In recent weeks, fear of ‘Russian propaganda’, ‘disinformation’, and ‘information warfare’ has reached somewhat hysterical proportions, as seen most clearly in the case of alleged links between Russian hackers and US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Yesterday, British information warriors Edward Lucas and Peter Pomerantsev joined in with a report published by the Center for European Policy Analysis entitled Winning the Information War: Techniques and Counter-strategies to Russian Propaganda in Central and Eastern Europe.
The report is pretty much standard Lucas/Pomerantsev fare: Russia, they write, ‘regards the post-1989 settlement of Europe as both deplorable and temporary. It sees democracies and open societies as a threat, because they may “infect” Russia with their ideas. It aims to undermine a rules-based multilateral security order in Europe that it regards as unfair and unsustainable.’ To this end Russia is using disinformation against the West, ‘overtly – through foreign-language television … and covertly, using notionally independent journalists, experts and commentators’. Moscow’s aim, say Lucas and Pomerantsev, is ‘not to convince or persuade, but rather to undermine. Instead of agitating audiences into action, it seeks to keep them hooked and distracted, passive and paranoid.’…Irrussianality
Another shot in the propaganda war
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa