War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery – NATO Information Operations

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Psychological Operations or PSYOP are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals.

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Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

The beginning of interest in post-Cold War information operations can be traced to the UN intervention in Somalia and the Rwanda Genocide. Relatively honest and direct reporting from these war zones meant that the public opinion of Western countries was a factor that had to be considered by the political classes. Hence the  complaining at the time about the so-called “CNN Effect” which forced the politicians to send and/or withdraw troops irrespective of what the elites actually wanted to happen at the time. The early methods of influencing the public opinion by manipulating the media, though reasonably effective, were not enough. We have seen their strengths and limitations during both wars against Iraq, in which the bulk of the media was effectively co-opted through the process of frequent press briefings (featuring no shortage of videos showing NATO bombs unerringly falling toward their obviously evil targets) and later by “embedding” the mostly male reporters in military units, which naturally had the dual effect of stroking their egos and adopting the military’s point of view.

Still, in spite of all that, it proved impossible to control the narrative, and the public support for the various US and NATO wars collapsed under the pressure of inconvenient news coming even from mainstream media which clearly maintained a degree of independence. But if you fast-forward a decade, to the current wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Ukraine, and others, it is clear that something has changed. There is one dominant narrative that is being pushed by literally every mainstream media source, irrespective of their ostensible ideological bent. No matter where you turn, you read or hear about Assad’s “barrel bombs”, Gaddafi’s “massacres”, or “Russian aggression.” These reports invariably represent a point of view that is not only completely one-sided, but also factually wrong, even on the most basic of issues. How did US and NATO manage to achieve such an amazing discipline within the supposedly free and independent Western media?

There are essentially three parts to the answer: state oversight of the media; co-opting individual reporters; disseminating propaganda through covert means. The first two are obvious enough and have long been practiced. Media corporations are just that–corporations, subject to variety of laws and regulations whose enforcement can be used to steer individual outlets toward adopting a desired point of view. Individual reporter’s coin of the realm is “access” to privileged information, which may be granted or withheld depending on their effectiveness as government propagandist. The third, the covert dissemination of propaganda, is new, and that factor likely explains the lack of variation from one media outlet to the next. The media are no longer merely encouraged to toe the official line–they have the stories planted for them to pick up through social media and other unofficial channels.

The so-called investigations of the MH17 disaster is a case study, though a fairly crude one due to Ukraine’s crude methods of information warfare. But it is evident that nearly all the “evidence” implicating Russia or the Novorossia insurgents was prepared by Ukrainian secret services, then laundered through social media, before being presented to Western audiences as the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.

NATO is conducting similar operations which are harder to identify and counter because they are more sophisticated, better institutionalized, and provided with higher levels of funding. The United Kingdom, for example, maintains the 77th Brigade whose subunits include the Media Operations Group and the shadowy 15th Psychological Operations Group that has been dubbed the “Twitter detachment.” Germany has established the ZOpKomBw, or the Bundeswehr Rapid Communications Center. In the US, information operations against the US population appear to be the responsibility of the intelligence community, which is understandable considering the taboo on US military operations on US territory. As such, they remain largely out of public scrutiny, though their handiwork can be readily seen in the form of unverifiable reports from a variety of war zones, and even placing specially prepared “witnesses” in front of Congressional committees. Even non-NATO countries like Sweden are following suit by establishing their own information operations units intended for waging information war on its own population. At the NATO level, information operations are coordinated by NATO doctrine JP 13-3 Information Operations, with practical applications honed by alliance-wide exercises such as the Multinational Information Operations Experiment (MNIOE).

Western voters have been accepting of all these measures because they were sold to them as part of their countries’ counter-terrorism measures. What they failed to take into account is that terrorism is a phenomenon that knows no borders, with the enemy already present among Western societies. Which means that, if counter-terrorist information operations are to be effective, they also have to be aimed at Western publics.

