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About Active Measures, LLC

Active Measures, LLC is Midwestern research and analysis firm focused on supporting defense, national security, and civilian agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Active Measures and its director Michael van Landingham also provide baseline risk assessments and background information for non-profits and private corporations based in the United States. Our work includes analysis of current dynamics related to client topics of interest—to include an overview of barriers and opportunities—and development of risk mitigation strategies, white papers, and communication.

Active Measures, LLC can engage with outside analytic teams to develop these products and more, as well as to act as a “red team” that examines others’ analytic conclusions and identify novel issues. We offer formal analytic line reviews and stylistic and substantive reviews of outside analytic products, proposals, and requests for information. Michael can participate in a range of structured analytic techniques or analytic brainstorming sessions upon request.


Michael E. van Landingham is the founder and director of Active Measures, LLC. For eight years, Michael was an analyst for a federal government agency, where he provided strategic and tactical analysis across a range of formats to senior policymakers and others. 

Michael received his Bachelor’s from Princeton University in Slavic Languages and Literatures. He earned a Master’s from Harvard University in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. Michael is in the process of developing a dissertation for the graduate program in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He resides in Wisconsin and speaks Russian and French.


Another source for a potential paper on how policymakers overdetermine the effectiveness of CA as a policy because of 1) perceived Cold War successes (many of which didn't owe to CA alone), and 2) its limited oversight means no politician owns the failure, just the bureaucracy.
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Aaron Bateman @aaronbateman22
Declassified memo from Bob Gates in '81 on covert action goals: "covert action is rarely a long-term solution to any problem" and there is a need to "develop viable long-term policies...where covert action has bought them time."

The ones released through Guccifer 2.0 had a pirated MSOffice copy with a joke username of "Feliks Dzerzhinskiy," which is just good tradecraft @badAPTadvice.

Not sure if the WikiLeaks emails had similar signs, though, until they released the real GRU phishing email to Podesta.

Had a panic dream that Kazakhstan burned a zero day Mac exploit simply to lock the computers of anyone who had streamed the new Borat movie so one would lose any unsaved work, and that was all.

. @RidT has a column in the post that visits some of the same points @zachsdorfman did below, and makes a good point about that natsec professionals letter.
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