Information Warfare: DET And The Dark Side To The Rescue


December 6, 2011: For the last three years, U.S. Central Command (which controls American forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan) has used a Digital Engagement Team (DET) to monitor the Internet for misinformation about American military operations, or outright lies and slander. The DET personnel then post an official rebuttal. DET contains staff fluent in Arabic, Dari, Persian, Pashto, Urdu and Russian (still used by older folks who came of age when Russian foreign aid was abundant in the region).

Other branches of the U.S. government engage less openly, and use hackers to get into hostile sites, to find out who is running them, or to insert disruptive messages. Intelligence agencies often do this, and also use native speakers of Middle Eastern languages to covertly engage anti-American talk on message boards and chat rooms. But most of those doing this sort of thing are not U.S. government employees, but migrants from the Middle East, living in the United States and hostile to the lies being posted about their new home, and Moslems who have moved there.

All this activity not only counters anti-American propaganda and paranoia, but also serves to monitor the ideas and sentiments active in the Middle East.



Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close