Information war, as a set of interrelated component, includes information support for aggression in peacetime and wartime, as well as information confrontation of the parties in the struggle for information resources and space. At the same time, possession of information resources in future wars will become an indispensable attribute, as in past wars, possession of forces and equipment, weapons, ammunition, transport, etc., and gaining informational confrontation may contribute to the achievement of the strategic goals of war.
INFORMATION AS WEAPONS
The display of great interest in the informational confrontation in modern wars is not accidental, since this is due to the fact that information becomes the same weapon as rockets, bombs, etc. Information confrontation becomes the factor that has a significant impact on the beginning, course and outcome of the war.
One of the most important mechanisms for the birth of modern wars is the current revolution in many countries not only in military affairs, but also information science and technology, which also forms completely new information systems on a global scale. Possession of information resources in modern wars has become as important an attribute as in past wars, possession of forces and means, weapons, transport, etc.
Winning informational confrontation in the course of modern wars can contribute to the achievement of their strategic goals.
The main objective of the information confrontation (information struggle) is to maintain the necessary level of its information security and reduce the level of this security of the enemy. The goal can be achieved by solving a number of interrelated tasks, the most important of which will be the destruction of the information resource and the field of the enemy and the preservation of its information resource and field.
According to Vladimir Slipchenko, author of the “Sixth Generation War”, informational confrontation in contactless wars should be understood as “a new, strategic form of struggle, which uses special methods and means that affect the enemy’s information environment and protect their own in order to achieve strategic goals war.
At the same time, the goal of informational confrontation in information wars is the disruption of the normal functioning of the information space and the defeat of the vital information resources (IR) of the enemy. The dynamics of changes in information confrontation is characterized by logical interrelations between categories: goals and tasks of warfare; forces and means; subject and object of struggle; methods and forms of warfare; space and time of warfare.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES, FORCES AND MEANS
In order to gain information superiority over the enemy, the following tasks are put in the forefront: destroying the enemy’s vital information resources (IR) by destroying (distorting) the physical recording of data that are key to the normal functioning of its political, military, economic and scientific and technical structures, as well as by disrupting the work of its software and hardware; the establishment of hidden control over R & D to determine the achieved level of its development, to exert a restraining influence and redistribution in its favor; protection of its own IR from all types of enemy attack (nuclear, fire, electronic, and special software and mathematics); establishing (retaining) control over the most important information resource of the state and, through it, over the resources of all other species subordinate to it.
At the same time, the forces include cadres of specialists in computer engineering and informatics, information systems and technologies, organized in collectives working at IR facilities, both military and those related to enterprises, institutions and organizations of the civilian sector. A characteristic feature of the forces leading the armed struggle in the new conditions is their developing professionalization. In addition, the complication of weapons and military equipment, their integration within the framework of large systems and the use of them in conditions of uncertainty imply a different organization of these forces in more decentralized staff structures.
The role of information means of warfare is increasing. An important feature of all cash assets of warfare (nuclear, conventional, based on new physical principles, as well as reconnaissance equipment, electronic suppression, SAICB, command and control of troops and weapons) becomes their integration in order to carry out an intelligence-targeting-defeat cycle in real or close to him time scale and achieve a synergistic effect when they are used together.
The content of changes in the methods of combat operations in the conduct of armed struggle is the emergence of a new method - the struggle against combat control systems; changing the sequence of combat operations (information operation - aerospace operation - ground operation); implementation of the network-centric principles of warfare.
In particular, the US Armed Forces developed the concept of network-centric warfare, which is implemented in NATO’s Joint Armed Forces, in the UK armed forces; in the Armed Forces of France - the concept of information-centric warfare; in the Swedish Armed Forces - a defense network concept based on the use of communication networks. The essence of network-based concepts is to ensure a stable interaction of troops (forces), aimed at a reliable network of troops (forces) for sharing information, timely allocation and distribution of information, a common knowledge for all, contributing to the effective implementation of tasks. The wide implementation of network technologies in management expands users' access to information, strengthens horizontal communications of participants in hostilities.
