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US Intelligence Center Aimed at Countering Foreign Influence Nowhere in Sight

January 16th, 2022 14:27

US media is report­ing that a US intel­li­gence cen­ter aimed at com­bat­ting for­eign influ­ence and dis­in­for­ma­tion man­dat­ed two years ago by Con­gress is still not close to oper­at­ing. Accord­ing to an AP news report:

Jan­u­ary 10, 2022 WASHINGTON (AP) — As Rus­sia was work­ing to sub­vert U. S. elec­tions and sow dis­cord among Amer­i­cans, Con­gress direct­ed the cre­ation of an intel­li­gence cen­ter to lead efforts to stop inter­fer­ence by for­eign adver­saries. But two years lat­er, that cen­ter still is not close to open­ing. Experts and intel­li­gence offi­cials broad­ly agree the pro­posed For­eign Malign Influ­ence Cen­ter is a good idea. The U. S. has lacked a cohe­sive strat­e­gy to fight influ­ence oper­a­tions, they say, with not enough coor­di­na­tion among nation­al secu­ri­ty agen­cies. Adver­saries that tried to inter­fere in the last two pres­i­den­tial elec­tions con­tin­ue to bom­bard Amer­i­cans with dis­in­for­ma­tion and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries at a time of per­il for democ­ra­cy in the U. S. and around the world. But the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and Con­gress remain divid­ed over the center’s mis­sion, bud­get and size, accord­ing to cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials. While sep­a­rate efforts to counter inter­fer­ence con­tin­ue, a per­son iden­ti­fied this year as a poten­tial direc­tor has since been assigned else­where and the cen­ter like­ly will not open any­time soon.“It real­ly is just giv­ing a gift to Rus­sia and Chi­na and oth­ers who clear­ly have their sights set not only on the midterm elec­tions but on ongo­ing cam­paigns to desta­bi­lize Amer­i­can soci­ety,” said David Sal­vo, deputy direc­tor of the Alliance for Secur­ing Democ­ra­cy and a senior fel­low at the Ger­man Mar­shall Fund.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has report­ed on French, Swedish, and EU insti­tu­tion­al ini­tia­tives to com­bat for­eign influ­ence and disinformation.