So implies the “Bill to counter informational warfare”, introduced by Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Kinzinger.
Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
The official name of the bill is Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016. It was filed in to Congress on the 10th of May and will be examined under number H.R.5181. According to one of its importers – Democrat Ted Lieu, the purpose of the new law is “to help US allies in their informational war with Russia”. The other contributor to the bill – Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, stated that “At a time when Russia and China are conducting hybrid military campaigns, the United States has a unique opportunity to meet these manipulations with a powerful stream of truths”.
In recent years, the USA has conducted an unprecedented informational war with its main geopolitical rivals, China and Russia. Carolyn Galakteros, of the French magazine “Le Point” states that “the most important for Washington, is to not squander the moral credit that it acquired after the victory in the Cold War, which gives the United States the role of good and makes all others bad and evil.” This simplistic reading of international events has been severely eroded by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the critical analysis of “color revolutions” as a technology to remove inconvenient governments and cash in fair popular anger into a geopolitical currency.
Rep Kinzinger is quite explicit in his explanation: “By spreading misinformation and false reports, Russia harms US interests in countries like Ukraine”.
The key point in the “Countering information warfare bill” is the creation of a Center for Information Analysis and Response, within the State Department. The structure inevitably stirs memories of the “Ministry of Truth” in the dystopia of George Orwell. The center is meant to spread a “powerful stream of truth” as Rep. Kinzinger calls it. This will lead to a “secure global stability and will prevent conflicts” states the author of the law. The Center for Information Analysis and Response must be built by the US Secretary of State in cooperation with the Minister of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Council on Electronic Media (Broadcasting Board of Governors – BBG). Members of this Center will lead and coordinate the collection of information on the military plans of foreign governments, including on the funds and organizations that use grant funding. The staff of the Center will monitor and analyze the propaganda methods of opponents, including an overview of print and electronic media, social networks, the positions of political parties and public organizations, think tanks and the NGO sector.
The second major task of the Center is to analyze the propaganda strategies of the opponents of the US, in order to establish a common counter-propaganda. The Center will be obliged to inform the public about American counter-propaganda efforts and also to ensure an “adequate protection of allies and friendly countries” subject to such enemy attacks.
The bill Kinzinger-Lieu envisages the creation of a special fund to finance the training of journalists, as well as providing grants to non-governmental organizations, research centers, private sector companies, media and so-called independent experts capable of analyzing propaganda methods. The bill pays special attention to students and community leaders from countries subject to “hostile propaganda” that submit documents to participate in US exchange programs.
The new bill sounds like an attempt to centralize the current American efforts in the propaganda war, that was coordinated by multiple agencies and various programs in the past two decades.