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Pentagon responds to urgent intel requests to upgrade U.S. information war capability

Pages from the U.S. State Department’s 2020 Global Engagement Center report.
FPI / June 23, 2021

In response to a request made last year by nine generals and admirals, the Pentagon is increasing its efforts to counter U.S. adversaries’ use of disinformation.

Senior military officials told Congress this month that the Pentagon's intelligence agencies will release classified information to the public and to U.S. allies as part of efforts to counter information threats from China and Russia, senior Pentagon and military officials told Congress.

“Although classification of information is an essential tool to protect intelligence sources and methods, advancement of U.S. interests through our broad alliances and partnerships may require wider dissemination of classified information,” Ronald Moultrie, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, said in prepared testimony for a June 11 hearing.

Related: U.S. intelligence got urgent letter from 9 top combat commanders in early 2020, May 11, 2021

Both the Defense Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, along with other military and civilian spy services, will make the information available to the military’s combatant commands in response to the so-called “36-star letter” in which the group of four-star commanders last year appealed for secret information to be used as “ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives.”

“We need to make sure that we’re using open source and other available means they get this information out to our combatant commanders. It’s a priority of ours,” Moultrie said. “…We are moving to declassify what we can declassify and some of that’s been done.”

China throughout 2020 and 2021 has promoted false stories regarding the origin of the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic, asserting the coronavirus began in a U.S. Army laboratory.

Russian disinformation in recent years was used to allegedly influence U.S. elections and sow social unrest.

NSA Director Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, whose agency collects highly sensitive electronic secrets, said his agency is working to find ways to make intelligence available publicly to ensure “speed and agility against an adversary.”

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FPI, Free Press International
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