Information War

International Man: Controlling information has always been crucial in military conflicts.

How has information warfare evolved over time?

Doug Casey: Information has always been, and still is, the single most important factor in any conflict.

Information, or intelligence in the military vernacular, allows tiny forces to conquer huge forces or to avoid destruction by larger forces. It’s the key to guerrilla warfare, knowing where the enemy is and what he’s thinking. Intelligence allows you to strike when and where the enemy is weakest. It can be a 10-1 force multiplier.

This is why spies and traitors are so important. Spies, who typically gain trust and then betray their victims, are usually morally despicable as individuals; they, justifiably, can expect no mercy if discovered. But they’re critical to successful warfare; a good spy, or a traitor, can be worth many thousands of soldiers.

This is why governments gather huge amounts of data on both potential enemies and their own citizens. Government and its various praetorian agencies—the CIA, FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence, and many others—are naturally paranoid, especially of domestic threats (including each other) which they can’t readily identify.

Though both are important, I would rather have good information than good material when it comes to war. But intelligence agencies have become so large, aggressive, and secretive since World War 2 that they’ve become extremely dangerous and counterproductive. They’re now semi-independent powers unto themselves. When it comes to actionable intelligence useful to defend their country, they’ve become Byzantine bureaucracies—very expensive but practically worthless.

International Man: Information warfare has played a prominent role in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

For example, the “Ghost of Kiev” was initially trumpeted as a heroic ace fighter jet pilot to boost morale. However, it was later revealed to be made up.

What is your take on how the information war is playing out in this conflict?

Doug Casey: It’s been said that truth is the first casualty in warfare. And that’s certainly true in this conflict between Russia and the Ukraine.

It’s clear that the Russians would like to end the war. As they announced early on, they don’t even consider it a war. They consider it a “special military operation.” It was intended to solve a particular problem— Kiev’s attack against the breakaway Donbass provinces, wherein it killed about 20,000 ethnic Russians. Lies on the part of the US, NATO, and the Ukraine are what’s kept this war going—lies to the effect that the Ukraine was winning and that the Russians and Putin are the devil incarnate.

The CIA is supposed to supply the intelligence needed to prosecute this proxy war, but it’s proving to be just as worthless here as it has been in just about every conflict since its creation. They failed to predict the rise of Castro in 1959, and their Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 was a disaster. Their intelligence in the Vietnam War was abysmal. They had zero idea a revolution was growing in Iran in 1978. Or that the Soviets were about to invade Afghanistan in 1979. They always believed that the Soviet economy was competitive with that of the US and had no idea it would collapse in 1990. They didn’t have a clue about the Twin Towers attack in 2001.

It’s as if the CIA is an evil twin of the Keystone Cops. They squander who knows how many billions per year from their giant campus in McLean, VA, but a lot of it goes to self-promotion in Hollywood movies, black sites, bribes, slush funds, and foreign corruption.

I don’t doubt that the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, and the rest of them have voluminous files on absolutely everyone of importance in the US Government—information that can be used to pressure individuals to do anything. These agencies amount to a genuine shadow government.

The example of the Ghost of Kiev that you mentioned is actually comical. Anybody capable of rational thought could tell that it was made up out of whole cloth. But the average American, hooting and panting while he sported his Ukraine lapel pin, blanked it from his memory within days of its being revealed as a Babylon Bee-esque fantasy.

Just a brief word on the Ukraine: Kiev appears to have lost something like 350,000 dead soldiers, an equal number of serious wounded, and almost all its armor and aircraft. The Russians will win decisively. That should be a non-problem for the US—except for a well-deserved loss of prestige and power. Considering that actual Jacobins control Washington, the average American shouldn’t worry—as long as they don’t touch off World War 3.

International Man: Information warfare isn’t exclusively directed against foreign enemies. Governments can engage in information warfare against their own citizens. Many would argue that we saw numerous examples during the recent Covid hysteria.

What is your take on governments using information warfare against their own citizens?

Doug Casey: The term propaganda was originated by the Catholic church, adopted by Lenin as agitprop, and perfected as psyops by US covert services with Madison Avenue techniques. Its essence is manipulation through deception and half-truths.

Propaganda is extremely important to authoritarian governments, especially during wars. That’s because war itself is, first and foremost, a matter of psychology. And propaganda controls mass psychology. If you can demoralize an enemy through psyops, the war is 90% won. Economics and logistics are of secondary importance. Tanks, planes, and bullets are just tools.

Sun Tzu believed that the most successful kind of war is the war that you don’t fight. Fighting should be only an afterthought, a formality. That can be accomplished through the effective use of information and propaganda.

The big problem facing the world today is that governments—especially the US government—have become far more powerful than ever before relative to their own societies.

