The State Department and Department of Defense (DoD) signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday that will operationalize the Global Engagement Center (GEC), which will be tasked with coordinating the U.S. government’s counter-propaganda efforts.
GEC was established under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017. The bill allocated $60 million over two years for the State Department and DoD to counter propaganda being waged against the United States and its allies by state and non-state actors.
U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), who introduced the original bill establishing the GEC. Portman called Monday’s announcement an “important milestone.”
“For more than a year, I’ve been pushing State and DOD to fully execute the purpose and intent of this counter-propaganda law that Sen. Murphy and I worked to enact,” Portman said. “While long overdue, I’m pleased we now have a road map in place that operationalizes the GEC and details how the money will be spent and who is responsible for developing and executing these projects.”
The NDAA for fiscal year 2018 takes steps to streamline coordination between the State Department and the DoD. DoD leadership previously committed $40 million to support the GEC, and Portman called on DoD leadership to fulfill that commitment.
“Congress enacted legislation establishing the GEC more than a year ago, and the repeated delays are standing in the way of combating a serious threat to our national security,” Portman said.