Russian “New Generation” Warfare: Theory, Practice, and Lessons for U.S. Strategists

A Small Wars Journal and Military Writers Guild Writing Contest Finalist Article

Russian “New Generation” Warfare: Theory, Practice, and Lessons for U.S. Strategists

Nicholas Fedyk

Russian unconventional warfare—dubbed by analysts as “new generation” warfare—elevates the psychological and popular aspects of conflict more so than any of its geopolitical partners and rivals.[i] In an era of expanding popular engagement and attention to foreign conflicts, a strategic appreciation of these people-centric dimensions is more important now than ever. Recent interventions in Crimea and Donbas demonstrate the effectiveness of this new generation strategy, expose some critical weaknesses in U.S. approaches to unconventional war, and provide lessons for future strategic design.

Historical Roots of Popular Engagement

Theorists have long understood that the population is a critical center of gravity in warfare. More specifically, both Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu linked popular support to the moral element of warfare: that is, a campaign’s morality or legitimacy is determined by the interests and will of the people supplying it, fighting in it, voting on it, and suffering from it. Therefore, leaders should target both their own people and their enemy’s: they should seek to treat their own with “benevolence, justice, and righteousness, [reposing] confidence in them,”[ii] while simultaneously attacking the enemy’s population to bring about a “gradual exhaustion of his physical and moral resistance.”[iii] The population is the third element of Clausewitz’s trinity, and in unconventional war it is arguably the most important. Exhausting popular will can damage an enemy more than seizing territory or inflicting physical damage—indeed, it is the intended end result of that seizure or damage.

Guerilla warfare theorists and practitioners—those who are aided by states engaged in unconventional warfare—likewise recognize that the population is a critical center of gravity. Regardless of the process or method of resistance—be it Mao’s three stages, Che’s foco, or others—guerilla leaders agree that insurgencies suffocate absent popular support. In their guerilla warfare manuals, Mao and Che echo this lesson. Even before violence escalates, Mao’s primary objective is to “persuade as many people as possible to commit themselves to the movement, so that it gradually acquires the quality of ‘mass.’”[iv] And with perfect certainty, Che believes that the “absolute cooperation of the people” is vital for an insurgency’s long-term success; to this end, “intensive popular work must be undertaken to explain the motives of the revolution, its ends, and to spread the incontrovertible truth that victory of the enemy against the people is finally impossible.[v] Thus, the population is a center of gravity across all kinds of warfare: insurgency and counterinsurgency, conventional and unconventional, past and present.

Due to recent and dramatic changes in media, technology, and culture, the population plays an even more vital role in twenty-first century unconventional conflict. It is an era of round-the-clock news coverage, where the population, aided by smartphones, cable television, and social media, can track its government and military with startling frequency. People are more connected, but they can also be more mercurial. Individuals are inundated by distraction upon distraction: from the latest rumor about a stewing political controversy to an upcoming thunderstorm that may cancel the Nationals’ game, viewers’ attention spans are short. Even more concerning, the population is susceptible to misinformation. In the never-ending search for TV ratings, primetime networks push “breaking stories” without properly validating their accuracy, featuring “expert” analysts on screen whose remarks can be swayed by emotion or impulse that are passed on to viewers at home.

These factors pose a particular challenge for military and political leadership engaging in unconventional warfare. Successful unconventional warfare mandates a long-term approach, beginning at Phase Zero long before violence breaks out. Phase Zero engagements are effective because they seek to use nonmilitary instruments to shape the operational environment, preventing violence from occurring in the first place. Yet, they produce few rewards that are obvious to a skeptical public; soft instruments of power such as diplomacy, economic aid, and propaganda require patient persistence, and do not produce tangible, immediate indicators of victory. Indeed, the public may find such soft engagements unnecessary or wasteful.

Facing an impatient and skeptical public, strategists must sustain popular support by encouraging patience as they employ a diverse array of nonmilitary instruments to preempt violence. In other words, the population must “buy-in” to unconventional warfare. In addition, strategists should deceive and manipulate international opponents who may criticize such interventions and attempt to counter their narrative. How well does Russia’s new generation strategy achieve these goals? Does Russia inspire support from its own population, while denying its enemy’s ability to do the same? These questions will help evaluate the effectiveness of Russian strategy.

Russian Theory

In both theory and practice, Russia’s new generation warfare appreciates the popular element of war. In his report for the National Defense Academy of Latvia, Janis Berzins aptly describes Russian strategy as psychological or informational warfare.[vi] Whereas previous strategies focused on logistical or material concerns, such as the strength of the enemy’s forces, Russia is now preoccupied with the battlespace of the mind:

Thus, the Russian view of modern warfare is based on the idea that the main battlespace is the mind and, as a result, new-generation wars are to be dominated by information and psychological warfare, in order to achieve superiority in troops and weapons control, morally and psychologically depressing the enemy’s armed forces personnel and civil population.[vii]

Berzins then lays out ten guidelines for “developing Russian military capabilities by 2020” that address this new battlespace: influence is prioritized over destruction; inner decay over annihilation; and culture over weapons or technology. It is a true total war battlespace that encompasses political, economic, informational, technological, and ecological instruments. This theory is then implemented through eight specific phases, starting with establishing a “favorable political, economic, and military setup” long before conflict begins. This essential first phase is ongoing. Indeed, there is no artificial binary between war and peace, but simply war at all times, in all places, and with all resources.

Furthermore, since Russia prefers nonmilitary, nonviolent measures, this new generation war rarely boils over into full-scale armed conflict. In addition, Russian strategy emphasizes the importance of deception and misinformation to conceal its aggressive operations, a policy known as maskirovka (“camouflage” in Russian). In Taktika, Russian strategist V.G. Reznichenko defines maskirovka as “a set of measures designed to mislead the enemy with respect to the presence and disposition of troops, various military installations, their status, combat readiness, and operations, as well as the plans of the command elements.”[viii] Russian unconventional warfare is saturated in such deception, which makes war look like peace.

Russian Practice

Russia has masterfully implemented this new generation strategy in Crimea and Donbas. Consider the invasion of Crimea, which Russia silently executed under the guise of humanitarian intervention. With little local resistance or bloodshed, Russia carefully pried the peninsula back into its sphere of influence:

Its success can be measured by the fact that in just three weeks, and without a shot being fired, the morale of the Ukrainian military was broken and all of their 190 bases had surrendered. Instead of relying on a mass deployment of tanks and artillery, the Crimean campaign deployed less than 10,000 assault troops—mostly naval infantry, already stationed in Crimea, backed by a few battalions of airborne troops and Spetsnaz commandos—against 16,000 Ukrainian military personnel. In addition, the heaviest vehicle used was the wheeled BTR-80 armored personal carrier.[ix]

Closely following its unconventional warfare theory, Russian waged total war, utilizing a variety of soft instruments to shape the operational environment long before 2014 and cultivating the popular support necessary to sustain such an intervention. First, it worked by, with, and through local forces: it paid off oligarchs to run their own local militias, bribed local officials with positions in the new shadow government, and aided separatist forces with intelligence, artillery, rations, and other essential logistical support. Russia also maintains close economic ties with Ukrainian businesses in the region, investing heavily in the industrial and energy sectors. Finally, it disseminates pro-Russian propaganda through Russian-owned and funded radio and television networks, which continue to berate Kiev as a Western puppet and emphasizing Russia and Ukraine’s shared historic and cultural heritage. Through these mechanisms, Russia plants meaningful incentives for popular support and cooperation, while consistently denying the presence of Russian troops in Crimea or Donbas—true maskirovka in action. While controversial in the eyes of the international community, local polling suggests that a substantial majority of the local population endorsed the Russian invasion, a sentiment supported by the lack of ensuing popular resistance or violence and the transitions to regional shadow governments today.[x] Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Army continues to struggle with draft dodging and desertion, as the public appetite for war rapidly fades.[xi]

Strategic Communication: Inspiring Supporters, Fooling Critics

Russia’s clever use of media and communication is a critical part of new generation warfare. Ultimately, what Russia does may not be as important as how it communicates and defends its legitimacy—both to the international community and to its own domestic population. The Ukrainian intervention is especially illustrative: first, Russia deceives the international community, evades traditional deterrent mechanisms, and establishes its own definition of legitimacy; and second, Russia inspires and sustains domestic popular support.

First, Russia establishes its legitimacy through its heavily publicized cooperation with the Federal Assembly, its national parliament. In a method known as “legalism,” the Kremlin persuades the assembly to issue official, legal authorizations for the use of force in Ukraine. Since 2014, it has claimed two legal justifications for force: one, the protection and self-defense of Russian nationals living in Donbas and Crimea; and two, the direct invitation for intervention by Donbas and Crimean leadership, as well as that of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, whom Russia still believed was the legitimate leader of Ukraine in 2014.[xii]

According to U.S. and European critics, these justifications are illegitimate: they serve Russia’s own interests while trampling on Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. Yet, by claiming to act in support of self-defense and sovereignty—claims supported by its own parliament’s legislation—Russia turns traditional deterrent mechanisms on their head. Indeed, self-defense is explicitly permitted in Article 51 of the UN Charter. And while Article 5 of the NATO Treaty states that “an armed attack against one” is considered an attack against the alliance, how should the alliance respond when the armed attack in question is morphed or denied by the aggressor? Russia’s new generation warfare deliberately blurs the line between military and nonmilitary action, making it more difficult to determine or agree that an armed attack has actually occured, especially when the aggressor claims to act in defense of one of the main principles of the UN Charter. Ultimately, both Russia and its opponents lean on the same words to legitimize their policies: words like “self-determination,” “self-defense,” and “sovereignty.” Yet Russia is the only party that effectively backs up its rhetoric with action—both in the Phase Zero stage and in later ones when military force is required.

