Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / Iraq: Lessons and Conclusions / Articles
On the information warfare between the USA and Iraq in operation "Freedom to Iraq"
Material posted: -Publication date: 08-04-2003

The aspirations of the U.S. to strengthen its geopolitical position in Central Asia are reflected in their intention in whatever was to conduct a military campaign against Saddam Hussein's regime under the slogan of rescue of the peoples from the threat of the use by Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. Regardless of the opinion of the Commission, and failed to find even traces of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the United States continued his line: weapons are there, Hussein skillfully hides it, he should be punished. Russia, France and Germany opposed the intentions of the United States, later joined by China.

The planned meeting of the UN security Council, on which shall be adopted a resolution about U.S. military action against Iraq, with the threat of veto from these countries, the USA ripped off. They are very actively "handled" the government of dependent countries, held a meeting in the Azores active leaders military option (USA, UK and Spain), where he decided to go to war.

The war began on 19 March 2003 with limited strikes with cruise missiles on Baghdad. The Americans did not hide the purpose – to destroy Saddam Hussein and his inner circle, that is to destroy the main control element in the military-political system of Iraq. If the Americans managed to achieve their goal, the development would have gone a completely different scenario. Intelligence indicated inferred objects finding the Iraqi leader, and the night that "President Bush and his wife retired to his chambers", about 20 CU struck the alleged chambers of President Hussein. But the enemy of America was not there. Whether the intelligence was wrong, whether Hussein has figured out the opponents. In order to smooth out the render, the Pro-American media announced the death of the son of Saddam Hussein Uday, appointed commander of the Central region of the country. Was immediately launched a "duck" about the escape of Tariq Aziz – Deputy Prime Minister, "the right hand" of Hussein. But just a day later, the Iraqis quickly debunked these clumsy fables, showing the Aziz speech on television. For a raising of moral spirit of Iraqis across all channels of radio and television started to be transmitted marches and Patriotic speeches with calls to repel the aggressor. The Americans have scattered about 2 million leaflets with their concresive: not to support the regime of Hussein, to contribute troops to the coalition.

In the words of Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Russia Abbas Halaf "the US unleashed an unprecedented psychological war against the Iraqi people". One of the main percussive elements in this fight should be a powerful new television centre "al Arabiya" at a military base in Qatar, established on money of the USA in contrast to the Arabic broadcaster "al Jazeera". Equipped with the latest equipment, satellite systems, rapid communication, with all imaginable conveniences for journalists, he attracted the gaze of all the leading TV companies of the world, who sent his best journalists. And those are trapped! Instead of showing hot operative reports outbreak of hostilities reporters two days showed Teddy bears in the form of American soldiers with a touching inscription "someone in Qatar loves you." The center turned into a "concentration camp" for journalists who were not allowed nowhere to go, nothing to remove and nothing to send in their offices. They were completely cut off from any information and were engaged, by their terms, only to "incest" – communicating with each other. Only three days after the outbreak of hostilities, General Tommy Frank, commander of the US forces, held a first briefing at the base in Qatar. Journalists in their reports do not hide: "We say only that we are allowed to speak and show Americans".

Therefore, in the early days of the war all stations showed mostly shots only "proven in battle" TV company of si-EN-EN with a very limited set of stories: one and the same convoy of armored vehicles close up with helicopter cover, demonstrating the power of the American army, and Baghdad with the flashes of the explosions of missiles and bombs. And another remarkable shot taken by a special technique: "long" column (a dozen people) surrendering Iraqis in civilian clothes with his hands. But in America, even this was not shown. In one report correspondent from the USA slipped a surprising message: it turns out that the TV only shows animated pictures of tanks moving across the map. And no footage from Iraq! By the way, on Russian TV channels not equally covers the same events. So, 1-St channel TV, showing 21.03. at 21.00 footage of the surrender of the Iraqis, accompanied by the show of comments in the spirit of "U.S. gets rebuffed, fierce fighting. And there are already first captured, but it is unclear soldiers or civilians". And about the same footage comments on the TVs television channel: "Iraqis willing to surrender to the American army. Captured hundreds of Iraqis, the success of the US".

For the first time the Americans have applied the reception of live broadcast on "good Arab" on the public broadcasting frequencies of Iraq.

On the fifth day of the war the U.S. launched another "duck" on the wound of Saddam Hussein. But he appeared on TV and denied media reports of mass surrenders of Iraqi soldiers in captivity and about the USA hiding the true losses. The Iraqis showed a captured British soldier and a farmer allegedly shot down an Apache helicopter. In response, Tony Blair said antihumanist Iraq to the treatment of prisoners, and the inadmissibility of showing them on television accusing Iraq of violating the Geneva Convention, but "forgetting" about the scenes of the show captured Iraqis.

Throughout the world there are massive protests against the war in Iraq. Russian TV conducts population surveys and briefings with prominent politicians and experts, most blame U.S. aggression. The Ministry aircraft first delivered to Iran the equipment for deployment camp for 5 thousand refugees.

