State Department Moves to Crack Down on Foreign Influence at U.S. Think Tanks

The U.S. State Department is launching an effort to crack down on the foreign influence exerted over United States think tanks.

According to The Washington Free Beacon:

Though disclosure is not a legal requirement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is requesting that think tanks reveal their foreign donors, according to prepared remarks obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

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“To protect the integrity of civil society institutions, the Department requests henceforth that think tanks and other foreign policy organizations that wish to engage with the Department disclose prominently on their websites funding they receive from foreign governments, including state-owned or state-operated subsidiary entities,” Pompeo will say in a statement.

The move from Foggy Bottom comes as some of the country’s most prominent think tanks, including the Atlantic Council and the Brookings Institution, have been dogged by reports detailing the influence of foreign money on their scholarship. A Free Beacon report earlier this year detailed the influence of the Turkish government at the Atlantic Council, which has removed experts from panels at the behest of the Erdogan government. A 2014 New York Times report cited experts testifying to the influence that Qatar, the small Middle East nation, had gained at the Brookings Institution with a $14.8 million donation.

Those reports made clear how foreign governments and state-controlled enterprises use their financial support for American think tanks to gin up favorable news coverage and suppress criticism—and to launder their reputations and those of key business interests through partnerships with well-respected U.S. organizations.

The biggest concern is Russian and Chinese backed efforts to donate to think tanks in order to gain influence.

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Miguel Stroe
9 days ago

It is about time. Foreign governments through agencies and money have influenced negatively academic ‘freedom’ and objectivity!

Barbara
Barbara
9 days ago

CREEATIVE why is the head title spelled wrong?

Geo
Geo
9 days ago

Does everyone know that trying to influence government’s decisions is defined in Title 18 USC section 2331 (5)(B)(I),& (II) as Domestic Terrorists. Sheds new light on the meaning of their actions with “Ignorance of the Law is no excuse.” Throw in money to boot and you got extortion! Now that’s a felony!

John E Adam
John E Adam
9 days ago

It would appear that our so called intellectuals tend to be of the Socialist persuasion. MIT’s Technology Review printed an article about Oak Ridge National Laboratory working with the Chinese to develop the U.S. Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSR) technology because then President Obama ordered them to about 10 years ago. The Chinese wanted a way to use the radioactive thorium they mined that is associated with rare earth elements (REE). The Chinese have used their control of the REE production in their economic war against us. How do you spell treason?

Alphamale
Alphamale
9 days ago
Reply to  John E Adam

Why does this surprise you about obama?

Eliska Coolidge
9 days ago

This is a very good idea. It is about time. In my thirty years of government service (White House and Department of State) what has been going on since the Clinton Administration in this regard would never have been tolerated. All gift from foreign officials were turned over to GSA and sold at auction for charity. Public service is just that. It is not about money. Let’s make America Moral again!

Carmen Saunders
Carmen Saunders
9 days ago

It would be wonderful to see the creatures come out from the DARK!!!

paw paw
paw paw
8 days ago

It’s about time! This crap started, I believe, with that sleazy Pres. Clinton.

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