Just as it confuses and manipulates international audiences, Russian does the same to its domestic population, pushing a consistent, optimistic narrative to sustain support for a prolonged intervention. There are many newspapers, magazines, and radio stations, but television is Russian’s primary source for news and information about the ongoing conflict, and it exercises dominant influence over public opinion.[xiii] Television producer Peter Pomerantsev, in his aptly titled Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, describes its influence thus:

In a country covering nine time zones, one-sixth of the world’s land mass, stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic, from the Arctic to the Central Asian deserts, from near-medieval villages where people still draw water from wooden wells by hand, through single-factory towns and back to the blue glass and steel skyscrapers of the new Moscow—TV is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country.[xiv]

The Russian government directly owns Channel One and Russia One, two of the three largest stations. Meanwhile, state-funded oligarchs own NTV, the third-largest channel, as well as leading newspaper and radio outlets.[xv] The government also aggressively censors speech that it considers offensive or critical.[xvi] It even hires social media “trolls” to obsessively peruse popular sites like Twitter and VKontakte who harass investigative journalists, Ukraine sympathizers, and even political opponents like German Chancellor Angela Merkel.[xvii] Working in “troll factories,” these users work in teams to provide a semblance of organic debate, fooling passive users.

Government influence over the media provides it with a direct channel to popular opinion, allowing the Kremlin to highlight the successes of new generation warfare and its easy payoffs in Ukraine.[xviii] As a result, popular support, a critical pillar of unconventional war, remains high in Russia. According to studies cited by the Carnegie Endowment, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, BBC, Freedom House, and others, Russian viewers trust the objectivity of these national TV stations, and this trust is actually rising.[xix] In fact, some 88 percent believe that the United States and Europe are manipulating their media in an “information war” against Russia, while their own government is simply reporting the facts.[xx]

It is no surprise, therefore, that Russians continue to support their government’s justification for Ukrainian intervention. And while they tend to oppose escalating the conflict with NATO or deploying more Russian troops abroad, Russia’s new generation warfare is designed precisely to avoid this kind of escalation.[xxi] Indeed, Russia’s “little green men” have occupied Crimea and parts of Donbas for over two years now, and the West has given little indication it is prepared to initiate a full-scale military conflict. In fact, Europe’s appetite for using even nonmilitary deterrents, like economic sanctions, is wearing thin.[xxii]

Lessons for the United States

Russia’s new generation warfare provides several lessons for U.S. strategists. First, the United States should recognize the important of Phase Zero operations and implement psychological, informational, and other nonmilitary measures that preempt and prevent conflict. Current U.S. doctrine demonstrates a poor appreciation for this kind of warfare, which is too rigidly focused on traditional military operations. For example, the first step of “preparation” requires executive “permission to execute an unconventional warfare campaign”—as if unconventional warfare is something that can be turned on and off at a moment’s notice.[xxiii] On the contrary, new generation warfare is a type of warfare that exists round-the-clock, using a nation’s total resources to shape the operational environment. It is not a set campaign; it is a way of life. U.S. leaders must adopt this mindset.

Second, U.S. leaders must use the media to encourage patience and trust in military activities. The impulsive, fast-paced cable news cycle far outpaces the military’s timeline. While CNN or Fox News may portray the loss of an airport or key building in Donetsk as a great calamity, the military knows it is just one step in the course of a long conflict that may take years to resolve. Unlike Russia, where the government and military control the narrative because they control the media outlets, U.S. media is far more independent—and it should remain so.[xxiv] However, U.S. officials should speak out more emphatically and frequently on these outlets, making a public case for a long-term military approach and countering the desire for quick results and decisive victories, neither of which characterize unconventional war. It should also seek to limit the rising number of leaks, which makes the military look disorganized and further divides popular opinion.

Finally, in addition to developing its own unconventional war strategy, the U.S. must grasp and counter Russia’s new generation warfare with nonmilitary instruments of its own.[xxv] These include establishing new TV and radio stations to disseminate pro-Ukrainian propaganda in Donbas; channeling economic aid to encourage private enterprise and strengthening links between Ukraine and the West; cutting back sanctions that harm the local population and alienate popular support; and aggressively exposing Russian flaws and abuses to encourage impatience and skepticism within Russia. This new generation conflict in Ukraine is fundamentally attritive; weakening the enemy’s will through these nonmilitary measures will pay large dividends in the long-run.

End Notes

[i] Phillip Karber summarizes the Russian approach thus: “Russia’s new generation warfare differs from Western views of hybrid warfare — a blend of conventional, irregular and cyber warfare — in that it combines both low-end hidden state involvement with high-end direct, even braggadocio, superpower involvement. Contrary to Western politicians, the Russian leadership understands military options and plays them like a Stradivarius.” This paper will unwrap this definition and its impact on future unconventional war. See Phillip Karber, “Russia’s New Generation Warfare,” National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency, https://www.nga.mil/MediaRoom/News/Pages/Russia's-'New-Generation-Warfare'.aspx

[ii] Sun Tzu, Art of War (Philadelphia: Lippincot, 1862), 64.

[iii] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans. and ed. Peter Paret and Michael Howard (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976), 93.

[iv] Mao Tse-Tung, On Guerrilla Warfare, trans. Samuel B. Griffith II (New York: Dover Publications, 2000), 21.

[v] Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare (University of Nebraska Press, 1985), 56.

[vi] Berzins’ assessment is based on recent Russian actions in Ukraine, as well as speeches and writings of Russian leaders translated into English, most notably that of Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov. For his original source, see Valery Gerasimov, “The Value of Science Is in the Foresight: New Challenges Demand Rethinking the Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations,” in Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kurier (Jan-Feb 2016), https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-440822326/the-value-of-science-is-in-the-foresight-new-challenges. For another lucid summary of new generation warfare, see Footnote 1.

[vii] Janis Berzins, “Russia’s New Generation Warfare in Ukraine,” National Defense Academy of Latvia (April 2014), 5. Emphasis mine.

[viii] Cited by Major Kenneth Keating, “Maskirovka: The Soviet System of Camouflage,” U.S. Army Russian Institute (1981), 4, http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a112903.pdf

[ix] Berzins, 4.

[x] Kenneth Rapoza, “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow to Kiev,” Forbes (March 20, 2015), http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/#3b8476ae5951

[xi] Natalia Zinets, “Ukraine struggles to recruit soldiers for war in east,” Reuters (February 4, 2016), http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-military-idUKKCN0VD21Q

[xii] Christian Marxsen, “The Crimean Crisis: An International Law Perspective” (2014), 372-374, http://www.mpil.de/files/pdf4/Marxsen_2014_-_The_crimea_crisis_-_an_international_law_perspective.pdf

[xiii] For 90-95 percent of Russians, television is their main source of information about the events in Ukraine. See studies cited by the Carnegie Endowment at: http://carnegieendowment.org/publications/?fa=61236

[xiv] Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (Perseus Books, 2014), 5.

[xv] The top three channels collectively make up 40 percent of the TV market. Gazprom, Russia’s largest private company, is heavily subsidized by the Kremlin and operates many of the smaller channels. For a complete list of media companies and their share of the market, see: http://tinyurl.com/glagl2l

[xvi] “Hate speech” laws give the government wide latitude to arrest and intimidate its critics. See “Dozens in Russia imprisoned for social media likes, reposts,” Associated Press (June 2, 2016),  http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/dozens-in-russia-imprisoned-for-social-media-likes-reposts/news-story/9cb54ddab2810129920d560f4eb5983b

[xvii] Andrew Higgins, “Effort to Expose Russia’s ‘Troll Army’ Draws Vicious Retaliation,” New York Times (May 31, 2016), http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/31/world/europe/russia-finland-nato-trolls.html?_r=0

[xviii] In particular, the media emphasizes four key pillars: “first, that the “conflict in Ukraine is internal; second, that the Ukrainian government is the main aggressor; third, that the Russian-speaking population is threatened and endangered by the Ukrainian government forces and volunteer right-wing battalions; and fourth, that Western powers are deliberately underplaying the harm that the Ukrainian government forces are causing in the eastern regions of the country.” See “Russia’s Information War Victory at Home – The Role of State Media,” Albany Associates (October 31, 2014), http://www.albanyassociates.com/notebook/2014/10/russias-information-war-victory-at-home-the-role-of-state-media/

[xix] For one such study, see “Information Warfare,” Levada Center (November 12, 2014), http://www.levada.ru/eng/information-warfare

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi]  Thomas Sherlock, “Putin’s Public Opinion Challenge,” National Interest (August 21, 2014), http://nationalinterest.org/feature/putins-public-opinion-challenge-11113

[xxii] David Francis and Lara Jakes, “Sanctions are a Failure: Let’s Admit That,” Foreign Policy (April 27, 2016), http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/28/sanctions-are-a-failurelets-admit-that/

[xxiii] David Maxwell, “Russia Versus U.S. Unconventional Warfare,” Class Lecture (June 13, 2016).

