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|Many Russian sociologists believe that the Russian armed forces ... are now vulnerable to an information psychological attack. In the past, propaganda departments in the school system and in the armed forces had fulfilled the moral-psychological training role. But in the absence of political organs and the Communist Party apparatus, ... no independent moral-psychological support apparatus exists to fill the gap.|
Countering information expansionism and protecting the national interests of Russia are to a certain extent synonymous.... More likely now is a situation in which "quiet" aggression may be unleashed ... several weeks, months or even years before the beginning of full-scale military operations. In reality there is no war or armed conflict, but in fact aggression has already been unleashed.... Therefore, if measures to counteract information psychological aggression are not developed and mastered in a practical manner ahead of time, the consequences for the country could turn out to be extremely serious.1
In the past half century the potential for working on the consciousness, psyche, or morale of a person, society, or the composition of an armed force has grown dramatically. One of the main reasons is the considerable success achieved by many countries in their systematic research in the areas of psychology, psychotronics, parapsychology, other new psychophysical phenomenon, bioenergy, biology, bio fields, and psychoenergy in the fields of security and defense.11
| The Basic Content of Russian Information-Psychological
Analyzing the moral-psychological environment in Russia, in strategic areas, on the operational axes and in the areas where operations are taking place.
Seeking, collecting, analyzing and summarizing information about the capabilities of potential participants in conflict.
Forecasting the probable nature of and possible impact of enemy PSYOP on the Russian forces and population.
Halting (or mitigating the effects of) enemy PSYOP on the strategic level, using all branches of service, branches of arms and special forces.
Carrying out measures to counteract the constant and large-scale ideological and info-psychological influence on the Russian forces and the Russian population.
Neutralizing the negative consequences of the enemy's influence on the consciousness, the morale and the mental state of service personnel.
Constantly shielding the troops and the populace from info-psychological influences.
Preparing the forces and the means to conduct info-psychological warfare.
Carrying out info-psychological and special operations to lower the morale and the psychological state of the enemy's forces and population, and to demoralize and disinform them.
Exerting constant info-psychological influence on the enemy's personnel and population.
Conducting psycho-energetic warfare and other types of nontraditional influence on the consciousness and the mental state of the enemy.
Developing the methodology and the theory of info-psychological warfare, and developing recommendations and proposals for government agencies and for military leadership.
The main objective of information war is to capture the consciousness of the population of the Russian Federation, to undermine the moral-fighting potential of the armed forces; i.e., to set the stage for political, economic, and military penetration. With this goal in mind, both secret information and psychological operations (actions) are being prepared and continuously conducted, not just by designated state structures of traditional enemies of Russia, but also by its allies and friendly countries.15
- It is essential to ensure the comprehensive theoretical elaboration of the problem of propaganda and psychological support in peacetime, in periods of aggravated military political confrontation, and in wartime.
- It is expedient to unite the bodies involved in providing propaganda and psychological support for the armed forces of Russia with a common goal and a single command-and-control structure.
- Commanders at all levels must become proficient in the use of psychological-support organizations, and there should be a training course on the subject in the military curriculum.
- Technical-support equipment must be continuously updated.18
A new MOS?
As specialists note, it's worse to fall behind here [the information - psychological confrontation] than to fall behind in cybernetics. Non-resolution of the problems of the information-psychological confrontation makes the consolidation of society and the stabilization of the situation in the state impossible, even though they are fundamental to the rebirth of Russia.19
1.E.G. Korotchenko, "Informatsionno- psikhologicheskoye protivoborstvo v sovremennykh usloviyakhn" [Information - psychological confrontation under modern conditions], Voennoye Mysl [Military Thought], January/February 1996, 22-28.BACK
2.Evidence is mounting that the term "information-psychological" is replacing the term "propaganda." For example, in the article "Nezavisimoye voennoye obozreniye" [The Bloodless and Noiseless Means], 27 January 1996, 2, author Nikolai Plotnikov discusses "indirect propaganda (information-psychological) actions"; and Andrei Mikailov's article "Nezavisimoye voennoye obozreniye" [The Word--Also a Weapon] 13 January 1996, 2, carries the subheading "information-psychological support of military actions by Russian forces in Chechnya." The journal Orientir, which appears to be devoted to many PSYOP-type articles, very seldom uses the word "propaganda," replacing it with the more popular "information-psychological." BACK
3.For the U.S. armed forces, PSYOP involves changing attitudes or manipulating someone's thoughts, emotions, impressions or beliefs through intimidation, black mail, disinformation or rumor. PSYOP finds particular utility at the operational and tactical levels of military activities. PSYOP techniques are universal, yet cheap, if put into the hands of skilled and competent operators.BACK
4.Boris Yeltsin, The Struggle for Russia (New York: Random House, 1994), 278. BACK
5.Clifford Reid, "Reflexive Control in Soviet Military Planning," in Soviet Strategic Deception, edited by Brian Daily and Patrick Parker (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books), 294.BACK
6.Disinformation is a Russian technique for manipulating perceptions and information, and for misinforming people or groups. Some disinformation procedures are obvious, some are unconvincing, and some work through delayed perceptions, rumors, repetition or arguments. Specific persons or par- ticular social groups can serve as disinformation targets. The purpose of a disinfor- mation campaign is to influence the consciousness and mind of man. In Russia today, where there is an unstable public political and socio-economic situation, the entire population could serve as the target of influence for an enemy campaign.BACK
7.M. Ionov, "Control of the Enemy," Morskoy Sbornik No. 7, July 1995, 29-31, as reported in FBIS-UMA-95-172-S, 6 Septem- ber 1995, 24-27.BACK
9.Aleksander Cherkasov, "Formirovat' gotovnost'k boyu" [Forming Military Readiness] Orientir, June 1995, p. 15. Translation by Robert Love, Foreign Military Studies Office.BACK
13.Aleksander Cherkasov "The Front Where Shots Aren't Fired," Orientir, April 1995, 48.BACK
18.N.D. Plotnikov, "Psychological Operations: Objectives, Tasks, Content," Military Thought, April 1994, 69.BACK
20.Moscow TV and Dubl Networks, 27 March 1994, as reported in FBIS-SOV-94-061, 30 March 1994, 28.BACK
21."News War at Defense Ministry," Komso- molskaya Pravda, 29 March 1996, 3, as reported in FBIS-SOV-96-062, 29 March 1996, 33.BACK
22.Aleksandr Khinshteyn, "Commissars in Dusty Helmets ... The Political Agencies Are Coming Back," Moskovskiy Komsomolets, 23 May 1996, 1, as reported in FBIS-SOV-96-101, 23 May 1996, 24, 25.BACK