This is really just a short brain dump of the basics to get started thinking about information warfare in a non-US way. Yes, that means Russian, Chinese, South African, Australian, etc. approach. It may come as a surprise to many, but information warfare has always been more and better researched by those that do not commandeer the world’s biggest military. First of all we need to start with proper definitions of data, information, and knowledge. Typical definition is that data magically transforms into information and that assemblage of information turns into knowledge.
Recently Edward Lucas tweeted a series on the changes in Russian military doctrine, which signified a change away from physical combat and towards information domination in the form not seen since mid-90’s. That Russians always preferred, and are extremely skilled on, the battlefield in the cognitive domain is not new. But this new view of the recently requested new Russian military doctrine (Putin requested a new draft in 2013, having been dissatisfied with the 2010, strictly defensive doctrine that Medvedev signed off) shows just how forcefully information warfare is making a comeback.
"Some of our research shows, interestingly, that certain government agencies are actually now developing possible alternatives, local language alternatives, to Facebook, to Google which if these services are formally banned they’re obviously going to hope to fill the space with these local platforms that have been government developed and, obviously, will be government controlled and monitored. So it looks like we’re headed toward a certain confrontation between these international technology companies and Vietnamese authorities," Crispin noted. VOA Asia article. What is interesting is the similarity of the objective and the difference in the means of achieving it between the governments the world over.
Infrmation warfare limited to CNO and EW misses out on all the aspects where information isn’t stored on machines.
What we know about LiveJournal … - LiveJournal is extremely popular in Russia; - some of the opinions by Russian bloggers on LiveJournal aren’t to the liking of Putin’s “siloviki” (ex-KGB, now FSB people); - president Medvedev is an avid user of LiveJournal; and most importantly - whilst it seemed years ago that Medvedev is just a body keeping the presidential seat warm until Putin can return this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. And that other news from Russia makes it clear that at least one side is positioning itself for information supremacy as part of overall supremacy.
There’s a good article quoting Martin Libicki of RAND Corp. and his talk at the CyberFutures symposium. Political leaders do not grasp the concepts of cyberspace and cyberwar at a level to confidently write policies, he said. “Cyberwar is a lot of magic. Try talking to high-level folks and figuring out what they actually understand about it. The best of them don’t have a clue and the worst of them think of things that have no basis in reality. So when something happens, it’s always a head-scratching event.