WARFIGHTING: Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.

In 2016, two wks after the American election, this Handbook of Russian Information Warfare was published.

To cure the sickness, we must know what we are fighting.

1/ A NEW KIND OF WAR: The handbook, primarily based on Russian sources, was published by @NATO_DefCollege and brilliantly written by @KeirGiles who is adept at relaying complex matter simply, succinctly and comprehensively.

Below is his intro to “warfighting.”
2/ CHEAP TRICKS: Aside from the usual tyrannical blather about intellectual superiority, the bottom line: information warfare is cheap.
3/ WAR AND PEACE: The information warfare is waged during peacetime and is ongoing.
4/ ALL OF THE ABOVE: This “hybrid war” is all encompassing and traditional war lines blurred.

Psyops relayed by any memes necessary: smartphones, media, celebs, trolls, bots, leaders(!)...psych pressure, destruction of enemy computers...global networks.
5/ LACK OF CONSENSUS: While Western nations are still trying to define cyber warfare, the Russians are going all in.
6/ MIND AND MATTER: Russian information warfare is aimed at altering the minds of its target victims as well as the technical systems of entire countries... using any means available, during peacetime and war.
7/ FUNDAMENTALS OF DEMOCRACY: “Our doctrines do not allow us to do a lot of this stuff till the fighting basically starts.”

But Russia considers itself to be in a state of war... lies and denial embedded into warfighting to erode the spirit of the target nation’s population.
8/ IW: Like a tarantula hawk wasp paralyzing its prey, Russia uses information warfare to “incapacitate a state as much as possible before that state even knows a conflict has started.”

New tech based on 100-year-old thinking.

And like the spider, citizens lose consciousness.
9/ WAKE UP AMERICA: “...a massive dedicated impact on the consciousness of citizens...within a matter of days... deprived of actual sovereignty without the state’s territory being seized.”

IW’s aim: regime change... “through destroying the organs of govt.”

Well done TrumPutin.
10/ PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT: The Russian military mind works backwards from the selected objective... IW (information warfare) is used to direct the people of the victim country to support the aggressor acting against their own interests... choosing actions advantageous to Russia.
11/ AGITATION AS WARFARE: What if our decision-making is being agitated toward a specific outcome... what if.
12/ POLLUTED INFORMATION: Lying is the message.

Parroting falsehoods lends authority to complete and utter bullsh*t, which is a boon for the aggressor in warfighting.

Everything we’ve ever stood for is at stake, and yet, MSM parrots away.
13/ SUBVERSION AND DESTABILIZATION: “Trusted media sources” spread propaganda—wittingly or unwittingly—validating Russian narratives.

History is revised and propagandized as part of foreign policy, an undermining of truth and democratic principles, while IW victim-nations assist

* Influencing policies of another govt
* Undermiming confidence in its leaders and institutions
* Disrupting relations between other nations
* Discrediting and weakening governmental and nongovernmental opponents

Sound familiar.
15/ DISMISS, DISTORT, DISTRACT, DISMAY: Our freedom of expression and human rights are being targeted by surgical disinformation attacks and resulting in a demoralized public.
16/ UNPREPARED FOR ACTIVE DEFENSE: As mass media stirs up chaos, IW front groups go unchecked...the infiltration both foreign and domestic. Author Giles, when citing Russian sources, notes they refer to Western aggression. Clearly, in post-modern times the mirror is double-sided.
17/ FREE PRESS: In 1839, the wasp prepared for the inevitable wars with the West.

In recent years, as Russia attacks the West with disinformation, it secured its own information borders.

Its regime would never survive 20 years of free communication w/the West.
18/ SILENCED: Russia’s free press has been intimidated, marginalized, and largely silenced into submission. Mainstream and state-owned outlets broadcast regime messaging to the public.

TV is a useful idiot: slickly produced broadcasts cherry pick news to bolster Kremlin’s image.
19/ TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE: It occurred to me in reading these 4 pgs: what if the West efforts to reach Russian people with messages of truth and love to counter regime propaganda.

Author Giles says it’s not so simple: “Russia has spent decades closing off its own vulnerabilities.”
20/ ECHOES OF SOVIET TIMES: As of this writing in 2016, it was easy for state-run propaganda to not be challenged by the masses, under info-isolation.

To measure reality, one must access facts. So lies go unchallenged.

One damaging consequence: the regime believes its own hype.
21/ WIDESPREAD SURPRISE: Russian’s information war against target nations caused widespread surprise—torpedoing minds and control networks.

