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, Active Measures, fake news, Russian proxy talking heads, trolls, and belligerent nation censorship, oppression, suppression, and rigid information control? Pick one . . . the answer is the same. Almost nothing

The United States Is Struggling in The Information Environment

Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, June 13, 2017

  • . . . while the tools, data, and knowledge are available, there is no United States organization designed primarily to address the issue of information warfare.

U.S. Options to Develop a Cyberspace Influence Capability

Sina Kashefipour, Divergent Options, May 29, 2017

  • America First signals the restoration of American leadership and our government’s traditional role overseas—to use the diplomatic, economic and military resources of the U.S. to enhance American security, promote American prosperity, and extend American influence around the world. [Editor’s comment: which instrument of U.S. national power is omitted?]

America First Doesn’t Mean America Alone

H.R. McMaster and Gary D. Cohn, The Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2017

  1. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
  • This study attempted to further to investigate the association between nation branding, public diplomacy and public relations by evaluating the manner in which the US State Department branded America on its Facebook channel during January of 2016, and by conceptualizing and measuring the State Department’s use of “dialogic engagement”.

America’s selfie – Three years later

Ilan Manor, Springer, May 23, 2017

  1. BROADCASTING
  • The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) today announced that Ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez will join the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN) as its new president beginning July 17, 2017. In this role, he will oversee MBN’s multimedia operations in the U.S. and across the Middle East, including its digital properties, Alhurra Television networks and Radio Sawa.

Ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez joins BBG as president of MBN

Broadcasting Board of Governors, June 13, 2017

  • The Trump administration plans to cut $4.5 million from Radio Free Asia in a move that critics say would sharply reduce Chinese language broadcasts into China by the pro-democracy radio.

Trump to Cut $4.5 Million from Radio Free Asia

Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon, June 13, 2017

  • A lively debate between a congressman, an entrepreneur and an academic was the focal point of the opening of Voice of America’s first-ever Silicon Valley bureau in San Francisco.

Entrepreneurs, Thought Leaders Debate High Tech Immigration as VOA Opens Silicon Valley Bureau

Voice of America, June 6, 2017

Professional Topics

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA – INTERN
  • Russia seems to be infiltrating the social media accounts of US troops for at least two reasons, according to Politico. One, it allows Russia to better glean the activities of the US military through what its troops post online. * * * Two, it gives them the chance to make US troops sympathize with Russia by inserting propaganda into their news feeds.

Russia is targeting the US military with fake Facebook profiles of gorgeous women

Daniel Brown, Business Insider, June 12, 2017

  • A stream of social-media accounts, web videos and blog pages are constantly popping up and spewing questionable content, while new accounts and sites are replacing deleted ones by the hour, researchers say. Much of the activity, like radical sermons or videos that use coded language, falls in a gray area that makes it difficult to track or is possibly protected by the companies’ aim to protect free speech.

Online Terrorist Propaganda Still a Challenge for Tech Companies

Jack Nicas, Sam Schechner and Deepa Seetharaman, The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2017

  • US consular officials have been provided with a new questionnaire that they can give selected visa applicants to complete. Among other things, Form DS-5535 requires applicants to share all social media handles and email addresses they used in the last five years.

US visa applicants will have to provide social media handles

Zeljka Zorz, Help Net Security, June 2, 2017

  • Digital surveillance, however, is just one of the many tools available to governments that are bent on repressing dissent. One of the more popular and effective strategies is generating targeted network outages. If dissatisfaction and protests roil a particular province, the go-to response is to shut off local Internet access and create an information blackout.

Why Internet Access Is a Human Right

Steven Feldstein, Foreign Affairs, June 1, 2017

  • While corporations and government agencies around the world are training their staff to think twice before opening anything sent by email, hackers have already moved on to a new kind of attack, targeting social media accounts, where people are more likely to be trusting. Pentagon officials are increasingly worried that state-backed hackers are using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to break into Defense Department computer networks.

