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  • Influencing the Influencers: Countering extremism with the people who matterInfluencing the Influencers: Countering extremism with the people who matter
    In our recent article on positive counter-messaging, we heard from several experts in the CVE domain who advocate the need for narratives to be communicated from within vulnerable communities, led by the real influencers. However, finding these influencers is just one challenge – bringing them onboard to support and implement a message requires a the right tools, the right techniques, and a level of finesse known only to those with a seasoned understanding of this arena.

    Lieutenant Colonel John Wishart, J39 CA Planner, Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA), will be providing a briefing at the conference on utilizing communication specialists in support of peacekeeping and humanitarian activities, bringing his lessons from countering Boko Haram in Nigeria. Before the event, he spoke with Defence IQ’s Richard de Silva on how to influence the influencers…
  • Positive counter-messaging: Can we do it alone?Positive counter-messaging: Can we do it alone?
    While air strikes took their toll on Daesh strongholds and supplies at the start of the year, the ‘virtual battle’ – that of winning support and influence through media communication – continued to prove more difficult to swing. Here, Defence IQ explores the issue of creating effective and positive counter-narratives and alternative narratives in the effort to combat extremism. With exclusive insight from the government, military and NGO experts in the UK and U.S., this article kicks off the Roundtable Discussion on Day One of Countering Violent Extremism 2016. Find out what our speakers from the UK Foreign Office, Quilliam Foundation, and U.S. Special Forces had to say ahead of the event...
  • A Brief History of Daesh Media PropagandaA Brief History of Daesh Media Propaganda
    Daesh media propaganda has been, to quote FBI Director James Comey, “unusually slick”, seeing operation in over 20 languages, seizing on digital engagement lessons from commercial and government lessons, and remaining persistent with their output. Realms of engagement – especially when it comes to targeting Western audiences – seem to know no bounds, from multiple e-magazines and photo reports to infographics and memes. The Jihad has even gone mobile, with the establishment of an IS Android app (Amaq News), a Twitter bot (Dawn of Glad Tidings) and its own invite-only social media network (Khelafabook). Read more about the group's sophisticated information campaigns and view the timeline for the most notable events...

InterviewsInterviews

  • Ukraine’s information security head discusses Russian propaganda tacticsUkraine’s information security head discusses Russian propaganda tactics
    May 2015
    Dr. Valentyn Petrov, head of the Informational Security Service at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, explains to Defence IQ how social media has been used to directly influence kinetic operations in Eastern Ukraine, and how analysis has discovered three targeted information campaigns currently being employed by Russia to influence public opinion in Ukraine and abroad.
  • Information Warfare: The Key to Destroying ISISInformation Warfare: The Key to Destroying ISIS
    March 2015
    Three crucial messages should guide America's fight against ISIS, reports national security expert James P. Farwell. As battles wage in the Middle East, are governments investing as much in information as they are in kinetic operations? Countering extremist propaganda through targeted digital outreach and social media activity are key themes at this year's Countering Violent Extremism conference, with briefings from government and military strategic communications specialists.

Additional Event InformationAdditional Event Information

  • Why attend? 2014Why attend? 2014's attendees explain the benefits
    Download this E-book to read the most recent testimonials from our past delegates as they explain what they gained from the conference and exactly why the annual Information Operations Global is a "must attend" forum...

    “This is a very important gathering of people who are wrestling with a lot of the same issues. We have different scales across different countries and varying problems in context, but the root of those problems are all much the same. The opportunity to share best practices and to learn from others is important, including countries that are just beginning to develop an emerging capability...”

                                            - Colonel Matthew Venhaus, US DoD

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  • Has a strategic communications campaign toppled the Lord’s Resistance Army?Has a strategic communications campaign toppled the Lord’s Resistance Army?
    March 2015
    Richard de Silva investigates whether words have beaten the warlords and why it remains important to close the book on Joseph Kony…
    Rumours abound that one of Africa’s most infamous terror groups may be on the cusp of falling apart, owing to the disintegration of its leadership. The militant group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) first sprang up in Uganda in the late 1980s and over the ensuing years moved its operations into the Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In spite of its long reign of terror – having been responsible for countless incidents of murder, torture, mutilation, rape and abduction – there is now reason to believe that the group’s time is nearing an end following the capture and possible death of two more senior leaders. If the death is confirmed, only the LRA’s top commander would remain on the list of truly significant targets on the leadership chain – one Joseph Kony...
  • Explaining the "narrative" in Information OperationsExplaining the "narrative" in Information Operations

    Two areas in the study of Information Operations (IO) which have generated a substantial literature in the last few years are those concerning the subject of ‘narrative’ and those which looks at developments in the global information environment. Roy Revie, a Phd candidate exploring the information and communication aspects of contemporary conflict, tells Defence IQ how he is interpreting 'successful' strategic narrative in today's military IO domain.

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  • Giving terrorist groups the label they deserveGiving terrorist groups the label they deserve
    April 2015
    The creation of a new world system – not just a change in the current system – is arguably the raison d'être behind the rise in transnational terrorist threats. The fact that groups like ISIL, Al Shabaab, and Boko Haram persist despite degradation attempts might indicate that our approach is based on an outdated definition of these organisations. Candyce Kelshall, a specialist in conflict and global affairs, provides this informative op-ed.
  • Hitting ISIL where it hurtsHitting ISIL where it hurts
    April 2015
    The functional and institutional nature of hybrid terrorist groups reveals one of the key ways in which we can understand the changing dynamic of current state threats. The closest analogy that may help us understand the success of these violent groups is that of functional state regionalism. These violent social groups form arguably for the same purpose – a retreat from globalisation and cultural/ideological respite. They are a social construct designed to help states define and safeguard identity. Using regionalism theory may help to understand the nature of these violent social movements. State centric theory cannot account for their behaviour as they transcend statism by their cross border viability and apparent immunity from conventional state response. Candyce Kelshall looks at the evidence.
  • The new verbal battlespace where The new verbal battlespace where 'weaponised words' and information operations meet
    Defence IQ interviews Verbalisation, a consultancy designed to help people amplify their messaging and create communications strategies using behavioural science. Founder Sven Hughes and David Stanhope, head of the company’s Conflict, Security and Justice arm, discuss the use of information or psychological operations (PSYOP) in the rapidly changing security environment and how it can be used to help affect behavioural change without having to resort to kinetic military operations...

ArticlesArticles

  • US State Department’s viral videos make mockery of terroristsUS State Department’s viral videos make mockery of terrorists
    The internet, once the wheat field of extremist recruiters, has been witness to a dedicated initiative by White House strategists to torch and salt the earth for anyone trying to harvest a genuine threat to national security. The United States Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) was established by the Executive Branch of the State Department in 2011 to counter the message of online fanatics using many of the same digital tools that were once being used to twist idea into ideology and influencing impressionable internet users to join a radical cause...

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  • [E-book] Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization[E-book] Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization

    This free e-book gathers together an impressive group of authors to explore the challenges of converging and connecting illicit networks, including; the ways in which transnational criminal networks and illicit networks operate and interact; how the proliferation, convergence, and horizontal diversification of illicit networks challenge state sovereignty; and how national groups and international organizations are fighting back.

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