[xxiv] While benefiting the military, Russia’s control of the media comes at a great price: the loss or restriction of basic civil liberties. Freedom House ranks Russia as “not free,” awarding it low scores in not only press freedom, but freedom in the legal, political, and economic environments. See “Russia: Freedom of the Press 2015,” Freedom House, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2015/russia

[xxv] Sun Tzu’s maxim that the “supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy” applies here.

 

0
Your rating: None

Comments

Political warfare
From Wikipedia

Quote:
Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience to include another state's government, military, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent. The techniques include propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP), which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has many aspects and a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations.[1]
Political warfare's coercive nature leads to weakening or destroying an opponent's political, social, or societal will, and forcing a course of action favorable to a state's interest. Political war may be combined with violence, economic pressure, subversion, and diplomacy, but its chief aspect is "the use of words, images and ideas".[2] The creation, deployment, and continuation of these coercive methods are a function of statecraft for nations and serve as a potential substitute for more direct military action.[3] For instance, methods like economic sanctions or embargoes are intended to inflict the necessary economic damage to force political change. The utilized methods and techniques in political war depend on the state's political vision and composition. Conduct will differ according to whether the state is totalitarian, authoritative, or democratic.[4]
The ultimate goal of political warfare is to alter an opponent's opinions and actions in favour of one state's interests without utilizing military power. This type of organized persuasion or coercion also has the practical purpose of saving lives through eschewing the use of violence in order to further political goals. Thus, political warfare also involves "the art of heartening friends and disheartening enemies, of gaining help for one's cause and causing the abandonment of the enemies'".[5] Generally, political warfare is distinguished by its hostile intent and through potential escalation; but the loss of life is an accepted consequence.

Russian political warfare is driven and supported by the doctrine "non linear warfare" WHICH has inherently TWO key cornerstones......

1. information warfare
2. cyber warfare

BUT the Russians have an additional spinn on it...the heavy use of black money via international wash machines.......SO....one can summarize the Russian political warfare as a propaganda, disinformation driven project supported by key use of cyber warfare using black money to pay for it as well as a form of corruption to buy influence OFTEN using Russian gangs as "cut outs"......

The current defined Putin/Lavrov geo political goals are....

1. damage and discredit NATO
2. damage and discredit EU
3. totally disconnect US from Europe and ME

Anyone that posts here is free to dispute this summation.

Quote:
The 1930’s has “returned as positive nostalgia for those who have changed or aspire to change democratic systems,” he said. In Russia, this is explicitly the case in Vladimir Putin’s exhumation and rehabilitation of the fascistic philosopher Ivan Ilyin (left).

For Ilyin, civil society and similar intermediate institutions are a source of evil, a source of contingency and the ’empirical variety’ of individuals that undermines the holistic ‘divine totality’ embodied by the state, Snyder said.

The exception to vulgar modernity is Russia, which has the greatest potential for total fascism, Ilyin claimed, because its culture is characterized by fraternity (as Putin has argued) and it is historically and inherently non-aggressive and virtuous. Ilyin shares Carl Schmitt’s view that politics is the art of identifying and neutralizing the enemy, Snyder added.

In the light of Ilyin’s rehabilitation as Russia’s leading ideologue, Moscow’s manipulations of elections should be seen not so much as a failure to implement democracy but as a subversion of the very concept of democracy.

Quote:
Russia’s interventions in foreign elections are the logical projection of the new ideology: Democracy is not a means of changing leadership at home, but a means of weakening enemies abroad. If we see politics as Ilyin did, Russia’s ritualization of elections becomes a virtue rather than a vice. Degrading democracy around the world would be a service to mankind

Putin defines the US democracy as being neo liberalism and all it's evils.....ie gay rights......women's rights....globalization...sanctions.....free and open elections.....competing political parties....and human rights...AND he then bundles this all up is his projection that the US is using this to drive a "regime change in Russia"....THUS the constant stream of comments coming from Russia and Putin that the US is at war with Russia and Russia is simply defending itself with all means....

NOW this is the staging for the ongoing US political debate around Russian connections to Trump and a large number of his associates in a major FBI CI investigation....

MEANING IS Russia via Putin actually conducting a full blown political war against the US using all the available means of non linear warfare....

YES he is and that is why suddenly all actions involving Trump and his associates can in fact be linked into this thread as the use of propaganda, disinformation, fake news, cyber attacks....AND money in the accusations against Trump and his associates TAKE on a new light....especially since the FBI has defined that investigation as a CI investigation...

In light of the above then this takes on far more significance for Americans and shows just how deeply Russia have gone to subvert US democracy....

Sealed indictments out of Eastern District of Virginia-under Dana Boente. Trump, Manafort and Flynn-among others under sealed indictment.

EDVA under Boente = Federal criminal court. Indictment = probable cause (low bar). Sealed = targets haven't been officially notified yet.

Next steps for Manafort/Flynn would be arrest and federal prosecution.

Possible next steps for Trump = DOJ recomends impeachment to Senate/House Committees. House drafts & votes on articles of Impeachment.

Summed up by the former DNI Director.....
State of the Union‏
Verifizierter Account
#@CNNSotu 20 Min.
On #CNNSOTU w/ @jaketapper Fmr. DNI Clapper says "our institutions are under assault." 'The Constitutional checks and balances are being eroded"....

Fmr. Dir. of National National Intelligence James Clapper: "Our institutions are under assault internally" From the president? "Exactly."

We have verified Russian hacking of the US election, he have a verified Russian info war still ongoing directed against the US, we have a major USG IC/FBI CI and criminal investigation into Trump WH, Trump associates and even Trump, AND now this.....Trump reveals a highly classified HUMINT op from an ally....to Russian FM and TASS.....

SO tell me that Gerasimov and his non linear warfare in support to Putin's political war against the US.....

IS not "winning"??????

Pro-Trump media, which no longer differs from Russian state media, defends the president
https://
amp.cnn.com/money/2017/05/15/media/conservative-media-trump-classified-information-russia/index.html#
 

"Russia's security and intelligence services" by @MarkGaleotti for #NATOReview
http://bit.ly/2qz0fYy#

Russia’s intelligence services are the front-line soldiers in Moscow’s non-kinetic political war on the West.

The GDR MfS "Stasi" had a German saying for this...."we are fighting a war on the invisible front".....

Very good read...as is his article on Russian gangs in Europe where the quote......is quite telling....

"We have power and protection in Russia...In Europe we have comfort and wealth".....

QUOTE
In this context, the security services regard themselves as already at war, and operate accordingly. Three basic premises apply. The first is that any reverses for the West are to Russia’s implicit advantage. The second is that their role is concrete: they do not just gather information, they advocate policies and carry out active measures routinely. Finally, they seem to believe it is better to seize an opportunity than avoid a mistake. Western, peacetime agencies are rightly risk averse, well aware of the potential dangers, political or otherwise, in badly judged actions. Their Russian counterparts are far more adventurous; it is more dangerous for an officer’s career to be regarded as unwilling to take a chance than to trigger international opprobrium.

Put together, these help explain the unprecedentedly high tempo and visibility of Russian active measures. Within their self-declared sphere of influence (the former Soviet states, with the exception of the Baltics), they are especially aggressive, whether staging terrorist attacks in Ukraine or actively interfering with the political process in Moldova. Even in the West, they are becoming increasingly visible. In the past year, for example, they have interfered with the US presidential elections, barraged Europe with divisive disinformation, and by all accounts staged an abortive coup in Montenegro.

.........but political war

If Russia’s intelligence services consider themselves to be at war, what does ‘war’ mean in this context? Although there is the need to be ready for unforeseen dangers and changing intents, there is no real evidence that Putin has territorial ambitions beyond those nations he has already identified as within Russia’s sphere of influence. Essentially, this means the countries of the former Soviet Union, with the exception of the Baltic States.

Rather, he regards NATO and the West as threats in three ways. First, they are obstructing Moscow’s efforts to ignore or undermine the sovereignty of states within that sphere of influence. Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus are the particular bones of contention at present. Second, in their commitment to democracy, transparency and the rule of law, they represent a normative challenge to the Russian model. Finally, they are, he believes, seeking to subvert his regime’s authority within Russia itself.

If Russia’s intelligence services consider themselves to be at war, what does ‘war’ mean in this context? Although there is the need to be ready for unforeseen dangers and changing intents, there is no real evidence that Putin has territorial ambitions beyond those nations he has already identified as within Russia’s sphere of influence. Essentially, this means the countries of the former Soviet Union, with the exception of the Baltic States.

Rather, he regards NATO and the West as threats in three ways. First, they are obstructing Moscow’s efforts to ignore or undermine the sovereignty of states within that sphere of influence. Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus are the particular bones of contention at present. Second, in their commitment to democracy, transparency and the rule of law, they represent a normative challenge to the Russian model. Finally, they are, he believes, seeking to subvert his regime’s authority within Russia itself.
UNQUOTE

RAND Corporation

@RANDCorporation
"#Russia considers itself in a perpetual state of information warfare, while the West does not."
http://r.rand.org/4caj

IMHO...and by extension in a perpetual cyber and political war with the West as well...

This is a major mistake by many researchers...you simply cannot separate one element from the others as they all work in tandem with each other...meaning if one is not working well then the Russians shift gears and push another element until it stalls and then they start another element...ALL while moving ahead even if it takes years....

For those that often wonder just how Russian information warfare works so well in the US......

Jan. 13 1974 NYT dispatch from Alabama finds hostility to Watergate inquiry, a scandal "invented by the news media."

Well this sums it up and it is now 2017.....

BREAKING: Legal Shock & Awe.

Source in legal community reports large number of Warrants from Eastern District of Virginia being executed by the FBI.

Source reports frenzy of activity inside the EDVA, large number of Federal Agents, US Marshals.

More BREAKING. The basement of the EDVA was described as resembling a "judicial Armada" with a dozen or more FBI and US Marshals vans.

MORE: I'm told the name of the GOP firm that was served with Warrant in Annapolis is Strategic Campaign Group. http://www.strategiccampaigngroup.com

FBI investigation of GOP fundraising firm in Annapolis is run out of Washington, not a local case

The battle of countering Russian cyber and information warfare clearly employed by Russia in its political war directed against the US..has been finally joined.

Dep. AG Rosenstein & DOJ NatSec Div Chief Boente meeting now with @MarkWarner & @SenatorBurr in secure senate SCIF now

Website of firm raided by FBI says one if its principals was formerly with firm operated by Paul Manafort--frm Trump campaign mgr

Trump to NBC:

"When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story."

This is really an interesting article and it goes to the heart of Russian non linear war which is both the driver of and supporter of Russian political warfare directed against the US.....

If one looks at the first three steps of the Gerasimov eight step non linear process you will recognize the Russian FMs actions in the Trump WH visit...YET the Trump WH played right into the Russian non linear information warfare actions.....

Russia’s Oval Office Victory Dance
The cozy meeting between President Trump and Russia’s foreign minister came at Vladimir Putin’s insistence.
By Susan B. Glasser May 10, 2017

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/10/james-comey-firing-tru...

If the Trump WH NSC cannot even recognize Russian information warfare being played on them....then we are all in some serious trouble in the coming months....

Sad actually that any US WH did this thinking it was not Russia info warfare....

BESIDES the simple fact that virtually ALL TASS media types also answer to the Russian SVR, GRU and FSB....in that order....AND he was inside the US WH without a formal clearance and carried all of his equipment which was not checked as well...at the Russian FM's insistence...

In order to understand such things as Russia, China, Iran's, etc., "New Generation Warfare," one needs to first get, I suggest, both "their," and "our," strategic ducks in a row:

BEGIN QUOTE

Compounding it all, Russia’s dictator has achieved all of this while creating sympathy in elements of the Right that mirrors the sympathy the Soviet Union achieved in elements of the Left. In other words, Putin is expanding Russian power and influence while mounting a cultural critique that resonates with some American audiences, casting himself as a defender of Christian civilization against Islam and the godless, decadent West. (Remember our similar effective use of the "godless, decadent" label against the Soviets/communists back in Old Cold War days?)

END QUOTE (Item in parenthesis above is mine.)

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442980/vladimir-putin-russia-strat...

As noted in the paragraph immediately above, in the Old Cold War of yesterday, the Soviets/the communists focused their "expansionist" efforts, intelligently it would seem, on the pro-change-vulnerable "Left."

In our conflict environment of today, however, note that Putin, et al's. focus -- not just in the U.S./the West but throughout the world it would seem -- is on the anti-change-determined and motivated "Right."

This suggesting, I believe, that Putin's, China, Iran, etc.'s, strategies today are based more on "containing" and "rolling back" U.S./Western power, influence and control throughout the world. (Much as our similar appeal to the anti-change "Right," in the Old Cold War of yesterday, acknowledged our such "containment" and "roll back" strategies back then.)

Thus, in order to understand Russia, et al's' "New Generation Warfare" today -- and to act intelligently against same -- one must, I suggest, first put on the proper "expansionist" entity (the U.S./the West today) v. "containment"/"roll back" entity (the Rest today) strategic headgear.

Headgear, thus, which better explains such matters as the Soviets/the communists' appeal to the "Left" back-in-the-day -- and likewise -- better explains Russia, et al.'s, appeal to the "Right" now?

(Thus, in the apparent New/Reverse Cold War of today noted above, to find "turn-about," indeed, being considered to be exceptionally "fair play?")

Gerasimov has "won his political war" do not fully understand why there is even a debate on non linear warfare...........

Russian provided the only press photos of Trump's meeting Russian FM....US press not allowed in....

Russia got great PR for domestic audience from White House. Lavrov received as equal by the US president in WH.
Russia press got photos

Garry Kasparov

@Kasparov63
These are the photos Putin's propaganda machine in Russia want so badly, with Putin next. Shown as big bosses, equals, calling the shots.

Bharara investigated Kremlin money-laundering...fired.

Yates warned about Flynn's Moscow ties...fired

Comey requested additional agents and money to deepen his Russian investagation

Comey oversaw investigation into Trump-Russia...fired.

Firing the lead of Russia investigation & the next day only allowing Russian state media in the Oval office is the definition of bad optics

Trump and his WH NSC simply do not know how to push back on political warfare....much less understand the word "propaganda"....

EU Mythbusters

@EUvsDisinfo
Don't miss Part 1 of a field guide to fake news by @PublicDataLab and @firstdraftnews
https://fakenews.publicdatalab.org
 

Post-Soviet conflicts: Stages of Russian occupation in a nutshell (#infographic). Explained at
http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/05/09/stages-of-russian-occupation-in-a-nutshell/ …

BTW...we often forget China has their own version of non linear warfare....

China's smear campaign against a U.S. admiral backfires
http://wapo.st/2pnxvgv?tid=ss_tw 

Seems someone takes the Russian cyber and information warfare seriously...embarrassing that the US remains largely silent on the topic AFTER it has been proven that US proTrump alt right twitter sites were also involved in the Russian information war against the French elections....

Announced quietly yesterday by both Germany and France....

"We will have a doctrine of retaliation when it comes to Russian cyberattacks or any other kind of attacks"

"other kind of attacks" refers to information warfare attacks...

Historic note: Soviet bloc disinformation operators considered the best fact/forgery mix to be ~90% fact, ~10% fake.

Facebook’s white paper on active measures is a significant step in the right direction for a number of reasons https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/facebook-and-information-operations-v1.pdf …

FB paper is a bit light on data, but offers some figures on disinformation in the French elections. (More statistics seem to be forthcoming)

Outlaw,

There is nothing especially revolutionary about attempting to win a conflict with a minimal amount of effort or force. The concepts of “non-linear” warfare or warfare which involves “non-military” aspects are not new ones.

What is new are the technologies of modern communication which enable faster, wider and more personalized dissemination of information than newspapers and radios did. However, McLuhan’s declaration that the medium embeds itself in the message, continues to hold true. Whereas the radio, television, newspapers and books lent themselves to positive arguments, the internet lends itself to negative arguments. Given the vast, chaotic and dynamic universe of opinions, facts, errors and lies on the internet, how can one source or even a network of sources make positive arguments? On the contrary, it is comparatively easy to attack positive arguments with negative ones.

Russian propaganda’s response to the MH17 shootdown is a classic example of this: the Western theory that MH17 was shot down with Russian equipment by Russians and/or pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels, was challenged by several alternative theories. Yet whereas the Western theory was supported by a number of facts, the Russian theories had no depth. In fact, the Russians put forth a number of alternative theories that were mutually exclusive, and made no attempt to determine whether any was true. Whereas the West acted as a prosecutor in the court of internet opinion, Russia acted as defense counsel; Russia’s objective was to create reasonable doubt that Russia was responsible in any way, not to determine responsibility for the shootdown.

Nor is Russia acting irrationally in terms of using non-military means to undermine EU and NATO cohesion. The West also uses non-military means to influence Russia, which has caused Putin to ban Russian NGOs and attempt to control Russia’s internet. Vulnerability to propaganda is always a danger in a free and open society, but it is far preferable to the alternative.

I am well aware of the “active measures” campaigns by the KGB and its affiliates. Putin’s non-military campaign against the West is really a reversion to the mean, rather than a deviation, which is actually what Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s comparative restraint represented. Putin is in no position to influence the United States to enable Russia’s national interest at its own expense, as various opponents of Trump allege, but he is in a position to sow discord and doubt. The hysterical shrieking about a “piss and prostitutes tape” is no different to mean than that about a Kenyan-born crypto-Muslim president. Both ensure that the American “house” is divided. Confront Russia and one side or the other will brand the president a war-monger or accuse him or her of “wagging the dog” or supporting terrorists; co-exist peacefully with Russia and one side or the other will brand the president weak or a traitor or in league with tyrants. Well done, Putin.

