One of the most pressing foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States and its allies is how to address state and non-state malicious influence activities. The spectrum of threats is complex and diverse from violent extremists on one end, state actors on the other, and a complicated mix of actors in the middle motivated by a range of ideologies and intents.
To discuss these issues, the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, the U.S. State Department's Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) held an event titled, "Assessing U.S. and Partner Posture to Counter Propaganda and Disinformation," on February 19, 2020.
The event showcased two new publications. First is a policy paper, based on a year-long research project with the GEC, to assess and remedy crucial gaps in the U.S. government posture to confront malicious influence activities. Second is a special issue of the United Kingdom's RUSI Journal that analyzes a variety of propaganda and disinformation threats targeting democracies globally. Overall, the two publications offer strategic frameworks for understanding state and non-state malicious influence activities and strategic-policy guidelines for the U.S. and its allies.
Jani Vujica, Director of Analytics & Research at the GEC, opened the event followed by a panel discussion featuring:
Devorah Margolin, Program on Extremism senior research fellow;
Associate Professor Alastair Reed of Swansea University and editor of the RUSI Journal special issue; and
Dr. Haroro J. Ingram, Program on Extremism senior research fellow and author of the policy paper.