Atlantic Voices | Information Warfare: the examples of the Islamic State and Russia
Information warfare is not a new concept as the recourse to propaganda and misinformation is a frequent tool to reinforce one’s camp and counteract the potential impact of the opponent.
Propaganda is used to bring individuals together around a common cause, to reinforce the role of a leader, a political movement or a cause, and/or to vilify an enemy who presents an opposite model and tries to impose it. These methods were widely used during the Cold War when the East and the West were trying to contain one another while expanding their models to the rest of the world.
Today, those methods are still common practice as state-owned media, censorship, counter-propaganda and the dissemination of false information are still widely used, such as in the case of the Ukraine crisis. Social media and new technologies are also playing a crucial role in spreading the word about ISIS’s fight, propaganda that the West is finding difficult to counteract.
This issue focuses on these two cases in an effort to discuss the implications of information warfare for the security of the Euro-Atlantic region and the world at large.
Mr. Quint Hoekstra analyzes the use of propaganda by insurgents to support their efforts to change the society they live in. Building on examples from the past, the article applies the concepts of propaganda and information warfare to the case of the Islamic State and its insurgency propaganda.
Ms. Jenny Yang, through the analysis of the definition of information warfare and key policies in Russia, sheds light on the Russia conception of information warfare, exploring how Russia’s focus on information has evolved and intensified over time, as illustrated in the Ukraine crisis.
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