The State Department is yet to Use the Money Allocated to Control Election Meddling


At the end of the year 2016, at least $120 million was allocated to the State Department to help prevent Russia from meddling with the midterm elections. The amount is yet to be used even as the mid-term elections fast approach. As of now, not a single of the 23 analytical experts working in the Global Engagement Center has the ability to speak Russian. Any efforts to hire individuals with expertise in the computer to help counter any attempts from the Russians have only hit a stumbling block. Many individuals have interpreted the delay as President Donald Trump’s response. It is to be noted that Mr. Trump has made little or no efforts to publicly rally the country to face Russians, as a way of protecting the democratic institutions. The failure to utilize the fund also suggests that the Secretary of State Mr. Rex W. Tillerson lacks confidence in his department’s ability to execute the mission and spending the money wisely.

Last month while speaking in an interview by Fox News, Mr. Tillerson expressed his skepticism on the ability of the United States to do a thing to counter the Russian threat. He said that if Moscow intends to interfere with the elections, the will most definitely find a way of doing so. He added that as a department, they can only do all that is in the department’s ability, but it is utterly difficult to pre-empty the intention of the Russians. Every single year, the United States of America spend billions of dollars on secret cyber capacities. The tactic has mostly been ineffective against Russia which mainly eyes Facebook and Twitter.

According to experts, what the Global Engagement Center ought to do is assess any effort by Russia and in turn, set voices of countering by for instance creating anti-propaganda projects across the world. Richard Stengel says that the exiled former Russian Journalists doing any counter-Russian activities would be of great help to the United States. During the end of the Obama presidency, the Congress ordered the Pentagon to issue $60 million to the State Department to help it counter any anti-democratic propaganda from both China and Russia. This is an entirely different effort from the government. The State Department also anticipates getting at least $40 million by April this year. The amount is said to be of the essence since it will help the department to continue its aggressiveness on disinformation.


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