Covert Psychological Operations

Hybrid War

Secret Intelligence Service

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PREAMBLE

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GLOBAL STRATEGY

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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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Hybrid War presents itself as an inimitable array of both intangible and tangible dominance, manifested in a mostly indirect way. It is structured chaos, weaponized, to achieve specific foreign policy ends. Thereby hybrid war is both a strategy and a weapon, doubling its effectiveness in proxy combat and equally, achieving a destabilizing of the target

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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 emergence of Russia and China who are allies with each other), 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.

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Addendum (III)

“There, as threescore and ten years later he told the tale, rose in his mind a scheme which, through all the turns of his eventful career, was never abandoned. He would recover the estate which had belonged to his fathers. He would be Hastings of Daylesford. This purpose, formed in infancy and poverty, grew stronger as his intellect expanded and as his fortune rose. He pursued his plan with that calm but indomitable force of will which was the most striking peculiarity of his character. When, under a tropical sun, he ruled fifty millions of Asiatics, his hopes, amidst all the cares of war, finance, and legislation, still pointed to Daylesford. And when his long public life, so singularly chequered with good and evil, with glory and obloquy, had at length closed for ever, it was to Daylesford that he retired to die.”

Memoirs of the Life of Warren Hastings (Dec. 6th 1732 – Aug. 22nd 1818). First Governor-General of Bengal. Compiled from Original Papers. London: 1841

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To continue and to reiterate :

Leading from behind strategy embraces both Colour Revolution and Unconventional Warfare functions, although it is more commonly used for Unconventional Warfare. Concerning Color Revolutions, one leads from behind by engineering the entire destabilization effort and using on-the-ground proxies to carry it out. Also, it is useful for a pro-UK government to lean for support, friendly nation states, in order to funnel requisite material support to the relevant organisers and participants so to pressure and intimidate the targeted state government from employing its right to forcefully defend itself from the coup attempt, under the scenarios we foresee. One can also use allies for funneling the required material/s so to transform the Colour Revolution into Unconventional War. As for the latter, one employs lead from behind partners as training grounds for anti-government rebels and channels for arms shipments.

(I) We have pioneered a new strategy for waging war in multi-polar reality, leading from behind. This allows one (the UK) to outsource destabilization operations to like-minded regional collaborators, if the objective is deemed too costly or politically sensitive for the UK to directly and unilaterally pursue. It is, as said, warfare by proxy, with us managing our allies’ contributions to the effort, from base.

(II) The underlining principal in Hybrid War is the ‘Theory of Chaos’, the personification of Fourth-Generation Warfare. Theory of Chaos utilizes the unpredictable, consequently making the effort largely indirect. Managed chaos occurs when there is an attempt to harness forces for strategic purposes. Colour Revolutions and Unconventional Warfare completely fit into this principle, thus making them more valuable strategy than are older, traditional regime change approaches.

(III)  GLOBAL STRATEGY; that we are highly influential during peace, resolute during war, and dominant in all forms of conflict – this forms the bedrock of Colour Revolutions. At the outset, Colour Revolutions begin as information crusades targeting the affected population. These crusades must be cogent (conniving?) so to reach as wide an audience as possible (often it may be more strategic to only reach a certain demographic in order to have them become disgruntled sufficient for example to aggravate existing fractures within society). Insinuation / suggestion can be utilised to stage an indirect and effective approach to penetration.

(IV) Social domination: The crusade is able to harness adequately large number of conscripts (actors?) to publicly challenge the state and attempt to topple it. In order to inspire conscripts, political, psychological, and information techniques are brought to play. Though it is preferred that our own streams of thought are the dominant ones, this does not have to be so. Colour Revolutions do not necessarily have to reach the majority of the population in the nation state or the capital to be successful. All that they have to be able to do is summon a large amount of people to create a public relations and security challenge for the defending government. The range of conscripts required to productively perform a Colour Revolution can vary depending upon the nation state, the characteristics of the leadership, and the power of the government and security arrangement. Social domination is achieved once this decisive point is attained and deployed against the authorities and thus providing the chaotic challenge that the movement is aiming for. Colour Revolutions attempt to attain domination over such imperceptible aspects as society, ideology, psychology, and information.

