Propaganda

An Analysis of the Social-Media Technology, Tactics, and Narratives Used to Control Perception in the Propaganda War over Ukraine

Abstract:

Framed by the historic 2013-2015 conflict in Ukraine—widely described by Western media as a ‘Cold-War’-style clash between the Russian Federation and the United States/NATO alliance—this qualitative case study examines how social media was used as a platform for propaganda warfare waged by clandestine bloggers and special operations commandos (known as trolls) deployed worldwide by state and non-state actors, and digitally linked and informed by data-mining, to manipulate public perceptions of the events by controlling an element of rhetoric known as narratives.

Information Warfare, Globalism, and the Curious Case of Music

Abstract

The concept of globalism can be traced back thousands of years, most remarkably, to ancient Babylonia. Information warfare has enabled this enchanting concept to survive into the present Age.

A Critique of Coalition Propaganda Before the Second Gulf War

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates and critiques the propaganda emanating from the main players in the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ (USA, UK, and Australia) in the three months before the invasion of Iraq. It outlines the US-led information campaign and analyses its successes and failures.

The Law and Cyber Terrorism

ABSTRACT

The paper investigates the use of the Internet. by terrorist and dissident groups for publicity, propaganda, and fund raising. It examines the new anti-terrorism legislation passed in the last few years (especially the UK Terrorism Act), and its impact in the Internet presence of proscribed groups.

Perception Management in the Art of War. A Review of Finnish War Propaganda and Present-Day Information Warfare

ABSTRACT

Perception management is integral to the art of war. Skillful use of information warfare, psychological operations and propaganda is problematic, however. Based on Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s theory of perception and the practical examples presented in this article – the Finnish Winter War and the war on terrorism – it can be held that perception and its interpretation can never be certain. If perceptions are manufactured, they can become counter-productive. The way in which perceptions arise is characterized by dynamism. According to Mzerleau-Ponty, there is always a middle ground between us and the enemy, a field that distorts and limits our view of the enemy. Therefore, in this article we propose that we can direct propaganda only towards ourselves.

Strategic Communications and the Relationship Between Governmental ‘Information’ Activities in the Post 9/11 World

ABSTRACT

For most people, the word ‘propaganda’ conjures up all sorts of negative connotations – from brainwashing to dirty tricks to outright lying.  Theoretically, this is misguided.  However, although it is now probably too late in the day to attempt to strip away the negative connotations in the popular mind of this ‘P word’, nonetheless there is a need to first understand what propaganda actually is conceptually, and to understand how the word itself has acquired such a pejorative meaning, before examining what its contemporary alternative word descriptions (euphemisms) actually involve and mean.

Information Operations from an Asian Perspective: A Comparative Analysis

ABSTRACT

This article is a comparative study of the practice of state-sponsored influence activities in its various forms (namely propaganda, public diplomacy, psychological operations, public affairs, cyber warfare, electronic warfare and so on) in selected Asian countries (China, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan). It highlights the state of Asian development, differences in concepts, organization and application as compared to the Western models that today dominate discussions on information operations and influence activity.  By doing so, it provides alternative ways of approaching Information Operations (IO) that might contribute to the generation of challenges and solutions facing today’s policy makers. Finally, it will serve to broaden the body of knowledge in influence activities to include both Eastern and Western viewpoints. 

Asymmetrical Adversarialism in National Defense Policy, The Marketplace and Personal Privacy

ABSTRACT

I once calculated, on the back of a napkin thoroughly drenched in Outback steak juice, that it takes a whole lot of paper to wage a war. I mean, a terrific amount of paper: something like 3,412.7 pieces of papers for every combatant and support soldier in the chain of command. If the war or Operation Other Than War (OOW) or a peace keeping mission carries on for more than six weeks, the paperwork jungle doubles and as the war continues into months, the paperwork increases, but at a lesser rate of bureaucratic indulgence

All of this war-fighting paper means there has to be a whole lot of paper pushers to push the paper needed to fight the war. To support the paper pushers, you have to have people to buy the paper and the pens at the right price; a price that the government would be proud to pay as long as they’re fighting a war. And of course, you have to have bean counters to count how much paper the paper pushers are pushing which is what really makes the whole war business worth doing in the first place. You see, war is a lot about paper.

Becoming the Enemy…and How Not To: Strategic Communications and the Challenges of the War on Terror

ABSTRACT

This opinion piece argues that there are lessons to be learned from past applications of Psychological Operations and Information Operations for the current practice of Strategic Communications.  The Information War on Terror is going so badly that something must be done.  Already longer than World War Two, western strategic communication directed towards the Arab and Muslim world has failed because the military, while being quite good at tactical operational propaganda, is not by itself equipped to work at the strategic or political level.  This is because western militaries regard information as a support tool.  For Al Qaida and the Taliban it is the main weapon.

The Electronic Intifada: The Palestinian Online Resistance in the 2nd Intifada

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the utility of the Internet in the war of ideas in the Al-Aqsa Intifada in the period from 2000-2008. It tests the hypothesis that the internet is a ‘force-multiplier’ and ‘equalizer’ for the Palestinians to counter a more militarily superior State of Israel. The prognosis offered in this paper is that the empowering characteristics of the internet have transformed the Palestinian struggle into ‘asymmetric warfare’ akin to Mao’s ‘People’s War’ fought on cyberspace. Empirical findings largely confirmed the hypothesis, but with reservations about the ‘equalizer’ effect. The effectiveness of the Palestinian’s online resistance is attributable to their assimilation into the NGO/IO community and achieving traction with the news media. However, decades of Israeli influence on US media and audiences continue to present a significant barrier. 

Evaluating the Effect of the Fear Appeal in Advertising: Implications for Information Operation Campaigns

ABSTRACT

Assuming the use of the fear appeal is dominant in Information Operations (IO), to undermine the will of the adversary, this paper critically evaluates five decades of research in marketing communications on the effectiveness of fear appeals. An attempt is made to determine how these findings might relate to the IO context, given the special circumstances of these campaigns. A discussion of how market research might be used to determine the effectiveness of fear appeals used in IO campaigns follows, given the special contexts in which they are undertaken (for example, Afghanistan). Implications for how practitioners apply and modify marketing research techniques are also discussed.

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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