Azor......

QUOTE
I am well aware of the “active measures” campaigns by the KGB and its affiliates. Putin’s non-military campaign against the West is really a reversion to the mean, rather than a deviation, which is actually what Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s comparative restraint represented. Putin is in no position to influence the United States to enable Russia’s national interest at its own expense, as various opponents of Trump allege, but he is in a position to sow discord and doubt. The hysterical shrieking about a “piss and prostitutes tape” is no different to mean than that about a Kenyan-born crypto-Muslim president. Both ensure that the American “house” is divided. Confront Russia and one side or the other will brand the president a war-monger or accuse him or her of “wagging the dog” or supporting terrorists; co-exist peacefully with Russia and one side or the other will brand the president weak or a traitor or in league with tyrants. Well done, Putin.
UNQUOTE

If you fully understand this ie what you wrote then you fully and completely understand why Russian non linear warfare in support to and driving political warfare is working so well in the US...did not work at all in the Dutch and French elections and not in Germany as well....BUT if one looks closely at Brexit you will see the Russian hacking and dark money also flowed there as well...and the UK government is resisting really investigating the apparent connections.

The reread the first say three step phases of the doctrine of non linear warfare and you will then have to say...hats off to Gerasimov...it is working well....

BTW...you are right non linear and political warfare are as old as the human himself BUT what is different is the consequent use of cyber and information war to directly support key Russian political war geo political end goals....

Example...Russian spends per year for Russia Today which includes US Russia Today to the tune of 1B USDs per year...

The USG just approved 100M USDs to counter an established in 127 countries around the global massive Russian propaganda machine coupled with their online counterpart Sputnik International which spins out fake news literally hourly....

If we take polling to be fairly accurate then this is scary...the Reagan Republican Party has gone from being a party which always pushed back on the SU and now Russia to a party that openly supports and likes Russia....

Polling from 2004 shows a small percentage 14% of Republicans supporting Russia to now after the election of Trump climbing to 56%...

Which actually supports when one looks closely at why a number of Republican House members are such supporters of Putin as well as three in the Senate....

Couple this RP drift towards Russia with a US white nationalist/white supremacist movement that went fully proTrump that also willingly buys into Russian propaganda/conspiracy theories and you can see that Gerasimov is half way home with his non linear war.

We are basically allowing him to "win"...

Outlaw,

My impression is that you are blinded by your own prejudices.

There is no clash of civilizations at work here.

The unique correlation of forces from 1992 to 2001, perhaps and lingered to 2008, was a major deviation. What we have witnessed since then is a reversion to the mean, and not a mean reversion that specifically disadvantages the West in general or the U.S. in particular, but one that merely reduces their hitherto overwhelming advantages.

The "mafia" or "authoritarian capitalist" states in Russia, China and their fellow travelers hardly constitute an ideological alternative to liberal democracy, or even a coalition on par with the Anti-Comintern Pact or the Warsaw Pact. What true allies do China and Russia even have? Certainly not each other.

One of the most unremarked victories of the West is the turn of India away from Socialism, its flirtations with Russia, and its supposed non-alignment, and decidedly toward the West instead.

As for Europe, skepticism of the European Union began long before Putin rose to power and even then it took him a number of years to start up the propaganda machine that would attempt to pit ideological extremes against one another: yourself included. Brussels not only overreached within EU member states, but it overreached in expanding the EU, effectively bribing new member states of the former WP/CMEA to accede with transfer payments from Great Britain, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, and even France and Luxembourg. This is whilst these net contributors also supported the chronic have-not member states. The EFTA makes sense and possibly even the Eurozone in truncated form. Are Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland less "European" than France and Germany? Arguably the UK has always been separated from the continent by culture as much as the Channel.

Russia became a wedge issue in the U.S. election, even though the threat from China is far greater. Both parties were chastened by the unsuccessful and ceaseless occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and support for or opposition to intervention in Syria was driven more by party affiliation than an interest in Syria. Moreover, those who supported free trade deals with East Asia and Europe who had difficulty explaining the benefits of each could focus on political-military implications instead.

Again, Gerasimov's premises are all wrong. Russia has exercised as much stupid as smart power since 2014, and the benefits seem to be few despite the modest increase in global misery.

In conclusion, I would ask you to reappraise your opinion of your fellow human beings. You seem to believe that you are more knowledgeable than those in power and that the average person is an unthinking automaton susceptible to foreign propaganda. There is a degree of self-righteous arrogance in that outwardly humanistic perspective, one that you probably picked up in Europe. Western Europeans love Russian energy, love the invisible protection of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, and love educating themselves about the wider world, but seem to have blind spots when it comes to the obligations of collective defense, their inaction in Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Sudan, and the fact that they only cease criticism of the U.S. when their security blanket is being tugged at.

If you are ever curious as to how West Germans - the new "defenders of the free world" - got the way they did, find out why there are so few buildings standing from before 1946.

Seems that the Macron campaign may have been one or two steps ahead of the Russian GRU hackers...
#MacronLeaks #YouGotPlayed

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/06/did-macron-outsmart-cam...

WHY is it that interestingly the US proTrump alt right ie white nationalists which were mixing it up in the French election and are now starting to mix it up in the coming Germany election....

When did the words...treason....sabotage and subversion go out of style..even if committed by US citizens directed at European nation states and their democratic elections.

While we watch the French election, worth remembering the US alt-right has already targeted Merkel with #fakenews:

https://medium.com/dfrlab/spread-it-...-3170a463e787#

Cyber firm Flashpoint tells Reuters initial review of #macronleaks points to Russia's military spy unit, the GRU

This was not GRU slipping up. It's competition for recognition between Russian intelligence hackers - Fancy Bear (GRU) and Cozy Bear (FSB)

Metadata of a Russian hacker named Roshka allegedly traced in #Macronleaks.

By brazenly repeating its US 2016 op on France, Russia has now declared war on the West.

U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron
By MARK SCOTTMAY 6, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/06/world/europe/emmanuel-macron-hack-fre...

5% of #MacronGate users account for 40% of tweets. The most prolific tweeted 1668X/24 hrs―faster than one RT per min, all day with no sleep.
IE server driven automated tweets....Russian controlled via botnets

How long until Trump denounces this as FAKE NEWS?

Marcon wins with 65.1%......LePen loses with 34.9%

Marcon was up from a consistent 58-60% as late as Thursday so we can conclude the Russian/US Alt-Right driven doxing/hacking campaign was an own scored goal.

REMEMBER both Putin and Trump offered verbal and tweet support for LePen....

Youngest French president ever. First major European leader to take on nationalism with a robust economic/social liberal message.

Good update Outlaw 09.

Dr. Galeotti yet again outlines the same "competition" points in his December WOTR article:

https://warontherocks.com/2016/12/russias-hybrid-war-as-a-byproduct-of-a...

RUSSIA’S HYBRID WAR AS A BYPRODUCT OF A HYBRID STATE

Begin Quote

"In Russia, state institutions are often regarded as personal fiefdoms and piggy banks, officials and even officers freely engage in commercial activity, and the Russian Orthodox Church is practically an arm of the Kremlin. Given all that, the infusion of non-military instruments into military affairs was almost inevitable.

Beyond that, though, Putin’s Russia has been characterized — in the past, at least — by multiple, overlapping agencies, a “bureaucratic pluralism” intended as much to permit the Kremlin to divide and rule as for any practical advantages.

This is clearly visible within the intelligence and security realm, from the intrusion of the Federal Security Service (FSB) — originally intended as a purely domestic agency — into foreign operations, as well as in the competition over responsibility for information operations.

When “information troops” were formed following the Georgian war, for instance, the FSB at first publicly denounced plans by the military to develop its own capability. Under a 2013 presidential decree, the FSB was tasked with securing national information resources. Since then, this apparent monopoly seems to have eroded, as there is much anecdotal evidence suggesting Russian military intelligence units active in information warfare in Ukraine."

So, it is not simply that Moscow chooses to ignore those boundaries we are used to in the West between state and private, military and civilian, legal and illegal. It is that those boundaries are much less meaningful in Russian terms, and they are additionally straddled by a range of duplicative and even competitive agencies.

This can get in the way of coherent policy and create problems of redundancy and even contradictory goals, as evidenced by the 2016 hack of U.S. Democratic National Committee servers, in which FSB and GRU military intelligence operations appear to have been working at cross purposes.

However, it also creates a challenge that is complex, multi-faceted, and inevitably difficult for Western agencies to comprehend, let alone counter."

End Quote

Vicrasta...this competition is allowing the IT security world and social media to conduct far quicker hacking operations analysis than ever before as their "digital fingerprints are easier to spot now"......the GRU got simply sloppy this time...yes they wanted the West to know who was behind it, but it also allowed social media to track down and an identify one of the main hackers...his company and tied it to FSB, and the 100,000 USD Canon printer used to print fake documents used then against Marcon....as part of a Russian disinformation/propaganda effort.

