JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Perception Management in Asymmetric Warfare: Lessons for Democratic Practitioners from Ukraine (2014–16) and Gaza (2014)

Alex Waterman was Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. Click here more details
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  • January 2017
    Volume: 
    11
    Issue: 
    1
    Focus

    The perception management component of information warfare has long been recognised as an important tool of warfare, appearing in military doctrines worldwide. The challenges and opportunities of its practice in different political contexts have however rarely merited substantive attention. This article examines the development and trajectory of two cutting-edge examples of contemporary information warfare practice: Russian information warfare in Ukraine (2014–present); and information warfare conducted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) up to and during Operation Protective Edge. It explores their strategic and political context before drawing lessons that can be learned across these differing contexts, highlighting four key recommendations. It points towards the limited possibility of information control, highlights the central relationship between information and action, affirms the crucial role of security forces in conducting information warfare and highlights that perception management goes well beyond obvious target audiences.

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