Facts unplanned engage targets widely used by Iraq in the information war: a critique of "precision weapons" the U.S., destroying residential areas of Baghdad, falls in the territory of neighbouring countries (Turkey, Jordan and Iran), the death of the bus with Syrian citizens from falling rockets (5 killed, 10 wounded). In all the mosques during the bombing of prayers for asking Allah to punish the aggressor. March 2, CU 2 exploded the market, killing 15 and injuring 30 people. On TV shows the close-up wounded children and women, blood on a place of falling of bombs and missiles, outraged residents calling to fight to the bitter end.

Counter-propaganda in the USA there is a new motive: accusing Russia of supplying arms to Iraq through third countries and technology to suppress navigation systems CD. On this occasion Henry Borovik said: "the Lie was and is in every war. But what the US instead of Iraq gets missiles to Turkey because Russia is to blame is a real "fuete".

According to former first Deputy of the General staff of the Russian armed forces Colonel-General Manilov (interview on the NTV channel on March 24) the first round of the information war Iraq has won: the U.S. failed to convince the international community to the need for military action against Iraq. The first show dead Americans on TV was returned to the Americans "on the ground". Every loss for them was "shock and awe". Wave of anti-American demonstrations across the world is growing.

The stubborn resistance of the Iraqis has caused a number of criticisms of prominent Russian military commanders regarding military operations in Iraq, American strategists. So, a former air force commander, deynekin, and then the former Ground forces commander Vladimir Semenov said in a TV interview that the Americans made the mistake of bringing their soldiers to hand-to-hand combat. They had to contactless war. But Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said: "the Americans miscalculated in the hope of using psychological pressure on Iraq and small forces to win the land battle. What they did in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, there hasn't worked and won't work."

But triggered a new weapon used in Iraq: a multi-ton bomb "mother of all bombs" (the mass of 9,5 tons, punching 13 m of concrete); electromagnetic CD, fully struck the television station Baghdad; dolphins to search for mines and swimmers. On March 27, Iraq said that the Americans brought to Kuwait nuclear weapon of low power. The US refused to deny or confirm this information.

Intimidation of the enemy is an element of information war. From this perspective, should be considered a demonstration of a new American weapons, aimed at intimidating the troops and the Iraqi population and undermine their will to resist. Partly with the same purpose are fierce bombardment of Baghdad, and troops zapowiada Hussein statement about the U.S. strengthening its grouping ne on 120 thousand people In response to the Iraq urged against Shahidov on death row, widely much-hyped first Iraqi explosion that claimed a lives of 4 US Marines.

By the end of the first week of battles, the situation in the field of IOT began to level off.The results of a survey of viewers conducted on March 26 on the ORT channel (the program "Basic instinct" with host Svetlana Sorokina). To the question "Who is winning the global information war?" hall responded: 48% US, 52 % of Iraq. On the side of Iraq in this war are Russia, France, Germany, China and convinced of the rightness of the U.S. world public opinion, and in America, Democrats of the USA are fighting against the conservatives of the Bush. USA wins the information war in support of combat action (no one knows where the troops are, what their loss). Journalists "swallow" what they are given. According to Marshal of the Soviet Union D. Yazov (KP from 27.03) information-psychological operation USA is developing according to the classical canons.

First, demoralization of enemy troops. With might and main twist of the film with the image of the surrendering Iraqis and then – the latest us technology triumphant and commando.

Second, the formation of the population's loyalty to the troops of the allies. Even the operation was renamed – now it is not "Shock and awe", and "Freedom to Iraq". Plus generous promises of humanitarian aid.

Third: the split in the camp of the enemy and encouragement of oppositional activity. Here and help the Kurds, and the creation of a democratic government, and the news of the death of Saddam.

Marshall gave an example of counter-propaganda American "horror story" about chemical weapons Hussein (which for ten years never found). If it is modestly held back that the military "chemistry" in Iraq installed by the Americans.

Both sides actively used misinformation. The Iraqis are clearly trying to exaggerate American and British losses, with the aim to intimidate soldiers of the coalition and to excite public opinion of the West. Coalition members are clearly reluctant to answer questions about their losses, in turn, calling the huge losses of the enemy. There are periodically launched into the media of the above-mentioned "ducks" and rumors.

Controversial and sometimes ridiculous information comes from both sides. A vivid example – history of the assault on the city of Basra:

March 22. Basra under control. Captured the airport and one of the bridges (USA). The anti-Iraq coalition troops approached a few miles to the city (Iraq).

March 24. The allied troops are slowly but surely approaching the city (USA). "Americans flee from the Basra like rats" (the Minister of information of Iraq Mohammed al-Sahaf).

March 25. In the next few hours will begin the assault. Replaces American advance units of the British, with experience in street fighting (USA). Iraqi troops attacked (Iraq).

March 26. In Basra uprising of citizens against the regime of Saddam Hussein (USA). The Minister of information of Iraq refutes information about the rebellion in Basra.

And so on throughout the period of hostilities.

