Information Operations

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Information operations and warfare, also known as influence operations, includes the collection of tactical information about an adversary as well as the dissemination of propaganda in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. RAND research has enabled military leaders and policymakers to develop strategies and policy frameworks to address the challenges of these military operations.

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  • Increasing Connections. A closely connected network of people and technology. Illustration.

    Multimedia

    Using AI to Tackle Disinformation Online

    RAND Europe analyst Linda Slapakova talks with RAND senior behavioral scientist William Marcellino about their study on human-machine detection of online-based malign information.

    Oct 23, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Facebook Users May Spread Russian Propaganda Less Often When They Are Aware of Its Source

    Russian propaganda is hitting its mark on social media—generating strong partisan reactions that may help intensify political divisions—but Facebook users are less apt to press the “like” button on content when they learn that it is part of a foreign propaganda campaign.

    Oct 15, 2020

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    News Release

    Coordinated Efforts on Twitter to Interfere in the U.S. Presidential Election Are Likely Foreign

    A coordinated effort on Twitter to influence the upcoming U.S. presidential election—using trolls (fake personas that spread hyper-partisan themes) and super-connectors (highly-networked accounts)—aims to sow distrust, exacerbate political divisions and undermine confidence in American democracy.

    Oct 8, 2020

  • Russian Interference in the 2020 U.S. Election (Crop)

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    Russian Interference in the 2020 U.S. Election

    RAND military sociologist Marek Posard describes several broad risks of foreign interference in American democracy and explains how Russia may use reflexive control theory to cause disruption in the 2020 U.S. Election.

    Oct 1, 2020

  • Illustration of social media users and trolls, image by dem10/Getty Images

    Report

    Machine Learning Can Help Detect Misinformation Online

    As social media is increasingly being used as a primary source for news, there is a rising threat from the spread of malign and false information. A new machine learning model identified differences between authentic political supporters and Russian trolls shaping online debates about the 2016 U.S. election. How could the model be applied in the future?

    Jun 23, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Hostile Social Manipulation by Russia and China a Growing but Poorly Understood Threat

    With the role of information warfare in global strategic competition becoming much more apparent, a new RAND Corporation report delves into better defining and understanding the challenge facing the United States by focusing on the hostile social manipulation activities of the two leading users of such techniques: Russia and China.

    Sep 4, 2019

  • Elizabeth Bodine-Baron discusses the challenges in combating the threat of Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media.

    Multimedia

    Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    In this congressional briefing, RAND information scientist Elizabeth Bodine-Baron discusses the challenges in combating the threat of Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media.

    Mar 15, 2019

  • Christine Wormuth and Kimberly Kagan at the 2018 Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security

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    Highlights from the Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security

    A forum on national security honors the legacy of Roberta Wohlstetter, a military analyst who worked at RAND from its creation in 1948 until 1965. Panelists discuss the events, capabilities, technologies, and methodologies that demand new concepts for national security and defense.

    Oct 24, 2018

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Identifies New Strategies for Countering Russian Social Media Influence in Eastern Europe

    Russia is waging a social media campaign in the Baltics, Ukraine and nearby states to sow dissent against neighboring governments, as well as NATO and the European Union.

    Apr 12, 2018

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Study Examines Ways U.S. Can Better Counter Political Warfare

    The United States needs to improve the ways it combats adversaries adept at using political warfare tactics to achieve their goals and undermine U.S. interests and allies.

    Apr 5, 2018

  • Multimedia

    Understanding Russian "Hybrid Warfare" and What Can Be Done About It

    Testimony by Christopher S. Chivvis presented before the House Armed Services Committee on March 22, 2017.

    Mar 22, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Military's Efforts to Influence Afghan Population Have Grown Less Effective Over Time

    The efforts of U.S. military information operations and psychological operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2010 grew less successful over time, as disenchantment with foreign occupation grew.

    Apr 30, 2012

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    Ryan Bauer

    Defense Analyst
    Education M.A. in security studies, Georgetown University; B.A. in political science, CSU Poly (Pomona)

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    Elizabeth Bodine-Baron

    Senior Information Scientist; Associate Director, Force Modernization and Employment Program, Project Air Force
    Education Ph.D., M.S. in electrical engineering, California Institute of Technology; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Texas at Austin; B.A. in liberal arts, University of Texas at Austin

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    Natalie W. Crawford

    Senior Fellow; Distinguished Chair in Air and Space Policy; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.A. in mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles; Honorary Ph.D. in engineering, Michigan State University; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Policy, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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    Alyssa Demus

    Senior Policy Analyst
    Education M.A. in foreign policy and national security, American University; B.A. in international relations, University of Southern California; B.A. in political science, University of Southern California

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    Todd C. Helmus

    Senior Behavioral Scientist; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Wayne State University

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    William Marcellino

    Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University

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    Krystyna Marcinek

    Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jagiellonian University, Poland

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    Brian Mills

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.S. in physics, Florida State University; B.S. in applied and computational mathematics, Florida State University