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The era of information and psychological operations: Libya
Material posted: Publication date: 30-05-2011

The NATO operation against Libya, including - and a classic example of information-psychological operations of the new type. Try to understand, what methods were used to destabilize the Gaddafi regime.

First of all – the preliminary stage of the operation was to prepare public opinion, especially in EU countries (to obtain public support for the actions of the protesters against the Gaddafi regime forces within the country and military assistance from the governments of the European powers), as well as the Arab States and the international community as a whole that would have endorsed military intervention.

At this stage of the operation, unity of purpose and matched the purposes of the European governments (especially France and Italy) and the Libyan "revolutionaries" and their support by certain countries in the region made it possible to combine information activities with the participation of the Arab and European media. Their task was to:

  • to form an image of Gaddafi as a bloody dictator, fluff with taken to extremes civilians by military means, and in fact is a war criminal;
  • in the eyes of the Libyan public to create an image of the opposition as the only one existing in the country, progressive forces, which is leading the country and people to further prosperity, justice and democracy in its positive sense;
  • in the Arab countries to create sympathy for the Libyan opposition, speaking on the basis of purely national motives against tyranny (authoritarianism) on the wave of Islamic values, following the example of the people of Tunisia and Egypt;
  • to encourage the European public to the idea that "the enemy of the human race" Gaddafi can and must be fought by military means alone, while the peaceful Libyan residents plead for military assistance from the leading countries of Europe;
  • in the eyes of the international community to create an image of the European initiators of the military operation against Gaddafi as the saviors of destroying the Libyan dictator's peace of life, trying to protest against the tyranny and oppression in the country, and in this context to obtain carte Blanche from the UN;
  • Libyan military personnel to misinform about the real potential of the enemy, to create in them a panic and demoralize the support of Gaddafi forces.

At the same time, affected by the tight schedule, which started operation (as you know, it was all situational, because in Libya has created an information occasion in the form of riots and actions of the Libyan opposition against Gaddafi), as well as the lack of a unified coordination and control center. The amorphous Libyan opposition did not allow us to consolidate even the available national information resources, whose task was the formation of public opinion in the Islamic environment, as well as information impact on military personnel of parts of the Gaddafi. And European media, effectively working within the EU, are unable to create desired resonance in the world. This eventually manifested itself in the form of fairly limited influence on loyal Gaddafi forces and the UN "slippery" resolution No. 1972 to establish over Libya zones, free from flights.

At the same time, overall success was achieved thanks to the combination of the results of the action of the tools of Ipso with diplomatic levers, the UN resolution was not locked, and gave the opportunity for NATO to launch a military operation. The European community (among the top countries of the EU and NATO – with the exception of Germany) in General supported military intervention in the Libyan opposition.

The second stage of the operation active.

Its component - operational, military. March 20, 2011, the French Ministry of defense announced the release of an aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle" to the shores of Libya, he was accompanied by two frigates of the French Navy – "Aconite" and "Dupleix", and the vehicle tanker. Protection of this group carried out a nuclear submarine. At the same time in the night from 20 to 21 March in the skies over Libya for the first time during the Libyan operation "Odyssey Dawn" was used in American aircraft EC-130J Commando Solo, which is 193rd drug special operations forces of the U.S. air force.

A few words about Commando Solo. According to the concept of PSYOP, i.e., Ipso, USA (note that the Pentagon recently announced the rejection of this term, but the essence of such operations is thus hardly varies, and the Libyan example is just a proof of that) in the local conflicts of the last decades, serious attention is paid to mobile means of information and psychological operations. And TV and radio studios that are installed on the aircraft, recognized as the most effective means because they can be rapidly deployed to the area of operation Autonomous and to act there for a long time. Besides this way you can "cover" a large signal area.

It is in the context of the implementation of this concept in the late 80-ies of the last century in the U.S. were created by specialized aircraft transport aircraft C-130 "Hercules", which received initial designation EC-130E (same as flying command posts and electronic surveillance aircraft based on this machine). The plane Ipso also has an index EC-130E RR and the name Rivet Raider, which was soon replaced by the first "Volant Solo" and then on "Commando Solo".