By the end of the second week of fighting, the Iraqi conflict, according to Vladimir Putin, went beyond the region. Active support of the Russian public to the Iraqi side have angered the US administration. Tensions between USA and Russia increased. On the attempt of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow is hidden to threaten the Russian Embassy and our reporters in Iraq, the Russian foreign Ministry has answered the note of protest to the U.S. government. The accusations of the USA against Russia over allegedly provided military-technical assistance to Iraq have been met with strong resistance in the Russian military-political circles. Our hawks have gone on a rampage, calling "give America in the face, to put her in her place", etc. In this regard, particularly revealing extensive discussion of attempts by Shevardnadze to Georgian cast card, hoping for U.S. assistance in resolving the Abkhazian problem and inviting us aircraft on its airfields for action on Iraq. With his permission, was made 4-of-flight high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft U-2 along the Russian-Georgian border. The Chairman of the Duma Committee for international relations Dmitry Rogozin urged "...to knock it down, load in "Ruslan" and send to America, so as not povadno was. If the U.S. is going to spoil relations with Russia, it will be an even bigger mistake. We are to blame in that has created in America the way pljushevyj bears resignedly fulfilling the will of America. Hussein can every day to drink champagne: he ruined the UN, the security Council, the Western Alliance and the unity of America".

In reality, however, Hussain not to champagne. The US spent most diplomatic work with Germany and France aimed at easing their position in regard to the ongoing war in Iraq. And it was: Germany was allowed overflights of military aircraft of the coalition over its territory, and France even sent his battalion of chemical protection in Iraq.

Realizing that further strained relations between the U.S. and Russia will not bring Russia any good, the Russian side has taken a number of measures for smoothing. In this light, it is possible to consider meeting, on 3 April the foreign Ministers of Russia and great Britain and Secretary of state Powell's Knee, a great interview of President V. Putin to journalists in Tambov. Vladimir Putin stressed that today the gold and currency reserves of Russia are of 55.5 billion dollars, of which 2/3 is in US currency. The population also stores the savings are mostly in us dollars. The rise of the Russian economy substantially depends on new technology. The falling dollar will inevitably hit around the world, including in Russia. Made conclusion "Russia is not interested in the defeat of the United States" put Russia to the mainstream of U.S. policy. On 6 April the Americans "punish" Russia, unceremoniously firing the Russian convoy and thereby justifying Alexander Vershbow in the eyes of the world community. And the next day the assistant to the President for national security Condoleezza rice was in Moscow, where he had a meeting with I. Ivanov (the foreign Minister), Sergei Ivanov (MOD), and V. Rushailo (the Council) regarding the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, and at the same time settled the scandal with the shooting according to the Russian Ambassador. She gave President Vladimir Putin a message from President Bush, the essence of which is tacit. It seems that there comes a time to share "the skin of a dead bear". Russia has its own large economic interests in Iraq, and she wouldn't want to lose them, even at the expense of losing consecutive democratic powers. Muslims felt "lapel" of Russia and, as a consequence, in Grozny again began to explode the bombs, taking the lives of our soldiers.

Thus, the U.S. "pressed" his opponents on Iraq, having gained the upper hand in information confrontation by the end of the third week of hostilities.

Conclusions:

1. The Bush administration of starting a war against Iraq, showed the world their neglect of not only Russia, but also to its NATO allies. It thus reaffirmed its aspiration for a unipolar world order led by the United States.

2. The unwillingness of States to resolve peacefully the issue of Iraq reveals the true purpose of its military campaign to seize control of the main energy resources of our planet.

3. Information process of the world community by the Bush administration on the eve of military action against Iraq have failed. America failed to persuade the world community to overwhelming support their aspirations. Russia, France and Germany, and China "have made" a contribution to the operation "Freedom to Iraq", HOLDING MILITARY operations FOR ALMOST a MONTH that began with the first dust storm. This is not enough time US to conduct full-scale air operations. As a result, the paratroopers forced the coalition to storm not fully depressed position of the Iraqis.

4. Unceremoniously unleashed the war against Iraq, the US has alienated not just the Muslim world, but the bulk of the population of the planet. In many countries held thousands of demonstrations under slogans mocking US aggression and condemning war as a means of settling international disputes.

5. The United States conducted a successful information provision of their hostilities with the light of experience in previous wars and conflicts. Forms and techniques effects of information on the enemy have not changed significantly (intimidation, misinformation, flyers, humanitarian assistance, etc.), except better organization and a larger scale. Fundamentally new was the reception restriction information from the scene of hostilities by collecting the overwhelming majority of foreign correspondents at the military base in Qatar. The Americans spared no expense on creating powerful television station "al-Arabiya", where journalists get only the metered information from the representative of the Central military command of the USA in Iraq.

6. By the end of the third week of fighting, the U.S. managed to soften the position of Germany and France in relation to their actions in Iraq. Russia on the words continues to insist on resolving the conflict peacefully, but in fact, surrendered its position, pursuing their economic goals in post-war Iraq. Muslims declared the Jihad against America can now gradually retarget it to Russia.

7. The developments around Iraq shows that the Russian government had no reliable allies except army and fleet. Only relying on well-equipped Armed Forces it can carry out its foreign policy and successfully implement this action.

Tags: war , USA


RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security