Hackers Hide Cyberattacks in Social Media Posts

Sheera Frenkel, The New York Times, May 28, 2017

  • The technology that helps modern movements organize high-profile protests, [Zeynip] Tufekci concludes, can also keep them from developing the staying power to achieve their long-term goals. And the leadership principles of contemporary movements aren’t helping much, either.

Twitter and Facebook help spark protest movements. Then they undermine them.

Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post, May 25, 2017

  1. CYBER
  • We are approaching a period where commercial markets will cause bleeding edge technologies to spread faster than the key technologies of the past generation, such as stealth or precision guidance. Here, I am talking about technologies that are part of the third offset strategy – artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, cyber, directed energy, and others.

The Future of War is Fast Approaching in The Pacific: Are The U.S. Military Services Ready?

Michael Horowitz, War on the Rocks, June 2, 2017

  • In these forecasts, by 2030 states confront challenges from rising powers and transnational extremists empowered by the proliferation of information technology and its capacity to create new attack vectors (i.e., cyber) and mobilize the masses (i.e., overcome the collective actor problem).

How The International System Shapes The Character Of War: Order, Geography, And Networks

Benjamin Jensen, War on the Rocks, June 5, 2017

  • In 2012 the U.S. Congress approved a new law that allows the Department of Defense to conduct offensive Cyber War operations in response to Cyber War attacks on the United States. That is, the U.S. military was now authorized to make war via the Internet. The new law stipulates that all the rules that apply to conventional war also apply to Cyber War.

Information Warfare: THAAD The Hack Attack Magnet

Strategy Page, June 11, 2017

  • Tallinn Manual 2.0, the most comprehensive analysis of how existing international law applies to cyber operations, is published.

Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations to Be Launched

NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, February 2, 2017

  1. BIG DATA
  • Our 21st-century watchers are not just trying to sell us vacations in Tuscany because they know we have Googled Italy or bought books about Florence on Amazon. They exploit decades of behavioral science research into the flawed, often irrational ways human beings make decisions to subtly “nudge” us—without our noticing it—toward one candidate.

How Big Data Mines Personal Info to Craft Fake News afnd Manipulate Voters

Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, June 8, 2017

  1. DISINFORMATION, FAKE NEWS
  • The role of Russia’s intelligence services in the 2016 election represents the revival of Soviet efforts that predate even the Cold War. “Fake news” and financial assistance to opposition candidates, two measures that define Russian influence operations targeting the West, both date to the Stalinist period and the rise of the Soviet foreign intelligence apparatus.

Moscow’s Assaults On American Democracy Began 80 Years Ago

Ian Johnson, War on the Rocks, June 14, 201

  • Liberal democracies across the globe are under attack. They are being attacked not by traditional weapons of war but by disinformation—intentionally false or misleading information designed to deceive targeted audiences. While these attacks may not pose a threat to the physical safety of democratic citizens, they do pose a threat to democracy.

War by Other Means

Max Bergmann and Carolyn Kenney, Center for American Progress, June 6, 2017

  • Thanks to internet distribution, fake news is again a profitable business. This flowering of fabricated stories corrodes trust in the media in general, and makes it easier for unscrupulous politicians to peddle half-truths. Media organisations and technology companies are struggling to determine how best to respond.

The True History of Fake News

Tom Standage, The Economist, June/July 2017

  • Yasmin Green leads a team at Google’s parent company with an audacious goal: solving the thorniest geopolitical problems that emerge online. Jigsaw . . . is a think tank within Alphabet tasked with fighting the unintended unsavory consequences of technological progress. Green’s radical strategy for tackling the dark side of the web? Talk directly to the humans behind it. That means listening to fake news creators, jihadis, and cyber bullies so that she and her team can understand their motivations, processes, and goals.

Hacking Online Hate Means Talking to the Humans Behind It

Emily Dreyfus, Wired, June 7, 2017

  • Have you seen the Facebook video with Merkel and Putin trying to keep up appearances as their national anthems are being played by an Egyptian military orchestra? Or the video showing how a man in Thailand “hugs stray dogs to give them the love they never had”? If so, you might, perhaps unknowingly, have watched or even shared online material which is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign.

