Covert Psychological Operations

Hybrid War

Secret Intelligence Service

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PREAMBLE

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Is there a dilemma when more than one, contradictory, ethical principle is held as true at the same time?  Is a dilemma accepted as being the case?  If not (there is no dilemma) then for who, for what reason and as a consequence; what strategies are brought into play?

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Covert Psychological Operations. Hybrid War

Room No. 15

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PURPOSE – UNIT

Hybrid war is extremely powerful, likewise, is extremely dangerous.

The connectivity which resides at the heart of the new globalisation is used by both aggressive and ‘friendly states with hostile intent’, to further their aims in subsequently deniable ways.

This is achieved by means as varied as; psychological operations, cyber-attacks, media, entertainment, religious constructs posing as truth, which together constitute the subversion of political processes in place.

It has to be borne in mind that the internet poses an amalgam of both existential threat and opportunity. However, the internet is a vehicle constituting a mere part of the conscious whole.

The aim herein therefore, is firstly, to understand covert hybrid war, in so doing to secure an advantage and thereby assisting the United Kingdom in building resistance against it, and secondly; to enhance covert hybrid war and to use it widely.

The risks at stake are indeed extreme, and constitute a fundamental threat to sovereignty and self.

Adversitate. Custodi. Per Verum

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HYBRID : Something that has two different types of components, both performing essentially the same function

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(C-IV) Welcome back, first let me reiterate something.

Covert (unconventional) War is characterized as being Fourth-Generation War; one can describe as being more fluid, more decentralized, and asymmetrical than the warfare of the past.

Covert War is defined as being any type of non-conventional (non-official military) force engaged in largely asymmetrical combat against a traditional adversary. Taken together in a two-stage / two pronged approach; Colour Revolutions and Covert (unconventional) War representing the two components which constitute Hybrid War, this, the new method of indirect warfare.

The closer destabilization operations are caused to move toward their target system’s core, the lower is the probability of direct warfare and the higher the chances that indirect means (Colour Revolutions and Covert War) will be appropriate.

Colour Revolutions and Covert War present us with a new concept of state (system / collective) destabilization, for strategic deployment all across the world.

Shock and awe campaigns of the past are arguably (though some do disagree) almost impossible to repeat owing to the changed international circumstances and enormous collateral (physical, financial, political) costs which they would entail. What can happen, however, are campaigns of indirect geopolitical sabotage under the guise of pro-democracy movements or externally supported civil conflicts. In fact, combining both of these and additional subtleties forms the perfect attack for dealing with large, complex and sophisticated collectives.

This approach succeeds by triggering chaos and creating forces which threaten to tear a targeted collective apart. It does not have to overthrow a government in order to be a success – all that has to happen is that a collective (sub system) becomes divided from the whole and large-scale uncertainty, the portent of social chaos, ensues – a geopolitical deadlock, which in turn presents an enormous challenge for the larger system to undertake initiatives beyond that of the directly destabilized part. They are deadlocked into dealing with it, whether they want to or not, and this places them on the strategic defensive.

It is the case that there will be increased emphasis on information warfare and Psychological Operations, perfectly meshing with the modus-operandi of Colour Revolutions.

Psychological Operations are the dominant operational and strategic weapon in the form of but not confined to; media/information intervention. A major target will be the enemy population’s support of its government. News is a more powerful operational weapon than armoured infantry and divisions (and of course, WMD). The distinction between civilian and military is quickly fading, civilians being co-opted into fulfilling de-facto military roles.

Hybrid War is thus; the epitome of Fourth-Generation War.

One can consider podiums upon which an opposing force does perform and these are; leadership; system essentials; infrastructure; population; fighting mechanisms.

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Contemporary foreign policy of one country towards another (or others) is the result of an accumulation of geo-political theory.

Often located at a great distance and likely in opposite hemispheres, it is expected that the geo-political scene is a visible figure in policy formation of each country towards the other (or others).

The countries in question can be strong powers, thus sufficiently able to project influence and force beyond their borders, and obviously the U.K. is a prime example.

In fact, consider how we are developing a ‘very particular approach’ toward dealing with other countries, and it is this strategy that lives at the core of Hybrid War.

In order to facilitate this, an outline of the requisite geo-political supports leading to it ideally should be examined, though not necessarily spelled out in detail here. But suffice it to say; that without an understanding of the theoretical principles which have led to current policy, it is not really possible to adequately comprehend the significance of Hybrid War and its fundamental position in U.K. (or any other powerful nations’) strategic planning.

Presuppositions

Importantly in covert psychological warfare, the target ‘enemy’ has to be regarded as a system (note that systems thinking and systems behavior are discussed in detail herein), – a system wherein everything is inter-connected. Striking at the core of the system will affect everything, whereas merely striking at what lies at the system periphery – though harming it as a consequence, will nonetheless succeed in containing the attack therein.

