FaceBook – the Not So Secret Influence Tool

FaceBook – the Not So Secret Influence Tool--> I admit I’m somewhat of a FB junkie. I’m on the site at least a couple of times a day. And, like most of us, I have read in this area how the Russians purportedly influenced the US appointment by amplifying the views of  the ‘right’. An example I read today was a September 6, 2017 article in the NY Times “Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads” (see: http://nyti.ms/2eJpGyw) addresses one facet of the Russian campaign.I frankly didn’t get the importance of FB as an shape standard until August 30, 2017 when I was questioned to be the Red Cross spokes person (I’ve been a Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer for years) at the San Francisco ABC Affiliate’s Day of Giving in help of people effected by Hurricane Harvey.In addition to taking donations and pledges over the buzz, my job would be to be a Red Cross voice if needed on camera. Since the last time I had been in a TV studio was in 1997 in Pale, Bosnia, I was rather looking forward to it.The actual ‘shooting’ schedule for the news was somewhat of a moving target, but I was told that we would be doing a segment on FaceBook Live. Presume my surprise when I was escorted to the FaceBook Live control room at the station. During the telethon I was fortunate sufficient and delighted to be on FBLive with Spencer Christian, one of the station’s key weather people.  (Photo source this week: FaceBook shots take by the Author)Unlike ‘real’ TV interviews that require heavy cameras, FB Live needs only a buzz. Of course, having a quality microphone dramatically improves the overall quality of the experience by raising the caliber of the sound.For those of us in the PSYOP/MISO world, this underscores the importance of the Internet as an shape standard. It also means that we need to always be on the lookout for people that can be effective and credible spokespeople.An unfortunate downside is that tactical CDR at all levels may assume that they are PSYOP experts and take to the airwaves themselves. History has shown that this is generally not a excellent thought, but as we have discussed on the POVA page on FaceBook and somewhere else, there is not too much you can do other than hurt control.--> Now, more than ever, we need to pay more attention to Social Media and its role in our respective shape campaigns. As always, reader input invited!

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Twitter Is A Game With Real Consequences

Twitter Is A Game With Real Consequences I’m not much of games player, but I chose to play one today. I chose to follow @POTUS. I mean after all, how often is it that you can get statements right from the Horse’s Mouth.The President has often been criticized for this Tweet from the Hip style. I dare say that it was that style that helped get him the White House in the first house. Does President Trump know how to play the Twitter game? It would seem so. (Photo Source: https://twitter.com/POTUS)Others, like the media, perhaps, not nearly as excellent as be with you the Twitter Game.On May 23, 2017 the NY Times published an article free “How Twitter is Being Gamed to Feed Misinformation” (see: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/technology/how-twitter-is-being-gamed-to-feed-misinformation.html?_r=0; which is also a photo source).   My own career has been intertwined with the media as well. I wrote articles for a variety of publications, published a couple of newsletters, and continue to write this Blog after nearly 10 years.I’ve also been someone who has worked with the global media in government, commercial and non-profit roles.I’m learning that Twitter is not a purveyor of truth, but more of a conduit for thoughts emotions and messages. Tweeting is an accepted form of journalism and Tweets themselves are sources for journalists. As the article clarification the 140 reputation format is a godsend for journalists and others looking for small, pithy quotes that make their job simpler. Sorry to say it doesn’t make the journalist more accurate, it just rewards laziness.Twitter can also be the voice of the herd. Public interest and concern in this area national disasters can be gleaned from the type and velocity of Tweets in this area it. Traffic peaks and ebbs, reflecting the cumulative perspective of the herd.Twitter is a notoriously unreliable source whose constituency includes  unreal people and groups and whose platform allows small groups to act and shape as huge ones.People and robotic re-Tweeting can add gasoline to the fire as noted in the article.Given its importance perhaps those exciting with implementing MISO should have a proficiency test as they do with their personal weapons.Reader input invited.

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Is it time to retire Loud Speakers in Favor of LRAD?

