Saturday, November 29, 2014

U.S. Hardly a Superpower When It Comes to Countering ISIS Online

In fact, in the digital world, ISIS is the superpower while the U.S. is fledgling, puny and pathetic:
This [U.S. government] "start-up" as Mr Fernandez calls it, has 23 staff members, with only two of them working on English content.  
Islamic State, on the other hand, has far more resources and is supported by legions of volunteers who re-message its propaganda 24 hours a day - "knights of the uploading"- it calls them.  
At home the digital counter-messaging is a low priority on the list of counter-terrorism efforts, compared to intelligence gathering, law-enforcement or military operations. 
"It's penny to the dollar compared to Tomahawks," says William McCants, a former government official who helped set up the programme and is now a fellow with the Brookings Institution.
Were the Obama government at all competent at crafting effective anti-ISIS messaging (and why should it be competent at that when almost everything else it does is half-assed and amateurish?), it would get far more bang for its buck from that than it does from those Tomahawks.

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