It’s almost at the point where they realize that they can’t fight each other, because war has become way, way too destructive and deadly. The global nomenklatura who meet in places like Davos are, I suspect, much more loyal to each other than they are to their respective countries. The real war is now against the plebs in their own countries. Their own plebs, not a foreign enemy, are the greatest danger to the elite. Therefore, the elite will use the apparatus of the State to keep the plebs confused, disorganized, and docile. A belief in democracy helps keep them that way.

It’s quite clever the way “democracy” has been transformed into what amounts to a new deity or a secular religion. Democracy, a relatively gentle form of mob rule, is essentially just a method of electing rulers. It, not freedom, is worshiped around the world. The plebs are propagandized into believing their votes count and that they elect their rulers. But their rulers, who orchestrate the degraded charade, not only aren’t the best and the brightest (as they’ve convinced the plebs) but the worst and slickest.

You can forget about so-called democracies being shining cities on a hill. They’re all kakistocracies at this point—which is to say government of the worst. They use propaganda and psychological warfare to keep themselves in power.

International Man: Social media and search engine algorithms have an enormous influence on how people view events.

Is this a new arena for information warfare?

How does one discover the truth amid all this deception and manipulation?

Doug Casey: In today’s new era of information psyops, you really don’t need jackbooted police with riot shields to keep the plebs under control. Psychological warfare can “cancel” people, and social media can be used to shame them into silence and submission. Elements of the population can be turned against each other so that the government itself doesn’t have to become directly involved.

They use “fact-checkers” to censor and invalidate information. And “influencers” to manipulate beliefs.

So how does one discover the truth with all this deception and manipulation?

George Carlin was right. His prime directive was: Don’t believe anything the government says. But you can go beyond that at this point. Because of the rise of social media, photoshop, artificial intelligence, and woke corporate action, you shouldn’t believe almost anything.

Not believe anything? In a way, this is a good thing. Why? Because not accepting anything at face value might force some people to become critical thinkers.

Most people are not critical thinkers. They believe everything they hear if it comes from an authoritative-sounding source. They’re proof that Einstein was right when he said that, after hydrogen, stupidity was the most common thing in the universe.

Unfortunately, one thing that you can’t believe anymore is that we, the US, are always the good guys. It’s a pity because there was once a time when the US was still more or less aligned with its founding virtues. Those principles made it different from and better than any other nation in the world.

At this point, however, it’s become very much like the Athenian empire. Ancient Athens started out as the classical shining city on the hill, the source of all the philosophy, and the epicenter of literature in the ancient world. It once epitomized righteousness and gave democracy a good name.

However, it gradually transformed itself into an evil, destructive, and aggressive empire. In the Peloponnesian War, which destroyed them, the Athenians turned out to be the aggressors against the Spartans.

I fear that the same thing is happening with the US. It’s transformed itself, much the way Athens did, into an aggressive empire. Maybe even more so because it’s bankrupt and, therefore, desperate. The US is unlikely to reform any time soon. Not just because genuine Jacobins have now captured the apparatus of the State but because universities are no longer devoted to thoughtful education and critical thinking. They’re now nothing but indoctrination centers for statism, collectivism, and Neo-Marxism.

In any event, it’s become harder and harder in today’s world to discover the truth. There are a lot of forces trying to hide the truth in order to keep themselves in power. They have money, power, and they’re entrenched. It’s a real problem.

International Man: What do you think happens next in the information war?

Where is this broader trend headed?

Doug Casey: It’s in the interest of the powers-that-be to keep the plebs onside. They don’t want the average guy to be too unhappy and angry. It’s important for the plebs to think that the government is their friend, protector and should be trusted.

Although that facade is starting to crack, that’s why the internet is a big problem for these people. It can spread dissension. My guess is that they’re going to find a way to restrict the internet, probably by making users register. Then they can be controlled more closely and punished for “bad think.” It’s already a fact, if you express the wrong attitudes or thoughts at work or in school.

Where is this trend headed?

Well, as far as I’m concerned, both the COVID hysteria and brain-dead support for the Ukraine regime are just overtures to the main event, namely climate change. They are all psyops based on lies, misinformation, and disinformation. The idea is to keep people’s thoughts in line, as if they were at a political rally or cheering mindlessly at a sports event.

The future will be controlled with things like social credit scores. They’ve been implemented in China and will certainly be implemented here in the West. Your standing as an upright citizen will be dinged if you are known to say the wrong things, have the wrong beliefs, or do things considered anti-social in the opinion of the people in control.

Another example is the growing implementation of 15-minute cities. It’s part of the overall trend to turn citizens back into serfs. In medieval times, all cities, all villages, were 15-minute cities. People had to ask permission from their lord to travel more than 15 minutes from their hut.

It’s disguised as a way of fighting global warming. These trends are very negative from the point of view of personal freedom and classical Western values.

I’m sorry to say that everything is continuing to accelerate in the wrong direction.

Reprinted with permission from International Man.

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