International Security & Defense

711 Items

A staff member in the Kweisi Mfume campaign uses gloves while holding a cell phone during an election night news conference at his campaign headquarters after Mfume, a Democrat, won Maryland’s 7th Congressional District special election, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Baltimore.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Report

The Election Influence Operations Playbook, Part 1

September 2020

Influence Operations (IO), also known as Information Operations, are a series of warfare tactics historically used to collect information, influence, or disrupt the decision making of an adversary. IO strategies intentionally disseminate information to manipulate public opinion and/or influence behavior. IO can involve a number of tactics, including spreading false information intentionally. This is known as “disinformation.”   

Skilled influence operations often deliberately spread disinformation in highly public places like social media. This is done in the hope that people who have no connection to the operation will mistakenly share this disinformation. Inaccurate information spread in error without malicious intent is known as “misinformation.” 

This playbook explores mis- and disinformation incidents that specifically focus on elections operations and infrastructure. Election officials may not often see or know what the motivation is behind the incidents encountered or whether they are mis- or disinformation. Throughout these guides we refer to mis/disinformation incidents together, as the strategies for countering or responding to them are the same.  

Voters wait in a line outside Broad Ripple High School to vote in the Indiana primary in Indianapolis, Tuesday, June 2, 2020 after coronavirus concerns prompted officials to delay the primary from its original May 5 date.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Report

The Election Influence Operations Playbook, Part 2

September 2020

This section of the Playbook includes recommendations and materials focused on the response process. It will help election officials respond to election-related mis and disinformation incidents quickly and in a coordinated fashion. 

In this playbook, we refer to mis/disinformation throughout as one concept. Instances of both misinformation and disinformation in the elections process provide incorrect information to voters. Incorrect information can be conveyed intentionally or unintentionally. For election officials, any incorrect information, regardless of source or intention, presented to voters can pose a threat to elections, because it can undermine voters’ understanding of and trust in the election.

Anti Brexit campaigner Steve Bray holds up a banner outside Parliament

AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Britain Is Botching This Cold War Just Like the Last One

| July 29, 2020

Calder Walton recounts the history of World War II which shows that Britain and the United States were in a Cold War with the Soviet Union before they knew it. The same is true today: Britain and the United States are in a Cold War with Russia whether policymakers in London and Washington like it or not.

Tractors on Westminster bridge

AP/Matt Dunham

Paper - Institut für Sicherheitspolitik

The Global Order After COVID-19

| 2020

Despite the far-reaching effects of the current pandemic,  the essential nature of world politics will not be transformed. The territorial state will remain the basic building-block of international affairs, nationalism will remain a powerful political force, and the major powers will continue to compete for influence in myriad ways. Global institutions, transnational networks, and assorted non-state actors will still play important roles, of course, but the present crisis will not produce a dramatic and enduring increase in global governance or significantly higher levels of international cooperation. In short, the post-COVID-19 world will be less open, less free, less prosperous, and more competitive than the world many people expected to emerge only a few years ago.

Audio - The Red Box Politics Podcast

From Russia with Love

| July 21, 2020

Matt Chorley is joined by two experts on Russia — Dr Jonathan Eyal from RUSI and Dr Calder Walton from Harvard — to dissect the Russia report, published by the British Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, and look at the country's history of interference abroad.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns gives remarks.

BTI Project / YouTube

Analysis & Opinions

How to Dismantle Democracy: Authoritarian Trends from A(merica) to Z(ambia)

| June 25, 2020

Authoritarian modes of governing have steadily increased over the past 10 years. A number of autocracies have intensified their repressive tactics, while several democracies – many of which were once classified as consolidated – have tampered with fundamental rights and the rule of law. Despite a few developments to the contrary, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2020 highlights the ongoing decline of democracy around the globe.

The presentation of BTI results focused on the resembling patterns of dismantling democracy in (highly) defective democracies such as Hungary, Moldova, the Philippines, Serbia or Zambia and regimes in which this process has been so pronounced that they are now categorized as autocracies in the BTI, such as Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Turkey or Uganda. It looked at the typical sequence to an authoritarian deconstruction of democratic institutions from within, from the purposeful undermining of oversight institutions, attacking the media and civil society to manipulating the electoral system, in order to examine the resonance of these trends in the United States. The goal of the discussion is to identify the features and underlying causes of this erosion, and to suggest promising counter-strategies.

Photo of President Donald Trump (without a mask) touring Puritan Medical Products medical swab manufacturing facility, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Guilford, Maine.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

We Must Say Out Loud What We Fear and What We Believe

| June 10, 2020

Mr. Trump takes risks for the perfect photograph. He's not alone in that. Hundreds have died seeking the perfect selfie. But the moral calculus is entirely different. Mr. Trump isn't bearing the risk. Mr. Trump's photo ops are dangerous for everyone else - those standing next to him, sitting in front of a church, working at their jobs, or lying in their beds - three feet or three thousand miles away. 

Protest against racism and police violence at the U.S. embassy in Berlin after the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States.

Leonhard Lenz / Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions

Protest Breadth Are a Novelty in Recent American History

| June 09, 2020

Speaking with NDR Info, Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook discusses the roots of systemic racism in the U.S. and how the country has changed since the 1960s, when sustained protests shifted the civil rights landscape. She addresses the impact recent events have had on the American political landscape, as measured in recent polls and  discusses the meaning of solidarity protests across the world and their impact on political discourse in the U.S.