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Addendum IV

Rebellious hysteria – 1960s. It was in 1967, when the head of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, London, was Dr. Fred Emery, an expert on the ‘hypnotic effects of television’. Dr. Emery was particularly struck by what he observed of crowd behaviour at rock concerts, which were a relatively new phenomenon at that time. Emery referred to the audiences as ‘swarming adolescents.’ He was absolutely convinced that this behaviour could effectively be refined and used so to bring down hostile or uncooperative governments, no less. Emery wrote an article about this for the Tavistock Institute’s journal; Human Relations, which he titled, “The Next Thirty Years: Concepts, Methods and Anticipations.” The article details ways in which to safely channel and / or directly manipulate what he termed ‘rebellious hysteria.’

Post World War I, was created the Tavistock Institute to serve as our psychological warfare arm. The Institute received its name from the Duke of Bedford, Marquis of Tavistock, who donated a building to the Institute in 1921 to study the effect of shell-shock on British soldiers who had survived World War I. Its purpose was to assist the traumatized soldiers, to establish the breaking point of men under stress. The programme was under the auspices of the British Army Bureau of Psychological Warfare. Sigmund Freud for a short period worked with Tavistock on psychoanalytical methods applied to individuals and large groups.

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The global strategy ambitions of unconventional warfare are very like conventional military goals than those of colour revolutions. The difference is that unconventional warfare is more sporadic, indirect, and nonlinear ** than is regular warfare,

** nonlinear systems may appear chaotic, unpredictable or counterintuitive, contrasting with the much simpler linear systems qqand therefore, it has certain limits in what it can and cannot dominate. Therefore, it is more appropriate to state that unconventional warfare’s goals in relation to global strategy are to gain as much physical supremacy as possible within the targeted nation, short of using committed direct intervention from an outside state or by transforming into conventional warfare. In this way, unconventional warfare aspires for supremacy over tangible aspects of the battlefield but not in the same way that conventional war does. This is not to say that unconventional warfare is inferior to conventional warfare in the realm of global strategy. It is quite the reverse, as it actually clasps very important strategic advantages over it. For example, the targeted nation’s conventional forces can never be entirely sure to what extent, or for how long, they can control and safeguard various territory or infrastructure from attack, thus fostering uncertainty over when and where to deploy their units. This in turn obstructs critical action and hinders its effectiveness.

One can see how colour revolutions and unconventional warfare occupy a specific role in overall global strategy. In fact, they serve complementary purposes, as colour revolutions seek imperceptible dominance and unconventional warfare is used to attain its perceptible form. The two strategies are direct relatives of fourth generation warfare, and therefore, they have the threads of chaos woven within them. The chaos that emerges from colour revolutions and unconventional warfare spreads throughout the enemy system as does a virus in a computer with the eventual hope that it will result in its full corruption and the need to initiate regime change to remove the threat. Unconventional warfare adds an element of continuous fear to the equation, which works as a force multiplier ** in aggravating the combined chaotic effect of the destabilizing regime change operation.

** force multiplier is an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (multiplies) the effectiveness of an item or group

Hybrid War presents itself as an inimitable array of both intangible and tangible dominance, manifested in a mostly indirect way. It is structured chaos, weaponized, to achieve specific foreign policy ends. Thereby hybrid war is both a strategy and a weapon, doubling its effectiveness in proxy combat and equally, achieving a destabilizing of the target

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

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Secret Intelligence Service

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Covert Psychological Operations

GLOBAL STRATEGY

Secret Intelligence Service

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Adversitate. Custodi. Per Verum

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   The Owl is in Harrogate

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