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The Weaponized Narrative Initiative is the beginning of an important dialogue for the United States, and for all those countries that believe in the value of rationality, responsibility, and some form of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

We do not pretend to yet have a coherent integrated perspective on weaponized narrative. What we can say is what the headlines remind us of every day: weaponized narrative is real, and it is a very effective form of asymmetric warfare when directed against the West. It presents challenges not just to military and security organizations, but to civil society, and to democratic principles and institutions.

It is a long-standing axiom of military strategy that the adversary always gets a vote, and adversaries of the United States, and the modern West, have voted for weaponized narrative. We cannot control that. But we can control how we respond, how we defend and – more important – how we build a future validating that which all those who have gone before us have poured into building this country.

Here we stand. We can do no other.