On September 15th a Swedish newspaper, Nya Dagbladet published what it purported to be a leaked report by the Rand Corporation that describes a secret plan to destroy not only Russia but the EU as well, first by provoking Russia to war and then forcing the EU to impose harsh sanctions that would cripple the European economy and bring about the collapse of the Euro.  Germany was singled out as the main target in Europe for supposed US aggression against the EU. Germany was perceived as a threat to the US for attempting to exercise its sovereignty in seeking better relations with Russia.

The stated goals were to create US diplomatic and economic dominance over Europe.

Here was the headline:  “Shocking document: How the US planned the war and energy crisis in Europe”

With some crowing about breaking the story added in; As the first outlet in Europe, Nya Dagbladet can publish what appears to be classified US plans to crush the European economy by means of a war in Ukraine and an induced energy crisis.

The problem is the alleged secret report is a very sloppily done fake. In the interests of helping what are probably the Russian agents who prepared this mess to create a better-faked report next time, here are their obvious mistakes.

On the first page of the document, it states that the report is “CONFIDENTIAL” suggesting it is classified information.  The problem here is that the Rand Corporation is not a classifying authority in the US government. They might prepare a report, but the authority to give it a security classification resides with the agency receiving it or reviewing it.  Only the first page is marked “CLASSIFIED” whereas the rules for marking documents with security classifications require that each page of the document be marked separately. The security marking also needs to appear at the top and bottom of each page.

The rules of marking classified materials, and yes there are rules in a 54-page handbook you can look at here, also require a block of information saying who classified the information, under what authority was it classified and when it would be declassified.  This standard format has been used for decades and is still in use today.  Below is an actual classified document later declassified that still bares the characteristic marks of classified material for comparison.

 

The faked Rand report does not carry anything approaching the kind of classification markings that an actual classified document would require.

As for the report itself, we’ve never seen a Rand paper that did not include the name or names of its authors and the fake one omits any names. This is not surprising. Had the fakers used the names of actual Rand employees they would be able to come forward immediately and say they did not write such a report.  Actual Rand Research and Commentary reports are generally illustrated as well on their front page and they also bear copyright information and even Library of Congress catalog numbers. The fakers in this case made the mistake of lifting the standard Rand disclaimer of limited copyright and distribution right from Rand’s website for publically available reports. This kind of language would not be present on a report that the government paid Rand to prepare because the government would own the copy and distribution rights to the report since they paid for it.

Given the classified nature of this report, its curious to see an invitation like this; “For more information about this publication, visit www.rand.org/”

To the right of that forward slash should be a link to the actual article, but it’s not there.

This is because it was lifted from Rands’s own website for its publically available documents and then edited. A legit form of that invitation to read more about the Rand report, “Characterizing the Risks of North Korea’s Chemical and Biological Weapons, Electromagnetic Pulse and and Cyber Threats” includes a link that takes you right to the article,  “For more information about this publication, visit http://www.rand.org/t/RRA2026-1″

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As for the “Executive Summary” itself, it reads in the first person using “We” and “I” whereas Rand reports never do that. It is a rambling editorial about destabilizing Russia and the EU to protect President Biden from impeachment for his handling of the economy and the loss of both houses of Congress in the upcoming November elections.  The report states that the impeachment of Biden, “must be avoided at all costs.”

It then goes on to make the ridiculous claim that the collapse of all the economies of the EU and the Euro would directly benefit the US in that it could gain in export sales(to Europeans who no longer have money to buy anything) and the immigration of high skilled workers to the US who would have no place else to go to make a living. It surmises that loses in the EU economy of 300-400 billion Euros over “several years” would translate to the US gaining $7-9 trillion in GDP over a decade. We’d like to see the worksheet on that math.

We aren’t going to debunk the thing line by line because there really is no point. Rand doesn’t write stuff like this.

Rand published a denial about the document being authentic a day before Nya Dagbladet ran its story, suggesting the news outlet asked Rand to confirm it as authentic.

You can read the fake report here for your own amusement.

FOR RELEASE

Wednesday
September 14, 2022

A supposedly leaked RAND report about a bizarre U.S. conspiracy to “weaken Germany” is fake.

Genuine RAND research, analysis, and commentary on the war in Ukraine may be found at this page.

Given the potential origins of this fake document, we encourage you to explore this resource on the “firehose of falsehood” approach to propaganda and RAND’s extensive research on “Truth Decay,” a phenomenon driven in part by the spread of disinformation.

The referenced “Firehose of Falsehood” report they reference is a Rand piece about the constant flood of disinformation Russia puts out to confuse readers and dilute the value of truth in reporting. Basically, it describes the average consumer of online information as intellectually lazy and disinclined to be discriminating between the information they read and the things they believe.  They tend to believe what they keep seeing presented as the truth even it if isn’t.  The first one out with a piece of disinformation tends to dominate the narrative even if it is later and widely debunked as misinformation.  Some people are inclined to view the attempt to rebut disinformation as making it even more credible.

As for the general theme of the text, it repeats the standard talking points that reflect the Russian point of view that it is surrounded by enemies bent on its destruction, that the US controls Europe’s economy and politics, and that Germany wants good relations with Russia but is thwarted in this by the US having control over its government.  It takes a subtle shot at Germany not being a real sovereign nation because of this US control over its affairs.

In exposing the fake, some have said the culprit was Q-Anon adherents, but the fake Rand report doesn’t have that vibe. In our view this document parrots the talking points of the Kremlin and it’s probably their work.

Anyway, this Rand report while fake is just a small skirmish in the larger propaganda war that is being waged by Russia in its war with Ukraine. It may seem to SOFREP readers as clownish and done by amateurs, but it wasn’t made for our readers, but probably Russian and European readers.  Having likely planted this story, Russian news media will now pick it up and run it quoting a Swedish news outlet to lend credibility to it. Without the denials by Rand or the exposure of it as a fake by media outlets like SOFREP ever making it into those stories.

SOFREP emailed the publisher of Nya Dagbladet,  Mr Markus Andersson. We stated we believed the document was a fabrication and a fake and asked if they stood by their reporting on the story.  If they get back to us, we’ll let you know what their answer is in an update.