Information warfare is the manipulation of information to fulfill a military or political agenda. Gathering information and using it to weaken the opponent is the main reason behind the prevailing use of different types of information warfare tactics.
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Disinformation and propaganda are the two main forms of information warfare. Most of these forms gained considerable credit during the world war age, and they have remained fundamental to date in military, government, and business management domains (Fogleman, 1995).
A notable example of propaganda information warfare is evident after a close review of the manner in which politicians managed the world war one. Propaganda helped citizens to maintain high levels of confidence in the political leadership.
According to Trueman (2000), Britain newspaper agencies printed headlines with messages of propaganda. He mentions some of them to have read “Belgium child’s hands cut off by Germany.”
Additionally, they printed headlines in other newspapers reporting that German prisoners had taken out the eyes of the British citizens. In an equal measure, Trueman’s report indicates that the German government also used propaganda tactics to earn the support of their citizens.
He notes that the German Government printed headlines such as “French doctors infect German wells with Plague germs.” Moreover, at another moment, they published papers with information that the enemy had blinded German prisoners (Trueman, 2000).
These propaganda messages blackened the enemy’s name and lead to rising of emotions in favor of the government. This form of warfare is, therefore, indispensible in increasing civic support to withstand a government’s interest.
Propaganda, which is a fundamental form of information warfare, helped to sustain the world war on for a long period that it could have been possible if the players did not use the technique.
During the Second World War, disinformation information warfare helped most organised armies to overcome their enemies. According to experts, information warfare helped the US, for instance, to defeat their enemy during the world war two.
According to Fogleman (1995), who was part of the army that participated in the war, there is a time during their mission when the Germany 7th army attempted to drive them from the tenuous beachhead.
The attempts failed because the US army had employed the use of Ultra’s to monitor the operations of the allied army The devices helped the army to read the German’s mail and messages without their knowledge.
When the German army began to gather forces to attach the US camp, they did not signify that they were privy to the plans of their opponents. They did not reveal that they had information on the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent (Fogleman, 1995).
The unique use of technology during war helped the soldiers. The tactic that they used is disinformation. The Ultras helped the army to gather relevant information that aided them to keep away from targeted grounds and gave them opportunities to launch attacks strategically.
By gathering the sensitive information from the enemy and being careful to operate almost normally, they successfully sent the right signal to the opponent and that confused the enemy.
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Because of effective use of information warfare, the enemy failed to capture the Fogleman’s team until the end of the war.
Information warfare is still relevant in the current world. There are illustrations of the use of information warfare in fighting current wars.
Communications that have characterized interactions between military personnel in Somalia, Africa, and Al Shabaab militia portrays that the technique still enjoys acceptance across the globe.
Major E. Chirchir usually engages the al Shabaab in war of word on the internet. The communication falls into at least one of the categories of information warfare.
Recently, the officer posted on tweeter that Al Shabaab is working in exchange of money. He said that the militia are selfish and has no agenda for the public. Chirchir also informed the group that they would earn cash at Harbole and Jana Abd (Chirchir, 2012).
In saying this, Chirchir portrays the group as selfish. In addition, he sends fear in the enemy’s camp by saying his team will hit their strategic hid outs. For that matter, they should prepare to incur fatal loses. As the officer says, the militia will make more cash in Jana Abd.
This suggests that many death cases will arise at the locations and lead to immense compensations for lives lost.
This is propaganda information warfare meant to keep the allied forces in wait of attach at any moment, without getting factual time plans.
Alternatively, the idea can be disinformation, particularly if the army chooses to keep the opponent held up guarding their territory just to attack a different location without expectation.
At the same time, spokesperson Chirchir develops and maintains a positive public perception of his military group and the entire mission by suggesting in the statements that he is a defender of public interest.
They also attempt to put to an end public support that the group enjoys by branding them as selfish for money. The tool is helpful in maintaining public support for the peacekeeping group.
In Al Shabaab’s response to Chirchir, they claim that the allied army’s actions will lead to difficult consequences in future (Chirchir, 2012). The idea is to use propaganda to cause fear and possibly weaken the warriors’ ability to fight due to fear of unknown consequences.
Finally, the recent Libyan US Embassy attack provides useful material on information warfare. The US Government has intelligently reacted to the attack saying that all is well.
President Barack Obama diplomatically reported that Libya and US would join hands to arrest the suspect (US ambassador killed in consulate attack in Libya – Yahoo! News, 2012). Nevertheless, there are reports that the Government has interest in finding out the true causes of this attach.
This report also indicates that investigation experts are already at the location to find out the cause and motive of the killings (US ambassador killed in consulate attack in Libya – Yahoo! News, 2012).
Though it is difficult to access all government secrets, it is easy to think that the presidential statement aims at easing investigations. The US Government is therefore employing disinformation warfare schemes to gather credible evidence.
As investigation into the matter is in process, it is not justifiable to eliminate any party from the list of suspects until an investigation proves otherwise.
However, the government’s diplomatic reaction is called for, as it creates room for peaceful co-existence among different governments and people of varied origins.
Above all, the government uses disinformation warfare to accomplish the country’s political agenda of maintaining and sustaining security of the citizens.
Chirchir, M. E. (2012, September 12). Major E. Chirchir. Kenya Military Spokesman -The Official Account. Web.
Fogleman, G. R. (1995, May 16). Information Warfare and Deterrence. This site has been updated. Web.
Trueman, C. (n.d.). Propaganda and World War One. History Learning Site. Web.
US ambassador killed in consulate attack in Libya – Yahoo! News. (2012, September 12). Yahoo! News – Latest News & Headlines. Web.