Diary

An Easy Way to Lose an Information War: Spend Zero of the $120 Million Authorized

From the NYT:

As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.

As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.

Putin probably hasn’t spent $120 million since 2014, when he started his intensified propaganda-disinformation campaign, and it seems like his efforts were pretty effective, no?. Why wouldn’t our counter-efforts be just as effective? This lack of US effort is tantamount to one army firing a slew of mortars while the other side (us) is hunkered down in a trench, thumbs deeply inserted up our collective asses. But it makes sense in an odd way. Trump has not uttered a single negative word about Putin, and apparently the same applies to that $120 million.