One danger of the Kremlin believing its own lies—it might act on them.
22/ THREAT PERCEPTION: Russia uses the perception of threat from the West to block incoming information, preventing thought flow.
23/ INFO-BOMBS: As the Russians refined their disinformation act after Chechen fails, they amassed information armies to conduct direct dialogue with people of target nations.

High ROI: bots don’t require pensions. Spreading a mind virus is cheap and more effective than bombs.
24/ INFORMATION TROOPS: In August 2008, an armed conflict with Georgia transformed Russia’s IW.

Information Troops became a dedicated branch of its military: hackers, “journos”, psyop specialists and linguists report directly to GRU.

Its IW strategy is well-funded and longterm.
25/ EXISTENTIAL THREAT: Since Glasnost triggered the end of the Soviet Union, freedom of expression is a direct challenge to statehood, bolstering KGB’s silencing argument—internet as feared as the photocopier back in the day, leading to declarations of national security threat.
26/ THE “I” BOMB: “Russian thinkers on information warfare were describing information weapons as ‘more dangerous than nuclear ones.’”

Since 2013,Putin directly supports IW—sponsoring the info-poison sent to target countries while insisting on national sovereignty in cyberspace.
27/ SPY VS SPY: Russian regime warns against foreign-made software. Meanwhile, during conflict between Russia and Ukraine, there is no need to hack Ukrainians officials mail servers. Russia already had access by default.
28/ DECEPTION SMOKESCREENS: Leaders who malign an independent press are trying to suppress free thought.
29/ SOCK PUPPETS: Seeding fake news goes like this...

* Direct lies
* Concealing important information
* Burying valuable information in a mass of utter shite
* Simplification and repetition

* Warping words to obfuscate
* Introducing taboos
* Puppet politicians, puppet celebrities, paid hacks, even journos are used to spread disinformation
* Pushing negative news, an easier sell than positive
* Deprive the target nation of its ability to fight
31/ SELF-INFLICTED VULNERABILITIES: Total information dominance is enabled by gaining physical control of target nation’s internet infrastructure.
32/ CYBER COMMADOS: Psyops and physical measures operations are combined.

Visualize, commandos with iPads.
33/ REAL FAKE NEWS: Forgeries, limited risk, causing panic, distrusting authorities, nuclear threats, provoking air and sea incidents, all part of Russian IW campaigns.
34/ ASYMMETRIC RESPONSE: A nuclear-armed wreck of a nation boxes above its weight with cheap IW campaigns that mislead target nations about its readiness to beat off aggression.

* Trolls: online persona run by humans
* Bots: automated responses
* False accounts posing as authoritative, can be both direct and subtle, can create appearance of consensus
* Arguing with trolls is madness and pointless
36/ PERSISTENT AMNESIA: Western media needs constant reminders of the psychic brutality—even the existence—of trolls.

Those who push truth are constantly harassed by troll armies and botnets, intimidated into submission.

The first time it happens it’s like taking a gut punch.
37/ THE BIG CHILL: Writing about Russia entails personal, reputational, financial and social risk and many tap out—silence being a win for disinformation warfare.

To all the supportive spouses, partners of truth-activists: you are my heroes.

Activism can be a lonely place.
38/ THE KREMLIN SCHOOL OF BLOGGERS: Those who don’t take IW seriously will be unpleasantly surprised to wake up to find their country gone.

Trolls are joined by “misguided individuals” in the target countries (see my “Information Warfare” thread, #14: https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1151883297162575873?s=21)
39/ DELIBERATE MEASURES: “The vast majority of the victim country does not even suspect it’s being subjected to information-psychological influence.”

There is no easy line between determining a troll campaign and a misguided opinion: future impacts are underestimated.

Wake up.

***Lies are designed to undermine trust in truth***

Trump employs Kremlin tactics, creating perpetual fog, obscuring truth daily. See my “Mind Virus” thread, #10: https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1142084876063010818?s=21
41/ LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST: Countering lies is labor intensive and sure to keep smart people playing whack a mole, while the Kremlin gets puppets elected and prods democracies to implode from within.

That Mr. Giles wrote this in 2016 is a marvel.
42/ NOTHING IS TRUE AND EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Relativism is opiate for the masses.
43/ AN INCREASED SENSE OF URGENCY: Russia now operates its IW in the light of day—its tactics evolving.

Back when this report was written, Eastern Ukraine was the lab and U.S. warned of GPS spoofing to defeat navigational systems and subsea communication cables.

We are the lab.
44/ MEANWHILE, IN SPACE, UNUSUAL MANEUVERS: “In an alarming pattern of rehearsal for hostile action” it appears Russia is aiming for information dominance in space by plotting disruption of target nations satellite communications to facilitate espionage, isolation, disinformation
45/ CONVERGENCE: In 2016, James Clapper noted Russia’s overt cyber aggression and warned NATO to be prepared to operate without network systems.