An information operation is a set of measures for influencing the human and material resources of an adversary with the aim of making it difficult or impossible for them to make decisions that are adequate to the situation while protecting their information systems.
In information operations, the concept of a battlefield is transformed into a concept of combat space, in which, apart from traditional objects hit by conventional weapons, there are targets in the virtual sphere, emotions, figurative perception of reality, the mind of the enemy, etc. Armed struggle for the conquest and retention of the information space will be deployed in places of concentration of objects of IR. The peculiarity of the information struggle is the widest spatial scope, changing the idea of the distance of targets, their inaccessibility or inaccessibility.
The temporal features of the information warfare are determined by the properties of time — length. The length of the information impact depends on the conditions and types of information impact and the ability to take a transient, prolonged or irreversible nature. The slowdown of scientific, technical, economic, and with them military development can lead to irreversible processes in the sphere of information confrontation.
PLANNING OF INFORMATION SUPPORT OF AGGRESSION
The information war between the US and NATO against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia can be divided into four stages: the planning stage of information support for aggression; the stage of informational influence at the political level (the beginning of aggression), the stage of aggression - the defeat of the USA and NATO stage of revenge the United States and NATO.
Information support for the actions of NATO troops (forces) during a military conflict was planned by the leadership of the bloc in the following areas, united by the general concept of “information war”:
- the use of intelligence to provide troops (forces) with the necessary information;
- the use of measures to introduce the enemy into error;
- ensuring operational secrecy;
- carrying out psychological operations;
- the use of combat electronic means with the aim of consistent destruction of the entire information system and personnel;
- gap information flows;
- weakening and destruction of the combat command and control system of the enemy, taking the necessary measures to ensure the protection of its similar system.
The most attention in the plans was paid to the implementation of the following main methods of information warfare:
- the use of heavy weapons for the complete destruction of the headquarters, command posts and combat control centers of the troops (forces) of the Yugoslav Army;
- the use of appropriate electronic means and electromagnetic weapons to suppress and neutralize the work of information collection centers in Yugoslavia, to disable its communications equipment and radar;
- misleading the Yugoslav authorities responsible for collecting, processing and analyzing intelligence information about the enemy by simulating the preparation and conduct of offensive actions;
- ensuring operational secrecy through strict observance of the secrecy regime and obstruction of the adversary’s access to his information;
- carrying out psychological operations, especially with the use of television, radio, and press, to undermine the morale of the troops and the population of the FRY.
When implementing the above methods of information warfare, the most important forms of informational influence were information and propaganda actions, electronic warfare, and disinformation. Specially developed techniques and new technologies for database destruction, disruption of the work of Yugoslav computer networks were also used.
The Voice of America radio station has become one of the most powerful outreach resources for the NATO military operation in Yugoslavia. Photo of Sarah Stirch
In preparing the aggression against the FRY in NATO, great importance was attached to its information support. The military-political leadership of the bloc proceeded from the fact that the skillful and effective implementation of information and psychological pressure will largely determine the level of international support for NATO-led power actions and will significantly affect the moral and psychological stability of the Armed Forces and the leadership of the FRY.
When planning an aggression, the main efforts of the information structures of the block were directed at solving the following tasks:
- the formation of a negative perception of the military-political leadership of the FRY as a source of crisis and the main cause of the humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo and Metohija, the destruction of the moral and ethical values of the Serbian people and the aggravation of an unfavorable psychological climate in relations with various political forces of the FRY;
- the creation and maintenance of the CDF of the FRY to contain the fear of NATO power actions, including by emphasizing the feasibility of the declared threats, publicizing the high efficiency of the existing facilities and the potential capabilities of the united forces of the unit;
- shaping the reputation of the US and NATO foreign policy leaders as being very hard in their decisions and consistent in their actions;
- targeted information processing of key figures in the leadership of the FRY on the basis of taking into account their psychological characteristics, political and other orientations, propaganda and introduction of forms of social behavior that reduce the moral potential of the nation.
