Headline : The battlefield is everywhere in the digital age
Sub-headline: This new world order means China and Russia can subvert the west’s military strength
Note that the headline writers at The Financial Times are still in the thrall of Huntington’s paranoia of the Other that is the foundation of his ‘Clash’. And its myriad uses and its political permutations in the Western Imperial mind set, and its role in Anti-Terror rhetoric . The production of usable Western political propaganda, against the ever-present danger of that Other, is the paranoia of the The Cold War writ large, by the National Security state operative Samuel P. Huntington. To serve the demands of a Hegemon, in an advanced state of political collapse. Everyone is subject to suspicion!
Note that in The War on Terror and its various evolutions, Mr. Thornhill point of departure is the ‘The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is a terrifying piece of military kit.’ What can ‘stealth bomber’ offer to a ‘war’ fought on the ground against Jihadists? It is a guerilla war and this weapon is simply a more sophisticated form of the drone: a weapon used to spread terror among various civilian populations, in the ‘West’s Thirty Years War’! Mr. Thornhill after this celebration of American technology, and its staggering costs, he points instead to Cyber Warfare as the challenge that faces ‘The West’.
The reader then ends up with the speculation of Mr. Thornhill :
Such murkiness is perfect for those keen to subvert the west’s military strength. China and Russia appear to understand this new world disorder far better than others — and are adept at turning the west’s own vulnerabilities against it.
Note the change of political scene from Russian revanchism in Crimea and Ukraine, or even the potential threat to its European neighbors. And the Chinese ‘territorial adventurism’ in The South China Sea, to the Cyber Warfare Front. The ‘as if’ here is that the ‘West’ ,defined as Europe and America, are somehow innocents in the Cyber Warfare game: recall Stuxnet?
Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm, first identified in 2010 but thought to be in development since at least 2005, that targets industrial computer systems and was responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran’s nuclear program. Although neither country has admitted responsibility, the worm is now generally acknowledged to be a jointly built American–Israeli cyberweapon.
Or the less sophisticated policy of the murdering of Iranian scientists by Mossad?
Four Iranian nuclear scientists—Masoud Alimohammadi, Majid Shahriari, Darioush Rezaeinejad and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan—were assassinated between 2010 and 2012. Another scientist, Fereydoon Abbasi, was wounded in an attempted murder. Two of the killings were carried out with magnetic bombs attached to the targets’ cars; Darioush Rezaeinejad was shot dead, and Masoud Alimohammadi was killed in a motorcycle-bomb explosion. The Iranian government accused Israel of complicity in the killings. In 2011 and 2012, Iranian authorities arrested a number of Iranians alleged to have carried out the assassination campaign on behalf of Mossad (the Israeli intelligence service). Western intelligence services and U.S officials reportedly confirmed the Israeli connection. In June 2012, the Iranian government was confident that it had arrested all the assassins.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement, but Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said: “We will act in any way and are not willing to tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We prefer that this be done by means of sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself.” The assassination campaign was reportedly terminated in 2013 following diplomatic pressure from the United States, which was attempting to negotiate restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities.
When all else fails, America and its surrogates use what ever means necessary!
Just one example of Cyber Warfare allied to the use of murder as weapons of war, that we know of , and an utter inconvenience to Mr. Thornhill’s paranoia mongering. But Mr. Thornhill must pay obeisance to America’s feigned ‘innocence’ in the matter of interference in the domestic politics of other countries: The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 established the hemispheric dominance, that was simply expanded as need be, but especially in the post 9/11 World.
Russian strategic thinkers have also widened their conception of force. Moscow has used traditional military hardware in recent conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine. But it has also launched cyber attacks against both countries as well as Estonia and stands accused of hacking the US presidential election.
More broadly, it has been intensifying its KGB-derived “dezinformatsiya” operations as part of what Professor Mark Galeotti has called “the weaponisation of information”. According to Dmitry Kiselyov, the Russian television anchor and Kremlin propagandist, information wars have become “the main type of warfare”.
It isn’t that America, and its surrogates haven’t used propaganda, using electronic media like Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and The Interpreter magazine, founded by The Atlantic Council for that very same purpose. Michael Weiss was the editor of the Interpreter magazine, before joined The Daily Beast, as its New War-Monger-In-Chief :
Notes: Interpreter Mag (IM) was founded by the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting cooperation between the United States and Europe. IM was originally founded to translate articles from the Russian press into other languages. Its stance has changed significantly since then, according to its About page:
“Little did we realize then that the Interpreter would devote as much energy to covering what the Russian Federation got up to outside of its own borders.”
Today IM covers, as stated, Russia’s involvement in international affairs, primarily focused on Syria, Crimea, and the war in the Ukraine. They also have a daily podcast covering the same range of topics. The articles are well written and factual, with a noticeable anti-Putin and Russian government stance. IM does have a small amount of U.S. Related news although it is primarily about the investigations of Russian involvement in the election. (D. Kelley 3/6/2017)
Mr. Thornhill then calls Trump, in so many words, a ‘Russian Appeaser’ in the Old School jargon once favored by the Nixon/Mundt/McCarren/McCarthy Axis, of the Old Cold War. And then closes his with this- call it premature triumphalism?
In the realm of “memetic warfare”, as it has been called, the Kremlin would already appear to have won. But before it crows too loudly, Mr Putin’s entourage may reflect that the west depends far less on any one individual or institution than Russia. The US Congress is now pushing tougher sanctions against Moscow for meddling in the presidential election.
Moreover, the Russian president’s domestic opponents are also adopting new strategies. Earlier this year, the opposition leader Alexei Navalny released a slickly produced video highlighting the alleged corruption of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. It has since been watched almost 24m times on social media.
No matter how well versed in the practice, authoritarian states are rapidly losing their own monopoly on the weaponisation of information.