In the short-term, information operations may be effective in manufacturing popular support for policies that otherwise no free society would accept. In the longer term, bypassing the public opinion means the elites are now more free than ever to embark on highly dangerous international adventures that will likely backfire and lower even further the already low standing of the elites. Therefore the fact that the so-called “free world” elites increasingly have to resort to such dirty tricks in order to stay in power means that their grasp on power is slowly weakening.

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  • Putin props NATO up. The peoples revolution against NATO was just crushed by Russia’s FSB selling out the revolution to Turkish authorities. Putin is a cuck for being pro-NATO.
    Every time The People almost throw off NATO oppression, Putin rushes in and helps inform NATO how to crush the people’s uprising for freedom. Russia supports the continued status-quo of the Zionist-surpremisist.

    • daniel

      You ve got it all wrong! Are you aware of that? Probably not.

      • Spunkyhunk

        No idiot, he’s got it exactly right.

    • Spunkyhunk

      Putin’s government has been doing a lot of wrong things lately. Preventing the victory against the Syrian jihadists in February with the stupid “truce” was the most recent one. Look at Syria now! But don’t expect the Putin cultists who view Putin as an infallible demigod to understand this, or be able to think for themselves.

      • oscar

        C´mon so you are more clever than Putin? Then WTF are you spending your time replying here? This means that you r a stupid moron, right?

        • Spunkyhunk

          Go get a brain, you low-IQ idiot. If replying here means I’m a “stupid moron”, then you’re a moron yourself for replying to me… You couldn’t think about that, right?

          And learn to think and analyze for yourself, instead of being a stupid sheep who worships someone uncritically like some goddamn idol! Putin IS making a lot of mistakes.

          Now GET LOST!

          • oscar

            Did it hurt? And you reply AGAIN! That means that you are notohing but just another stupid moron! LOL,. JA, JA, JIAR JIAR!

          • Spunkyhunk

            Yeah, and up yours too, imbecile troll.

  • Grieved

    Well done, South Front, thank you. This is a brilliant piece of work. The topic only seems complicated when looking at it from inside the trap. But with the view you present from outside, it becomes much more simple.

    When you know that noise is designed to hide the signal, then it becomes easier to see the noise, even in these comments.

    When the intelligence of the discussion goes down because of emotional outbursts that appear to be on the side of the point being made, but which really just obscure the issue – and this is happening a lot lately in several sites – you know you’re in an environment of psy-op agents, or their dupes.

  • Lol, all press is psyops, it’s all government run. They have been doing it for decades. In the UK they rooted decent out years ago, it’s embedded in our culture disguised as equal opportunities. It’s embedded in government and local councils as diversity. It’s my belief they control the search engines and all information hence one search engine Google, they can ostracise people, isolate and destroy businesses of free thinkers and people critical of the government. Hence south front is a part of it. There are many other similar news sites but they are repressed by only getting 4 hits max a day. They can do that. You tube chanel’s with videos with 2 views, face book profiles with 3 views, Amazon books with zero reads. All information is controlled. The whole thing is a scam that’s driven by people’s apathy. It’s very clear that the war in the middle East is engineered by the west. Death, misery, dispair, sorrow and depression are the principle UK exports. This might as well be 1984, we might as well rewrite history with women having fought in the trenches. Hitler talked about one big lie, not lots of little ones. I don’t believe isis exist, one reason being why don’t we ever get spam from them? That’s inconceivable. The terrorist strike are in my opinion engineered by our state, they pressure these people leaving them no choice but to think of something. It’s all a scam because pain misery and sorrow are the opposite end of power wealth and fortune. Hell is here now on earth.

  • JPH
  • Just to add, I have studied psyops for years. http://psy-ops.co.uk

    Just saying. No traffic ever.

    Real commentary is completely released.

    Information is power. That’s why they spend a lot of effort trying to kill me.

    • dwarddo

      I think no one visits your site is because it’s not laid out very well and your links don’t work.

