During the Ukraine crisis, there was an intense information war. Here the issue of provocation came to the fore. As great powers, the USA and Russia systematically used the media for their own benefit. In fact, let’s examine this systematic by looking at the topics and methods we know, but with updated concepts and methods. Because, no matter where it rains, if every individual is a media organ in our age, provocation should also be on his agenda.
Putin explained: The USA is fueling hysteria… It’s like this issue has turned into a Psychological War. Psychological Warfare is another matter. In this strategic crisis, it can only be a background goal. But what happens is fraught with difficulties; dominant powers are testing each other in every field. For example, in this case, some politicians even called it Information Terrorism. So much purposeful news is being spread that such developments are remarkable in this age.
In the last crisis, we see the USA and Russia as the dominant power and dominant country. It is possible to add Europe and China to this. Following the dominant powers, regional and local countries and elements are active. For example, Turkey is included in this issue as a NATO and regional country.
Let’s put it this way then, every country has a government and its policy. In the same way, countries that are formed with both their past values and general outlook and their policies have an intention and a purpose. These terms are technical terms and are mentioned in the documents as such. Countries make plans depending on their intentions and purposes. Intelligence organs working in all these basic, current and future perspectives for countries are the most important official power center.
When we talk about politics, we need to explain. In this age, with increasing visibility, global powers (especially the USA) can also intervene in the domestic policies of others. So it is difficult to separate politics as domestic and foreign policy. For example, a party member can be a spokesperson for another country or party. Specializations, power, opposition are always in such a controversial state. It is individuals who are already the target of the Information War; individuals voting in elections.
The plans, of course, are against the opponent. However, its own people, the world’s perspective, and most importantly, the countries in the gray zone operations that will power and prepare this plan are within the scope. When the plan is executed it is detailed with details based on that scope. In addition to the military and diplomatic aspects (fields of application) of enforcement in general, there are also means of pressure such as economic sanctions. In the context of Hard Power (both defensive and offensive) Hybrid Warfare (Full Spectrum Warfare for the US and Non-Linear Warfare for Russia) is used in execution.
Hybrid Warfare consists of Irregular Warfare and Cyber Warfare methods. Again, roughly speaking, Cyber Warfare is planned and executed as Cyber Operations and Information Warfare. In the Information War, there is the Perception Management carried out with the media. Perception Management is spread using conventional and social media. Propagation is accomplished by nets and repetitions. In both forms of media, there are provocation, post-truth operations. Media production is sometimes done professionally and sometimes as a result of ordinary work. There are more technical issues, I won’t go into details here.
Other countries and centers plan and implement in the same, similar, reactive and different ways due to their own policies. There is a chaotic atmosphere in the middle. The powerful see and affect this chaotic state in a simpler way. The effect of power is very important in these processes.
Let’s take a look at media outlets. First of all, a general statement can be made as global, regional and local media. In general, media organs take the explanations of politicians, expert opinions, create and disseminate details about the event. We see the products of media organizations as news and analysis. News and analytics clusters are repeated in conventional and social media.
Official intelligence workers are involved in all these processes. Intelligence analyzes, creates products, gives information… In fact, we have to look at it this way. In the Ukraine problem, which we have pointed out as an example, any country, for example Turkey, will make its own planning within its own policy, while all these procedures have to be carried out with policy and control. With this approach, for example, Turkey’s intelligence has to completely control every single phase of activity and correct any mistakes, if any, with cyber methods.
It goes like this: the USA and Russia serve their products to the news and social media. Among the news sources of the US side, there are global companies such as, say, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, and organizations such as Reuters, which is respected as a media organ. In Turkey, both the conventional media and social media take such bodies as references while looking at such a serious event and not taking the risk completely, and experts form their knowledge by looking at these media news with a similar attitude. Here is the crux of perception management: The dominant media and the dominant power in the political statement also determine the perception of politics.
Such is politics! The policy focuses on winning no matter what, even the war. If the USA wants to win, the media will inevitably use its weapon. It is wrong to say, “We are at peace, the media is independent”.
In constitutional systems, the media is known as the “fourth power”. Think about it this way, in a kind of Cold War environment, would the US administration and the global power media, if we look more broadly, Soft Power opportunities, give up on winning? Whatever the policy, intent-purpose and plan is for a country, what is happening proceeds on that plane. Intellectuals who do not believe in this should not attempt to deceive themselves and others by using idealistic words.
Let’s also remember that NATO also has cyber warfare units institutionally. Russia’s NATO, on the other hand, is within itself, you cannot say it does not exist. Security alliances build collaborative working groups.
If we look at the opponents of the USA and Russia in the Ukraine crisis, they measure the same issue according to their over-the-top intentions and aims and continue their inputs dynamically. For example, Russia says, “Yes, I have deployed troops in the region, but this is against the unjust expansion of NATO”, while the USA says “Russia will invade Ukraine today-tomorrow”. Those who do not know how these things work are influenced and actually choose sides. Which is right, which is right? Everyone has an opinion. These thoughts are clustered and directed. This is how perception management lasts…
Now get on the field, let’s say the radical elements in the Crimea and Donbass. They already look at the event as “even if there is a reason, we should take action”. If a power unit (usually implicitly) acts as a trigger to provoke the situation in this whole tension line, even a chaotic result can arise from this.
Information warfare is an important issue in our caliber. Individuals bear responsibility, whether they want it or not. However, countries have to manage the situation in their own interest. Even the selection of those who speak as experts in the media is very important, some of them may be influence agents and you are not aware of it, influence agents (not written on their foreheads) may be directing the environment with information belonging to one side. Official intelligence units are very important points here. Security, defense, survivability, etc. then these concepts come together as a whole.
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