Small Wars Journal

Information Operations: In Eastern Europe, U.S. Military Girds Against Russian Might and Manipulation

Information Operations: In Eastern Europe, U.S. Military Girds Against Russian Might and Manipulation by Eric Schmitt – New York Times

ORZYSZ, Poland - Soon after a United States Army convoy crossed Poland’s border into Lithuania during a major military exercise this month, two very strange things happened.

First, four Army Stryker armored vehicles collided, sending 15 soldiers to the hospital with minor injuries. But hours later, an anti-American blog claimed a child was killed and posted a photo of the accident. Lithuanian media quickly denounced the blog post as a doctored fake, designed to turn public opinion against the Americans and their Baltic ally.

The bloggers had borrowed a page from the playbook of Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, which American officials say increasingly combines the ability to manipulate events using a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks and information warfare with conventional military might.

The exercise, which involved 18,000 American and allied troops, offers a window into how Army commanders are countering not just Russian troops and tanks, but also twisted truths. They occurred as President Trump is sidling up to Moscow by bad-mouthing NATO, calling for Russia to be readmitted into the Group of 7 industrialized nations, and planning a summit meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia next month…

Read on.