This is a new aspect...the crowdsourcing of hacking information and opening it up to countless viewers who do in fact have some really good technical skill sets..to analyze and comment on....increasing the speed of analysis and then chasing down aspects inside the net for more information...

That is not just sloppy is was just out right dumb...

WHAT is interesting though is now how Germany and France are reacting to it in their government statements that if they can identify the Russian servers being used then they will attack and take them down...

The US cannot even get into that discussion as they view that response as an act of war...whereas Europeans view it as a defense against their country being attacked...and within their legal rights of self defense.

We are now in a global multiple front cyber and information war which is driving Putin's political war and the US is not even in the fight especially when we have now a President who thinks hacking is done by a 400lb person sitting on a bed using a laptop or maybe the Chinese......AND who believes you cannot detect who is actually doing the hacking which the hack on Marcon definitely disproves Trump and his entire WH.......

When a propaganda tweet leaves first from an inside Russia Russian troll account...is then picked up by a proTrump alt right white nationalist twitter account in say California and then driven straight back into France in support of a French neo Nazi party in a major election....as a major supporting attempt to influence/change a democratic election in another democratic nation state......We are as a country are in serious trouble...if we do not understand that Russian MO.....

And it raises an interesting question... is the American alt right individual actually committing a new form of sabotage and subversion from inside the US directed against another county and then is that person in direct violation of treason/sabotage/subversion federal laws...??

One has to admit Russian info warfare is definitely hard at work...question is does the USG and Trump WH "get it"?

The Macron "leak" came first from a pro-Russian alt-right account in the US. @benimmo tracked it
https://medium.com/@DFRLab/hashtag-c...-4a3fb870c4e8#

Quote:
With less than two days to go before the final round of the French Elections, an emerging hashtag campaign, #MacronLeaks, was amplified throughout multiple social media platforms. #MacronLeaks reached 47,000 tweets in just three and a half hours after the initial tweet. This hashtag guided users to an alleged, possibly 9 GB, leak of Emmanuel Macron’s “campaign emails,” reportedly showing evidence of offshore accounts, tax evasion, and a slew of other nefarious activities.

Through a machine analysis, DFRLab tracked the onset of the campaign to the Twitter account of Jack Posobiec, the Washington DC Bureau Chief of an obscure, alt-right website, theRebelMedia. Posobiec’s bio on theRebel.media reveals that “in 2016, Jack was the Special Projects Director for Citizens for Trump, the largest Trump grassroots organization in the US,” and he is “a proud member of #SlavRight,” a nationalist Slavic movement.

Posobiec’s first tweet about the leaked Macron “campaign documents” occurred at 14:49 EST (18:49 UTC). This was then retweeted fifteen times in the first minute and 87 times in five minutes, suggesting the use of automated bots to amplify the signal.

Posobiec’s First Tweet post-dump using #MacronLeaks
The amplification of this “leak” came a day after Jack Posobiec claimed he was “being sued” by Emmanuel Macron. The hashtag also appeared hours before midnight in Paris when the official deadline to halt campaign activity was set.
Bots certainly came into play to help spread this hashtag from the US to France. Posobiec’s initial tweet was followed eight minutes later by one from user, William Craddick, another alt-right influencer whom the DFRLab has already identified as a fake news actor (see our post Spread It On Reddit). This was retweeted just over 200 times.

Continued....

Some 90 minutes after Posobiec began tweeting, his posts were retweeted by two of nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen’s most active and aggressive online supporters, @Messsmer and @AudreyPatriote, both of whom the DFRLab has identified as the leaders of numerous pro-Le Pen hashtag drives

Continued.....
UNQUOTE

For those SWJ commenters and readers who seriously still do not believe that cyber and information warfare are central to Russian political warfare just need to tap into the massive ongoing trench war right now that has broken out on Twitter after WikiLeaks dumped Marcon hacked emails......

You will notice now just how suddenly proTrump account holders jumped onto the #marconleak setup and pushed by a proTrump supporter known for his Pizzagate anti Clinton election myth that eventually led to a proTrumpsupporter shooting his rifle inside the named pizza shop and getting a two year jail sentence...

ProTrump twitter trolls now supporting openly Le Pen and her neo Nazi FN actively and massively pushing the twitter hashtag #marconleaks and attempting to generated high hype on it....

Priest Kek III #
‏#@Priest_KekIII 13h
13 hours ago
Get #Marconleaks trending #Kekistan
Accounts being blocked in France prior election

#4chan is now not accessible in France blocked under French pre-election advertising lock down laws

French government has in fact now blocked #4chan which is a UK based org..and which has been pushing first the fake Marcon off shore account myth and now has jumped on the hacked emails..

ProTrump supporters actively engaged in supporting Le Pen and her neo Nazi FN.....

Jack Posobiec, a former Trump social director who originally popularized PizzaGate, is also behind the #marconleaks tags. Mercenary meme war

MORE US proTrump supporters involved now in French election

Young_Conservative™‏#@Steve0423 9h
It's your turn #France
Time to take your country back from the globalists just like we did!
#MarconLeaks #JeVote

Young_Conservative™‏#@Steve0423 9h
Young_Conservative™ Retweeted Red Pill#
Looks like Marcon was keeping some shady company along with Obama
#MarconLeaks

James B#
‏#@jbro_1776 10h
When the media is so pathetic that you can predict their next move based on their inability to blame anyone but themselves.
#MarconLeaks

Trump's News Daily‏#@TrumpsNewsDaily 8h
8 hours ago
Uh oh #MarconLeaks

Ongoing now:
European and French activists are pushing back on the #marconleaks......and are bringing that particular hashtag to a complete standstill....

Block #macronleaks with french #cats search Google with cats and Eiffel and just copy paste and tweet - one after one

AND the trench war with proTrump twitter supporters pushing the hashtag marconleaks in support of Le Pen and her neo Nazi party FN....is getting heated....now a concentration of Russian twitter accounts has joined in on the US proTrump side as retweeters.....

Pushback continues....
Just retweet every #cat tweet here against #macronleaks to block it and ask your followers and family to do the same - Vive la REPUBLIQUE

Belgium and German twitter accounts are now joining in to support macron account supporters....

Keyhole a commercial analysis tracker of social media cannot even keep up with their analysis abilities on the @marconleaks account due to the sheer volume and push back by other twitter accounts...

Azor...this goes to the very heart of the Vicrasta posted comment....why do "war" when you can "win" this way?????

WHICH is at the heart of the Gerasimov doctrine of non linear warfare.

Initial and early security reviews makes this attack the MO of APT 28...a Russian state sponsored hacking/political warfare attack team.....

Quote:
PARIS (AP) — France's election campaign watchdog is investigating a hacking attack and document leak targeting presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron that his political movement calls a last-ditch bid to disrupt Sunday's tense runoff vote.
Fears of hacking and campaign interference have simmered throughout France's high-stakes, closely watched campaign — and boiled over Friday night as Macron's team said it had been the victim of a "massive and coordinated" hack.
His political movement said the unidentified hackers accessed staffers' personal and professional emails and leaked campaign finance material and contracts — as well as fake decoy documents — online.
The perpetrators remain unknown. While the hack is shaking up the already head spinning campaign, it's unclear whether the document dump would dent Macron's large poll lead over far-right Marine Le Pen going into the vote.
Unquote

You do realize that yes we the US have a CyberCommand BUT no US WH strategic strategy for responses is in place and with Trump STILL believing that it was the Chinese or someone else as his recent statement indicates...AT least he is off the 400lb kid on a bed and a laptop myth....we will never have a strategic strategy....as he feels it is not an issue.

