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A Strategic Analysis on the Effectiveness of Russian Information Warfare

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Though information warfare has been around for centuries, the advent of the Information Age has made this type of warfare increasingly utilized by both state and non-state actors to varying

Though information warfare has been around for centuries, the advent of the Information Age has made this type of warfare increasingly utilized by both state and non-state actors to varying effects in conflicts across the world. Technological advances have ignited increases in computing power, information computerization, the proliferation of powerful information technology, and communication speeds. This study investigates Russian information warfare doctrine- specifically, the tactics employed in information warfare campaigns and the effects of such campaigns. The Russian hybrid warfare campaigns in Ukraine and Syria will serve as the focal case studies. I argue that Russian information warfare doctrine is inelastic, in that the core tactics used do not change in different conflicts. This study will dissect Russian information warfare principles, provide an overview of the Russian political objectives in both battlespaces, analyze the effectiveness of information warfare tactics when applied in two different engagement spheres, and will explore the reasons why the same tactics had different effects. The study finds that doctrinally identical information warfare tactics were used in both Ukraine and Syria. To provide further significance, the study discusses the policy implications that static Russian information warfare doctrine has regarding the future of information warfare in conflict.

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  • 2017-05