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I sent this to my Counterintelligence students today. I thought it would be good here too.

There's an information war going on in my home state. There are many going on all over the United States. We're in a midterm election year. A political ad doesn't actually meet the definition of "propaganda". It's advertising. However, it shares a lot of the same features of propaganda. On one hand is the governor of my state. His campaign focuses on the abortion issue and claims that his opponent wants to ban abortions in the state. Is it true? It doesn't really matter. That's the message that the governor's campaign is sticking to. They are getting that part right. They're sticking to a single narrative. They understand that abortion is an extremely emotional issue for many people. However, they are forgetting that this issue is emotional for the opposition too.

On the other side is a medical doctor. His main message is that the governor failed the state during his response to COVID-19. It's also an emotional issue for many, particularly the small business owners who lost their businesses during this time. The state has estimated that 10,492 businesses were shuttered and 36% of those hadn't opened more than a year after first being closed. Certainly, this will animate many to go out and vote against the governor.

Here's a secret about both political ads and propaganda: The effective campaigns don't try to change anyone's mind. Trying to convince a liberal to vote for a conservative or visa versa is an inefficient use of resources.

No. The effective information campaign only reinforces the population's existing beliefs. That's the secret. Political campaigns want to convince their own likely voters to get out and vote. That's the campaign that wins. Whoever can mobilize their voters. In order to do that, they need to make their political bases emotional and angry. They must play on confirmation bias. That's the key to a good information campaign. Help people to believe what they want to believe. Nudge them just a little bit in the direction that you want them to go.

That's how you influence people. You can't try to push them in the opposite direction. You lead them further down the path that they were already traveling.

So who will win this information war? I'll let you know in September.



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In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful
God Almighty said: “Permission is given to those who are killed because they have wronged you, and indeed, God has power to help them.” God Almighty has spoken the truth.

After the success of the Yemeni Armed Forces, with the help of God Almighty, in imposing its decision to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red and Arab Seas, and as a result of the Zionist enemy’s continued commitment of horrific massacres, genocidal war, and siege against our brothers in Gaza.

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