QUOTE
Another presidential election, another massive data dump seemingly intended to sabotage a center-left candidate. But in the case of France’s impending runoff, slated for Sunday, the latest leak of emails appears far more slap-dash than the Russian hacks and leaks that plagued Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And in this case, they’re timed to prevent the target of those leaks from even having a chance to respond.
On Friday, a collection of links to torrent files appeared on the anonymous publishing site PasteBin. The 9GB trove purports to be an archive of leaked emails from the party of Emmanuel Macron, the left-leaning candidate currently favored to win France’s impending runoff election against far-right opponent Marine Le Pen.
The latest data dump comes less than 48 hours before France’s election, possibly too late to shift its outcome—at least to the degree that the hacks of the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta did in the months leading up to the US election. Its timing so close to the runoff could still prove strategic, as French law forbids candidates from speaking publicly for two days ahead of an election. That timing could prevent Macron himself from responding to any scandal that surfaces in the data dump, real or fabricated.
A Well-Timed Hack
In a statement, Macron’s political party confirmed that hackers had compromised it. “The En Marche! party has been the victim of a massive, coordinated act of hacking, in which diverse internal information (mails, documents, accounting, contracts) have been broadcast this evening on social networks,” reads a public statement in French from the Macron campaign. “The files which are circulating were obtained a few weeks ago thanks to the hacking of the professional and personal email accounts of several members of the campaign.”
En Marche’s acknowledgement of the hack doesn’t mean all of the leaked emails themselves are genuine; the party’s statement also warned that among the authentic documents in the leak were “numerous false documents intended to sow doubt and disinformation.”
At a glance, the hacked email haul appears to not be entirely fabricated, says Rob Graham, a security consultant for Errata Security who has downloaded portions of the collection. “It has the structure of real email archives,” Graham says. But he cautions that even if some part of the leak turns out to be genuine, it could easily contain specific forgeries designed to spark scandal.
“Presumably, someone will start pointing out any salacious emails,” Graham adds. “You can bet that someone like WikiLeaks will pick these emails apart and post them individually.”
A Familiar Pattern
Late last month, the security firm Trend Micro noted in a report that the Macron campaign appeared to be a target of the Russian-government-linked hacker group Fancy Bear, also known as Pawn Storm or APT 28. The firm’s researchers found a phishing domain created by the hacker group in March, designed to target the campaign by impersonating the site that En March uses for cloud data storage. At the time, the Macron campaign claimed that that hacking attempts had failed. On Friday morning, users of the anonymous forum 4Chan had also purported to have published evidence of Macron’s tax evasion, though those claims were also unverified, and it’s not clear if they’re connected to the current leak.
In the wake of Russian hackers’ attempt to sway the US election, which remains the subject of two Congressional investigations, the cybersecurity community has warned that the Kremlin may attempt similar tricks to swing elections towards its favored candidates in the French and upcoming German elections, too.
Former British intelligence staffer Matt Tait warned that regardless of what it contains, the simple fact of the data dump achieves certain objectives. “By all means, look through them,” he wrote on Twitter. “But do[so] with your eyes open and knowing that you’re being played for free negative coverage/headlines.”
The Macron campaign compared the hacking directly to the hacker targeting of Clinton campaign. “Intervening in the last hour of an official campaign, this operation clearly seeks to destabilize democracy, as already seen in the United States’ last president campaign,” the statement reads. “We cannot tolerate that the vital interests of democracy are thus endangered.”
UNQUOTE

THIS Azor is Gerasimov's non linear warfare in direct support to Putin's political war against the West hard at work.....

QUOTE
The Macron campaign compared the hacking directly to the hacker targeting of Clinton campaign. “Intervening in the last hour of an official campaign, this operation clearly seeks to destabilize democracy, as already seen in the United States’ last president campaign,” the statement reads. “We cannot tolerate that the vital interests of democracy are thus endangered.”
UNQUOTE

This my friend is true "war" just without the shooting and killing...but just as effective is it not?????

Go back a reread the first FIVE phase steps in his doctrine and then tell me where this fits in.....

How Russia adapted KGB "Active Measures" to cyber operations.
http://fifthdomain.com/2017/03/19/how-russia-adapted-kgb-active-measures...

Actually I posted a number of paragraphs taken from the open interview with a former GDR Stasi COL and SED member in charge of their Stasi department handling their influence "active measures" ops against the BRD in the 70/80s which parallel a lot of the KGB ops in this link on the Ukrainian thread months ago....

Even posted the book and where it can be acquired.

QUOTE
Viewed this way, active measures are tactics of political warfare. Commonly cited active measures include creating and funding front groups, covert broadcasting, media manipulation, disinformation, forgeries and buying agents of influence.
However, as scholars Fletcher R. Schoen and Christopher J. Lamb note, “this understanding of active measures is too narrow. Soviet active measures went beyond overt and covert operations to manipulate perceptions and into the realms of incitement, assassination and even terrorism.”
The goals of active measures are variably described as “influence,” “perception management” and “preparing the battlefield.” According to numerous KGB defectors, secondary goals range from destroying the image and credibility of an enemy to shaping public opinion or sowing widespread confusion.
Notable examples of KGB-sourced Cold War disinformation include the myths that the U.S. used chemical weapons in the Korean War, that the U.S. government had a hand in John F. Kennedy’s assassination and that the U.S. government created and weaponized the AIDS virus.
UNQUOTE

BTW...I can in fact verify this Russian influence ops as this myth floated around Europe I the early days of AIDs....

QUOTE
The U.S. government created and weaponized the AIDS virus.

Just as this one floated around Iraq in 2006 and was first reported as a news item in a Russian media outlet that then worked it's way into ME MSM.

QUOTE
The US has released the animal virus "chicken flu" in Iraq to destroy Iraqi chicken farms and to force Iraqi's to buy US chicken products....
UNQUOTE

That was one that even DoS had a hard time to beat down..took over 14 months of active counter pushing to kill the myth...

MacronLeaks goal is to foment fractures amongst democracies, break alliances regardless of the victor.

I posted on the Russian propaganda/hacking and disinformation thread a very good chart of this.

GOES to the heart of the Gerasimov doctrine on non linear warfare which drives/supports political warfare....

Many forget that the core of the Putin political war against the "neo liberal West and all it's perceived evils" as embodied by the US is as follows;

1. damage and discredit NATO
2. damage and discredit EU
2. completely disconnect US from Europe, NATO and ME

Putin has only been repeating this mantra since 2006...SO maybe we should just believe that is what is driving him...and forget the rest of the chatter he wants us to hear as it covers up these three geo political goals...

BTW
Chart come from this very good article....
Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy
Andrew Weisburd, Clint Watts and JM Berger
https://warontherocks.com/2016/11/tr...our-democracy/
November 6, 2016

Trump isn’t the end of Russia’s information war against America. They are just getting started.

Maassen: Intelligence agencies knew which servers used by Russia's APT10, APT28 & APT29 to hack Germany
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...cyber-attacks#

Germany going after foreign hackers: "We believe it is necessary...to be able to wipe out these servers"

It is now interesting that a Marcon future government might in fact adopt this German proactive stance against Russian state sponsored hacking....

Just spoke to Macron's chief foreign policy adviser Aurelien Lechevallier about how as President he'd respond to Russian cyberattacks.

"We can expect a frank meeting with Putin. We will make clear on cyber attacks and on European security France will defend its interests."

"We want zero Russian interference in our elections and in European elections."

"We will have a doctrine of retaliation when it comes to Russian cyber attacks or any other kind of attack" - Macron foreign policy adviser.

"We are ready to retaliate to cyberattacks not just in kind but with any other conventional measure, security tool" - said Macron FP adviser

BUT WAIT...where is exactly that 90 day counter cyber plan that Trump and his WH publicly promised Americans?

Missing In Action.....

BLUF
Appears Europeans are far more concerned about Russian hacking and influence operations than Trump and his NSC is....wonder why that is?

Suspicions "that APT 28, a group tied to GRU, the Russian military intelligence directorate, was behind the leak"
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1812AZ?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social 

BTW...sounds vaguely similar does it not to the Russian meddling in the US election...follows almost to the letter of the influence ops run with the Clinton hacks and data releases...

AND this is exactly how to push back...instead the Trump WH and even Trump claimed it was a 400lb kid on a bed with a laptop and now it was China or someone else....

"How we debunked rumours that Macron has an offshore account"
http://f24.my/1Be5.

Immediate pushback with the truth is the only way to confront "fake news" pushed deliberately as info warfare...

AND what does the USG do....largely nothing...

Again you appear to fully overlook the simple ground reality fact....Gerasimov is in fact "winning in eastern Ukraine...winning in Syria and doing a very good job in the US elections, and those of France and the coming German elections....

ALL three are very different "combat environments" would you not agree?

It is in fact necessary to reread the first FIVE phase steps of his doctrine and if one really rereads those steps you notice the three key cornerstones in what non linear warfare really is all about....producing a "win" without having to truly fight a war....in a "political war"....

It is a way for the Russians to use their own "soft power tools"..cyber...information and black money.

All discussions including this article truly miss was Vicrasta states here....non linear warfare is the key driving force in implementing a Russian political war...it is that simple do not make it harder than it really is.

QUOTE
Thirdly, Gerasimov claims that a “perfectly thriving state”, can rapidly descend into chaos and war. Yet this is utterly false.
UNQUOTE

You really do not want to believe this is what we are seeing now in the US with a US President and many of his close advisors under active FBI CI investigations for money laundering...election meddling....and potential espionage...if the latest reports of classified documents being copied in the Obama WH and then suddenly "leaving the WH" to places unknown at the hands of the Trump transition team?

Even the rumors of three Federal Grand Juries and that 24-42 individuals are under FBI CI investigation begs not the question..."what the hell happened and does it not counter your comment above"?

Non linear warfare tactics driving the strategic aims of a political war is it not?..exactly what Gerasimov provided us in his doctrine.

AND exactly what Vicrasta was driving at...

YOU did notice that Trump publicly announced that he was going to release in 90 days from his announcement "plan to defeat Russian cyber attacks"...

BUT WAIT the individual he named to head this effort is now under massive FBI CI investigation himself....and you find that OK?

I have noted that this article was already posted by SMJ in August 2016.

In addition, I want to critique some of the premises that underpin Gerasimov’s discussion of non-military conflict or non-linear warfare in his 2016 article, “The Value of Science Is in the Foresight”. He either is repeating the skewed worldview that the Kremlin promotes in deference to the Kremlin, or he believes it. Either way, he is prone to major errors.