RT goes undercover as In The Now

EU East Stratcom Task Force, Disinformation Review, May 22, 2017

  1. SOFT POWER
  • Contrary to a view in which the U.S. cows or pressures others into doing its bidding through its military power alone, it has long relied on soft power to shape the world in a way conducive to its interests. . . . During the Cold War, the attractiveness of U.S. ideas, values, and policies helped inspire those living under Soviet rule to oppose it, and allowed the U.S. to sustain alliances in the face of decades-long pressure from Moscow.

How Trump Is Surrendering America’s Soft Power

Meghan L. O’Sullivan, Bloomberg, June 2, 2017

  • [Valentina] Matviyenko also pointed to the need to promote Russian cultural projects and to develop public diplomacy, youth and students, and sports with the obligatory involvement of non-profit organizations. “We are a country of great culture, not only in past but today also. And when abroad come to our musicians, composers, artists, open our exhibitions — it all works for a better understanding of our country’s soft power . . .

Matviyenko Called Russophobia Political Phenomenon

Rusreality, June 7, 2017

  1. GERASIMOV DOCTRINE
  • On March 15, 2017, a new article by Valery Gerasimov was published in the Military-Industrial Courier. Titled “The world is at the brink of war” . . . . Gerasimov presents a view according to which foresight is more important than focusing on lessons identified from current conflicts. Related to the 2013 “Gerasimov Doctrine” . . . this article is well worth taking a closer look.

The World as at The Brink Of War – News From Valery Gerasimov

Christopher Bilban, Sipol, March 22, 2017

  1. HYBRID WARFARE
  • Russia and other states have taken to hiring street gangs and thugs to do the sort of dirty work that even spies don’t want to touch.

The Kremlin’s Newest Hybrid Warfare Asset: Gangsters

Mark Galeotti, Foreign Policy, June 12, 2017

  1. INFORMATION WARFARE
  • This is really just a short brain dump of the basics to get started thinking about information warfare in a non-US way. Yes, that means Russian, Chinese, South African, Australian, etc. approach. It may come as a surprise to many, but information warfare has always been more and better researched by those that do not commandeer the world’s biggest military.

Information and information warfare primer

Saso Virag, Play God, April 23, 2017

  1. WHATABOUTISM
  • In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin employed the tried-and-true tactic of “whataboutism.” When asked about Russia’s reported meddling in American elections, he changed the subject to U.S. interference abroad: “Put your finger anywhere on a map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complaints that American officials are interfering in internal election processes.”

The Roots of the ‘What About?’ Ploy

Ben Zimmer, The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2017

  1. COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
  • . . . the United States, which created its own Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Yet today, that program is failing, weighed down by being overly ambitious, expansive and not discerning enough in who its partners with. There are some steps the United States can make, however, to correct course.

The Roots of a Failing War Against Extremism, at Home and Abroad

Robin Simcox, War on the Rocks, June 9, 2017

  • The month of Ramadan is a time of peak TV consumption in the Arab world, and in turn, peak TV ad budgets. So the Kuwaiti telecom company Zain decided to make to the most of the holy season with a powerful three-minute musical spot urging Arabs to reject suicide bombings.

The Powerful Anti-Terrorism Ad That’s The Hit of Ramadan

I agree to see, May 30, 2017

  1. NARRATIVES
  • A primary purpose of a Yale education, President Peter Salovey told Yale’s freshman class last year, is to teach students to recognize “false narratives.” Such narratives, Salovey claimed, are ubiquitous in American culture: “My sense is that we are bombarded daily by false narratives of various kinds, and that they are doing a great deal of damage.”

The True Purpose of the University

Heather Mac Donald, National Review, May 30, 2017

  1. HISTORICAL NARRATIVES
  • For centuries under the rule of conquerors, Ukrainians were basically deprived of the opportunity to influence the formation of national awareness and the development of their history, with the result that Ukraine’s history was composed predominantly to the advantage of their conquerors. Especially troublesome is the question of the pretensions and demands of Moscow, and later Russia, concerning the historical legacy of Kyivan Rus.

How Moscow hijacked the history of Kyivan Rus’

Yaroslav Dashkevych, Euromaidan Press, May 14, 2014

  • In addition to on maps, the Soviet narrative also dominated in school textbooks. Familiar Soviet tales of how the Soviet army “liberated” the Baltic states and how the peace-loving Soviet Union has not fought once since World War II, were repeated in Finlandized school books in Finland. The war in Afghanistan, which claimed so many lives, was considered to be a “problem”, yet the war in Vietnam was critiqued at length.

Your Silence Will Not Protect You

Sofi Oksanen, UpNorth, February 28, 2017

  1. IDEAS, CONCEPTS, DOCTRINE
  • Trump boldly urged Muslim religious leaders to preach a clear message: “If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned.” This flies in the face of the media-Hollywood belief that US foreign policy and Western culture cause terrorism, and the dominant view in academia that suicide terrorism is unrelated to Islam.

Jihad of the Jobless?

A.J. Caschetta, Middle East Forum, June 11, 2017

  • Patriotism involves a love of home and a preparedness to defend it; nationalism, by contrast, is an ideology, which uses national symbols to conscript the people to war.

The Case For Nations

Roger Scruton, Ethics and Public Policy Center, June 3, 2017

  • Catholicism came to affirm religious freedom by recovering an ancient conviction that had gotten encrusted with political barnacles over the centuries: the conviction that (as the 1986 Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation put it, luminously) “God wishes to be adored by people who are free.” Can Islam make such an affirmation?

Interreligious Dialogue with Edge and Purpose

George Weigel, Ethics and Public Policy Center, May 31, 2017

  • In the UK I had spent my entire life feeling marginalised and ignored. I felt that my people weren’t respected, that our needs weren’t taken into account. As a member of a tiny minority I felt like an outcast. I hated the United Kingdom for that. I was sick and tired of feeling like I had to explain all the time why we Jews aren’t all rich and no we Jews don’t control the media and no the Rothschilds don’t control the world financial system.

In Search of Utopia

Marc Goldberg, Quilliam, 2017

  • Posters were widely used by the United States for propaganda during World War II, so much that there were over 200,000 poster designs created and printed during the war. The posters mostly had a positive message, which differed from other countries and they were designed by artists who were not compensated for their work.

American Propaganda Posters in World War II

Lincoln Riddle, War History Online, June 13, 2017

Countries and Regions

  1. RUSSIA
  • Putin added that while the Russian state has never been involved in hacking, it was “theoretically possible” that Russia-West tensions could have prompted some individuals to launch cyberattacks. “Hackers are free people, just like artists who wake up in the morning in a good mood and start painting,” he said. “The hackers are the same, they would wake up, read about something going on in interstate relations and if they have patriotic leanings, they may try to add their contribution to the fight against those who speak badly about Russia.

Putin denies involvement in hacking, hails Trump

Ian Phillips and Vladimir Isachenkov, Fifth Domain, June 1, 2017

  • “Putin’s patriotic-hackers-out-of-bed-like-artists talk is purely political play, fodder for US media, sowing doubt—sharpening the wedge,” wrote Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College London department of War Studies who has closely tracked Russia’s electoral hacking efforts. It’s a rhetorical matryoshka doll, layering admissions inside denials inside distractions. And that’s the point.

Don’t Buy into Putin’s Latest Misdirection on Election Hacking

Brian Barrett, Wired, June 1, 2017

  • Conspiracy theories, fake news and the like are not uncommon themes in Russian media and society. However, they are usually directed against Russian interests from abroad, not the other way around. And the media is silent on Russian espionage directed against domestic opponents by the Putin regime. Adding to the confusion among Russians is their leading state-run TV stations’ schizophrenic coverage of “Russiagate”. It hints toward the Russian regime’s prowess in influencing the US election, while simultaneously treating the accusation as baseless Western propaganda.

Making sense of Russiagate: what do Russians think?

Filip Slaveski, The Conversation, June 1, 2017

  • Russia is trying to create the environment for the Russian people in which they will support warlike actions against the West, as a result of a probable provocation, which also may or may not be true. If the Russian people continually hear, read, and see indications that the West regards Russia as an enemy state, they will feel it justified to “strike back” or perhaps to launch a pre-emptive attack – a first strike and not wait for an American or Western attack on them.

Russian Warlike Words Versus Reality, But Wait, Bad Machine Translation!

Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, June 13, 2017

  • . . . Russia is capable of producing world-class, truly masterful bullshit. Russia has a rich history of art, literature, and political propaganda. And yet, when accused of meddling in the U.S. election, Putin’s response was to just flatly deny it. That was it. The country that gave us Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, and Yakov Smirnoff is now giving us nothing but “It wasn’t me.”

Why Putin’s Half-Assed Lies Are An Insult To The Rest Of Us

Aaron Kheifets, Cracked, June 10, 2017

  • The concept is straight from the Soviet playbook: Plant false information and use it to influence the attitudes of another country’s people and government. This “active measures” technique from the Cold War era appears to have been resurrected with alarming success by the Kremlin . . . . Here are some examples: A false report of a terrorist attack at a NATO base in Turkey: * * * The case of the phony Benghazi email: * * * False claims of pervasive voter fraud: * * * The Swedish attack that wasn’t: * * * Wiretapping claims * * * The murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich…

How Trump and His Allies Have Run With Russian Propaganda

Denise Clifton, Mother Jones, June 5, 2017

  • Putin understands and uses the new media in ways Soviet leaders never dreamed of. They did not have the Internet or social media, and thus their actions were both more obvious and more easily contained. Putin knows that flooding the market has the effect of driving the discussion even if what he pours in is neither true nor in the interests of those who unwittingly accept it.

Not ‘Constrained by Communism’ – Why Putin is a Greater Threat than Brezhnev Ever Was

Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia – New Series, June 3, 2017

  • . . . the Russians, now led by Vladimir Putin . . . began increasing their destabilization efforts all over the world. . . . They constructed an ideology vaguely built around Christianity in lieu of Marxism and used it to strengthen right-wing parties and governments against the United States. The ideology was new, but the strategy was still based on the principle that the greater the dissension in a country, the weaker it would be… and thus, the more secure Russia would be.

Russia’s History of Destabilization Campaigns

George Friedman, Geo-political Futures, May 29, 2017

  • Despite flashy repackaging, the militarization of information is not new in Russia. Psychological warfare has been a staple of Russian ROTC programs since the Cold War. It is also taught as a military science in the journalism faculties of major educational institutions such as Moscow State University.

The Secrets of Russia’s Propaganda War, Revealed

Alexey Kovalev and Matthew Bodner, The Moscow Times, March 1, 2017

  • Russia, under President Putin, has played an outsized role in the development of modern authoritarian systems, especially in media control, propaganda, the smothering of civil society, and the weakening of political pluralism.

Breaking Down Democracy: Goals, Strategies, and Methods of Modern Authoritarians

Freedom House, 2017

  • Every objective Russia-watcher knows that Russia lies – frequently, shamelessly, with abandon.

Russia’s Top 260 Lies – International Edition

Russia Lies, n.d.

  1. UKRAINE
  • . . . Ukraine should consider the following elements in its overall assessment: Focus Ukraine’s NATO messaging on achievements, not on expectations. * * * Invest in better strategic communications (StratCom) at home and in public diplomacy abroad. * * * Develop a unique country profile for Ukraine with a center of expertise on hybrid warfare. * * * Develop more cooperative diplomacy with neighboring countries.

How Ukraine can open its door to NATO

Bruno Lete, Euromaidan Press, June 9, 2017

  • Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, pro-Kremlin disinformation has been a paramount instrument for the Russia-backed separatists and for Russia itself. And it remains very much an effective tool to provoke tension in the country.

