The war in conceptual space
Material posted: -Publication date: 15-03-2012

The problem of organizing and conducting information warfare (in the Western terminology "information warfare") has recently attracted increasing attention from both specialists and the General public. The reason is that many provisions of modern military science, which were previously exclusively theoretical groundwork, these days began to take practical implementation.

The events of the "Arab spring", as well as a number of successful actions in the information warfare of the USA, Israel and Iran's rekindled interest in the problem of information security of the state.

At the beginning of the current year the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation has decided to designate the attitude to the problem by posting on the official website a document entitled "Conceptual views on the activities of the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation in the information space".

Until recently, the Ministry of defence tried to stay in the shadows, clearly not showing your own attitude to the problem of information warfare. This is largely understandable since the adoption of the Doctrine of information security of the Russian Federation in 2000 has been simmering dispute between a number of Russian agencies for priority in this field. But, given that the document was published, thereby indicating the attitude of the Ministry of defence to the problem, he could not remain unnoticed among specialists, engaged and studying issues of organization and conduct of information warfare.

Indeed, the problem of organizing and conducting information warfare (by Western terminology - the "information war") recently became topical. The reason was that many of the provisions of modern military science, which were previously exclusively theoretical groundwork, in recent months has received practical implementation. This primarily refers to successful information technology operations conducted against critical infrastructure nuclear facilities of Iran, and Iranian forces against U.S. drone. The events of the "Arab spring" is not one month, not descending from the front pages of the world media is not that other, as a successful strategic information-psychological operation information warfare. In both cases, was strategic operations information warfare, as a result led to the changing military-political situation in the region and the world at large.

In these circumstances, the defense Ministry is obliged to present his own attitude and your own vision of the problem, to indicate readiness to ensure the preservation of information security of the Armed Forces and information security of the state.

However, the analysis of the document shows that to do so failed. Moreover, presented "conceptual provisions" cast Russian military science a decade ago – almost all of that is reflected in a document released in one form or another was discussed (and much rejected) ten years ago!

Very simple, what lies on the surface and catches the eye, is a terminological base. Such General terms as "information resource", "information space" in the document are interpreted in their own unique way, not related to the interpretation of similar terms in other state documents (e.g., according to the state program "Information society 2011-2020."), highlighting the General inconsistency of the document.

In most document data definitions there is no deep theoretical study, which leads to isolation from the General theoretical framework of military construction and understanding of problems of information warfare that have evolved over the previous decades. So, for example, in the document marked "a military conflict in information space", which is not that other, as "a form of resolution of interstate or intrastate contradictions with the use of information weapons". In this definition, in addition to the controversial nature of the concept of "military conflict in information space" particularly alarmed willingness to use military force to resolve domestic problems that is the prerogative of the Ministry of internal Affairs and FSB, and has never been charged with the tasks of the armed forces (this was, incidentally, the saying goes, and on the official website of the Ministry of defense).

Giving the definition of information war (returning again to this Western term), the authors of the document indicate that it is "rivalry between two or more States in the information space", while losing sight of the fact that today important actors in world politics are supranational structures, which are sometimes much more dangerous States.

In addition, the document notes that the decision to deploy the Armed Forces outside the Russian territory by the President of the Russian Federation on the basis of corresponding resolution of the Federation Council, this provision should be extended also to the use of the Russian armed forces in information space. It is also a very controversial claim. It turns out that in the event of the need to carry out operations similar to the introduction of the STUXNET virus, you must have permission of the Federation Council?

Speaking of coalitionist of action, mentioning the CSTO, SCO and CIS, the authors sidestep the Union state of Russia and Belarus.

In the document there is no word on the new structure of the Armed Forces, who will solve problems by organizing and conducting information warfare within the military structure of the state. There is no clear understanding as how to link the approaches to the organization and maintaining of information war with those principles of Settentrionali that are now so popular in a military environment.

In General, summing up the above, it should be noted that the Ministry of defence document was a typical product of the current military reform. It may not be associated with extensive practical and theoretical background acquired Russian military science in previous years. I have the feeling that the authors were kind of pioneers, which is not a surprise – as a result of the past years of reforms from the Ministry of defense were dismissed by the majority of experts involved for many years in the development problems of organizing and conducting information warfare, and the relevant research bodies within the Ministry of defense reoriented to other destinations. So the published document only supplemented and amply illustrated the situation with the scandal around the official Internet site of the Ministry of defense (by the way, one of the infrastructure elements of conducting information warfare).


Tags: Russia , armed forces , information war