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Influence Operations: The Sharp Power of Non-Kinetic Subversion

Dr. Adil Rasheed is Research Fellow (SS) at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • Monograph No. 85

    Influence Operations refers to the use of non-military means of Ipsychological, informational and political influence and subversion to undermine the security and governance of a targeted country. Revolutionised by 21st century Information Communication Technology (ICT), Influence Operations (or simply IOs) have today developed into a highly insidious, cost-effective and often non-attributable forms of hybrid warfare.

    From Russia's allegedly meddling in the election process of the 2016 US presidential elections to earlier charges of consent manufacturing by the media and crowd manipulation by the US to seed civil strife and colour revolutions to bring about regime change in countries of Eurasia and West Asia, Influence Operations are today even conducted by non-state actors to spread their message of violent extremism or to bring down stock markets through algorithmic trading and issuance of unsubstantiated market reports by hedge fund managers.

    This monograph makes in-depth case studies of Influence Operation programmes as reportedly organized and developed by four specific countries — Russia, China, the US and Pakistan, and also studies the way in which non-State actors — like MNCs, NGOs and global terrorist organizations — are increasingly extending their sway.

    About the Author

    Dr Adil Rasheed is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP- IDSA) and is Coordinator of the Centre for Counter- Terrorism at the Institute. Author of three noted books: 'Political Islam: Parallel Currents in West Asia and South Asia” (2024), 'Countering the Radical Narrative' (2020) and 'ISIS: Race to Armageddon' (2015), he is one of India's noted scholars in counter-terrorism and hybrid warfare. A student of history and strategic cultures, he writes extensively for Indian and international media groups.