Despite the pursuit of US President Trump for Vladimir Putin’s affections behind the scenes, the United States is quietly preparing to wage an information war against Russia. This was reported by The Daily Beast.
Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy initiated the opening of a little-known interagency office housed at the State Department called the Global Engagement Center (GEC) and authorized $160 million over two years to fight propaganda.
Bipartisan Russian sanctions legislation, proposed last month by Senators Ben Cardin and John McCain, would expand it even further, dedicating an additional $100 million for the GEC and others to support objective Russian-language journalism, counter “fake news,” and support research on the effects of information warfare.
The interagency office, when it enters operation later this year, will mark the first centralized counter-propaganda pushback against the Russians since the 1990s, when the Cold War seemingly left such counter-propaganda obsolete, reports the daily.
The GEC will track foreign propaganda campaigns, analyze the tactics, and counter them through a series of grants to overseas journalists, civil-society organizations, and private companies.
“By directly countering false narratives and empowering local media and civil societies to defend themselves from foreign manipulation, this legislation will help support our allies and interests in this increasingly unstable world,” Senator Portman said.
The grants would go to independent organizations. For example, websites like Bellingcat and StopFake.org—which provide access to truthful information and counter false Russian narratives in Ukraine—would be eligible for these resources.
Earlier it was reported that Russia called the EU resolution on countering propaganda a “paranoia”. Russia promised to take countermeasures.