Foreign Malign Influence (FMI) is any hostile effort undertaken by, at the direction of, or on behalf of or with the substantial support of, a foreign government with the objective of influencing, through overt or covert means. This includes the use of disinformation and propaganda spread by nefarious actors. For decades, nefarious actors have used disinformation to deliberately deceive and influence public opinion, destabilize societies, and impact things like politics, elections, social issues, and instill fear around world events. Disinformation and propaganda campaigns often target DTRA programs as part of larger efforts aimed at discrediting the United States by undermining alliances and eroding trust in partnerships with beneficiary countries by deliberately spreading false information. FMI has long targeted DTRA, but more recently, the Kremlin has taken aim at various different aspects of DTRA most notably the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)’s programs with its beneficiary partner nations.
By filling the information space that would otherwise be filled with lies from malign actors with truthful stories and fact-based articles, DTRA is better able to compete with and discredit targeted FMI like the unfounded and debunked allegations that the United States conducts chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine when in fact, the United States does not operate any chemical or biological weapons programs or facilities in Ukraine.