Category: Culture

Mastering the cultural factor can be the difference between winning and losing.

How a hostile foreign regime targeted a US company with propaganda

Many foreign governments target U.S. companies with hostile propaganda for political and financial reasons. A cache of secret emails among a South American strongman and his inner circle show how even small countries can run propaganda campaigns against some of the largest U.S. corporations. These attacks can be costly to the companies’ reputation and bottom line – and damaging to...

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...

Kurds make fun of ISIS in this parody video

Kurdish comedians make fun of ISIS terrorists and their abnormal affection for goats in a popular TV video. Made available with English subtitles by MEMRI, the video, aired on Kurdish television in October, is a four-minute musical skit of bearded men in front of an ISIS flag, playing air guitar with an AK-47 and singing about all the worthlessness and...

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...

Why aren’t we making fun of our enemies’ attraction to donkeys and goats?

Our Islamist extremist enemies around the world frequently engage in bizarre behavior that we can exploit simply by making fun of them. At issue is the jihadis’ inordinate sexual attraction to donkeys and goats. In addition to little boys. Made public for all the world to see, the behavior could become a real source of pain for the enemy. Pictures...

Infiltration of North Korea: The subversive Choco-Pie

Policymakers in the US often throw up their hands in frustration about how to get through to seemingly impenetrable North Korea, but a South Korean businessmen figured out a way. He had his staff hand out priceless treasures to North Korean workers: Coca-Cola and the Choco Pie. The Choco Pie is a chocolate-covered marshmallow-cookie sandwich that costs about 50 cents...