Russia’s convergence of kinetic and non-kinetic warfare was born out of realization soldiers were losing the skills of “low tech war.”
46/ BLURRED LINES: Electronic warfare is now and the future.

Twitter is infested with Russian accounts and “it can be assumed that other high profile accounts are under Russian or Russian-backed control.”

We remain in a cyberwar with no leadership against an enemy steps ahead.

* False messaging: Appears to come from trusted sources, leaders, statesmen, journalists, social media influencers
* Data theft: visitors to Sochi Olympics warned to leave personal electronic devices home
* Widespread naivety of EW/IW harm
48/ MASS TARGETING: Disinformation via EW on a mass scale presents major dangers—could occur at a critical moment in Russian confrontation.

Russia’s EW/IW campaigns aren’t spontaneous and Kremlin creates laws to insulate Russia from cyber aggression tactics they employ on others
49/ CONCLUSION: ”In information warfare, there are no rear areas.”

The entire target nation is hit.

This is a different war and prior rules of engagement do not apply.

Report written by @KeirGiles for NATO personnel and published by @NATO_DefCollege ( https://krypt3ia.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/fm_9.pdf)
50/ AFTERWARD: I had just finished my “Information Warfare” thread, a detailed summary of Mueller’s Russian indictments, when I noticed a link sent to me by @dog_in_clouds

Anyone who’s used this platform for activism knows it’s a total sh*tshow but we also meet brilliant allies
51/ I had planned to take the morning off due to an all-nighter from the Mueller thread—a request @xsyntryk1—who encouraged me to breakdown the indictments after reading my “Zero Days to Waste” thread.

But I saw the @dog_in_clouds link was from @NATO_DefCollege so I dove in.😳
52/ Turns out @dog_in_clouds is a writer who worked for a cyberwarfare contractor and I knew I was facing another all-nighter. I do most of my work on the Metro, and I’m sure my gasps were audible as I scrolled each page.

What follows is a brief interview with @dog_in_clouds...
53/ BRIAN BEKER ( @dog_in_clouds) Q&A 1:

HSC: Your key takeaway from NATO report.

BB: “Russia wages war on the US, which not only doesn’t return fire but has a 5th column GOP radioing Moscow with the coordinates for strike targets.”
54/ BRIAN BEKER ( @dog_in_clouds) Q&A 2:

HSC: Your take on the GOP behaviors.

BB: “Complicity is now a matter of survival for GOP. In a war, their perfidy would be elevated to constitutionally technical treason.”
55/ BRIAN BEKER ( @dog_in_clouds Q & A 3:

HSC: I believe we are in a cyberwar without leadership.

BB: “ @ARCYBER, w/o presidential support, is hobbled, panic and lack of preparation clear on every page of their ‘Lessons Learned.’”
56/ BRIAN BEKER ( @dog_in_clouds) Q&A 4:

HSC: NATO report makes it spectacularly clear Russia is targeting us with IW.

BB: “Even with positions under enemy fire, @ARCYBER calls for air support are never answered by a CiC who says they can't be under fire because there's no war.”
57/ BRIAN BEKER ( @dog_in_clouds) Q&A 5:

HSC: How do we box our way out

BB: “There’s only one option: chopping the head off the snake. Going after Putin personally by taking all his money.. sanctions so fierce he couldn’t so much as use an ATM card at the Kremlin souvenir shop.”
58/ Beker con. “Imagine an intelligence operation that revealed to the Russian people the true extent of his assets, his bogus shell companies and financial structures. And bring the hammer down on any financial institution that so much as farted in his direction.”- @dog_in_clouds
59/ A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The report’s author @KeirGiles recommends some additional reading:
61/ SOLUTIONS: For advice on how to fight a war the GOP refuses to declare (see #54), I turned to @IlvesToomas:

HSC: Does Putin have an Achilles heel?

THI: “His offshore laundered money.”

HSC: How do target nations fight IW?

THI: “Working together would be a good first step”
62/ CODA: Now that you understand how Russian electronic warfare and information warfare works, learn how it happened here: my parsing of Mueller Russia indictments. Knowledge is power. https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1151852356297904128?s=21
63/ SIDEBAR: My Q & A with author @KeirGiles on how the French thwarted Russia’s attack on the Macron election. https://twitter.com/heidi_cuda/status/1154559557407870976?s=21
@KeirGiles what’s the update on your research xo👆🏼
You can follow @Heidi_Cuda.
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