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Information Warfare

March 7, 2010

Information warfare is the use and management of information in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. Information warfare may involve collection of tactical information, assurance(s) that one’s own information is valid, spreading of propaganda or disinformation to demoralize the enemy and the public, undermining the quality of opposing force information and denial of information-collection opportunities to opposing forces. Information warfare is closely linked to psychological warfare.

Excerpt from Russian Anti-Americanism: A Priority Target for U.S. Public Diplomacy:

Abstract: The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia’s problems on the West, particularly the United States. The partial success of this policy exposes a number of serious failures in U.S. public diplomacy, which has been in decline since the end of the Cold War. To counter Russian information warfare and to consolidate democracy and freedom in Eastern and Central Europe, the U.S. needs to reinvigorate its public diplomacy efforts, using both traditional TV and radio broadcasting and new media to reach the peoples of the former Soviet satellites and post-Soviet states.

Some dismiss the constant flood of anti-Western and anti-American words and images as rhetoric for internal consumption. Yet just as their czarist and Soviet predecessors, contemporary Russian leaders view external propaganda as a full-fledged instrument in their foreign policy and national security toolbox. This has far-reaching implications for U.S.-Russian relations and the U.S. global image and cannot be dismissed lightly.

Ideology and Its Tools

In addition to the state-run and state-controlled media, Russian top-down anti-Americanism is disseminated through a number of tools, including Kremlin-supported youth organizations, think tanks with international reach, documentaries and movies, and the Internet. Particularly effective are Washington-bashing, state-promoted “talking heads,” who are in ample supply. Many are nationalists and Eurasianists (a political movement that incorporates an imperial agenda with nostalgia for the Soviet Union).

The Russian leadership uses these propagandists to create an anti-American media environment at home and abroad. Occasionally, it draws in marginal figures, such as Lyndon LaRouche and Noam Chomsky, to do their bidding on national television. Russian notables who are regularly engaged in anti-American propaganda include ultranationalist Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, and Alexandr Dugin, an imperialist advocate and a formerly obscure philosopher, who is closely associated with the Russian military and nationalist politicians. Since becoming an influential geopolitical guru, he has received a professorship at Moscow State University and has his own talk show on state-run television. Dugin seems to receive ample funding from state coffers. He professes a deep distaste for democracy and considers the manipulation of information by the secret services as an acceptable tool in rebuilding the Russian empire.

Other Kremlin-connected propagandists include Igor Panarin, an ex-KGB analyst and the current dean of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Panarin is the author of the infamous anti-American theory that the United States is on an inexorable course to civil war in 2010 and will fracture into separate, feuding states. Other propogandists include “political technologist” Gleb Pavlovsky, writer Aleksandr Prokhanov, and journalist and former “democrat” Mikhail Leontiev. Their job is to discredit the political opposition and to promote negative images of the United States and the West.

Editors Note: More significant than Noam Chomsky and Lyndon LaRouche in ‘doing the bidding’ of the Kremlin by appearing on RT , are fringe figures from the Conspiracy movement. They include Webster Tarpley, Wayne Madsen, Luke Rudkowski, Alex Jones, etc.

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