Thursday, January 19th 2017
The most effective western responses to the challenge of Kremlin media fall across three categories of action: exposure of Russian disinformation, engagement with endangered populations and enhancement of local media.
Author: Nicholas CullRead More
Sunday, September 25th 2016
“The fact that information is biased does not make it false, and the fact that information intends to shape public opinion and action does not make it underhanded or deceitful. * * * America has met the enemy’s PR effectiveness with its own PR failures. Misconceptions about RPA operations have been widespread and continue to proliferate.”
Friday, August 12th 2016
Those studying Russian information warfare, the Gerasimov Doctrine, and the Russian use of disinformation will want to read a November, 2015, paper published by the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in its Proliferation Papers series, “Cross-Domain Coercion: The Current Russian Art of Strategy.” The author is Dmitry (Dana) Adamsky, Associate Professor at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.
The paper is dense in its analysis of Russian strategic thinking, and it may seem too distant in its concerns for Public Diplomacy officers who are already too busy with Fulbright selections, writing and clearing today’s tweet for the Ambassador, arranging for the media coverage of an administration envoy to post, tangling with the consular section on visas for exchange program participants, and planning a reception at the Residence. In my experience, moreover, Public Diplomacy officers don’t think in terms like “digital-technological,” “cognitive-psychological,” or “the campaign’s decisive battles on the informational front.”
At a time when Ukraine faces a Russia that covets border regions, however, and when NATO is deploying battalions to the Baltic States as a deterrent, understanding how Russian military and political leaders conceptualize information warfare is vital. Nations with plans and doctrines achieve their goals; nations with none yield.Read More
Sunday, July 10th 2016
“The Russian military operation against Ukraine, which resulted in the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the continuous warfare in Eastern Ukraine, provide a demonstration of Russia’s new generation warfare approach in which traditional military tools were used alongside a well-orchestrated mix of information warfare, cyber-attacks, and diplomacy.” This is just one conclusion of a May, 2016, report, “Social Media as a Tool of Hybrid Warfare,” prepared by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga.
The 45-page report includes the following heads: ● The New Information Environment and the Role of Social Media ● The Concept of Hybrid Warfare ● The Role of Cyberspace in Hybrid Warfare ● The ‘Weaponization’ of Social Media ● Case Studies ● The Role of Social Media in Russia’s Information Activities ● Daesh’s Use of Social Media ● Recommendations ● Annex: Internet Trolling Identification Tutorial ● Annex: Social Influence Techniques in the Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian Information Environments in the Context of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.Read More
Thursday, July 7th 2016
A recent post on Joel Harding’s website, To Inform is to Influence, led me to a May 2014 report, The Anatomy of Russian Information Warfare: The Crimean Operation, A Case Study, by Jolanta Darczewska in Points of View published by The Centre for Eastern Studies (Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im Marka Karpia – OSW) in Warsaw. It’s another study that should be read by Public Diplomacy, foreign policy, and national security specialists confronting Russian information warfare.
Let me editorialize. Too many American leaders consider Public Diplomacy a junior partner to “substantive diplomacy,” and information operations in the armed forces is still “cloud nine stuff.” In Russia, information warfare has been updated, adapted to the new international media environment, integrated into military doctrine, shaped for simultaneous domestic and foreign effects, and deployed. Darczewska’s report provides details.
This gist quotes two parts of the report. The first is its executive summary. The second is an interesting section on a handbook for Russian trolls.Read More