Computer Crime Research Center



Date: August 07, 2006
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Andrei Manoilo

Vladimir KNYSH

His lectures on the state information politics under special conditions are very popular in front of the wide audience. This was confirmed once more by the seminar organized by EPOS and addressed to information security and technologies.

- Is it true that information-psychological operation is an instrument of the state policy?

- For sure. Of the most interest are the psychological operations which become nowadays one of the basic elements of the foreign state policy. They are carried out at the level of the inter-state relationship, inside coalitions, and in internal politics. Psychological operations attract potential “consumers” by the fact that they afford reaching the aims in the foreign politics without substantial expenses as technologies of psychological influence are comparably cheap. And second, these operations are done without force application with elements of manipulation.
Special structures which carry out these operations exist practically in all developed countries. But there is no mechanism of international legislation that allows regulation of this aspect of international relationship. As well as there is no strict international determinations of what is permissible and what is not while conducting psychological operation or psychological war, what sanctions should be undertaken toward the aggressor – state which uses “forbidden methods”.
I’m sure that in the nearest future psychological operations will force out the traditional armed conflicts in international relations. They are not only cheaper but in many cases they are more efficient.

- But in this case such “monopolists of the hot war” as army and special services can counteract this, if saying it easier.

- This is true only to some extent. Mentioned organizations are necessary in any case. The authority can not do without army and special service. The thing is that big armies will transform to the small professional armed forces, which will include the divisions of fast reacting and constant readiness aimed on solution of local tasks.
Unfortunately, Russian and Ukrainian army servants are not in time with for example Americans who has psychological forces with prescribed roles and actions in special operations at all levels. Our states weaken by Soviet Union disintegration and occupied by a solution of different “gas problems”, have no time to reach similar level of perfection. In spite of the presence of such structures in both states they are coming out of date very fast. That is why our structures which can provide the psychological “rebuff” at a reasonable level work post factum.

- How often and successful are these operations and who are the “fashion-makes” in this area?

- Not all the countries have sufficient experience of successful operations of these type of operations what limits substantially their activity in this direction. Concerning the world leading countries conducting skillfully world-wide international psychological operations, former Soviet Union, USA and Great Britain can be mentioned. Classical successful psychological operation was carried out not yesterday. Here is an example from the “soviet past”.
In 80-s when Soviet Union supported national liberation movements, one of the countries of Latin America “get ready” to the victory of political forces close to the socialist system, Left government had to come in force as a result of the victorious guerilla warfare. Leaders of the movement applied to the soviet government, more precisely to KGB, with a request like following “we have people ready to fight, but they have no experience in the technique of the guerilla warfare”. Soon one of the radio stations forecasting for that country started radio performance. An action took place in the imagine country, where the population started the fight with regime, and tactics of the guerilla warfare has been described in details. As a background the personal relationship of the radio performance heroes was shown. In such a way future rebels got the detailed radio instructions. As a result the anti-socialist regime has been overthrown.
An example of the nowadays is a business scandal connected with avian flu. Its background is obvious, it’s an exclusion of one dynamically developing birds’ meat producers by the other ones. A price of the question is billions dollars.
One more “variety” of the delicate psychological operation is atypical pneumonia of 2003 which is nearly forgotten now. And what were a topic and its promotion? The war in Iraq is a scenario of psychological war. It is a well directed “soap opera” which went off dynamically and fascinatingly. Operations of the Coalition armed forces aimed in “throwing out” to the media-space a “volley” of the necessary news. To provide such influence a war company has been designed. It should be noted that a delicate play with a public opinion was conducted, it was “trained“, following up the feedback and level of interest. When positive interest came down the company activated again. But suddenly unplanned “trample” around Basra, which was defended mainly by Iraqi militiaman has happened. Rating of war acceptance started decreasing, protest manifestations and other “undesirable” for Americans factors arose. That made them “starting” the atypical pneumonia virus. As a result the failures in Iraq and connected with them problems in foreign policy were forgotten. Attention of average citizen refocused on the problem which is “close and disturbs everyone”. And next, new victories in Iraq war arrived in time.
This typical example of the public opinion manipulation is one of the episodes of psychological operation. Summarizing it’s possible to say that Americans started operations of the new-generation wars when operation itself became a “conveyor” for PR-news production. An effect is used to get the entire complex of “dividends” in international relations. Among them bringing back to the “members of USA allies” some Western European countries (ex., France and Germany), which had started leaving this camp, can be mentioned.

- So, psychological operations are undertaken against Ukraine? How can we recognize that we are “being attacked”?

- There is no such state in the world that carries out independent policy, supports its interest and not impacted from outside, which is not subjected to psychological operations. It is possible to say that they are unavoidable and natural and Ukraine being dynamically developing country is not an exception but rather probable object for psychological operations including the ones from the allies’ side. That is why any state can conduct psychological operations covering them up with “purity” of thoughts and intensions, “unselfishness and friendliness”. And the country against which this “work” is carried out detects the pointed influence only by “fact”, when harmful for the state interests strike has already took place. Nevertheless specialist can discover some outer features of the psychological operations application.

- Could you forecast the vectors of “main efforts application” in psychological operations.

- That is not difficult. For example, NATO is interested in Ukraine supporting the coalition policy. But politics itself is a business. And trade of “stock increase and decrease” is conducted. From strategical point of view Ukraine is interesting for Russia and hence can become a “subject of trade”. We should not forget the price which Alliance will have to pay for inclusion of Ukraine in its’ members, and it will be in absolutely real dollars. But the price can vary to decrease and the process depends on a plenty of factors.

- Can we state that the “market” of psychological operations services exists? And if so, what is its capacity and who are the leaders?

Such market exists and it is measured in real monetary units. It is “served” by tens of billions dollars. If we talk about provision of services, they are the priority of the top state’s authorities. Russia, apropos to say, does not contribute to this market. It has no normative base to regulate such business. But USA has it. This market is very promising, and a fight is running to occupy the leading positions on it. The forms and methods of operations remain in the “shadow”. Chine is a very interesting state in this respect as becoming one of the strongest countries. It is enough to visit American shops to observe without any difficulty that half of the goods presented there are of Chinese production. This supports an idea that China forces out Americans from all markets. But to understand Chinese politics it is necessary to start from Chinese population mentality. Country’s authorities can accept a long-term development plan and it will be brought in life by next generations. In this line are the long-term psychological operations which are supposed to have effect in fifty years.

- Lets come back to the level of ordinary citizens. They, I hope, can feel protection from psychological operations, can’t they?

- Actually, such operations are the most harmful for psyche and health of ordinary people that is why the state should protect them from any form of such aggression, and primarily from...
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