MH17 disinformation: back in the headlines

EU East Stratcom Task Force, Disinformation Review, June 8, 2017

  • The outbreak of war in the Donbas region (April 2014) turned Ukraine into one of the main targets of Russian information warfare, information-psychological operations, as well as cyberattacks and electronic warfare. Within the past three years, Ukraine has been subjected to no less than 7,000 cyberattacks.

Russian Electronic Warfare in Ukraine: Between Real and Imaginable

Sergey Sukhankin, Jamestown Foundation, May 24, 2017

  1. THE BALTICS
  • . . . the Kremlin’s propaganda machine is already hard at work, launching digital salvos deep into Latvian territory. Many in the region say the steady stream of disinformation aimed at manipulating public opinion and undermining Latvian society represents a more clear and present danger than an actual Russian military incursion.

Russia’s cyber trolls attack online as NATO troops gather in Latvia

Jeff Lagerquist, CTV News, June 13, 2017

  1. MACEDONIA
  • Russian spies and diplomats have been involved in a nearly decade-long effort to spread propaganda and provoke discord in Macedonia, according to a leak of classified documents from the country’s intelligence agency.

Russia actively stoking discord in Macedonia since 2008, intel files say

Luke Harding, Aubrey Belford and Saska Cvetkovska, The Guardian, June 4, 2017

  1. CHINA
  • A Chinese cyber security firm carried out a global campaign of cyber espionage and reconnaissance for the Ministry of State Security, Beijing’s main civilian spy service, according to security researchers.

Security Analysts Confirm Links Between Beijing Spy Agency and Security Firm

Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon, June 6, 2017

  • This weekend marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China in 1989, one of the most infamous dates in the country’s modern history. . . .China’s internet regulators are usually hard at work over the period, wiping out and preventing any potentially damaging comments online.

China’s Weibo restricts overseas users on Tiananmen anniversary

John Russell, Tech Crunch, June 5, 2017

  • In order to accomplish the mission of the “People’s War on Terror,” the Party Secretary of [Xinjiang University] Zhou Xuyong declared that all “static” (zaoyin) and “noise” (zayin) would need to be eliminated. Anyone who demonstrated the slightest resonance with unapproved Islamic ideologies was to be purified through a process of “reverse osmosis” (fan shentou). He said the goal was to create an atmosphere in which Uyghur Islamic “extremists” scurried across the street like rats while the public surrounded them screaming their disapproval and beating them in righteous anger.

Uyghur Names as Signal and Noise

Darren Byler, Milestones Journal, June 2, 2017

  • Chinese sanctions are usually designed to affect the other side on a hugely disproportionate basis . . . . Typically, they curtail Chinese imports, sometimes by abusing inspection for standards and phytosanitary purposes, sometimes by informal guidance to importers, and sometimes by encouraging consumer boycotts organized through social media.

Reimagining China and Asia

Retired Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Chas Freeman, March 23, 2017

 

  • The persecution of Christians in China takes place in three broad forms, mostly at the hands of the government. The first form is ideological eradication, which takes place through mandatory indoctrination in atheism in all schools, from the elementary level through university education, and in extracurricular youth organizations. The party also transmits atheist propaganda through the mass media and prohibits religions from utilizing public media.

[Report] In Response To Persecution

Under Ceasar’s Sword: Christian Response to Persecution, 2017

  1. NORTH KOREA 
  • Working with U.S. Government partners, DHS and FBI identified Internet Protocol (IP) addresses associated with a malware variant, known as DeltaCharlie, used to manage North Korea’s distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) botnet infrastructure. This alert contains indicators of compromise (IOCs), malware descriptions, network signatures, and host-based rules to help network defenders detect activity conducted by the North Korean government.

HIDDEN COBRA – North Korea’s DDoS Botnet Infrastructure

U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, June 13, 2017

  • Cyberspace has long been North Korea’s preferred battlefield precisely because of its own developmental weaknesses. For decades, North Korea’s overarching military strategy has focused on asymmetric attacks and limited provocations. Cyberwarfare is only the newest frontier for this doctrine.

