The problem with the CEPA piece is that one of the sources linked in the story are Kremlin media. In fact, the sources are obscure websites with little to no readership and no demonstrated ties to the Kremlin. Thus, in its own attempt to unmask ‘Kremlin lies’, the NATO think tank itself has lied in a clever slight of hand. The reader is induced through a false inference to proceed in his/her reading equating ‘Kremlin’ and ‘pro-Kremlin’ media.
“In addition to being compliant with all public rules governing non-profits, CEPA abides by additional internal standards when considering funding sources. All support benefits programs and analysis with a broad public/educational component, including the annual CEPA Forum. Unlike other U.S. think-tanks, CEPA does not accept foreign government funding. The majority of CEPA funding (more than 50 percent in recent years) comes from U.S. foundations. Past donors include:
“The Hirsch Family Foundation
National Endowment for Democracy
The International Visegrad Fund
The Smith Richardson Foundation
The East Tennessee Foundation
The Poses Family Foundation
The Baltic American Freedom Foundation
U.S. Mission to NATO
NATO Public Diplomacy Division
U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of State
American Friends of the Czech Republic
Lockheed Martin Corporation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
New Vista Partners
European Defense Agency/ Systems Consultants Services Limited
The Hungary Initiatives Foundation
United States Institute of Peace
Friends of Slovakia (http://cepa.org/How-We-Are-Funded).”
From 2013-2016 the share of direct US government funding grew from 2 percent to 8 percent of CEPA’s support (http://cepa.org/How-We-Are-Funded).
A similar gem of American stratcomm/disinformation was published by the Brookings Institute after publication of the Russian and Eurasian Politics article you are reading. One Thomas Hill wrote the following:
The United States, through the BBG, is helping in this effort with its Current Time program. What is missing is any concerted attempt to message to the Russian people inside Russia. In Europe and in the United States (including under the Obama administration) there has been a reluctance to directly challenge Moscow by providing news and information to the Russian people. Some fear that to communicate on a mass scale with the Russian people would be an escalation and therefore should be avoided.
There are challenges to messaging directly into Russia: The Kremlin jams radio and television transmissions, arrests and kills journalists, closes down news bureaus, and tightly controls entry and exit for foreign journalists. These are all valid concerns but they are not demonstrably different from what the governments in Iran, China, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba, and elsewhere do (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/11/21/is-the-u-s-serious-about-countering-russias-information-war-on-democracies/).
Oddly, the very US government BBG (Broadcasting Board og Governors) that Hill refers to runs one of the numerous media outlets, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that broadcasts into Russia without any jamming whatsoever. Others include Russian- and English-language Voice of America services and the Russian-language Radio Svoboda. These broadcast organizations have Russian-language websites that are not blocked by the Russian government and constantly support opposition and even terrorist organizations in Russia (see https://gordonhahn.com/2017/11/04/whos-been-interfering-in-whose-politics/). Russia, in fact, jams no Western broadcasts. Moreover, Hill would no all this since he worked at the BBG (https://www.brookings.edu/experts/thomas-m-hill/).
So as Americans are indoctrinated to fret over Russians being force-fed Kremlin propaganda and Americans’ alleged vulnerability to its stratcomm, they themselves are simultaneously financing stratcomm targeting themselves, Central Europeans, and Russians. Welcome to the disinformation age, where stratcomm is met with stratcomm, propaganda by propaganda, and the search for truth and reality slips through your fingers.
About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California; an expert analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com; a member of the Executive Advisory Board at the American Institute of Geostrategy (AIGEO) (Los Angeles), http://www.aigeo.org; and an analyst at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation (Chicago), www.geostrategicforecasting.com.
Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book from McFarland Publishers Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War”. Previously, he has authored three well-received books: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.
Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution. Dr Hahn has also been a Contributir to Russia-Direct (www.russia-direct.com) and an analyst and consultant for Russia – Other Points of View (San Mateo, California), www.russiaotherpointsofview.com.