“Actions are dictated by choices, choices are based mostly on perceptions, and perceptions are topic to manipulation. That’s the foundation of the Notion Wars.”
Alex Hollings’ Notion Wars describes how overseas governments are attempting to form American public opinion by manipulating their perceptions. Hollings singles out Russia and China and their ongoing info operations (IO) on American society. Whereas Moscow is concentrated on shaping opinion via pseudo-accounts and unobjective journalism, China is buying its means towards the “secure, cheap 21st century energy.”
The guide begins by introducing the ideas and historic background of IO. Articles on World Struggle II and Chilly Struggle propaganda efforts present a hyperlink to historical past and its continuity. Thereafter, Hollings enters the trendy area. He gives 4 sections (Russian, Chinese language, North Korean, and American) which might be brimming with colourful, informative, and entertaining articles on the continued battle for perceptions.
Hollings is basically equating nationwide propaganda and knowledge operations to enterprise advertising campaigns. He argues that the predominance of social media presents overseas governments the best platform to individually goal People and form their beliefs, perceptions, and subsequently their opinions. And it’s a cheap declare. It might sound simplistic, however, most of the time, persons are motivated by the identical incentives on the subject of shopping for a brand new iPhone or performing their citizen’s proper (e.g., voting).
Whereas an insurgency is all about profitable the hearts-and-minds of the native inhabitants, a contemporary Data Operation is all about profitable the tweets and likes of individuals.
Alarmingly, Hollings asserts that the U.S. is shedding the notion wars. Caught in reactive mode, U.S. policymakers are too centered in ‘bad-actor’ narratives to be proactive within the perceptions and propaganda battlefield. For instance, by focusing an excessive amount of on Vladimir Putin’s or Xi Jinping’s autocratic and corrupt regimes, the U.S. will not be looking for to create authentic narratives that might resonate with the ever-interconnected world inhabitants. As in all battlefields, after you have misplaced the initiative, it’s robust to achieve it again.
A brief (155 pages) and thought-provoking learn, Notion Wars will give you each an introduction to fashionable info warfare and a behind-the-scenes glimpse on the ongoing battle between American and its adversaries. Based mostly on major supply analysis, the articles supply an authentic evaluation of the unseen battle to your perceptions.
The guide’s solely shortfall is that it lacks a really useful bibliography part. Granted, nevertheless, not all readers will want to go extra in-depth.
After studying it, you may be in an optimum place to detect once you or your neighborhood is focused by a overseas actor with a malign agenda. By understanding and recognizing the menace, you may be inoculated from it.
You should buy the guide on Amazon.
This text was written by Stavros Atlamazoglou at NEWSREP