Senate Amendment Calls for Exchange Participants from Targeted Countries

Exchange programs administered under the U.S. Department of State are being pushed to give special consideration to applicants from regions and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation, as stated in an amendment to the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act (S.2943).

The amendment, introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) earlier last week, specifically mentions inclusion of exchange programs as a tool to fight propaganda. Within a subtitle focusing on countering foreign propaganda and disinformation, section 1283 states:  

 “When selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State shall give special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.”