Is it time to retire Loud Speakers in Favor of LRAD?Frankly I didn’t know what a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) was until I saw an article in the June 1, 2017 in black and white edition of the NY Times which you can find on-line at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/nyregion/sound-cannon-protest-lawsuit-long-range-acoustic-device.html?_r=0, (which is also a photo source). The article addressed a law suit filed as a result of LRAD use on December 5, 2014 at a protest in Midtown Manhattan hostile to a grand jury’s failure to indict a police officer whose choke hold killed Eric Garner. Amongst other capabilities, the LRAD can inflict permanent hearing hurt although the article clarification that the LRAD was designed to repel boarders after the attack on the USS Cole. Compared to a noise flame thrower, the LRAD offers a digit of other capabilities as clarified on the vendor website: https://www.lradx.com/, which is another photo source.The vendor shows variants of the LRAD that can provide Mass Notification or Public Address capabilities as well as integrate with existing communication systems. There is also the capability of employing the devices remotely.  If one burrows down a bit in LRAD Corp’s website, under the Investor tab, you will find a Corporate Presentation. Slide 12 which appears here gives the company’s position with in the defense industry. It would seem that the HA & DR application would be a MISO/PSYOP mission while Large Crowd Communications might be a Military Police or MISO/PSYOP mission.As with many of today’s defense systems, the LRAD is complex, yet modular. Thus far the LRAD appears to be vehicle mounted and does not seem to be available in a Man Pack configuration at this time.Given the range of capabilities, operators will need to undergo some very solid training on ROE and the legal aspects of LRAD use. While permanent hearing hurt has been noted as a potential outcome, the lethality of this weapon has not been tested.For example, if the LRAD is ‘fired’ at a moving vehicle disrupting the operation and causing a fatality – does his go LRAD into the lethal force domain or not.  Reader input appreciated.

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Communicating in An Urban Disaster

Communicating in An Urban Disaster --> PSYOP/MISO are often called upon to help out in Disaster Recovery by communicating information to those affected by the disaster. San Jose is the 10th largest city in America with over 1 million people. The Coyote Creek runs north from Morgan Hill, CA. It is feed by Lake Anderson, a lake behind an earthen dam – Anderson Dam. For years the dam has needed seismic retrofitting and was supposed to be kept at 68%. Due to the recent rains here the dam was at 100%. A spillway is used to drain the water. The spillway flows into the creek which meanders through San Jose. If you Google “Rock Springs, San Jose” you’ll get a nice map.At one point 14,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders. These were ‘delivered’ block by block. There was also wide spread TV and other media coverage.. This week my wife and I are working for the Red Cross in help of the San Jose (CA) Coyote Creek Floods. My role is that of Lead Public Affairs Officer.Government and community organizations needed to get information out to the affected people and the general public. The Red Cross opened two shelters to help those impacted by the disaster. Given this as background, here’s what I’ve learned so far this week.1.     Nearly everyone is glued to his or her cell buzz. 2.     Charging stations and WiFi are more vital than washers and dryers.3.     Language skills are always useful. They are helpful in working the and of course, those impacted by the disaster.4.     No matter how urbanized an area may be, you will need low-tech communication media. There is no substitute for face-to-face communications or flyers. Merely putting something on-line is not sufficient.5.     As in war, no plot survives contact. The dynamics of a disaster and the effects on the population are always unpredictable.6.     Once the disaster subsides, politicians will rush to pin the blame somewhere else.7.     Announce media channels are competitors. They are each scrambling to find the best metaphors.8.     Reporters and politicians say what they reckon their viewers/viewers or constituents are most likely to want to hear and not consider the huge picture of what actions people should take or not take to lessen the distress.Reader input invited as always.Photo Source: The Author

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Global Engagement Center – New Focal Point for Countering Propaganda & Disinformation