Simultaneously with the solution of these tasks, a whole series of measures were planned to affect the information infrastructure of the FRY, since, according to the Americans, the partial or complete loss of control over the situation by the institutions of power due to the violation of information infrastructure is important in the development of political crises.
INFORMATION IMPACT AT THE POLITICAL LEVEL
American experts have identified the objects of influence as follows: at the political level, these are broad sections of the population of the NATO countries and the world community, at the strategic level - the government, the people and the armed forces of Yugoslavia. All activities were planned in two stages.
At this stage (the beginning of the aggression) informational impact was provided at the political level. Its main objects were: the general public of NATO countries, other European countries, including Russia, the population of the Near and Middle East, Asia. The main goals set at this stage were to provide international support for the US and its NATO allies with regard to the FRY, to convince the world community that the rights of Albanians are being violated in Yugoslavia, and to justify the need to use military force.
The main tasks in the information war in the United States were performed by the State Department; Information Agency (USIA) with its divisions (international satellite networks, Voice of America, Svoboda, Free Europe radio stations); The Central Intelligence Agency and psychologists from the Pentagon.
The USIA structural subdivisions sent their broadcasts to the address of thousands of radio stations in many countries of the world free of charge; they published various newsletters. Great importance in the activities of USIA was given to the sale of American materials in the foreign press.
An integral part of the information aggression was the deployment of directional and intensive broadcasting to the territory of Yugoslavia of the Voice of America radio station, the destruction of television and radio centers in order to ensure control over public opinion of the population. So, after the destruction of television centers in Pristina and Belgrade, local residents were forced to be in the information field of the media only NATO countries.
Moreover, as part of information and propaganda campaigns, radio broadcasting to Yugoslavia was planned from the territories of neighboring countries, as well as scattering of leaflets, whereas for disruption of the work of Yugoslav computer networks, New York University developed software packages for viruses into computer databases.
STAGE OF AGGRESSION - US AND NATO DEFECTS
At the stage (the beginning of the aggression), emphasis was placed on the conduct of the information confrontation at the strategic level. The main objects of influence on the territory of the FRY were its government, the personnel of the armed forces and the population. The ultimate goal of all informational interventions at this stage is the unconditional surrender of the FRY under the terms of the United States and NATO.
The role of the main agitator and propagandist, designed to defend the position of the United States and NATO, was assigned to US President Bill Clinton and his team. Clinton in his address to compatriots popularly explained the reasons for the use of military force against a sovereign state. Then, Secretary of Defense William Cohen joined in as the defender of the US and NATO positions. On the first day of the bombardment, he spoke immediately in eight television programs, in five morning issues News major television channels and the three most popular evening informational and analytical programs. Cohen was assisted by Assistant President for National Security Samuel Berger and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
A series of customized programs was launched on CNN's television channel, during which military experts actively promoted NATO action. Psychological operations and misinformation were carried out, and the American specialists chose the introduction of a complete economic blockade against Yugoslavia as the additional methods for exerting psychological pressure on the “intractable” Yugoslavs; staging (provoking) civil disobedience, rallies and demonstrations of protest; illegal subversive and terrorist actions.
Information impact in the NATO operation "Allied force" was conducted using a streamlined mechanism that was successfully tested during the preparation and conduct of military operations of the US military in 90-s ("Desert Storm" in Iraq, "Supporting Democracy" in Haiti, peacekeeping the IFOR – SFOR operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) The main efforts in the struggle for information between the NATO and Yugoslav armed forces were concentrated in the information-psychological and information-technical fields.
The main component of the information confrontation of the NATO armed forces during the aggression against the FRY was the massive ideological and psychological impact of the largest Western media outlets and the psychological warfare forces of the US military on the population and personnel of the Yugoslav armed forces, North Atlantic blocs, and the world community. To ensure a positive global public opinion about NATO’s actions in the operation “Allied Force”, the countries of the bloc conducted a powerful and active propaganda campaign aimed at creating an image of the enemy, against which it is not only possible but necessary to use weapons. At the same time, traditional methods of influencing the public consciousness were actively used: reporting on events; a description of the genocide of the Albanian population of Kosovo and Metohija; demonstration of the strength and demonstration of the capabilities of modern weapons of the US Armed Forces and other countries of the alliance, the results of rocket-bombing attacks on Yugoslavia; comments of opinion polls related to events in the Balkans.
