Document:Outline Concept paper for IfS US programme v6 28 08 2017 (003)
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Outline Concept paper for IfS US programme v6 28 08 2017 (003)
Outline of The Institute for Statecraft’s Concept for developing a US arm of its Integrity Initiative Program
16 08 2017
1. We have run a very successful privately funded program for nearly 2 years, tracking Russian disinformation and malign influence, and alerting people in the UK and across Europe to the problem long before this was in the public consciousness.
2. In the light of today’s new awareness, we have evolved our program over the last 6 months, understanding that what is needed now is to create a network across Europe of active clusters of people in each country, bringing together academics, think tankers, journalists, civil servants, politicians, business people. These people understand the problem but have not till now been working together coherently
3. The role of these clusters is to rebuild national communities of understanding of Russia amongst policy elites and publics, so as better to deal with a resurgent Russia and to ensure the popular support for governments in this that democracies require. The clusters are specifically attracting a new generation of younger analysts to learn from the older generation before it is too late.
4. FCO have agreed to part-fund (50%) this program; we need the remainder of the funding to make the program fully operational, to re-engage the Free University in Brussels as our firm academic base, and to extend the program to the USA and Canada. The extension of the program to the USA is not only essential for the completion of the program and its long term effectiveness. It will also play a significant role in re-engaging the US with UK and Europe at a crucial time and on a crucial issue.
5. The West is badly in need of a reassertion of US leadership. The EU has been unable to generate any strategic thinking or to exercise convincing leadership. Russia (& China) are successfully driving wedges between EU Member States and between Allies within NATO. Brexit has added to the confusion. The UK needs reminding how to play its key role of encouraging/enabling US leadership in Europe/NATO.
6. The US also needs to rebuild its understanding of Russia and how to deal with it, so as to (a) improve its own governance at a time of transition, and (b) rebuild its leading role in Europe via NATO and via encouragement to the EU, to enable them to deal more effectively with the new challenge to our democratic structures and processes posed by Russia (and China, and Daesh/IS) today
7. Building on the success of our program in Europe, we now need to create a cluster in the USA to: help rebuild understanding amongst policy makers and opinion formers, thereby improving governance; help build a new younger generation of Russia watchers, and; redefine and strengthen the US’ leadership role, both within Europe and with other allies (Canada, Australia, Japan etc). This cluster will work completely impartially and not become involved in US party politics.