Global Engagement Center – New Focal Point for Countering Propaganda & Disinformation As a parting holiday gift, President Obama signed the National Defense Act which, included (on page 547) Section 1287 Global Engagement Center (see: https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s2943/BILLS-114s2943enr.pdf) According to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and his co-sponsor, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): NOTE: The bipartisan Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is methodical around two main priorities to help achieve the goal of combatting the constantly evolving threat of foreign disinformation from our enemies:The first priority is developing a whole-of-government strategy for countering THE foreign propaganda and disinformation being wages hostile to us and our allies by our enemies. The bill would increase the authority, resources, and mandate of the Global Engagement Center to include state actors like Russia and Plates as well as non-state actors. The Center will be led by the State Department, but with the active senior level partaking of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The Center will develop, integrate, and synchronize whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign disinformation operations by our enemies and proactively advance fact-based narratives that help U.S. allies and interests.Second, the legislation seeks to control expertise from outside government to make more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, reckon tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and help the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.Source: http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=F973E46B-AA8C-4F3E-91B4-8EC0FC7F2F3EThere are two ways to look at this latest attempt at central coordination of shape. The clear view is that there is finally recognition that the US does not have a contemporary shape strategy and needs one very terribly. The new law and organization also concedes that the government does not have the internal capability to develop and do this strategy itself. By placing the Global Engagement Center within the Department of State, it can legitimately foster the President’s shape goals as the diplomatic arm of the cabinet.The other, more unenthusiastic view can found in The Event Report (see: http://www.theeventchronicle.com/fake-news-agenda/obamas-christmas-gift-america-countering-disinformation-propaganda-act/#), which is also the photo source and The Right Pundit (http://truepundit.com/obama-quietly-signs-the-countering-disinformation-and-propaganda-act-into-law/). The unenthusiastic view is deeply distrustful of government shape activity and compares the new Global Engagement Center to "The Records Department of the Ministry of Truth" in George Orwell's book 1984.As with many polarizing actions, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. The US clearly needs an overarching shape strategy and critics have legitimate cause for concern based on what many perceive as the dismal track confirmation of shape hard work in Afghanistan and Iraq and the media criticism of the use of contractors to further DOD shape goals abroad.Of course DOD’s actual role is unclear and the establishment of the Center within Department of State follows the civilian rule of government theory. Experience has shown that the practice will be far more hard than the conception.Reader input keenly sought.

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TV Producer Insight is Solid MISO/PSYOP Advice

TV Producer Insight is Solid MISO/PSYOP Advice When a consensus is found amongst media professionals, it’s worth sharing. As a Red Cross Public Affairs Officer my boss often sends some useful media references. Here's one in this area local TV producers are looking for: ‘“Air” Conditioning: Human-Interest and Visual Angles are Keys to Pitching TV’ (at: https://www.bulldogreporter.com/air-conditioning-human-interest-and-visual-angles-are-keys-to-pitching-tv-2/, which is also the photo source.)I’ve opined in the past that the word is becoming more visual and that media trends seem to be moving toward interactivity so that any media producer whether TV or Internet would be looking for sweet much the same things.Here are the highlights:1.     Highlight Visual Potential2.     Aim for Broad Appeal3.     Place a Human Face on The Story4.     Research Your Targets ( the media you hope to use)5.     Implementation News JudgmentThere are a couple of other tips, but these five are the key ones. You will also need to bear in mind some production tips as well.Putting a Human Face, especially a face that the viewer can identify with, is vital to the credib ility and impact of the report. Consider that as a major element of your hard work. If you are producing the video remember that  you can edit video, but you can’t edit audio. Any report that involves people talking should make sure that the speakers have their own microphones. Lavalier microphones are not expensive. See: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Lavalier/ci/8535/N/4291086006?origSearch=Lavalier%20Microphonesfor a reasonable selection.If you are working with a particular media outlet make sure you be with you their news rhythm so that you can help them schedule your report for maximum effect. Be a helper – providing security, transportation and perhaps some water or a meal can mean the difference of whether your report gets covered or not.Reader input encouraged.

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Can International Law be a theme for MISO?

Can International Law be a theme for MISO?The Economist published an on-line article from their 16 July 16 Photograph edition, “The South Plates Sea – Courting Distress” (see: http://www.economist.com/news/plates/21702069-region-and-america-will-now-nervously-await-chinas-response-un-appointed-panel?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/20160714n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/NA/n; which is also the photo source.) The upshot of the article  is that “the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an global panel in The Hague, has declared Plates’s “historic claims” in the South Plates Sea invalid”. The details of the case are not necessarily vital here, and you can read in this area them in the article or somewhere else.From a MISO perspective, let’s say you’re in a conflict where a case has gone to this venue or another respected global jurisdiction and the verdict came down on your side. Does this make it a fantastic theme for MISO?You might be tempted to jump to the conclusion that a respected global venue would certainly be a fantastic explanation and MISO theme. But, like many things legal related – it depends.If your consultation is one that respects global law and that court in particular and/or the consultation is more or less in favor of your argument, then it just might work.Sorry to say if your consultation doesn’t believe that the court is honest or if the consultation is  blatantly and perhaps irrationally different to your point of view , then your “global law argument” is not likely to be very effective.If you run the campaign anyway, you might convince some people, but more likely you will provide fodder for the adversary.Reader input encouraged!

