February 17, 2022
The National Security Implications of Domestic Discord: How Our Adversaries Create, Enhance, and Use Our Internal Disagreements Against Us
The U.S. has long been a stronghold of democracy and liberal values; however, recent events including January 6th, 2021, insurrection, the Charlottesville Riots of 2020, and the massive conspiracy theories gripping many across the nation, have led some to worry that the very freedoms we cherish are being utilized by bad actors, at home and abroad, to engender more problematic events and narratives, as well as to deepen existing disagreements within our nation. Specifically, we’ve seen the extensive use of social media by malign actors, particularly adversary nation-states to create and deepen divisive narratives through both overt and covert messaging (and sometimes more). Many believe that this combination of domestic discord and foreign influence is not only toxic to our domestic political ecosystem but that it also may have a significant impact on our nation’s security. This panel will explore the implications that such domestic discord and foreign manipulation have on our national security and what, if anything, we might do about it in both the short- and long-term, including effectively tackling domestic threats with a foreign nexus while protecting Americans rights and civil liberties and promoting broader and deeper uptake of civic education across American society.