Category: Political warfare

It’s more than political action, but short of outright warfare. That gray area that free countries just don’t do any more.

The Muslim Brotherhood: Doctrine, Strategy, Operations and Vulnerabilities

Want to discover the vulnerabilities of the Muslim Brotherhood? Study its doctrine, strategy and operations worldwide. That’s what I set out to do in my chapter, “The Muslim Brotherhood: Doctrine, Strategy, Operations and Vulnerabilities,” appearing in the newly published book, Meeting the Ideological Challenges of Islamism: How to Combat Modern Radical Islam. The work was edited by Anna Bekele and...

Designing an Information Warfare Campaign Against the Global Jihadi Movement

The US Army has published my chapter, “Designing an Information Warfare Campaign Against the Global Jihadi Movement,” as part of the Threat Knowledge Group’s special report, The Islamic State and Information Warfare: Defeating ISIS and the Broader Global Jihadist Movement. The report, written in 2014, was prepared for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, US Army Special Operations...

Forward defense for frontline states: Exploit Russia’s internal vulnerabilities

In the face of unprovoked danger from Moscow, NATO’s front-line states should exploit Russia’s internal weaknesses to deter external aggression. Visiting Lithuania last week as a guest of the foreign ministry, I urged the country’s leaders and its growing online community to be assertive in the face of Russian subversion of their small country. Moscow has begun a propaganda campaign...

Kyiv Post: Ukraine’s secret weapon

Ukraine has a secret weapon that it can deploy to defend itself against Russian aggression and subversion, and to deter further Russian hybrid hostilities against other countries. I discuss “Ukraine’s Secret Weapon” in a guest piece published April 7 in the Kyiv Post. Here’s the text: Like no other country, non-aligned Ukraine has an untapped capability to defend itself against...

No Defeat Jihad Summit strategy author was invited to White House CVE summit

Among the many experts and practitioners invited to participate in the White House’s Countering Violent Extremism strategy summit, not one was involved with the Defeat Jihad Summit strategy sponsored earlier this month. This is significant, as the Defeat Jihad Summit authors approach the issue as an ideological one, requiring ideological warfare – something that the White House has opposed. Equally...

‘How to identify misinformation’ – A reprint of the guide that the State Department purged

The US Department of State used to maintain a page on its website to advise people “How to identify misinformation.” The site, launched on March 9, 2005, has since been taken down and scrubbed from the State Department’s electronic archive. The URL was http://usinfo.state.gov/media/misinformation.html. An image of an archived State Department page that contains the text of a May 31, 2005...

CNN discusses US propaganda effort against ISIS

Today, Ashleigh Banfield of CNN ran a segment on US propaganda efforts against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists. The US State Department seems very proud of its “Just Say No”-style videos designed to persuade prospective ISIS recruits from joining the cause. Ashleigh seemed very skeptical – and rightly so – about the effort, and CNN invited me over for an...

In Forbes: Die-hard KGB men are still planting forged documents to pollute our thinking

“A once-feared KGB general now sits on suicide watch in a Vienna jail, a tawdry end to terrible tale. His strange story—worthy of a thriller—is a case study of how the former KGB uses forged documents to influence Western reporters, diplomats and politicians.” That’s the lead of my piece in Forbes, published September 3, which focuses on a former KGB...

Lithuania: One of the few NATO allies that ‘gets it’

As a collective defense alliance, NATO is made up of members with their own strengths and weaknesses – mostly weaknesses. However, where NATO as an organization is terribly weak – defense against hostile propaganda and subversion – there is one ally that can add value far beyond its small size. That ally is Lithuania. I visited Lithuania this week as...

Captured FARC messages show success of divisive operations

Internal emails of the Colombian FARC leadership show the guerrilla organization to be plagued by divisions, poor discipline, weakened command, and distrust among commanders. Colombia’s increasingly sophisticated counterinsurgency strategy of the past few years, and strong US support, are cited with exacerbating divisions within the FARC. The news also shows the effectiveness of the Colombian military and police with exploiting...