Russia, China, Iran and ISIS use information operations to undermine the national security objectives of the United States and its allies. However, the US’s international response has been weak. 

Internal constraints have limited more effective counter-measures. In particular, the lack of a coordinated White House-level strategy, dispersed authorities and little cooperation with private social media companies can be identified as causal factors.

Additional steps by the Trump Administration to counter foreign disinformation will aim to protect the 2020 presidential elections rather than to push back on efforts to undermine US leadership abroad.

Deborah McCarthy