Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

US Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation and Propaganda

Ladies and Gents, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of the players who are NOT playing or aren’t playing enough.

1 – Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications (DNSASC). It was Monica Crowley until she was outed for plagiarism. The office remains unfilled. Before her was Ben Rhodes, but he was consumed with dirty tricks, speechwriting, and foreign policy advising. His predecessor was Denis McDonough, but he didn’t have enough time in the job before being asked to be White House Chief of Staff. Mark Pfeifle and Kevin McCarthy did the job in 2008/9 and were the last to actually coordinate all the community assets for Strategic Communications, the real job. We need a person in the job of DNSASC ASAP.

Sub-1. Intelligence Community. Without a DNSASC the Intelligence Community is coordinating with the national security council, perhaps even with the DNSASC staff, but the effort is incomplete without dedicated leadership. I hear you’re doing a great job, but please be sure you don’t quash other efforts in your desire to please.

2 – Department of State – GEC. Supposedly they received $40 million of the $80 million they were promised, but there’s been no hiring and no new efforts seen. They were minus a chief for over eight months, but they were concentrating on ISIS the entire time. They asked for and received two strategies from me on how to counter Russian disinformation and propaganda, but nothing has happened so far.

3 – The Broadcasting Board of Governors has done a great job moving internal resources around and attempting to counter Russian IW, but they are maxed out. Congress should be shoving money their direction, in the amount of $1 billion or more to adequately counter the overwhelming Russian IW program.

4 – Information Operations – US Department of Defense. As I understand, US military IO is not allowed to counter Russian IW, because Russian IW has not been declared an enemy, a national security threat, or that we are in phase 0 of a crisis in the information realm. All these hundreds of trained professionals are sitting and waiting for the green light. Now that ISIS is on the run, can’t the JIOWC be refocused?

5 – Congress. Calling for hearings is good but doing something is better. Call Russian Information Warfare a national security threat. Theresa May just did that for the UK. Order contingency plans to be made and prepare people, places, and things to counter Russian IW. Then do it. Properly fund the GEC, BBG, and IO for the clear and present danger we face.

6. POTUS. Tell us the Russian Information Warfare program was aimed at our 2016 US national election, caveat that with ‘we do not know, nor may we ever know, the exact impact’. Tell us that Putin lied to your face, saying “I did not interfere in the US election”, Russia did. Join the UK in telling Putin, “we know what you did and we’re not going to let you continue.”