As the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) Senior Editor, I would like to say firstly that all of us at GIOR are sick at heart over yesterday’s events at the US Capitol. Personally, I began my fight against extremism in the US during the 1990s, and the right-wing extremism I saw then was then confined to the fringes of society but now, tragically, has reached the heart of US democracy. This attempted insurrection in the US only reinforces the need for a publication such as the GIOR. As it says in our FAQ:
We consider the rise of state-sponsored and transnational influence to be the most profound threat facing the West as it seeks to counter the flood of disinformation that makes rational discussion of public policy increasingly difficult, if not impossible.
As we also say in the FAQ about why we included the US in our coverage:
The US is unique among democratic countries at this point in time because it is the only democratic country that is known to have its own government and/or a major political party conducting influence operations directed at its own citizens. This looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
We take no pleasure in having made the correct decision about the US, which is perhaps the primary global target of influence/disinformation campaigns, including those originating within its own political system. The shocking images from yesterday’s attack on the US Capitol, by what appear to be largely right-wing extremists, starkly illustrate the inevitable outcome if such campaigns are not successfully challenged.
For our part, the GIOR vows to redouble our efforts to expose influence operations and disinformation campaigns across the globe. We are a new and therefore small operation, but readers who find our work of use can help us grow by liking and retweeting our material whenever it is found to be of use. Together, we can hopefully make a difference in this fight for the soul of our democracies.
(NOTE: Given the importance, we are posting this message across all GIOR categories.)