03.10.2013 Author: Vladimir Karyakin

Information wars and security threats

120217_ta1In the context of globalisation, a new form of geopolitical confrontation has emerged, with the involvement of the use of the mass media and telecommunications networks encompassing the whole world space and making it possible not only to exert a destructive impact on the consciousness of large masses of the population but also to carry out its transformation in a certain direction.

This allows us to talk of the use of information technologies as consciental weapon against those countries whose population is to be brought under the external forces interested in the capture of their geopolitical resources. The purpose of using this kind of weapon is to destroy the traditional structures of a person’s consciousness by changing the functioning of these structures in the following aspects:

– reducing the overall intellectual level of the population by influencing the people’s health through the deterioration of the environment and the quality of food products;

– destroying the mechanisms of traditional self-identification of the population and replacing them with new identity surrogates by involving the people in various “groups of participation” in social networks and the Internet;

– introducing into the public consciousness a new, specially designed matrix of values and norms of social and personal behaviour as the only possible patterns of behaviour. This leads to the destruction of the tribal, cultural and historical memory of the people, as well as to the psychotisation and neurotisation of society, which turns into a crowd highly susceptible to external control on the part of political technologists of the “controllable chaos” and “coloured revolutions”;

– destroying the people’s ability to understand the place and role of their country and its national strategy in order to gradually develop total indifference to the fate of their country and people, the withdrawal to the consumerist lifestyle and hedonism;

- squeezing out of the information environment space, in which a person’s consciousness exists, the issues that require a long and proper contemplating of events in order to form sustainable personal knowledge. Thanks to the application of the advanced destructive information technologies, today a person is gradually losing the ability of problematisation and personal sense of purpose. This is explained by the “information overheating” of a person’s consciousness, against the backdrop of which there appears a need for rapid obtaining of information on issues of interest, and that is provided by a demonstration of superficial demo-versions of events.

As can be seen from the experience of the “coloured revolutions”, the above-mentioned aspects of the impact on the population’s consciousness are a weapon of mass destruction of a person’s mental sphere. This weapon is used for the hidden destruction of a person’s cultural and confessional self-identification and traditional patterns of behaviour.

In the conditions of the increasing diversity of the forms of information supply, most people cannot independently solve the problem of the correlation between their own evaluation of events and the evaluation presented in the mass media. This applies, first of all, to the people who do not have sustainable religious consciousness, and that creates favourable conditions for the manipulation of the inclinations and behaviour of large masses of the population through the promotion, in the information environment, of a certain category of political and public figures, psychics and witches, representatives of show business and the street crowd leaders, whose activities have an antisocial and anti-State nature.

In the contemporary world of global communications, and information and political technologies, a person’s consciousness creates the virtual world images displayed on the television screen. At the same time, understanding the degree of the impact that the mass media has on him- or herself, the person cannot resist them. Their inner world inevitably gets deformed under the pressure of the information flow distorting the true essence of the real events.

The ultimate goal of the use of the information weapon is the exclusion of the people from their traditional confessional and cultural commonality and their transformation into isolated atomic social individuals alienated from their ethnicity, religion and culture to which they belonged by right of birth.

However, it is possible to protect yourself against information destructors in a number of ways, in particular, through the preservation of the people’s religious, cultural and historical values. The following can also be effective measures to counter external information aggression:

– development and implementation of the Programme for the creation of multiethnic and polyconfessional civilised space;

– development of the principles of the work of national information bodies in such a way that they would ensure positive influence on the consolidation of the country’s population to solve the geopolitical challenges that it is faced with and to strengthen cultural and confessional identity and the consolidation of the population.

On the whole, it should be noted that the effectiveness of information-related counter-measures against the adversary depends to a large extent on the diversity of the engaged forces and means, as well as on the wide range of impacts defined by the conditions of the situation.

Today, there is an ongoing information war against many states. Its success is proved by the collapse of the USSR, the change of power in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, the attacks on the ruling regimes in Syria and North Korea. In these circumstances, effective counter-measures against information aggression are the main condition for preserving the statehood.

Vladimir Karyakin, Candidate of Military Sciences, senior research fellow at the Department of Defence Policy at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies. The article was written exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.

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