Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Analysis Paralysis in Action

It is nothing new for Russia to portray an invasion as a rescue mission in service of a "liberation" movement.

Fine. But so what?

During the 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Russian government spent more than $19 million to fund 600 people to constantly comment on news articles, write blogs, and operate throughout social media.[4] They intended to sway public and international opinion, overwhelm the voices of dissidents online, and create an image of a population supportive of the annexation.

Russia set up a fake liberation army complete with ethnic Finnish troops to justify their 1939 invasion of Finland; and asserted that they weren't bombing Helsinki--just dropping bread (NOTE: as posted I accidentally but appropriately mis-typed that as "dread") to the starving masses of Finns. Finnish troops slaughtering Russian invaders for three months made that propaganda pointless.

Before February 2014 was over, it was obvious that Russia was invading Ukraine in Crimea:

It was obvious to me early on and far from the Crimea that Russia had invaded Ukraine.

It doesn't matter if an enemy denies invading as long as we don't go along with the fiction.

The immediate problem was that Ukraine was in chaos and nobody could order the already ineffective Ukrainian military into action (and what officers were sure of who was the legitimate authority, anyway?) during the time frame of the crisis before Russia took over the peninsula.

If Ukraine had even 20,000 effective troops at that time, Ukraine could have scattered the little green men and shot down any Russian transports trying land in Sevastopol.

And nobody would even remember 600 bloggers and Facebook posters peddling Russian lies.

More broadly, the problem wasn't that Russia lied about their role in the invasion but that the West went along with that lie.

This social media campaign is fascinating stuff, no doubt. But it is no new diabolical plot to numb the West into inactivity. We did that:

Good Lord people, Russian "hybrid warfare" is just Russian aggression that we pretend isn't happening. Sadly, there's nothing new or novel about that.

And we're still studying it to death! Am I on crazy pills?