Russia's 'New Generation' information warfare

War is Boring:
Whether or not you believe the CIA’s claim that Russia hacked into the Democratic Party’s servers to help Donald Trump get elected — and you should be skeptical of anonymous sources — it should be blindingly obvious that we’re in the middle of a new kind of conflict.

This kind of conflict doesn’t rely on bullets or conquest of territory, but control of information. So be skeptical, but also remember the Kremlin barely hides its embrace of propaganda-driven hybrid warfare, expounded at length in Russian military publications, and which has accelerated in intensity during the past several years.

And don’t just take the CIA’s word for it.

According to the German BfV domestic intelligence agency, Russian tactics have extended to “automated opinion-shaping” methods via social networks.

Methods include “propaganda and disinformation, often executed as ‘false flags,’” the BfV noted. “This methodology represents a previously unobserved MO in campaigns that are controlled by Russia. In these cases government agencies execute cyber-attacks under the false cover … of alleged hacktivists.”

Alternatively, read the Russian Defense Ministry’s own policy papers which discuss similar tactics under the heading “New Generation Warfare.”

“The Russian view of modern warfare is based on the idea that the main battlespace is the mind,” Janis Berzins of the National Defense Academy of Latvia wrote in a 2014 paper. “And, as a result, new-generation wars are to be dominated by information and psychological warfare.”

“In other words, the Russians have placed the idea of influence at the very center of their operational planning and used all possible levers to achieve this: skillful internal communications; deception operations; psychological operations and well-constructed external communications.”

The Latvians know a thing or two about these tactics. The Kremlin honed them in the Baltic States, but have only recently expanded them westwards on a large scale, according to experts.
There is much more.

They have used this mainly in Eastern Europe and in explaining their actions in helping the Syrian despot retain power.  If they were responsible for the Wikileaks disclosures it was a pretty low-grade warfare.  The Democrats who were affected downplayed the disclosures while never denying the truth of what was revealed.

Still, it is a matter that needs to be studied and will require a much smarter response than what we are seeing from those trying to delegitimize the 2016 election of President Trump.  One of their main problems is that they cannot tie this information to the loss of a single vote.

The post-election polling an analysis demonstrates that the undecided voters turned against Hillary Clinton in a massive way after she described Trump voters as irredeemable deplorables.  The Wikileaks material also had zero to do with Clinton's failure to campaign in the rust belt states which had been described as her "blue wall."


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