When it comes to unconventional war one must seek to direct attack at all facets of the system – the leadership, the system essentials (nuts and bolts), the infrastructure, and the military.

Remember that full-scale conventional war against other super-powers and the certain recourse to WMD cannot be won, and will result in one’s own capitulation.

Therefore the Colour Revolution is the perfect strategy : Society (all actors) should be targeted en-masse, subsequent to the decision to initiate the process of destabilization.

Society typically comprises of the following groups of actors

The population

The media

The elites

The military and police

The leadership

The objective of the Colour Revolution is to seize power and to overthrow a state’s leadership. In order to be effective the process gathers the population into a crowd and has them (the crowd) overwhelm public institutions at the center, and circumvent the remainder.

The elite actors own sufficient power to influence the media and populace, but not generally the military, nor the police. Anti-govt. media can make the authorities uneasy and hesitant in defending themselves from a Color Revolution’s coup attempt. It is not the deciding factor in whether or not the govt. becomes overthrown.

The next and/or concurrent step of the Colour Revolution is applied at the level of the psyche – it attempts to seize the collective psyche – or as many of the collective as possible.

If one considers the typical western family unit, as comprising of; nation, religious belief/s, neighborhood, employment and family. The family will typically reside at the core of the individual’s life. If the psyop campaign can target this vulnerability in convincing the person to join the movement, the odds are increased. If the movement appeals to patriotic sentiments but the person or the majority do not place a strong emphasis on this notion, then it will be unsuccessful.

Each Colour Revolution must first gather sufficient data regarding the target demographic and then accordingly market itself to the most obvious core vulnerability.

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Supplemental Notes in Brief from a Discussion : Colour Revolution  (expanded in depth of detail herein)

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Addendum (I)

Systems Thinking as a Tool in Psychological Warfare (Preamble):

Systems thinking is a way of understanding reality that emphasizes the relationships among a system’s parts, rather than the parts themselves. Based on a field of study known as system dynamics, systems thinking has a practical value that rests upon a solid theoretical foundation.

In its simplest sense, system thinking provides a more accurate picture of reality.

Systems thinking offers a powerful perspective, a specialized language, and a set of tools which can be used to address the most awkward problems that life presents.

Systems thinking is valuable because it can help to design smart, enduring solutions to problems. In its simplest sense, system thinking gives a more accurate picture of reality, so that we can work with a system’s natural forces in order to achieve the results we desire. It also encourages consideration of problems and solutions with an eye toward the long view.

Systems thinking is founded on basic, universal principles inherent within all arenas of life.

A system is a group of interacting, interrelated, and interdependent components that form a complex and unified whole.

Systems are everywhere.

Systems have several defining characteristics. Every system has a purpose within a larger system. All of a system’s parts must be present for the system to carry out its purpose optimally. A system’s parts must be arranged in a specific way for the system to carry out its purpose. Systems change in response to feedback. Feedback plays a central role in systems thinking. Feedback is information that returns to its original transmitter such that it influences that transmitter’s subsequent actions.

Systems maintain their stability by making adjustments based on feedback.

As a language, systems thinking has unique qualities that assist in communicating with others regarding the many systems around and within all things:

It emphasizes wholes rather than parts, and stresses the role of interconnections.

It emphasizes circular feedback (for example, A leads to B, which leads to C, which leads back to A) rather than linear cause and effect (A leads to B, which leads to C, which leads to D, . . .and so on).

Systems thinking has generated a broad array of tools that allow graphic depiction of the understanding of a particular system’s structure and behaviour, Systems thinking allows the design of high-leverage interventions for problematic system behaviour.

These tools include causal loops, behaviour over time graphs, stock and flow diagrams, and systems archetypes – all of which allow depiction of understanding of a system – to computer simulation models and management.

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(C-I)

26 08 2017

To continue :

Fourth-Generation Warfare is primarily indirect – asymmetrical warfare / psyop targets are usually not attacked directly. There is the necessity of approaching targets via unexpected and indirect methods. More and more clearly it has emerged that a direct approach usually, but not always, produces negative results. More that the disruption of the enemy’s psychological and physical balance is the vital prelude to a successful attempt at the target enemy’s downfall. This disruption is caused by a strategic indirect approach, intentional and / or unexpected, and can take varied forms.

Colour Revolutions are an indirect assault upon the government of the targeted nation. Conventional outside forces are not being utilized, and the same is true for Unconventional Warfare. Rather than sending an anti-establishment army directly into battle against the target State or its military, Colour Revolutions and Unconventional Warfare indirectly wage war by selectively targeting the population, media, elites, military/police and leaders as said above. This causes them to become unstructured and unpredictable.

The strategy encompasses the realization that decisions are made after the person/s (she/he) observes the situation, adjusts, decides, and consequently acts. The unpredictability associated with the indirect approach results in disorientation, thereby hampering the ability to make the right decisions and act properly.

