The Coronavirus Disinformation System: Useful links

Russian pro-Kremlin media have mounted a “significant disinformation campaign” to aggravate the coronavirus pandemic crisis in western countries by destroying confidence in the emergency response, according to an internal EU report. 

The effort aims to stoke “confusion, panic and fear” and stop people obtaining good information about the contagion, as part of a broader strategy to “subvert European societies from within”, the European diplomatic service analysis says… Read more

https://www.ft.com/content/d65736da-684e-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3

EEAS SPECIAL REPORT: Disinformation on the CORONAVIRUS – Sort Assessment of the information environment

The Coronavirus Disinformation System: How It Works

Fighting disinformation fighting facts from fiction

https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/fighting-disinformation_en

Stemming the Tide of Global Disinformation

Council on Foreign Relations

Panellists discuss the extent of disinformation, its impact on democracy, and what can be done to prevent, mitigate, and stop its spread.

Although the panellists discuss threats against American democracy it is important to stress all democratic nations continue to be bombarded with disinformation from state and non-state players and disinformation is a serious global issue.

Speakers

Paul M. Barrett

Deputy Director, Center for Business and Human Rights, NYU Stern School of Business; Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

Amanda Bennett

Director, Voice of America

Richard Stengel

Former Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Author, Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation, and What We Can Do About It.

Presider

Nicholas Thompson, Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) promotes itself as:  “an independent, nonpartisan membership organisation, think tank, and publisher.”

Social Media Disinformation (February 2020)

Facebook suspends disinformation accounts in Russia, Iran and Myanmar (February 2020)

Facebook announced it had removed dozens of fake accounts linked to a coordinated effort to manipulate people on social media. The company said it had uncovered disinformation campaigns in Russia, Iran and Myanmar. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joins CBSN with details.

Chinese intelligence officer requesting political asylum in Australia exposes Communist espionage | 60 Minutes Australia (24 November 2019)

“A Chinese spy defects to Australia. His shocking revelations are guaranteed to infuriate Beijing.  How China conducts questionable activities around the world, including its attempts to infiltrate the Australian government.” (60 Minutes Australia)

Key points in this documentary:

  • Infiltrating Australia
  • Disinformation and subversion of democracy protesters in HK
  • Obtaining US intelligence
  • Unification of  Taiwan through political subversion
  • Cyber army and university students

Disinformation (Operation InfeKtion): How Russia Perfected the Art of War | NYT Opinion

“Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections is not a hoax. It’s the culmination of  Moscow’s decades-long campaign to tear the West apart. “Operation InfeKtion” reveals the ways in which one of the Soviets’ central tactics — the promulgation of lies about America — continues today, from Pizzagate to George Soros conspiracies. Meet the KGB spies who conceived this virus and the American truth squads who tried — and are still trying — to fight it. Countries from Pakistan to Brazil are now debating reality, and in Vladimir Putin’s greatest triumph, Americans are using Russia’s playbook against one another without the faintest clue.” (The New York Times)

Russia and Information Warfare: Aims, Tools and Implications for the West

Video produced in 2017 but still relevant for today’s information landscape.

An interview with Keir Giles, Director, Conflict Studies Research Centre; Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House.

  • How can the West counter Russia’s cyber and psychological operations? 
  • Can we talk about a “militarization” of information in Russia?

Recommended readings- non-kinetic warfare

This page provides a brief description by authors and links  to their books, academic papers and articles on non-kinetic warfare and is updated each month.

Books

Narrative Warfare, a Primer and Study guide

Narrative Warfare, a primer and study guide, is literally, a first of a kind and ground-breaking in its intent. The intent of this book is to give national security professionals and other interested parties a baseline understanding of narrative and its principles regarding the potential for predictably triggering behaviour. If we are to succeed on the battlefield of influence, understanding narrative is an imperative…   See more https://medium.com/@paulcobaugh/narrative-warfare-a-primer-and-study-guide-6ccae8d34397

Plato’s Fear Paperback – March 12, 2020

by Ajit Maan Ph.D.

Powerful narratives don’t simply target an audience; they create the target audience. The identity component of narrative is missing from assumptions that narrative is just a mode of communication. Narrative is the most fundamental tool of power. It is the means through which power gets institutionalized. Narratives are told to someone’s advantage and very powerful narratives may even preclude the telling of any alternative. But it is also a means by which power can be exposed, questioned, under-mined, and made to answer for itself…

Ajit Maan, Ph.D. is a security and defence policy analyst and a specialist in narrative strategies in radicalization processes. She is faculty at Union Institute and University’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program, George Mason University’s Centre for Narrative Conflict Resolution, and is member of The Brain Trust of the Weaponized Narrative Initiative at Arizona State University.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085RVQ4DK?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Soft Power on Hard Problems

This book is a practice in military civics. This collection of international perspectives challenges commonly held assumptions and outmoded paradigms of engagement. The authors share the view that the over-reliance on kinetic approaches over influence operations account for some of the failures of nations against extremists…

Information Warfare: The Lost Tradecraft Kindle Edition

by Howard Gambrill Clark (Author)

Dr. Howard Gambrill Clark, Ph.D. is a Yale graduate with twenty years of experience and research in countering violent extremism and counterterrorism: U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer and special unit commander (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Philippines); White House National Economic Council counterterrorism analyst; Department of Homeland Security Senior Intelligence Officer for Headquarters Operations Directorate and Senior Intelligence Analyst for Counter Radicalization; and Special Operations Command senior consultant and trainer for countering violent extremism and stability operations as well as service to the U.S. Information Agency and U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He received his doctorate from King’s College London War Studies.

Articles and papers available on the internet

PERSPECTIVE: Anatomy of Narrative Warfare and Social Media Ops Since the Last Election

October 30, 2018  Paul Cobaugh (Published by Homeland Security Today)

What follows is some basic perspective about where and how this type of analysis fits into the national security landscape. Of note, I will say that the topic is complex, to say the least. A great deal of scrutiny regarding the findings of this excellent piece of work is not only due but required for national security professionals in addition to well-informed citizens from other walks of life. Protecting the nation from malign influence is not exclusively the role of professionals but also the responsibility of citizenship. In terms of protecting the homeland, this study does, though, provide some of the best large-scale insights for national security professionals to date…

Mr. Paul Cobaugh retired from the US Army as a Warrant Officer after a distinguished career in the US Special Operations CT community, primarily focused on mitigating adversarial influence and advancing US objectives by way of influence. Throughout his career he has focused on the centrality of influence in modern conflict whether it be from extremist organisations or state actors employing influence against the US and our Allies. Post military career he was offered and accepted the position of Vice President at Narrative Strategies, a US based Think-Do Tank which specializes in the non-kinetic aspects of conflict. He has also co-authored, Soft Power on Hard Problems, Hamilton Publishing, 2017 and Introduction to Narrative Warfare: A Primer and Study Guide, Amazon, 2018

Narrative Warfare by Paul Cobaugh published 21 January 2019

Narrative Warfare, continues to come into prominence in the wake of modern Russian Active Measures styled warfare against her adversaries, both real and perceived…

More information on these and other subject matter experts working in the field of narrative warfare can be found at https://www.narrative-strategies.com/