At the same time, the combat losses of the bloc were underestimated everywhere, the information about miscalculations of the NATO leadership, the death of the civilian population, and the statements of the world public against the escalation of hostilities was ignored. Thus, the main purpose of the information-psychological impact of the United States and the NATO leadership on the population and the armed forces of the countries participating in the armed conflict was to form such public opinion that would largely justify the aggression of the Allied Forces against a sovereign state.
However, the tendentious, aggressive nature of the information impact carried out by NATO in the framework of the operation that has begun, for the first time, caused active opposition from Belgrade. An analysis of events shows that the leadership of the United States and NATO at this stage of the operation was not fully prepared for such a response action by the FRY. This is confirmed not only by the negative results of sociological polls for NATO, but also by the specific actions of the alliance that have already been taken in the course of the operation in order to regain the lost initiative in the information confrontation.
Using all the possibilities of the media, the military-political leadership of Yugoslavia managed to temporarily seize the initiative in the information-psychological confrontation. The Yugoslav media involved in the propaganda campaign successfully used the facts of the victims among the civil Serbian and Albanian population of Kosovo and Metohija, violations by the NATO Supreme Command of the main provisions of the Geneva Conventions and additional protocols to them, as well as support for political, religious and public figures of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other states.
The conducted countermeasures caused a surge of patriotic feelings among the population of Yugoslavia and the rise of the moral and psychological state of the servicemen of the Armed Forces of the FRY. By restricting the movement of foreign journalists and imposing bans on the dissemination of certain information, the leadership of the FRY achieved a reduction in the number of negative media reports about its policies.
Thus, timely measures taken by the political and military leadership of the FRY at this stage of Operation Allied Force prevented the United States and the NATO bloc from convincing the world community of the adequacy of the methods and methods of conducting a military operation in Yugoslavia and the fairness of its goals and objectives. As a result, there was a certain split in world public opinion regarding the policy of the United States and NATO in the Balkans.
The temporary failures of the US and its allies in the Western alliance in the information-psychological confrontation with Yugoslavia were also caused by numerous mistakes that were made by the NATO leadership in the field of public relations. Thus, the real failure occurred when NATO leaders interpreted the fact of an air strike on a column of refugees in Kosovo and Metohija on April 14 of 1999. It took the Alliance press service five days to present its own more or less clear version of what happened.
The inconsistency in the actions of the leaders of the bloc and its press service was also observed when justifying aviation OVVS strikes on the building of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on May 8, vehicles (April 12, May 1, 3, 5, 30) and residential areas in the cities of Aleksina (April 5), Pristina (April 9), Surdulica (April 27, May 31) ), Nis (May 7), Krusevac (May 30), Novi Pazar (May 31) and other objects.
The frequent failures and omissions in the work of the NATO press service led to the fact that during the operation at the headquarters of the bloc in Brussels there was a serious reorganization of the NATO information and propaganda apparatus. The press service has been reinforced by experienced public relations specialists, including the organizers of election campaigns in the United States and the United Kingdom.
To restore the superiority lost in the information confrontation, NATO has taken a number of drastic measures.
First, a number of leading world radio stations (Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, BBC, and others) significantly increased the intensity of VHF broadcasting to the countries of the Balkan region in Albanian, Serbo-Croat and Macedonian. At the same time, radio stations were used by American transmitters, which were urgently installed on the borders with Serbia. Information and psychological programs from outside the airspace of the FRY were transmitted by the aviation group 193 of the air wing of the special operations of the National Guard of the US Air Force from EC-130E / RR aircraft.
Secondly, in order to undermine the propaganda potential of Yugoslavia, the NATO SIDF launched rocket and bombing attacks on television and radio stations, studios and repeaters, and editors of the media, most of which were destroyed, which in fact meant the elimination of the broadcasting system of the FRY.
