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Disinformation is a powerful tool that has the ability to cause a lot of harm. It is especially harmful when it is used as a weapon by nations to inflict damage on other nations. Spreading disinformation is a way for governments to gain the trust of other countries, while simultaneously severing the trust between the targeted nation and other countries. During the time period of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union were engaged in a battle of dominance which led to the spread of disinformation on both sides. One documented instance of disinformation from the United States was a study that was released by United States government workers concerning infant mortality rates and life expectancy in the Soviet Union. It was reported that the Soviet Union was experiencing high rates of infant mortality and low life expectancy. A review of this study was published in the New York Review that was heavily dramatized and sensationalized. A response to both the study and the review of the study was put out which found that the statistics in the study were exaggerated and taken out of context in order to delegitimize the Soviet Union. The use of disinformation as a political weapon by nations involved in conflict is something that happens often and can have costly effects. Studying this will lead to a better understanding of how the use of disinformation affects nations globally.



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The Use of Disinformation as a Political Weapon