When US President Barack Obama recently spoke at the United Nations about countering the Islamic State, many of his critics complained that he put too much emphasis on diplomacy and not enough on the use of force. It is more accurate to see the current mood as a swing of the US foreign policy pendulum between what Columbia University’s Stephen Sestanovich has called “maximalist” policies and “retrenchment” policies.
Russia’s growing presence in Syria involves a parallel war of information, with the Kremlin dead-set on controlling an increasingly unwieldy narrative. Here are seven strategies that show up time and time again in releases by Russian officials and state-sponsored news organizations.
Of the nations that practice information warfare, the most persistent is Russia. In a recent article for the Institute for the Study of War, Maria Snegovaya describes Russia’s dexterity at using “reflexive control,” which she defines as shaping an adversary’s perceptions of a situation so that this adversary proceeds to act in the way Russia wants.
Philip Seib on Russia and disinformation.
Gary Rawnsley has words of caution for the British international broadcaster.
Russia marked 70 years since the victory over Nazi Germany on Saturday with a spectacular parade in Moscow featuring some 16,000 soldiers, 200 armored vehicles and 150 planes and helicopters. This is expected to be the last major anniversary of the conflict when significant numbers of World War II veterans are still alive to take part.
Speaking at a Brookings Institution event in Washington, Schaeuble described the standoff with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "new systemic conflict" that would be won by the side with greater "soft power" and a stronger economy.
Fake news stories. Doctored photographs. Staged TV clips. Armies of paid trolls. Has Putin’s Russia developed a new kind of information warfare – fought in the ‘psychosphere’ rather than on the battlefield? Or is it all just a giant bluff?