Colour Revolutions disorient both the police and military because their manifestations are purposely designed to appear unpredictable, and Unconventional Warfare by its intrinsic character is endowed with this quality.

When Colour Revolutions appeal to future participants, they do so by tendering their message in as simple a way as possible.

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The Theory of Chaos

The theory of chaos is most applicable to Hybrid Wars.

It is possible to intermittently identify a semblance of ‘patterned order’ among chaos, mostly within weakly chaotic systems. Chaos is dependent on certain initial variables, and that once an accurate description of the environment is made, one is in a position to devise requisite strategies which can (ideally) advance our interests. These variables are; initial system design, the underlying systemic structure, the cohesion among the actors and the conflict strength/potential of the individual actors.

The same applies just as much for Colour Revolutions as for Unconventional Warfare. For example, the initial shape of the social situation in the targeted country is just as important for a Colour Revolution as the initial shape of the physical, military, and infrastructure situation is for Unconventional Warfare. The same goes for the other two variables.

The conflict strength/potential of the individual actors, means – to change this status – to diminish it, or to direct it in ways favourable to our own national security goals, therefore >> one should interfere with / change the software <<. As computer hackers have aptly demonstrated, the most effective way to interfere with functioning software is by utilizing a virus. Ideology, one can argue, is another name for a human software virus. Basically, depending upon the civilizational/cultural code and the best route to penetrate the target citizenry, Colour Revolutions can adapt their message to create their own custom virus for winning over converts. The virus infects individuals by working to change their political sentiment, and the idea is that once it finds one victim, this person will then actively spread their new ideas to others, leading to a political contagion.

The merging of the principles of chaos into Hybrid War is a central facet of Fourth Generation War. Due to their disjointed nature, they are inherently indirect and initially unpredictable to the target. On a geo-political level, can have an effect in International Relations, as well as in sociology and military science. This makes chaos multi-purpose, and greatly extends the extent of its applications.

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Addendum (II)

Recap : The objective of PSYOP is to influence the behaviour of foreign target audiences to support U.K. national objectives.

Psychological Operations are planned operations and which convey selected information and indicators to foreign target audiences, to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behaviour of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. Behavioural change is at the root of the PSYOP objective.

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(C-I)

To continue :

Within the arena of international relations and as a part of a larger strategy, creative chaos can be enthusiastically released. One can describe the Arab Spring events this way, that is, as a theater-wide Colour Revolution, and an externally and non-state-actor-driven destabilization, within Syria and Iraq.

At the centre, Hyrbid War is very essentially creatively managed chaos.

Think of it as a virus (as said earlier) – a virus, which overturns the social system of the target State, and if its swarms and pseudo-Unconventional Warfare forerunner does not forcibly seize power, or intimidate the government into stepping down on its own accord, then an Unconventional War is begun.

The final stage, the commencement of Unconventional War, is the new complementary contribution to Color Revolutions that creates Hybrid War. It has been learned from the Colour Revolutions hitherto, where such attempts were initiated without any backup plan (Unconventional Warfare).

In combination – as a integrated platform, the ultimate objective of the Colour Revolution and Unconventional Warfare combination (Hybrid War) is that of  >> systemic chaos. <<

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Leading from behind, is simply defined as in the case when international constraints limit the application of force. It has been defined and concisely as being that of; ‘discreet military assistance while certain others are seen to be taking the lead’.

It is the strategy for theatres where for whatever reason, one is reluctant to militarily engage oneself directly. Thus relying on regional allies as ‘PROXIES’ to further geostrategic and geopolitical goals – via Covert Fourth-Generation Warfare.

Certain countries too can be described as lead from behind allies in destabilization efforts, fulfilling a more conventional combat role.

Leading from behind should be taken to mean Fourth-Generation Warfare. Conventional regime change strategies (the application of military force for example in Syria, Iraq and Libya) were possible in a more ‘unipolar world’, but this situation has faded some, thus the compulsion to revive the lead from behind strategy. For example, in the case of the U.S. the first indication was a move towards this strategy during the Libyan conflict, where one can suggest that the U.S. was no longer enthusiastic about going it alone, similarly in Syria, more recently.

In such a competitive environment as is now unquestioningly the case (with the emerguence of Russia and China who are allies), aggressive unilateralist ventures are more awkward to envisage without risking significant collateral consequences. This further provides an added incentive to include the lead from behind strategy’s implementation into mainstream military planning.

 

 

in edit, report back

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(C-I)(C-III)(C-IV)(C-V)

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Secret Intelligence Service

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Return to Room No. 15

 

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Covert Psychological Operations

Hybrid War

Secret Intelligence Service

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Adversitate. Custodi. Per Verum

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   The Owl is in Harrogate

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