‘No-one Likes a Cry-Baby’: The Effectiveness of Victimization Narratives in External Information Operations


This study investigates the extent to which victimization narratives in state information campaigns are an effective way to influence targeted external audiences. It focuses on two prolific users of information operations in opposition to the West, namely Russia and the People’s Republic of China. In order to test whether the use of a victimization narrative increases the effectiveness of messaging in disinformation campaigns, the authors conducted dual experimental simulations on two samples of proxy target audiences. The experiment did not reveal any clear advantages in the use of a victimization narrative; rather there were indications (some of them statistically significant), that a victimization narrative could backfire.

A No Limits Partnership on Propaganda?


The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China signed a formal agreement to cooperate on the creation and dissemination of a jointly constructed propaganda narrative for a global audience. There is some anecdotal evidence and some very basic research to suggest this cooperation might be happening. However, this study aims to use scientific research methods from the Agenda Setting Theory to prove or disprove this alleged propaganda cooperation. The author assessed a N = 600 sample of articles from English language versions of Russian Sputnik and the Chinese Global Times and People’s Daily. The evidence indicates a low level of propaganda cooperation. Russia and China appear to be pursuing their own strategic goals with propaganda. This finding has important implications for information warriors’ and strategic communication professionals’ task and counterpropaganda.

How China Uses Social Media in Grey Zone Operations toward Taiwan


The term ‘grey zone’ indicates a state actor’s actions up to the point of armed conflict and is increasingly associated with China’s foreign policy. China has harnessed Western social media to defend its national interests, drawing international attention to its discourse of war and its often-hostile rhetoric. This paper analyses Chinese state-sponsored tweets about Taiwan, a focal point for Chinese grey zone activity. Empirical topic modelling techniques to aggregate narratives in large-scale social media data were leveraged to interpret them from a doctrinal understanding of Chinese influence operations. Additionally, the authors used statistical methods to examine the relationship between China’s information and military operations toward Taiwan. This paper finds that China uses its state-sponsored accounts to coordinate and amplify social media messaging around military campaigns with strategic importance. Additionally, the presence of a multipronged approach using social media to support military campaigns may indicate an escalation in conflict.

Destabilizing a Regime to Support a Military Campaign, and Vice Versa


This essay aims to identify vulnerabilities and exploitation means necessary to use destabilization to support a military, and ultimately political, objective in a potential conflict between China and the governments supporting a liberal rules-based order. Japanese efforts during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 showed destabilizing a regime as a credible way to support military objectives during a conflict and provided some key insights by which destabilization efforts function. Based on the historical case and contemporary analysis of China, this essay makes recommendations to decision makers in a conflict on how to best execute and support destabilization efforts.

The Evolution of Chinese Cyber Offensive Operations and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)


The increasing level of confrontation evident in global affairs and competition between different political philosophies are being fought across a broad spectrum of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic areas. Russia, China, and Iran are just three examples of nations which represent alternative forms of government and governance that have employed both kinetic and non-kinetic tools to achieve influence and to compete with the interests of other nations and political ideologies. This paper focuses on the employment of Chinese cyber offensive operations to achieve strategic objectives in the Southeast Asian region, aligned to the Made in China 2025 and 14th Five Year Plans. It examines the structure and nature of Chinese cyber operations as they have evolved over the past seven years.

Enlisting Propaganda for Agenda Building: The Case of the Global Times


This article uses agenda building theory to examine how the People’s Republic of China is using propaganda in the form of news to build an agenda within global news media as part of their Three Warfares Strategy. This qualitative content analysis of the English language version of the Global Times revealed that the PRC is building an offensive news agenda to directly challenge the credibility and legitimacy of its rivals. It is obsessively preoccupied by receiving blame for COVID-19-related mistakes and threats of economic decoupling.

Global and National Take on State Information Warfare


Information power has a crucial effect on success and because today information is mostly stored in digital form, attempts to establish information supremacy have logically migrated into cyberspace. Information warfare, which first developed in the military and political sphere, has become, due to recent technological developments, extremely aggressive and widespread, and is now used as a tool to achieve goals in all societal spheres. Leading countries even integrate this technique into their national policies and strategies for achieving their political goals. Transference of information warfare into cyberspace has led to the combining of two of the most dangerous and least investigated forms of criminality – cybercrime and organized crime – so the dilemma how to protect ourselves from them is now even greater. The international community has been avoiding this issue and information warfare is totally neglected. The absence of legislation and the will to bring order to this area has created a situation in which anyone can use cybercrime techniques to gain information power. This paper presents the authors’ opinion on the nature of information warfare, its steady migration into cyberspace and its exponential growth. The analysis of the current normative acts at national and international levels and our overview of the developments in leading countries illuminate the present state of affairs in this field.

Unrestricted Warfare versus Western Traditional Warfare: A Comparative Study


The rise of the cyber dimension as well as the emergence of new strategic/economic leaders in the world, like China, is currently changing not only the face of the world but also threatens to upset the strategic balance in the world. In this context, the concept of warfare itself must be redefined. This paper seeks to analyse the concept of new warfare precisely, and then to discuss developments in the new art of warfare, and, finally, to establish a redefinition of the stakes.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.















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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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