Fake news keyboard

Indispensable fifth-generation warfare tool

Modern Propaganda

April 2020, Number 10.02

The art of propaganda is in the midst of a phenomenal revolution that few appreciate. We are witnessing an evolution in the sophistication of propaganda that is practically unfathomable. Making matters worse, there is no single vantage point from which to observe and assess its effects. It can be argued that the propaganda produced in the first two decades of the 21st century has evolved the art form beyond anything previously seen. Simply put, propaganda now represents one of the most formidable weapons in the arsenal of statecraft.

Although propaganda has always existed, today’s campaigns represent one of the most sophisticated and underappreciated threats to the national security of countries. Detailing this threat across civil society is difficult because it is extremely hard to define and harder still to provide a strategic perspective that resonates with the public. To simplistically frame the nature of modern propaganda, a brief scene-setter is required to convey why modern propaganda needs to be appreciated as a critical national security concern. What we may fail to appreciate, however, is the elevated role and importance that modern propaganda techniques will play in defining great power competition and setting the conditions for future conflict...

Excerpt from Joseph Vann, “Modern Propaganda,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 10, No. 2, 2020: 7-9.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.