Russian Information Operations and the Rise of the Global Internet
Ring, Teyloure A
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For centuries the pursuit of competing political objectives has led to military conflict. Prussian military theorist Major-General Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” History has shown that the ability to affect an adversary’s information and information systems augments the effects of kinetic operations. Therefore, command and control and communication nodes are frequently early targets during times of war. Disrupting the flow of information is essential for militaries seeking an advantage over an adversary. Attacks on communication centers have been documented in numerous conflicts including the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Information operations were a supporting element of military strategy, secondary to kinetic operations until Operation Desert Storm. The use of information technologies to exploit an information differential in Iraq contributed to the swift success of coalition forces. Operation Desert Storm marked the first time information technologies were used to create an asymmetric advantage in modern warfare. Military strategists around the globe began exploring the value of these technologies in information operations. Understanding how these new technologies are used to create an asymmetric advantage in wartime is critical for developing effective countermeasures. This piece addresses the adoption of information technologies and cyber tools in Russian information operations in Chechnya, Estonia, Georgia, and Ukraine.