Scaparrotti Calls for Cold War-Style Information Campaign Against Russia

The United States and its NATO allies need a “whole of government information campaign” to respond appropriately to Russian disinformation operations, Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. “In the Cold War we had one,” he said. The current Russian Information Group, co-led by the State Department and EUCOM, is “a good structure to start with,” said Scaparrotti, who is the commander of US European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. But he said the US and NATO lack a clear set of policies to attack the problem. “The Russians see it as part of their spectrum of warfare,” Scaparrotti told the committee, and their coordinated use of “social media, TV, cyber” to create effects and spread misinformation is “a force to be reckoned with.” A US and NATO counter-program “exists, but it needs to really be reinforced.” On cyber warfare, Scaparrotti said NATO has clarified that “Article 5 could be triggered by a cyber event,” but it would be “a policy decision” as to how serious a cyber attack would need to be in order to evoke a NATO response.