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A number of peculiarities of information-psychological influence during carrying out operations of information-psychological warfare
Петренко Анатолий Иванович

кандидат психологических наук

профессор, кафедра российской политики, Московский государственный университет им. М.В. Ломоносова

119991, Россия, Москва, ГСП-1,
Ломоносовский проспект, д. 27, корп. 4

Petrenko Anatolii Ivanovich

PhD in Psychology

Professor, Department of Russian Politics, Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov

Russia, 11991, Moskva, GSP-1, Lomonosovskiy prospe, d. 27, korp.4.

aipetr@gmail.com
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Аннотация. Information policy of any state, a social group or any other community has its own peculiar character because it is used to implement the certain objectives of those who set them. Information policy assists in efficient influence on people’s mentality; it is aimed at changing the individual’s certain structural elements (such as convictions, views, opinions, interests, ideals, motivation, aspirations, and so on). Information influence is efficient only in that case when it is aimed at the certain influenced groups. They can be both separate social groups (political, social or other people’s communities) and the whole nations, peoples, and sometimes the world community itself. Information policy is always implemented in the definite information-psychological environment. In reference to information-psychological influence in the framework of psychological operations information-psychological environment can be described as an integrity of subjects and objects on information-psychological influence and interaction; the information itself, which is purposed for applying by subjects of information-psychological environment; the information infrastructure, which provides a possibility of information exchange between subjects; social relations that are formed during formation, transformation, distribution, and storage of information, data exchange within the society.
Ключевые слова: the international relations, the international safety, political conflicts, conflicts management technologies, conflicts management, psychological operations, information war, politica, interests, UN
DOI: 10.7256/2306-4226.2013.4.9417
Дата направления в редакцию: 23-08-2013

Дата рецензирования: 24-08-2013

Дата публикации: 1-12-2013

Abstract. Information policy of any state, a social group or any other community has its own peculiar character because it is used to implement the certain objectives of those who set them. Information policy assists in efficient influence on people’s mentality; it is aimed at changing the individual’s certain structural elements (such as convictions, views, opinions, interests, ideals, motivation, aspirations, and so on). Information influence is efficient only in that case when it is aimed at the certain influenced groups. They can be both separate social groups (political, social or other people’s communities) and the whole nations, peoples, and sometimes the world community itself. Information policy is always implemented in the definite information-psychological environment. In reference to information-psychological influence in the framework of psychological operations information-psychological environment can be described as an integrity of subjects and objects on information-psychological influence and interaction; the information itself, which is purposed for applying by subjects of information-psychological environment; the information infrastructure, which provides a possibility of information exchange between subjects; social relations that are formed during formation, transformation, distribution, and storage of information, data exchange within the society.

Keywords: the international relations, the international safety, political conflicts, conflicts management technologies, conflicts management, psychological operations, information war, political, interests, teh UN

The main part of information-psychological environment is people. The psychological activity of people influences the development of all spheres of social life, defines the intellectual potential of the society, its ability for development and worthy existence in the world community. Taking into consideration this activity culture, public opinion, public mentality are formed and in accordance with social important events of Russian and international life. The psychological activity, which is based on accumulating, processing, storage, transformation and distribution of information, defines the peculiarity of an individual, his or her mental attitudes, motivation, behaviour, moral values, views, attitude towards other individuals and the community in the whole.

Let us consider in detail a number of peculiarities of information-psychological influence mentality of people during operations of information-psychological warfare.

The main strata of information-psychological influence can be distinguished with the certain conditions:

  • Individuality of a person;
  • Microgroups (a family, initial working communities and so on);
  • Macrogroups (a nation, people)
  • Hypergroups (international communities, organized in accordance with different criteria);
  • Super hypergroup (the world community)

Depending on a situation and objectives of an information-psychological warfare operation this or that variant of influence on the definite stratum (strata) is selected. This influence can be at first aimed at forming an initial information wave in the certain stratum, which in its turn can create the second information wave, but in the other stratum.

Here we often face data circulation both within the definite stratum and between strata, but results of information-psychological influence cannot be always forecasted at the stage of preparing for operations.

So, for instance, information-psychological influence on the stratum – the American nation - during the war in Vietnam was aimed at quick growth of anti Vietnamese moods, formation of patriotic attitude towards defense of America’s interests on the Vietnamese peninsula. Influence on the USA allies in different blocks pursued the goal of forming of the positive attitude towards USA activities in Vietnam as a guarantor of defense of their interests on the international arena.

However, in spite of tough censorship in regard to information on real state of affairs in Vietnam, the information about numerous victims among American soldiers was known and the situation changed considerably. Unexpectedly for organizers of the operation information-psychological influence touched the interests of such strata as definite individuals and microgroups (families, relatives of killed people, and soldiers, who were in Vietnam at that time). It was that time when moods aimed at stopping aggression in Vietnam were active.

Influence on the world community organized by the Soviet Union, which revealed facts and materials about victims among noncombatants in Vietnam, caused encounter attack and influenced considerably on forming anti American moods in a lot of world countries.