  • TheNew Neandertalien

    Analysis: A CIA blog attacks NATO. Reason: Pentagon, fights the CIA back. US Army is “The Resistance”.
    https://thenewneandertalienen.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/the-former-nato-commander-breedlove-wanted-to-arm-ukraine-sabotaged-by-obama-the-patsy/

    • 0athkeeper

      all of our armed forces are the resistance.

      • TheNew Neandertalien

        Not “all”. Most of the officers are “yes men”. The US military is sabotaged in every war since at least Vietnam. Otherwise, any war would be won in weeks, and the budgets would be cut.

        • 0athkeeper

          not to officers but the upper brass. the officers are the typical corporate structure worthless types. they’ve learned to do what they are told or face never advancing. that’s really designed to remove any dissention and keep them in line. that said, not all are like that. the special forces and specialty community officers are a little more free thinking than that. the enlisted folk, no issues there overall.

  • Tom

    Excellent article. The only thing missing from it is that the vast majority of “terrorist” attacks are Operation Gladio-style assaults carried out by the intelligence agencies themselves. The intelligence agencies then feed the pre-planned story to their lap dog media, who they can count on to never actually investigate an event and to turn a blind eye to any alternative media who *have* investigated and found the official story to be full of holes. As always, the first question to ask is “Who benefits?” I have yet to see a terrorist attack that benefited the individual or group that supposedly claimed responsibility — NEVER. If terrorism were real it would be the most counter-productive tactic ever invented.

    Any regular reader of alternative media from a variety of sources around the world is routinely left with jaw dropped at the level of astonishing ignorance when talking with readers of mainstream media. Comments like that from “real anti-racist action” below are so off-the-mark that they either stumbled into South Front directly from CNN or the NYT, or they are paid to sit in some intelligence agency cubicle desperately trying to deflect the truth with a keyboard.

    • George Washington

      best comment ever

    • Spunkyhunk

      Why are you attacking another commenter for his reasonable comments? Does everyone need to think exactly like you on everything? “Real Anti-Racist Action” is totally correct. If he really did warn Erdogan of the secular coup attempt, then Putin sold out the secular people in Turkey to Islamist Erdogan’s regime, a member of NATO and supporter of international jihadis destroying Syria, for the sake of an entirely fake “rapprochement” with the criminal Erdogan. Learn to think and analyze independently and critically. Independent thinking means that you are nobody’s uncritical admirer or worshipper.

      • Tom

        Different opinions are all well and good, as long as they’re based on facts and not wishful thinking. Yes Erdogan is clearly a criminal megalomaniac. But Real Anti-Racist Action just as clearly has most of the points in his comment backwards from reality, which makes his motives suspect. Accusing Putin of being pro-NATO is is right up there with the most outrageous and laughable canards I’ve ever heard.

        To sort out what just happened in Turkey (certainly all the facts are not all in yet and we have more to learn) it’s important to know who Fethullah Gulen is just as much as knowing who Erdogan is. With that in mind, may I suggest reading this 7/25/16 report from F. William Engdahl, “What Is Fethullah Gulen”? http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO25July2016.php

        Not to take Engdahl’s credentials for granted, I would also suggest scanning this prolific author’s list of book titles and you will see he is a leading independent geopolitical analyst, an expert in this part of the world, and on the side of both people and secularism.

      • Tom

        More excellent reporting and analysis of the Turkey coup dated 7/26/16 here: http://sitsshow.blogspot.com/2016/07/US-Cabal-Failed-to-Overthrow-Turkey-Putin-Warned-Erdogan-of-Coup-Subsequent-Purge-of-Turkey-Nationals-May-Not-Have-Been-What-We-Think.html

        We have just been treated to one of those rare historical events that marks a major geopolitical turning point. If the sources you read have led you to agree with Real Anti-Racist Action’s analysis below, you need to change your sources.

  • yerfackingmammy

    An object lesson in the topic, actually. Note the villain is “western powers” who are “ready to collapse.”

    Cui bono?