Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Russian Active Measures in Germany and the United States: Analog Lessons from the Cold war

Laura Daniels,

image from

Today, it is even more important to raise awareness of unscrupulous practices and common narratives rather than relying on post-facto refutations. Social media shortens the response window and allows disinformation to evolve as events unfold on the ground. Rapidly spreading disinformation took its toll on targets in the Cold War, like when a Soviet rumor spread by radio, which claimed that the CIA was behind the 1979 Grand Mosque attack in Mecca, led to the burning of the Islamabad U.S. Embassy. In the internet era, disinformation can spread even faster. ...
[A] capable diplomatic corps is needed to protect against active measures that are aimed at isolating countries internationally. Given Moscow’s persisting efforts to weaken solidarity among NATO allies and European Union member states, it would be shortsighted to undercut those diplomats whose regional and public diplomacy expertise are best equipped to raise awareness and catch disinformation before it spreads, and, when it already has, to reassure allies or quell public outrage abroad. ...

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