The bright example is organizing of an information-psychological warfare operation, which was carried out during invasion of the USA in Iraq. The initial efforts of organizers of the operation were aimed at massive influence on such strata as the world community and countries-allies. The experience gained during the former invasion in Iraq was taken into account. On gaining the objective that information on the “real” threat from the side of Iraq took roots in public mentality of Americans and their allies, organizers of the operation implemented invasion in Iraq, however, they did so not alone but with a certain unity.

When it became obvious that the world faces the ordinary aggression and not “defense of the world community interests”, and when the information about it caused irritation at the level of the stratum – an individual, the massive information-psychological influence was implemented, which was aimed at this definite stratum – atypical pneumonia (SARS). It was a psychological know-how of organizers of the operation. Despite the fact that during implementing information-psychological influence on forming fears to be possibly infected, poor protection from this awful illness, more people died than during the same period of time from ordinary influenza, this operation cannot be evaluated as unsuccessful. The success of this operation is that organizers of the operation managed to apply information-psychological influence strongly on the stratum, that the invasion (aggression) in Iraq was no longer the news number one.

Moreover, each individual got information that was important for everyone. The aggression in Iraq is something that is far away and a virtual notion for a majority of people, a fear to be infected by an exotic illness concerns everyone.

Lately operations of information-psychological warfare have new features. It is impossible nowadays to distinguish from any above-mentioned strata that stratum, which would not be under tough information-psychological influence from the side of such notion as hyper terrorism.

Under hyper terrorism one considers terrorism that has no firm restrictions for objects of influence, territories, where it is carried out, financial, material-technical, personnel or other resources. Hyper terrorism uses practically all means an often is a component of state policy of a number of countries. The peculiarity of hyper terrorism is that it is not aimed at solving local problems, as during ordinary terror actions, but striving for gaining world leadership.

For the short period of recent history hyper terrorism has become more and more sophisticated, technically equipped, it is applied in different territories, it possesses practically unlimited financial and human resources. Hyper terrorism has included not only clerical, political or other organizations; hyper terrorism has become an integral part of policy for many countries.

The ideology of terrorism connected with the most reactionary trends of Islamism has developed considerably for the recent time. It is very convenient in many respects for organizers of this trend of hyper terrorism.

First, from a really religious Moslem it is quite easy to make an adept of the most reactionary trends of Islamism. It is within the framework of the watchword of struggle for Islamism ideals ideas of struggle with non-religious people using various methods are imposed subconsciously and consciously. Moreover, those people, who sacrifice herself or himself, will have respect and glory in this world and in the next world.

Influence takes place on different strata simultaneously. That is, first of all, a personal level, a stratum – microenvironment (a family, relatives, friends), and a stratum – clerical Moslem society.

Second, Islam is objected to other religious trends, which assists in exaggerating not only and not so much inter-national but to a considerable extent inter-religious hatred, even among those Moslems, who has not aspired to be a terrorist yet. Such an approach helps to form huge human resources, who have been potentially infected by ideas of radical Islamism, who have already formed the image of the main enemy. Under certain conditions and without any special efforts and additional financial expenses they can be led using the slogan of hyper terrorism. Practically the same strata are the objects of influence.

Third, stirring up inter-national and inter-religious hatred is aimed at forming not only negative attitude of Moslems to non-Moslems, but also forming negative attitude of those people, who adhere to other religions, towards Moslems. It is quite profitable to organizers of hyper-terrorism, because external negative attitude of non-Moslems to Moslems the latter interpret as support of those dogmas, which they perceived during the long period of time, and that initiates the second wave of hatred and readiness for struggle with non-Moslems.

To above mentioned strata as objects of influence one can add peoples, representatives of various religions.

Fourth, evolution of situation in this direction gives a possibility for organizers of hyper terrorism to accumulate financial resources for organizing struggle with non-Moslems.

And, fifth, stirring up of inter-national hatred gives organizers of hyper terrorism a possibility to hold the whole humanity in strain, spend huge sums of money on reflecting potential terror actions, and liquidation of consequences of performed actions.

At the same time one can add the following stratum as the world community.

However, it will be unfair to regard hyper terrorism as orthodox trends of Islamism or those, who use Islamism. Currently we can see practically all features of hyper terrorism not only in the countries of the Middle East, but in a number of countries including those, which themselves at least regard as industrialized both from the point of view of economics, and from the point of view of democracy.

Modern and Recent histories of the USA gives us numerous examples of carrying out hyper terrorism from the position of state policy. These are “liberating” wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and so on. We touched upon this aspect of problem earlier.

One can find features of hyper terrorism from the position of state policy from the Soviet Union. They are Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia, Afghanistan, and so on.

If we carry out the comparative analysis of all pointed out trends of hyper terrorism, it seemed to us that we will find more in common than features, which distinguish one trend from another.

In the attached table we tried to carry out a comparative analysis of main components of hyper terrorism in accordance with three trends.

