GRU being ingenious. Utilizing an informant in the US to infiltrate the conservative natsec community & plant disinfo on, well, cyber-enabled disinfo ops. Creating a highly blended environment for informational-psychological effects. Reflexive Control redux unlike anything! https://t.co/GPGc7PuXv5
“Almost all disinformation operations are imperfect by design, run not by perfectionists, but pragmatists.”
— Thomas Rid in Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare
As Thomas Rid quips in his book Active Measures, cyber-enabled information operations are more active but less measured. So, it is rare to see the instance of an old-school disinformation operation that seems to have served its purpose quite effectively.
Active Measures, in the general sense of the term, are rarely this successful, so the operation I am going to discuss certainly stands out.
The recent border clashes between India and China have led analysts, habituated to conventional warfare, to compare the relative strengths of the two adversaries in terms of the number of tanks, aircraft and other military paraphernalia.
It appears that Indian strategic discourse has yet again discounted cyber operations as an instrument of power projection, which could have offered a degree of flexibility when it comes to coercing, compelling and imposing costs on the contentious neighbour. This is unfortunate considering how much Indian think-tanks have glamourised the cyber domain.