Pentagon spends $300K a year to read Putin's body language

An interesting expenditure for the defense of the U.S.
By Aileen Graef  |  Updated March 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM
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The Pentagon press secretary confirmed that about $300,000 a year is spent on reading the body language of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

While it is vague which other world leaders are included in this particular portion of the budget, Putin has definitely been a part of this study. The purpose is to analyze any information that can be gleaned from the subtle gestures and body movements of the leaders.

The program started in the U.S. State Department but was taken over by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2002. It is now run by the Office of Net Assessment, which is a think tank under the DoD. Putin has been analyzed in 2008, the same year as the Russian invasion of Georgia, and 2012, when tensions over Syria came to a head. The analysis has not been used to inform a response to Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

The findings actually have never been used to form any foreign policy defense decision. The Pentagon says the findings are not classified, but they have no plans to release them.


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