  • The first trend is hyper terrorism under concealment of Islam;
  • The second one is carried out by the USA;
  • The third one was carried out by the Soviet Union

I would like also to examine an information-psychological segment of hyper terrorism problem and the struggle with it. At present the world community is losing its information warfare with hyper terrorism. The content-analysis of Russian materials received through mass media shows that a majority of Russian population believes that hyper terrorism is an evil, but the evil, struggle with which does not give any positive results.

A notion is forming that hyper terrorism is all-powerful and ubiquitous, and it in its turn leads to forming lack of faith in any statements of officials that a tiny bit and hyper terrorism will be demolished. Such a situation results in people’s fears, lack of confidence, and a feeling of unsecured.

To summarize the described issues, one would like to point out that the author does not want to consider this problem in all aspects. Our objective was to draw reader’s attention to a problem of information-psychological influence during implementing of information-psychological warfare operations. The skillful distribution of information-psychological influence on this or that stratum gives organizers of operations the possibility to reach their planned goals.

The main components of hyper terrorism

The first trend

The second trend

The third trend

Ideological underlying reason

  • Struggle for basic ideas of Islam
  • Search and definition of the main enemy
  • Ideological influence on a majority of religious people in the necessary direction
  • Struggle for ideas of Democracy
  • Search and definition of the main enemy
  • Ideological influence on a majority of religious people in the necessary direction in this country and in other countries.
  • Struggle for ideas of Socialism
  • Search and definition of the main enemy
  • Ideological influence on a majority of religious people in the necessary direction in this country and in other countries.

Financial component

  • Supply of huge sums of money at the expense of criminal activities (drugs, trade of weapons, trade of human resources, and so on)
  • Supply of huge sums of money form different types of legal business
  • Donations from individuals and juridical persons
  • Allocations in the sealed and legal forms from the state budget
  • Supply of huge sums of money to various funds and other public organizations
  • Attracting finances from the budgets of other countries.
  • Allocations in the sealed and legal forms from the state budget
  • Supply of huge sums of money to the various political and public organizations
  • Attracting finances from the budgets of other countries.

Human resources

  • Attracting of individuals, who underwent the preliminary ideological preparation and who support its main dogmas
  • Forming of an additional resource from a number of “sympathizers”
  • Attracting of hirelings.
  • Attracting of individuals, who underwent the preliminary ideological preparation and who support its main dogmas
  • Mobilizing resources of the permanent army and Special Service
  • Attracting of hirelings.
  • Attracting of individuals, who underwent the preliminary ideological preparation and who support its main dogmas
  • Mobilizing resources of the permanent army and Special Service

Methods of carrying out actions

  • Implementing of local terror actions using explosive and toxic means
  • Armed attacks of the concrete objects
  • Capture of hostages and blackmail
  • Carrying out planned and broad scaled actions both in the separate country and a number of countries.
  • Carrying out local special operations with limited attraction of resources of the permanent army.
  • Implementing of an independent broad scaled invasion using all types of weapons
  • Implementing broad scaled invasion with attraction of war-technical resources of other states.
  • Carrying out local special operations with limited attraction of resources of the permanent army.
  • Implementing of an independent broad scaled invasion using all types of weapons
  • Implementing broad scaled invasion with attraction of war-technical resources of other states

Information resource

  • Local use of mass media possibilities (basically demonstration of a number of nonprofessional shot video clips or audio materials).
  • Massive influence aiming at ideological processing of the population using a number of possibilities.
  • Sealed information, which can reveal a purpose of preparing for an operation.
  • Broad use of mass media at the preparatory stage (forming an image of the enemy, persuasion of the population in not only this country, but other countries in existence of real danger and necessity of implementing preventive measures).
  • Broad scaled, but limited distribution of information through all types of mass media about the operation.
  • Use of information resource for description of after operation period depending on successfulness of implementing an operation.
  • Using information waves, which distract public opinion from the main operation, if something goes wrong (SARS)
  • Sealed information, which can reveal a purpose of preparing for an operation.
  • Broad use of mass media at the preparatory stage (forming an image of the enemy, persuasion of the population in not only this country, but other countries in existence of real danger and necessity of implementing preventive measures).
  • Practical lack of information about implementing of an operation.
  • Use of information resource for description of after operation period depending on successfulness of implementing an operation.

Attitude towards victims:

  • Among the enemies “They deserve this”
  • Among comrades “They gave their lives for the sake of justified affair”
  • Among the enemies “They deserve this”
  • Among comrades “They gave their lives for the sake of justified affair”
  • Among the enemies “They deserve this”
  • Among comrades “They gave their lives for the sake of justified affair”

Attitude towards opposition:

  • Physical destruction
  • Restriction in rights both opposed and the members of their families.
  • Criminal persecution
  • Restriction in rights both opposed and the members of their families.
  • Criminal persecution
  • Restriction in rights both opposed and the members of their families

The ultimate goals:

  • World leadership
  • World leadership
  • World leadership
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