What the U.S. Military is Doing to Combat Disinformation

Military.com’s story August 16, “Fake News is Wreaking Havoc on the Battlefield. Here’s What the Military’s Doing About It,” demonstrates some of the challenges of identifying fake news and disinformation campaigns, particularly for U.S. troops in the battlefield, and highlights some of the new military counter-missions to address these sophisticated and ambiguous enemies. The article notes the Navy has added shipboard information warfare commanders to aircraft carrier strike groups; the Air Force established a new information warfare-focused unit; the Army is standing up a new cyberwarfare battalion that can dispatch teams to support operational forces; and the Marine Corps established a three-star billet in 2017 to oversee information warfare.

“Troops won’t only face misinformation in the Europe theater, military leaders and experts say. Spreading misinformation is cheap, fast and sometimes effective, making it an attractive option for adversaries worldwide.

In the Middle East, [Joe} Scrocca [director of public affairs at Army Europe] said misinformation often comes in the form of false reports of civilian casualties. The best way to combat the efforts, he added, is by being proactive, transparent and truthful.

Army Europe not only has personnel dedicated to monitoring the information environment to quickly spot fake posts and alert NATO allies, it’s also posting information ahead of time about upcoming exercises and other events to try to prevent any confusion about what U.S. troops are doing on the continent.”

Read the full article here.