Firstly, Gerasimov’s claim that wars are, “no longer declared”, is completely untrue. The Soviet Union only declared war three times from 1939 to 1991, despite aggressively attacking or invading other countries twenty-three times over that period, as well as militarily occupying a number of those countries for fifty years. The Russian Federation has launched three to four wars of aggression since 1991, depending upon one’s view of the Russo-Georgian War, with none being formally declared.

Secondly, Gerasimov clearly regards the “color revolutions” and “Arab Spring”, or pro-democracy civil uprisings, as part of larger military conflicts. This notion that unarmed protesters are in the pay of or acting on behalf of foreign powers, or that armed rebels are foreign mercenaries led by special forces operators and intelligence officers, is dangerous. It is useful as a rhetorical device when one wants to dismiss protesters or rebels, but it is unhelpful with regard to military science. Soviet and Russian efforts to use civil uprisings as foreign policy tools, have a rather poor track record, and have always been supported by the threat or use of military force. If the U.S. did indeed orchestrate the “Arab Spring”, as Gerasimov insinuates, I find it difficult to see what the net benefit was to the national interest. I also find myself questioning the selective American use of non-military means and the mixed track record. Why did the U.S. not employ them to oust Milosevic prior to 1999, the Taliban and Al Qaeda before 2001, Hussein before 2003 or the Kims prior to 2006? Why did this approach work in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine (twice), Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, but not in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Russia, China and Iran? Why did the U.S. want Mubarak out, but not Bouteflika, Guelleh, Bolkiah, bin Said al Said, Déby, Biya et al?

Thirdly, Gerasimov claims that a “perfectly thriving state”, can rapidly descend into chaos and war. Yet this is utterly false. Personal authoritarian rule is the most unstable form of government a state can have. Although dynasties and institutional parties can provide greater stability due to intergenerational longevity, governing by consensus and superior representation of their citizens, their authoritarian nature lends itself to instability and violence. R.J. Rummel has noted that authoritarian states do not provide order, but instead provoke mass murder and war. I am curious as to what Gerasimov considers to be a “perfectly thriving state”, as certainly Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq and Syria were far from it prior to the “Arab Spring”.

I appreciate that Mr. Fedyk is making use of his graduate studies, but there are actually few new lessons for the U.S. regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Firstly, the pre-conflict situation was unique:

1. Ukraine had a weak state and a weak national identity beyond its western region i.e. Galicia

2. Ukrainians neighbor Russia, shared a common polity for hundreds of years and share the same language, religious sect (most are Greek Orthodox) and sub-race (Eastern Slav)

3. An overwhelming majority of Crimea residents and a large minority of Donbas ones identify as ethnic Russians not Ukrainians

4. Control of Ukraine has been the primary Russian foreign policy goal for centuries. It is the jewel in the imperial crown

5. Ukraine was and is not a member of any military alliance such as NATO, and the CSTO is dominated by Russia

6. Ukrainians have oscillated between pro-Western factions in the west and pro-Russian factions in the east since the 17th Century

7. The only similar situations exist in Belarus and northern Kazakhstan

Secondly, none of Russia's aggression should be a surprise, despite the cleverer and lighter footprint:

1. Yeltsin was loathe to accept the possibility of the Black Sea Fleet's eviction from Crimea

2. Yeltsin supported ethnic wars in Azerbaijan, Moldova and Georgia, and invaded Chechnya

3. Russia offered passports to ethnic Russians and pro-Russian ethnic groups

4. Only a fool could have thought that Putin would accept Ukraine joining the EU and then possibly NATO, especially given the war with Georgia in 2008

Thirdly, Hitler demonstrated this form of warfare when he conquered the Sudetenland and then Austria, and successfully occupied Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Ho did also when he sought to conquer South Vietnam, despite being far more murderous than the South's leaders. To a lesser extent, the Soviets tried this approach in the Baltics in 1940.

Lastly, the Russian operations and tactics have varied markedly in Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea and then Donbas. In Syria, they are making no effort to persuade Sunni Arabs or Kurds to return to unitary rule under Assad. Because of Russia's inferiority to the West, it does seek to use economies of force when and where possible, but it has certainly not abandoned the frozen conflicts and bludgeoning fires of the 1990s.

My best advice would be for the Baltic republics to treat ethnic Russians equally and for NATO to oversee these dynamics so that Putin has no legitimate excuse to intervene.

Azor.....You should have paid more attention to Vicrasta's comments....

The article is about non linear warfare in support to Russia political warfare which is actually new....especially when using the two key cornerstones....1) cyber and 2) information warfare....

Many would argue that in the cyber side we are not at war...but in fact we are and the German's fully understand that it is in fact "war"...just with other means but war nevertheless.....

I have been in that "war" now for months...it is real...it is brutal..and the Russians are good at it...

Maassen: Intelligence agencies knew which servers used by #Russia's APT10, APT28 & APT29 to hack #Germany
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...cyber-attacks#

Germany going after foreign hackers: "We believe it is necessary...to be able to wipe out these servers"

The US talks a great game via CyberCommand, but in the end they would not go this far....appears the Germans fully understand the serious nature of the Russian threat....

You should have paid more attention to mine...

What about Soviet-German political warfare prior to the "non-aggression" pact?

What about Soviet political warfare against the Fascists and Western democracies during the Spanish Civil War, in addition to unconventional warfare in Spain?

What about Fascist political warfare against the West and relationship with various Fascist, pro-German and anti-war movements throughout the West? What about Soviet ties to anti-nuclear and anti-military movements in NATO countries?

What you are referring to are technology and tactics.

Azor.....You should have paid more attention to Vicrasta's comments....

The article is about non linear warfare in support to Russia political warfare which is actually new....especially when using the two key cornerstones....1) cyber and 2) information warfare....

Many would argue that in the cyber side we are not at war...but in fact we are and the German's fully understand that it is in fact "war"...just with other means but war nevertheless.....

I have been in that "war" now for months...it is real...it is brutal..and the Russians are good at it...

Maassen: Intelligence agencies knew which servers used by #Russia's APT10, APT28 & APT29 to hack #Germany
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...cyber-attacks#

Germany going after foreign hackers: "We believe it is necessary...to be able to wipe out these servers"

The US talks a great game via CyberCommand, but in the end they would not go this far....appears the Germans fully understand the serious nature of the Russian threat....

Quoted and paraphrased from Dr. Galeotti's "Hybrid War or Gibridnaya Voina: Getting Russia’s non-linear military challenge right":

"There are two separate issues, two separate kinds of nonlinear war, which have become unhelpfully intertwined."

“Modern technologies and societies mean that a shooting war will likely be preceded by and maybe even almost, but not quite, replaced by a phase of political destabilization.”

“The political war that Moscow is waging against the West, in the hope not of an invasion, but rather of dividing, demoralizing and distracting it.”

Objective: West cannot resist as Kremlin asserts claims to being a great power and in the process a sphere of influence over most of the post-Soviet states of Eurasia.

"The two overlap heavily, and maybe they could usefully be regarded as the two sides of a wider form of nonlinear war."

Initially Dr. Galeotti states the intertwining is "unhelpful", but assesses heavy overlap as two sides of a wider form of nonlinear war.

From a nonlinear science perspective, one can assess mono-stable, multi-stable (after bifurcation) and into an unstable or chaotic state after further bifurcations. "Web of chaos" below from the author's end note.

Valery Gerasimov, “The Value of Science Is in the Foresight: New Challenges Demand Rethinking the Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations,” in Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kurier (Jan-Feb 2016)

"The experience of military conflicts--including those connected with the so-called color revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East--confirm that a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war."

Well summarized....and I think it points to two major abuses in discussions around Russian so called "hybrid warfare"....

One thing that all authors on such topics should and or must remain with is the Russian translation "non linear" as that is exactly what it is and secondly many forget the second Russian term "political warfare"...

This sentence is the major point....
QUOTE
“Modern technologies and societies mean that a shooting war will likely be preceded by and maybe even almost, but not quite, replaced by a phase of political destabilization.”
UNQUOTE

As it translates straight into Gerasimov's eight phased steps of non linear warfare....with the stepping into direct war only at phases seven and eight....

We also need to stay with the various Russian terms that support both linear and political warfare...if one understands them then one can in fact recognize when they are bein used....

Good primer by @20committee on Russian espionage terms, incl provokatsiya, dezinformatsiya and active measures.
http://observer.com/2017/03/kremlingate-russia-spy-game-disinformation/ …

Many writers simply do not seem to know these terms are critical to the way the current Russian leadership thinks and acts...

The article is actually well researched BUT the author failed to fully understand just how Russia intertwines "non linear warfare" with and support to their "political war" against the US which Putin views as being the major supporter of neo liberalism.

Also missing in this "political war" are references to the three Putin core geopolitical goals of that political war...he has repeatedly stated since 2004.

1. damage and discredit EU
2. damage and discredit NATO
3. completely disconnect US from both EU, NATO and ME