Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Striking Back: Overt and Covert Options to Combat Russian Disinformation

Thomas Kent
Striking Back: Overt and Covert Options to Combat Russian Disinformation
ISBN: 978-0-9986660-9-9
ISBN: 979-8-9874519-2-2
2020/289 pages
Distributed for The Jamestown Foundation
"Nothing short of an action plan for government and non-government players.... Masterful." —Mike Hurley, Foreign Service Journal

"The digital age has seen unprecedented opportunities for subversion, both from hostile states and extremist groups. Democracies have been slow to react and find strategies to use the new information opportunities for good. We need to hurry. This book is a timely guide on how to go about it."—Peter Pomerantsev, author of This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality

"An excellent analysis of the problem of offensive disinformation campaigns and how to respond to them. Kent demonstrates the skill of a seasoned investigative journalist in clearly laying out the facts and the range of possible solutions."—Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution


Energizing the debate on how best to expose and deal with Russian propaganda and disinformation, Thomas Kent goes beyond suggesting simple defensive measures. Kent not only calls for more government and private aid to expose Russian operations, but also describes how new, aggressive messaging campaigns against Russian disinformation could be run, the ethical questions involved, and the pros and cons of the West engaging in covert strategies.


Thomas Kent, a senior fellow at The Jamestown Foundation, lectures on disinformation and Russian affairs at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. Previously, he served as Moscow bureau chief, international editor, and ethics editor for the Associated Press.


  • Introduction: The Upside-Down War.
  • Who Can Respond to Russian Information Operations?
  • Making Responses More Effective.
  • Of Truth and Propaganda.
  • Communicating to Threatened Populations.
  • Communicating to Russia's Population.
  • The Covert Arts.
  • Recommendations.