According to the technical description, EC-130E RR has the equipment for broadcasting in a wide frequency spectrum and broadcast TV programs to global color format WWCTV. Six transmitters operating in the range from 450 kHz to 350 MHz radiate signals using transmitting antennas 9 mounted over the plane. So, trailing wire antenna above the fuselage provides a maximum power of broadcasting in lateral directions, and a set of four TV antennas on the fin - side down. Produced from tail Coca transmit-receive antenna variable length is designed for highly accurate options signals - from this, in particular, strongly depends on the quality of the "picture" on television. Eight radios operate in an even wider range - from 200 kHz to 1000 MHz. They captured radiation enters the 4 spectrum analyzer frequency determining parameters of the received signals and allow high precision to adjust its own transmission frequency of the operating radio and television stations of the enemy. The equipment also includes two communication radios (AN/ARC-186 and AN/ARC-164) with hardware encryption KY-58 and the system of direction finding stations working of the enemy. As a defensive means the aircraft has equipment warning receiver the radar of the enemy AN/AAR-47 system of hunting traps for protection against missiles with thermal and radar homing, and generators of infrared interference AN/ALQ-157. The crew consists of two pilots, Navigator, officer, operations Manager and seven specialists: engineer, specialist in radio-electronic equipment and five operators.

The Commando Solo broadcast is made, as a rule, with maximum height, while the aircraft flies along a closed elliptical trajectory for up to 12 hours without refueling, if necessary, refueling in the air. For security purposes, Commando Solo often works along the borders, out of reach of the air defense forces (Yugoslavia, Iraq), and in the absence of threat (Panama, Haiti, Afghanistan) is directly above the territory of the country.

Note that in the Pentagon the effectiveness of Commando Solo estimate is significantly higher than the results using the latest b-2 bombers. By the way, adopted by the 193-th air wing, which includes 3 Commando Solo, there are 4 aircraft EC-130(CL) ("Comfi Levi"), the aim of which is the radio interception and jamming of enemy radio traffic.

In the case of Libya the situation was made easier by the fact that the airspace over the country almost immediately and completely took control of the coalition forces that provided security in the use of Commando Solo. As of promoted "messages", they were primarily designed for crews of vessels of the Libyan Navy, and was the terse messages like "If you attempt to leave port you will become the object of attack and must be destroyed... the Sailors of Libya, do not enter your ships...Go home to your families...Leave the Not try to drown out our broadcasts..." Broadcast was available in both English and Arabic.

In parallel, we conducted informational support of military action.

The purpose of this component is:

  • to demonstrate the unity of NATO countries in the struggle against the bloody dictator, to support operation in the world;
  • to create the illusion of a strictly selective strikes by NATO forces solely at military targets of Gaddafi and the safety of these simultaneous actions for NATO troops and for the peace of the Libyan population;
  • focus on strict adherence in their actions to the provisions of the UN resolution;
  • to misinform the international community and the Libyan forces on the successes of the Libyan opposition and success of the NATO action.

As it became known, during this phase actively used misinformation about the operational situation in the country, the results and the status of Gadhafi's forces carrying out operations against insurgents and the actions of the latter, and a real balance of forces and tactics. Also used photos and videoroliki and fictional scenes to create an image of the rebels in a positive light and their opponent in negative. In addition, the information resources were scored "right" information (in particular, from the event), without reference to sources, and is often based on emotions.

However, despite the sufficiently long during operations against Libya, thanks to the measures Ipso in European countries are not experiencing the conditions for the formation of stop, despite the high costs of operations (primarily due to the absence of reports of casualties from NATO).

At the same time internationally formed public opinion in favor of NATO. What, in the end, if this means your goals will not be met, will begin a land operation with minimal criticism from the international community (recent success in this regard is the recognition by Russia of the Transitional Council of Libya – before, as you know, Moscow was only recognised by the Qaddafi government as the only legitimate power in the country).

Summarizing, it should be stated: at present in the hands of leading countries of the world the most powerful weapon in the form of tools and methods Ipso shows very high efficiency. Methods to exercise pressure on the political regimes of other States, until they change without military intervention, and "democratic" and relatively low-cost. In a situation where the cost of modern weapons and the necessary military expenses have reached a ceiling for the budgets of even the most powerful States in the world, for countries with a huge foreign policy ambitions and limited resources, it's just a salvation.

On the other hand, in the context of warfare means Ipso allow us to get public support for military methods, and that means resources for their application. In addition, politicians can use military operation as a means of achieving political goals (a good example is the French President Sarkozy). All this allows to speak about high efficiency of Ipso in the conduct of modern armed conflicts.

Author: Victor Lahvinets

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