Third, at the end of the second month of armed conflict under pressure from NATO, the board of directors of the European television company EUTELSAT decided to ban Radio and Television of Serbia from broadcasting via satellite. As a result, the Serbian state television lost its last opportunity to broadcast programs to European countries, as well as to a significant part of the territory of its republic.
Fourthly, psychological forces of the US Armed Forces over the territory of Yugoslavia scattered over 22 million leaflets calling for the Serbs to speak out against President S. Milosevic and to facilitate the rapid completion of the operation of the combined forces of NATO.
Fifth, for the first time, powerful information support for a major NATO military operation was deployed on the Internet. The vast majority of these sites were created directly or with the assistance of American specialists in computer technology, which, of course, increased the effectiveness of the NATO propaganda campaign.
As a result, despite some failures, the NATO leadership was able to reverse the situation in the information-psychological confrontation with Yugoslavia and to win supremacy. The propaganda apparatus of the alliance fulfilled the tasks assigned to it, promptly made adjustments to its activities and applied new forms and methods of information and psychological influence on the enemy. Another component of the information confrontation in the operation "Allied Force" was the information and technical confrontation between NATO and the FRY armed forces.
The struggle for information dominance has developed primarily in the field of electronic intelligence, processing and dissemination of information of the Allied Powers of NATO with the active use of modern means and systems of intelligence, communications, radio navigation and target designation. In this regard, the relevant NATO divisions conducted large-scale actions to defeat the most important control points of the FRY armed forces, other elements of the state and military information infrastructure of Yugoslavia, as well as the suppression of the radio communications and radar intelligence systems used by the Yugoslav army.
In the course of air strikes against the information infrastructure facilities of the Alliance's airborne forces, the following types of new weapons were used: JDAM guided bombs with GPS guidance from the United States (radionavigation system); UAB JSOW and WCMD; aerial bombs for disabling radar facilities (the so-called "And" bombs that have the ability to generate powerful electromagnetic pulses in the radio frequency band).
The complete disorganization of the control system of the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia was avoided only through the integrated use of protective measures, including operational camouflage, electronic protection and counter-intelligence of the enemy. Creatively using the experience of the Iraqi Armed Forces in fighting the MNF during the Persian Gulf War, the Armed Forces of the FRY succeeded in repelling most of the strikes with intelligent weapons, retaining most of their weapons and military equipment, including radio communications, radio engineering and radar reconnaissance.
Great importance for maintaining the combat capability of the army was: timely transfer of the control system of the groupings of the troops (forces) of the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia to field command posts; periodic redeployment of units and divisions; camouflage weapons and military equipment; making false positions, including using inflatable mock-ups; the introduction of regime restrictions on the operation of radio electronic means. Another major component of the information and technical confrontation was the struggle for information in computing systems. Yugoslav hackers have repeatedly tried to penetrate the Internet to the local area networks used at NATO headquarters. Mass requests for servers of these networks in certain periods of time hampered the functioning of e-mail. And although the actions of hackers were sporadic, the use of information weapons should be considered a promising area of information confrontation.
Of course, the United States and NATO, which have more advanced methods and means of informational confrontation, achieved overwhelming superiority in the information sphere during the military conflict. At the same time, the active actions of the military-political leadership of Yugoslavia to neutralize the informational and psychological influences from NATO allowed to weaken the information onslaught on the personnel of the Armed Forces of the FRY and the population of the country, and at one stage even seize the initiative in this confrontation.
The strategy of defensive military operations of the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia, the limited means of electronic warfare, the lack of an information weapon application methodology did not allow them to carry out a set of measures for active information and technical impact on the enemy’s management, reconnaissance and navigation systems. This led to the defeat of the Armed Forces of the FRY in the information confrontation with NATO allied forces.
It can be stated that the informational confrontation in the operation "Allied Force" occupied a significant place in the actions of the opposing sides. The experience gained, as well as the prospects for technical development, give grounds to single out this type of confrontation in the framework of warfare into a separate area of confrontation between states or unions of states.