• Congress,  Marketplace for Loyalty,  Public Diplomacy

    A Strategic Perspective on “Information Warfare” & “Counter-Propaganda”

    “Someday this nation will recognize that global non-military conflict must be pursued with the same intensity and preparation as global military conflicts.” Unfortunately, that day has yet to come but I hope this hearing is the start of setting us on the right path. Continuing to get this wrong is a threat to our national security, to our economic growth, and to our very standing as a world leader.

  • Russia

    RT as a Foreign Agent

    RT is squarely within the parameters of the definition of a foreign agent — and the intent of the legislation — by distributing informational materials on behalf of a foreign government. This is not about silencing speech. Even the Nazis weren’t convicted on the basis of their message, but the lack of transparency of ownership, direction, and purpose. Call it truth in advertising or know your source.

  • Media,  Russia

    Russia’s War on Information

    The best counter to propaganda is truth and transparency, not more propaganda. Honest, unbiased facts coupled with unimpeded discussion by an informed citizenry is the most powerful weapon against the Kremlin’s disinformation that drains the future from Russia’s people and threatens Russia’s neighbors. ... This is not about Russia Today. This is about Russia’s tomorrow.

  • Government Broadcasting

    Russia Today (RT) expands into San Francisco, claims ratings success in Washington and New York

    As the debate over whether Al Jazeera English should be available in the United States continues, Russia Today, the Russian government’s international news channel, quietly makes inroads across the United States. Kim Andrew Elliott, audience analyst at the International Broadcasting Bureau, a unit of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, draws our attention to a press release from RT from 11 February 2011: RT, an international TV news channel, has launched its English-language feed, 24×7, on San Francisco’s major cable provider, Comcast, which brings it to approximately 4 million viewers in the San Francisco metro area. In the U.S., RT is carried by cable networks in New York, NY; Chicago, IL;…

  • Defense Department,  Psychological Struggle

    Revising Information Operations Policy at the Department of Defense

    By Michael Clauser On January 25, 2011, Secretary Gates signed a memorandum (hereafter 1/25/11 memo) entitled “Strategic Communication and Information Operations in the DoD.”  The memo signals that the Pentagon’s “E Ring” is finally emphasizing the need for reform of interagency strategic communication (SC) and military information operations (IO). It’s frustrating that after eight years of irregular warfare in southwest Asia, it took an Act of Congress (literally) to sharpen the minds and pencils of the Pentagon to take the problems.  And now, Secretary Gates’ memo claims credit when it shouldn’t, takes for granted one of its most controversial statements, plays-up one minor bureaucratic re-organization while glossing over the disestablishment…

  • Counterinsurgency,  Psychological Struggle,  Terrorism

    Cartel Info Ops: Power and Counter-power in Mexico’s Drug War

    By John P. Sullivan Mexico’s cartels are increasingly using refined information operations (info ops) to wage their war against each other and the Mexican state, as noted in a recent post “Mexican narcos step up their information war” here at MountainRunner. These info ops include the calculated use of instrumental and symbolic violence to shape the conflict environment.  The result: attacks on media outlets, and kidnappings and assassinations of journalists by narco-cartels to obscure operations and silence critics.  Editors and journalists turn to self-censorship to protect themselves; others have become virtual mouthpieces for the gangs and cartels, only publishing materials the cartels approve.  Cartels are now beginning to issue press…

  • Now Media

    Wikileaks, Assange and the UN, an example of propaganda

    The Wikileaks community and Wikileaks watchers are actively and likely inadvertently the myth that Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder and front-man, is giving a “keynote” at the UN this week. They are forwarding a Tweet from @Wikileaks that includes a link to a Reuters “Factbox” article that appears to indicate Assange is speaking at the UN. In fact, he is not giving the “keynote” or otherwise speaking at the UN Human Rights meeting but at a press conference put on by the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights (IIPJHR), a nongovernmental organization registered in Switzerland. A minor detail.