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Internet of Things – A MISO Tool Whose Time Is Near

Internet of Things – A MISO Tool Whose Time Is NearGiven all the recent terrorist attacks by Daesh and their brethren, I was looking for an slant for MISO that had some legs. In my ‘day’ job at TAL Global Corporation in addition as serving as General Counsel, I’m the technology guy. This means that I manage data forensics investigations and integrate technology into investigations (e.g. covert video) when it makes sense under the circumstances.I’m also the proud owner of a new vehicle that sends me more e-mail than my younger son. Consequently, he Internet of Things (IoT) seemed like a logical topic. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, the IoT is connecting of formerly independent devices such as your car, TV, refrigerator, home thermostat, etc to the Internet.  You can find out more at: https://www.wired.com/2015/12/2015-the-year-the-internet-of-things-got-hacked/A excellent example of how the IoT can make a PSYACT is show on the video in the link for this posting’s photo (http://www.secureworldexpo.com/criminals-are-going-high-tech-and-driving-away-stolen-cars?utm_source=SW+Post+July+7%2C+2016&utm_campaign=SW+Post%3A+July+7%2C+2016&utm_medium=send by e-mail).The article and the video show a proof of concept of how it is possible to take over a target’s car remotely. While the temptation might be to turn that opportunity into a more lethal operation, combining the control of an vehicle with a video message would seem to be a sweet excellent way to get someone’s attention.Of course, this is probably a tactic you could only use once on a target because they would be sweet stupid if they did not increase the physical security of their vehicle after such an incident, but perhaps once is sufficient.Reader input encouraged!

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A PSYOPerator Has to Been More Than PSYOP Qualified

A PSYOPerator Has to Been More Than PSYOP Qualified One of the reasons I like working exercises is that they are a way to see what you can do and what you can’t do. A couple of weeks ago I served as the IO Role Player in an implementation simulating assisting a country with some disaffected military and political issues. This required me to act as the Personnel IO Officer, but more importantly I’m in the weeds of the MISO help to the operation. While the scenario and MESL are both pre-written, sometimes the Implementation Director throws a curve ball. During the last implementation I had to plot a MISO from scratch. Of course I had to figure out the MISO part – but there were other things I had to do and know before I could even approach the MISO component.First I had to reckon like the CDR. No matter how detailed the CONOP, or how many briefings are given and received, there is always something that is left out and you need to be with you the hidden or implicit elements of the huge operation and your piece of it.You need to be comfortable with mapping the main operation and your piece. In our world this may also mean understanding the nuances of the terrain and the weather as they might effect leaflet drops or telephone system wave procreation.We also need to be with you the information and digital battlefields. This means meaningful  your traditional high payoff media, and how you might integrate social media and mobile phones. Consider how the country would be knowledgeable of a natural disaster across a large area and be sure you be with you the legal and regulatory landscape as well.Once you have crafted your MISO, you’ll need to develop MOE. Lastly you need to develop different MISO COA so that you can quickly change your shape fires depending on the outcome of your MISO and the ‘huge’ operation.As always, reader input is encouraged!

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Building A Task Force? Start at the top.

Building A Task Force? Start at the top.One thing in this area the military and that is you can count on a manual or a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for just in this area anything. Whether it’s marching or filling out a form, there’s sure to be a document around to tell you how to do it.So – why does it often make sense not to even open the book?I’m on assignment where we are simulating the personnel of a MG that has been hastily assembled in response to a quandary in a foreign country. As typical, I’m the IO SME and the task of establishing the nature of the MISO task force falls to me.My starting point was the probable rank of the Task Force (TF) CDR and a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) as to the comparable size of the MISO unit. Having had many years of production with real and notional Task Forces as well as a perspective on their size and leadership through the years, my gut feel is sweet excellent and, as it turns out, backed up by doctrine as well.Over the years I’ve learned some valuable lessons. One of those is that success on a personnel may be due in part to your ability to gain access to the right meetings and working groups and to be able to hold your own in these groups. Sending an exceptionally talented officer who is too junior in rank might work in the commercial sector, but not in a senior center of operations.I recall that my boss in Bosnia was an 06, while I was a humble 05. He felt that access to the GOs was so vital to the ultimate success of the unit that he insisted on billeting with them at the NATO HQ while I was ‘with the troops’ on the other end of town.Turns out that he was right as some battles where just to get in and see the right person to able to state your case. Access was very much based on rank rather than competence.Reader input is encouraged.

