Institute for Statecraft
The Institute for Statecraft was disguised as a charity, based in a disused mill in Fife, Scotland. It was exposed by the 2018 Integrity Initiative leak, as a multi-million pound UK/FCO funded a UK deep state propaganda outfit. David Miller stated that it "appears to be a military-directed push;", noting that operational WQ was a London basement both close to and paid for by the UK MoD. It has been involved in disinformation operations, subversion of the democratic process and promoting Russophobia and the idea of a new cold war.
The group's about page stated in January 2019 that "The Institute for Statecraft is an independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, to improving governance and to enhancing national security." Its registration at the Scottish Charity Register stated that its objects were: "(1) To advance education in the fields of governance and statecraft, and in particular focussing on the leadership, direction, management and administration of public and private institutions, major organisations and other bodies (whether incorporated or otherwise), and the skills needed by those in authority within such institutions, organisations or bodies to enable them to deal effectively with current and future challenges particularly in respect of security (2) To advance human rights, conflict resolution and/or reconciliation and religious/racial/ethnic harmony, to promote equality and diversity, citizenship and community development, and to advance national and international security; and in particular through assisting governments (including emerging democracies and countries in transition) and other institutions, organisations or bodies (whether in the UK or abroad) to respond to the challenges posed by new developments in the world (whether social, political, economic or technological) and to develop and embed structures and institutions that reflect principles of best practice in governance and statecraft."
Craig Murray notes that it didn't take much detective work to locate the operational HQ. This seems to be the basement of the rather more stately 2 Temple Place, the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor. Murray reports that "the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence".
The II was founded in November 2006 as the Institute for Statecraft and Governance. It had 3 directors:
- Chris Donnelly, who appears to be the leading light. A former adviser to figures including Margaret Thatcher and four secretaries general of NATO, he also appears to be a UK deep state operative.
- Daniel Lafayeedney (resigned 2011-11-08)
- Lesley Simm (resigned 2012-08-08)
The IfS staff list can be gleaned from combining the leaked documents with archived copies of the list of IfS fellows from their own website.
The older members in particular have various connections to NATO, the Atlantic Council and to multiple deep state milieux or have held senior positions in the UK government,, UK Army, NATO and the Atlantic Council. At least one has been convicted of fraud.
Some of the IfS directors set up a UK company named the "Council on Foreign Relations".
The group manages the Integrity Initiative, which director Dan Kaszeta described in his "Notes for Israel" as “Not just a “think tank” offering yet another discussion forum but also a “do tank”.”  He added that "We have good contacts in government in UK and other governments (Argentina, Baltic States, Lithuania, etc.")
The Institute for Statecraft attracted a lot of interest in late 2018 after documents from the Integrity Initiative were leaked online by 'Anonymous'. The first set of documents was published on 5 November 2018. It was subsequently the subjects of questions in the UK parliament and widely reported by independent media.
On 22 January 2019, the Integrity Initiative "temporarily" deleted the entire contents of their website. The Institute for Statecraft followed suit shortly afterwards. By 5 February 2019, the site content had been replaced by a coverpage which stated that "The website will be relaunched shortly. In the meantime, we expect to be able to publish an analysis of the hack and its significance in the near future." It also opened up the way to plausible deniability by claiming that some (unspecified) parts of the leaked data had been falsified.
In March 2019 Sky News carried a brief article headlined What is the Institute for Statecraft thought to have been hacked by Russia? reported that "[t]he organisation, which describes itself as a think-tank and a do-tank, employs a small staff of about a dozen people. It also has about 90 Fellows, including a handful of individuals who have a background in British intelligence or the military so are experts in security and defence." It made no mention of the Integrity Initiative's member Simon Bracey-Lane working for the Bernie Sanders campaign or the smears against Jeremy Corbyn. It MENTIONED THAT THE ii "established a network in countries across Europe" but did not mention how it used that network to mount of a secretly coordinated social media campaign to prevent the appointment of Pedro Baños as Director of the Spanish Department of Homeland Security.
|Integrity Initiative||“We've temporarily removed all content from our website, pending an investigation into the theft of data from the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative. The website will be relaunched shortly. https://bit.ly/2sES9wM”||22 January 2019|
|Greg Rowett||“spoke well and hit all the IfS points: peacetime mentality during war/Russian vocab all based on warfare/rate of change in society dramatic/need for universal glossary. Algorithms key – we need to start gaming these algorithms and put pressure onto the companies hosting these disinformation campaigns. Deliver message that we're willing and able to push back.”||Simon Bracey-Lane|
|Zinc Network||“Bringing together organisations including Zinc Network, the Institute for Statecraft, Aktis Strategy, Bellingcat, DFR Lab, the Media Diversity Institute, Toro Risk Solutions and Ecorys, our Consortium combines recognised market leaders in understanding, monitoring, and countering Kremlin-backed disinformation... This ecosystem of credible voices will continue to grow, exposing the actors and networks behind Kremlin-backed disinformation, reducing unwitting multipliers of disinformation, and building resilience amongst key target audiences across Europe.
We will mobilise a Network Hub based in London, led by an experienced Project Director, consisting of an agile team with core competencies augmented by a wider pool of vetted experts. Our approach is highly localised, based around regional clusters of actors who can collaborate to effectively undermine the disinformationecosystem in their respective areas and engage audiences most vulnerable to disinformation... It is a highly complex project involving coordination of many independent actors, and thus risk must be carefully managed and risk profiles constantly adapted, serving as the basis for all activity. The approach we propose is based on the identification, monitoring and management of risks as they materialise, allowing members to continue taking smart risks as they increase the scale and impact of their activities.”
- Keir Giles is a member of Chatham House and the Brookings Institute
- David Clark was Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
- Major General Jonathan Shaw
- Ben Nimmo was NATO Press officer
- Stewart Eldon was the UK Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council and UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN
- Audrius Butkevičius
- Integrity Initiative/Leak/5 Dan%27s%20notes%20for%20Israel%20(003).pdf
- Integrity initiative/Leak/5#Dan's notes for Israel