"Quotable: Dan Goure on “countering Russian disinformation warfare," publicdiplomacycouncil.org
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Saturday, August 27th 2016
“Virtually all of the political measures that need to be implemented to counter Russian efforts to destabilize Europe and undermine its collective organizations are defensive in nature. What has received almost no attention is the potential to conduct an information campaign against Moscow and the Kremlin regime,” wrote Dan Goure (Lexington Institute) in an August 16, 2016, essay in The National Interest, “Defeating Russia's Ambitions In Europe.” The article included this section:
NATO and the EU need to invest in an array of public information assets for the purpose of countering Russian disinformation warfare and deception operations targeted at the nations of Europe. There have been some efforts in this regard with respect to cyber threats. NATO and the EU need to set up information cells to track Russian disinformation campaigns. These cells should also possess a quick reaction capability to rapidly counter Russian disinformation and propaganda. A number of European nations have national legislation or regulations designed to ensure that information carried in the media is reliable and objective. The penalties for knowingly providing false or misleading information should be made tougher and include not only fines but suspension of licenses to operate. Beyond these things, efforts to combat corruption, improve effective and honest governance, build credible partnership capacity and integrate minorities need to be significantly increased.
Virtually all of the political measures that need to be implemented to counter Russian efforts to destabilize Europe and undermine its collective organizations are defensive in nature. What has received almost no attention is the potential to conduct an information campaign against Moscow and the Kremlin regime. In 2015, the House Armed Services Committee sought to add $30 million to the budget for U.S. Special Operations Command for the purpose of expanding “global inform and influence activities” against Russia and terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. Much more than this is needed. Moreover, the money should go to an organization dedicated to countering hostile information operations.
A Western version of WikiLeaks directed at exposing corruption and the criminal behavior of the Russian elite could have a devastating impact on the Kremlin’s domestic credibility. Russia is expected to continue to refine and improve its techniques for information operations, including expanded use of social media. It would make tremendous sense for the West to exercise its enormous capabilities to do the same to Russia.