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Rules for Playing On the Islamic Home Field

Rules for Playing On the Islamic Home FieldWith the 50th Super Bowl around the corner, sports metaphors abound this time of year. The PSYOP Community finds itself playing in ‘home fields’ around the world. Many of today’s AOs are in the Islamic world, an area of the world and a culture that are foreign to many of us.I had the fantastic pleasure of attending a lecture sponsored by the Safe Communites Institute, a part of the USC Price School of Public Policy. The speaker, Dr. Doron Pely is the Executive Director of the Sulha Research Institute (see: www.Sulha.org) and a colleague of mine at TALGlobal (www.talglobal.com).While we are taught that it’s often perilous to generalize, sometimes an educated, Kentucky windage leveraged analysis is a surpass house to start than one of ignorance. Today’s posting is a synthesis of the hour and half lecture. The data upon which it is based comes from a few sources. The essence is a comparison of perceptions of Israeli’s by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and vice versa – the perception of Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israelis. Arabs gathered Arab perception data while Israelis collected Israeli perception data.The yucky generalization is that these perceptions will closely align with perceptions of the “West” by Islamic populations in areas of conflict, especially those AOs with active military operations. How does the target consultation perceive you?According to the research, the West is viewed with the subsequent descriptors:·      Terrible, dishonest and uneducated.·      Cowardly and cruel.·      Violent with a lack of pity.The research also indicated that the West is perceived as lacking understanding of Islamic culture and lacking in empathy. This last point is vital because empathy is a vital prerequisite for conflict resolution.Research also showed that the Palestinians were split sweet evenly as to whether they felt it was beneficial to achieve a peaceful agreement. This point means that most Islamic conflict AOs will start with the West playing bump-up in gaining the trust and confidence of the population. The New “Normal”Those of use who have studied psychology in Western Universities learned the classic Maslow hierarchy of needs as shown below. (Diagrams courtesy of Sulha Research Center)But, the Sulha Pyramid below shows a juxtaposition that is fundamental to understanding Islamic culture. Notice that the basic physiological needs are in the middle of the pyramid with Honor & Admire needs as the base and Belonging as the second layer. Prior to wrapping up, let me offer the best practices provided in the lecture.1.     Mind the rituals.Small cuts won’t cut it. Building trust and respecting the process is a key to success.2.     Watch the state of Honor.Honor as fundamental in Islamic culture as fundamental as food and drink in the West.3.     Mind PrecedentsJust as you would with a court case, do some research to validate that what you want to do now has been done in the past.4.     Remember your role.A vital hint is that those with power ‘pull’ while those who perceive themselves as victims will ‘push’. Pulling implies indirect pressure.5.     Keep the constituencies in mind.Consider each party’s perspective.6.     Use creative reframing.Constantly insure that you are in empathy with the process while framing your positions.We in the PSYOP community need to be lifetime learners, sometimes this also means we need to search for new perspectives that help us optimize our hard work in diverse AOs.Reader input encouraged!

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Case Studies & PSYOP

Case Studies & PSYOPThe beginning of a New Year is always a time to reckon in this area new perspectives. One of the staples of business education is the case study. Sometimes referred to (at least in the olden days when I went to school as the Harvard Case Method (see: https://hbr.org/store/case-studies?cm_mmc=cpc-_-google-_-domestic-_-cases&referral=02276&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=dom_cases&gclid=CPKZo4iokcoCFUhcfgodY4QCBQ) The students received a mini-booklet that described a company. By design it included financial statements, marketing information and panoply of other stuff. Your job as the student was to figure out what was incorrect with the company and offer your recommendations on how to fix the company.I had one entrepreneurial professor during my MBA program at Babson College who gave us an assignment on a case study with a different slant. Our job was not to solve the company’s problems, but to get the consulting contract wherein the company would pay us to solve their problems.This assignment required a whole different set of skills and, in retrospect, formed some of the basis for my starting and running my own successful consulting business.One of my sources directed me to a LinkedIn piece which in turn directed me to an article: “Russian Propaganda, Disinformation And Estonia’s Experience – Analysis (see: http://www.eurasiareview.com/04102015-russian-propaganda-disinformation-and-estonias-experience-analysis/, which is also the photo source).The content of the article is sweet excellent – but I am referencing it as a potential tool for PSYOP/MISO education. Given the range of contemporary and potential adversaries and AOs, it is incumbent on us to develop the processing of thinking for PSYOPers.I would point to regionally-oriented on-line sources as a way to do this. The site referenced above seems to be a excellent one and I’m sure that there are others as well. In particular I feel we should be leveraging this type of implementation to stimulate the student plotting process and to learn in this area other parts of the world notably Asia, Africa and Latin America.Reader input encourage and the best and brightest of New Year’s to all y’all!

