Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"The Weaponization of the Media"

I've spent some hours digging around the cyber-sphere in an effort to find and define the many references to the fifth generation of warfare. The cause of this being Curtis's newest online endeavor, the 5GW Timeline. A wiki like initiative that seeks to chronologically map online references to 5GW.

In my travels across the vast expanse (vast beyond what I'd expected, certainly) that entails the online sources mentioning 5GW, this latest bit that struck me via The Patriot Post:

"In fact, the media has effectively become an altogether different sort of "non-state actor" on the world stage. The fact that the media can even entertain the notion of affecting political outcomes because it wields that much power, leads to the next concept: The weaponization of the media. This is a dangerous tool and one that our adversaries have mastered. Conceptually, this includes -- but is different from -- aspects of psychological operations; and includes -- but is separate from -- aspects of information warfare. There are times when it is difficult to distinguish between honest disagreement, and disloyalty; a different vision, and sedition. Indeed, our Founding Fathers well understood the value of the press, and used it to their purposes. Hitler's propagandists were at least as skilled as our current adversaries. Yet government involvement with the media for the express purpose of controlling a known center of gravity -- the hearts and minds of the people -- is inherently and extremely dangerous, if one wishes to preserve free speech. Yet this is something with which we must soon contend, because our adversaries have no such constraints."


Follow the link and at least skim the writings. You'll find that the author writes this in an effort to explore or espouse his own vision of what might well be into the 5th Generation of warfare.
In essence, this fellow is an intellectual kindred spirit as we both have delved into the mastery of the media and the importance of the media regarding a 5GW campaign.

"Mastering the media means subverting and collecting it's will, tossing it into your virtual ideological corner and then exacting your cause through it in an effort that ends in the general populace, or mainstream, conforming to and accepting your cause as "reality." "

This bit of research is arduous but also rewarding and fun.

5 comments:

purpleslog said...

Don't forget to cross-post this to D5GW.

A.E. said...

I would express caution about the "weaponization" idea for the following reasons.

For one, it implies the use of the media as a perfect instrument of control--input message, output message is the same as input, and it carries absolute public influence.

However, even in totalitarian states with perfect control, one still sees a jockeying for factional control that leads to an incoherent message (e.g. Comrade X being hero of the socialist republic one day, villain the next), and the public in many cases learns to tune it out.

In our media, various actors (some of which have more power than others) manuever to input their messages into the communications ether. Those messages are often distorted by amplification and modified/changed by the public upon reception.

A 5GW actor operating in such an environment would endeavor to ensure minimal difference between his intended message at the start and the actual finished product, perhaps working through layer after layer of proxies who then present the idea to the media. It would differ from the standard leaking process in that the finished product would have the appearance of having evolved spontaneously instead of being manufactured.

subadei said...

P'Slog,

Will be done.

AE,

*blink*... *blink* *blink*... Why, the excellent fellow does live! ;)

I agree and the headline was borrowed from the linked (and quite intriguing) blog. No doubt media is a hazy and unpredictable sort of weapon but it is an incredibly powerful base to utilize in either a 4GW (as we've seen regarding Iraq or even Vietnam) or a 5GW operation.

"A 5GW actor operating in such an environment would endeavor to ensure minimal difference between his intended message at the start and the actual finished product, perhaps working through layer after layer of proxies who then present the idea to the media. It would differ from the standard leaking process in that the finished product would have the appearance of having evolved spontaneously instead of being manufactured."

I'm torn here. While in one respect your prospect makes perfect sense in another one who is enslaved by his ideology might well be incapable of maintaining the underhanded nature of 5GW initiative.

In short that which he puts in would be better off having an almost foreign real effect that bears little semblance to his cause , or true nature, yet accomplishes various goals very much within his objective realm. In other words he tosses, with great passion, X in an effort to achieve Y, even if Y is quite contrary to X... Does that make any sense?

A.E. said...

Yep, I'm still among the living.

My problem with the weaponization metaphor lies mainly with the unpredictability and incoherence of the media itself, and the public's own diffuse reactions to it. It's more a force of nature that one can successfully adapt or utilize--an actor employing it against his enemies is not firing a weapon but provoking an avalanche or a flood to swamp OPFOR.

I'll have to think some more about what you wrote about the foreignness of the message---hiding in plain sight seems to be the image i'm getting with it.

subadei said...

Hiding in plain sight captures it well, I think. The ability to espouse an ideology that is quite contrary to your own in order to affect an end game that very much falls in line with your own cause. Think of it as ideological false flag operations.