North Korea Proves You Barely Need Computers to Win a Cyberwar

Brian R. Moore and Jonathan R. Corrado, Foreign Policy, June 5, 2017

  1. PHILIPPINES
  • Equally pressing is to cut off Maute jihadist propaganda on the Internet. That would magnify in their minds the inevitability of defeat, and stop them from gathering any more misplaced sympathy. The fight against Islamist terrorists is with arms as well as with cyber tactics.

Countering terrorist propaganda online

Jarius Bondoc, The Philippine Star, June 12, 2017

  1. BANGLADESH
  • Hefazat-e-Islam has become a leading advocate on Islamic issues and has vast influence beyond the millions who attend or have attended its madrasas. In recent years it has secured important concessions from the government, including revisions to textbooks that Islamize the public-school curriculum and the recognition of an equivalency between a madrasa diploma and a master’s degree. The group has been asking for the dismantlement of all “idols” in public spaces.

Bangladesh Puts Lady Justice in Her Place

  1. Anis Ahmed, The New York Times, June 9, 2017

 

  1. PAKISTAN
  • A 30-year-old Pakistani man has been sentenced to death by a counterterrorism court, following the conviction on charges he insulted the Prophet Muhammed and his wives on Facebook, officials said Sunday. Taimoor Raza, who belongs to the minority Shia sect in the Sunni-dominant country, was arrested last year following an online argument about Islam with someone who turned out to be a counterterrorism agent.

Facebook blasphemy: Pakistani man sentenced to death for insulting Prophet Muhammad

Fox News, June 11, 2017

  1. QATAR

Before Qatar was gripped in a diplomatic crisis, a fake video was slipped onto a government media site . . . touching off immense political fallout. According to published reports, the U.S. intelligence community believed the Kremlin may be the culprit.

With Qatar Hack, the Kremlin May Be Opening a New Front in Its Global Information War

Patrick Tucker, Defense One, June 7, 2017

  1. SAUDI ARABIA
  • Saudi Arabia, struggling with the fact that its four decade-long public diplomacy campaign, the largest in history, has let an ultra-conservative, often militant, inward-looking, intolerant genie out of the bottle that it no longer controls, sees Madkhalism, a strand of ultra-conservatism that advocates absolute obedience to the ruler, as the solution. In doing so, Saudi Arabia is perpetuating the fallout of its public diplomacy . . .

Gulf Crisis: A Battle For The Future Of The Middle East And The Muslim World

James M. Dorsey, Huffpost, June 11, 2017

  1. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
  • Communications and public diplomacy play important roles in Dubai’s growth plans and strategies. The Dubai Public Diplomacy and Communication Network is an integral part of our efforts to enhance the practice of these disciplines in Dubai. We believe there are many synergies to be gained from bringing together public and private sector organisations to share ideas and experiences in these fields.”

GE holds communications best practices workshop for members of Dubai Public Diplomacy and Communication Network

Government of Dubai Media Office, June 13, 2017

  1. ISLAMIC STATE
  • . . . since they began training their arsenal of cyberweapons on a more elusive target, internet use by the Islamic State, the results have been a consistent disappointment, American officials say. The effectiveness of the nation’s arsenal of cyberweapons hit its limits, they have discovered, against an enemy that exploits the internet largely to recruit, spread propaganda and use encrypted communications, all of which can be quickly reconstituted after American “mission teams” freeze their computers or manipulate their data.

U.S. Cyberweapons, Used Against Iran and North Korea, Are a Disappointment Against ISIS

David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, June 12, 2017

Toolkit

  1. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
  • While four in 10 schools nationally say they’ve seen a drop in applications from other countries and many worry Trump is to blame, diplomas from the Bay Area’s elite schools are still in demand. International applications to Stanford University haven’t dropped off, and Santa Clara University and UC Berkeley’s graduate programs have even seen upticks.

Draw of Silicon Valley stronger than fear of Trump for international students

Emily Deruy, The Mercury News, June 14, 2017

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