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Combatting Radicalization Through Government Influence: Good, Bad or Ugly?

Combatting Radicalization Through Government Influence: Good, Bad or Ugly?The NY Times on October 19, 2015 published an article “Britain Unveils Plans to Fight Extremism in Young Muslims” (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/world/europe/david-cameron-britain-muslims-radicalization.html?_r=0)While this proposed program is only in it’s formative stages, the article has some key points that are worthy of consideration by the shape community writ large.Here are a couple of key points:1.     How aggressively can a government confront extremism lacking alienating their opposing moderates?2.     Will promoting a nation’s values (British, American, German, etc.) raise strong concerns of moderates in the target consultation?3.     Is it really possible to ‘clamp down on the broadcasting of extremist messages… by involving the “industry government and the public”’?The article itself is concerned with shape hard work inside Britain, yet the three points above are applicable to many contemporary and potential shape battlefields. The notion of domestic shape is one that has not been widely considered.Recent incidents conducted by non-affiliated terrorists (e.g. Boston Bombing) or by domestic terrorists (Oklahoma City) confirm that the threat exists in the US as well as Britain. The implication is that anyone inside a country may be radicalized. Does the government have a duty to try and prevent the radicalization by employing its resources to disrupt the radicalizer and minimize the effectiveness of their messages and if so, how likely is it that they will succeed?Taking each point in turn.Any shape effort needs to strike a balance. This implies careful research and perhaps pre-testing, focus groups and enlisting moderates to help craft the campaign and its messages.Secondly, promoting one’s values to another is IMHO not a excellent strategy. Others outside your sphere really don’t want your values – they have grown up with theirs and only multi-generational evolutions can alter that path.Lastly, given the porous and borderless nature of social media, this would seem like the digital equivalent of cleaning out the Augean Stables. Even so, is it worth the attempt?Reader input invited.

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Is Media “Support” A MISO Mission?

Is Media “Support” A MISO Mission?On September 22, 2105 the Altlanticist ran an article “Western Media Must Fight Russia’s Letha Propaganda More Aggressively” (see: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/western-media-must-fight-russia-s-lethal-propaganda-more-aggressivelywhich is also the photo source.)The thesis of the article is that Russia controls its media in a way that puts a pro-Russia spin on events that amounts to a “major global propaganda effort”.  Muzzling media is often a two edged sword. On one hand you can try to silence critics, but on the other you risk alienating freedom of the press advocates and incur their wrath on the global stage. A key point made by the article is: “It is possible that democratic tools and the standard requirements for balanced journalism are simply incapable of production with virulent state-generated propaganda.” Does it make sense for the US to harness its shape assets (importance State Department Public Skill and MISO) as a means to try and counter balance Russian hard work?One could argue that since most media is now digital, resources in the form of content or funding could be channeled to key digital media outlets that help US policy and goals and which could help in a counter  Russian propaganda campaign.Of course since this type of resourcing is not military in nature, but more in the diplomatic realm, State would have to be in the lead and MISO could be tasked on a project basis to help breed needed content and/or to provide monitoring and analysis of Russian propaganda as well as content recommendations.This would appear to be a win-win situation because:1.     MISO personnel could bring needed language skills.2.     The work would be valuable training for MISO personnel.3.     MISO personnel would be subcontractors to the Department of State who ruins in the lead.Such media help could be extended to other areas as well such as ISIS. The name of the game being to counter unenthusiastic propaganda, because unanswered propaganda becomes more believable over time lacking regard to its lack of truth.Reader input invited.

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