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The Role and Purpose of Information Warfare in the Transforming Global Geopolitical Order

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The human existence is composed of three distinct and yet inter-connected realms – physical realm, information realm and cognitive realm. It creates a context where information operations support political and military operations (geopolitics), through the use of selective and subjective interpretations or representations of people, places, events, processes and trends in international relations. Where information and knowledge can be used to: influence audiences, profit from audiences, or to bestow strategic advantage over audiences. Information warfare involves the manipulation of a targeted audience through communicating selective and subjective information that adversely affects their decision-making capability and capacity while aiding and abetting in the instigator’s geopolitical agenda. This is the careful and considered regulation and management of information and knowledge as a form of non-kinetic warfare as a means of engineering some form of advantage over an opponent.

Currently, the global order is undergoing a massive and all-encompassing transformation away from the current hegemony of a Western-centric United States unipolar order towards a Non-Western centric multipolar order. The US absolute hegemony is gone, and its relative hegemony is also weakening. This situation has been created by the imperial over-extension of the US and its system of vassal and client states resulting from the hubris created by their supposed victory in the Cold War, together with the absence of checks and balances in the unipolar global system.

The US controlled Western-centric order is, however, deciding to contest rather than manage its global decline. In the midst of decline political, military and economic capability and capacity, they have chosen the fifth dimension of strategy (information and knowledge) as the primary means to attempt to halt the Non-Western world’s rise and their decline. Where US information warfare supports their geostrategic imperatives of retaining vassal state dependence and loyalty, protecting and keeping pliant client states, and preventing the rise of powers (or blocks of powers) that can challenge US hegemony. For example, the use of the Colour Revolutions and the Arab Spring to advance US interests and to erode others capability and capacity to increase their influence and power.

The US-led Western centric order seeks to use information warfare to stymie and prevent the rise of other powers and to uphold the geostrategic imperatives. This is achieved through obstructive foreign policy (to prevent other powers from achieving their foreign policy goals and objectives) and through engineering an orthodoxy of knowledge (manufacture a reality that triggers passivity or a reactionary posture in other actors) to enable the retention of a relative hegemony. However, the Non-Western world is developing its own independent understanding of realities with the supporting physical, informational and cognitive structures to regulate and manage their own image and purpose in the newly emerging international relations environment.


Greg Simons, PhD

University of Canterbury (New Zealand), Turiba University in Latvia and Founding Member of the Global Network of Artificial Intelligence and International Society GNAI&IS

Greg Simons (PhD)

He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Greg graduated with a PhD from the University of Canterbury in 2004, in 2015 became Associate Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University. Greg Simons is currently a lecturer at the Department of Communication Science at Turiba University in Riga, Latvia. Hes is a Founding Member of the Global Network of Artificial Intelligence and International Society GNAI&ISResearch interests include the changing political dynamics and relationships, mass media, public diplomacy, information warfare, hybrid warfare and subversion, organised persuasive communication, political marketing, crisis management communications, media and armed conflict, and the Russian Orthodox Church. He also research the relationships and connections between information, politics and armed conflict more broadly, such as the GWOT and Arab Spring, the interpretation and representation of events and processes in the New Cold War (within the context of the transforming global order). Simons is the author and/or editor of numerous refereed articles, chapters and books: with over 15 books, 24 book chapters and more than 100 articles, with nearly 400 presentations around the world.


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