The US is going to create a special center for fight against the foreign propaganda.
On Friday, US President Barack Obama signed a bill on the US appropriations for military purposes in fiscal year 2017 – the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. According to the document, in the next year, the Pentagon’s budget will amount to approximately $619 billion.
The funding for the US Defense Department for 2017 includes creation of a special center for a fight against foreign propaganda, the so-called Global Engagement Center. According to the sec. 1287 of the act, the budget allocates funds to create the center, which will “lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”
The center will also develop a strategy for fighting against such campaigns.
The competence of the center, in particular, will include providing of “grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, media content providers, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions,” which are involved in gathering and analysis of information, and the fight against foreign misinformation.
In addition, the signed act also affects Russian interests and provides Washington an opportunity of creation an unlimited ballistic missile defense.
In connection with the signing of the document, which has already gone into operation, the White House issued a written statement of Obama. According to the statement, the new act authorizes continuation of the financing of many critically important programs, which are needed, in particular, for maintaining of high rates of the military operation against the Islamic State terrorist group, as well as for encouragement of European allies of the US. The latter means build-up of the forces and means of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on its eastern flank. This program has been implemented since 2014, and in its framework the North Atlantic Alliance tries to undertake new efforts on containment of Russia under the pretext of its ‘aggression’ in Europe.
Two key amendments were included in the bill and taken without attracting much attention at the stage of its passing through the Senate and the US House of Representatives. One of them dictates to remove the word “limited” from the wording of the legal basis, regulating deployment of the US missile defense system, and the second one authorizes the development of its elements, designed to be placed in space.
The author of the both amendments, which radically change the US policy in the field of the ballistic missile defense, is a member of the US House of Representatives, Trent Franks (a Republican from Arizona). In an interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper, published on Friday, he admitted that developing these documents, he was guided by the notorious Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) of the time of US President Ronald Reagan. This program, also known as ‘Star Wars’ swallowed up about $30 billion from the US federal budget and finally was scrapped.
In June, the White House stressed that it “strongly objected” to the both amendments, developed by Franks. However, Obama did not use the right of veto in relation to this legislative initiative.