With the development of modern technology, the war situation of “close combat” inherited for thousands of years is getting farther and farther away from us.
Obviously, the war is no longer only accompanied by the rumble of artillery fire, but the information war, as the focus of this military revolution, began to appear.
If the Gulf War marks the first application of the new war style of information war on the battlefield, then the Iraq war marks the maturity of the theory and practice of information war.
The United States used less than half of the force in the Gulf War, but occupied Iraq in a shorter time.
The fundamental reason is that after years of information construction, the overall combat capability of the U.S. military has reached a new level.
The Iraqi army was defeated in the Gulf War, greatly weakened, and subjected to a military embargo by the international community for more than a decade, and its combat capability has been greatly reduced.
In this war, the United States and Britain have an overwhelming information advantage through the whole process information war.
It is precisely with this advantage that the United States and Britain coalition forces can accurately hit the important political and military targets of Iraq with tens of thousands of cruise missiles and precision guided bombs in large-scale air strikes, and coordinate their actions in the multidimensional fields of land, sea, air, space and electricity, Form a thunderous momentum and quickly defeat your opponent.
On March 20, 2003, the United States launched the first round of air strikes against Iraq.
Before that, a silent war had already hit the rear of the United States and Iraq through the Internet: the U.S. intelligence system continued to send emails to the mainstream strata with social influence in Iraq.
These emails listed the “crimes” of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in’s 20 years in power, and tried to persuade these mainstream strata to surrender.
At the same time, some computer experts from different countries, with the slogan of “supporting the weak and helping the poor”, stirred up the banner of anti war and constantly attacked the websites of the US government and military.
Obviously, the war is no longer only accompanied by the rumble of artillery fire.
In fact, the means of information warfare have been incisively and vividly demonstrated in the previous Gulf War: 24 hours before the war, the U.S. military implemented broadband high-power suppression interference, resulting in the interruption of communication in Iraq, and then the U.S. military surprised to attack.
In this war, the United States, which seems to have an absolute advantage in military technology, has also carried out various “attacks” on Iraq.
Or use accurate positioning technology to launch missiles to destroy Iraq’s air defense system and command system.
Or spreading false information through the controlled information dissemination channels to confuse the other party.
Or transfer the 4th Infantry Division, the world’s first well-equipped digital force, to the front line.
These means can be divided into two categories: strategic information war and battlefield information war, which are divided at the macro level.
Using modern communication or computer technology to control or destroy the enemy’s basic communication facilities, telephone networks, oil and gas pipelines, power networks, traffic control systems, national fund transfer systems, various bank transfer systems and health protection and construction systems, so as to achieve strategic objectives.
This is strategic information warfare.
The “live ammunition” on the battlefield belongs to battlefield information warfare.
Generally speaking, both belligerents will spread the information they want to spread to the whole world, especially their belligerents, through communication facilities or the Internet, so as to confuse the enemy.
For those information that is unfavorable to them, various means will be taken to shield it, which is a common means used by both sides in strategic information warfare.
On March 21, the day after the US war against Iraq, the United States announced that Saddam had died.
A few hours later, Saddam appeared on the screen wearing glasses and called on the Iraqi people to resist the aggression of the US British coalition forces.
In order to combat the morale of the Iraqi army, during the war, CNN broadcast the news that the 51st division of the Iraqi army led all the soldiers to surrender.
That night, the commander of the 51st division of the Iraqi army came out to clarify the facts.
The public opinion circles were in an uproar.
Since then, in the routine press conferences held by the United States and Iraq every day, the propaganda wording of the United States is the same every day, such as the advance of the coalition forces in Iraq is carried out according to the scheduled plan, how many Iraqi soldiers surrendered, and where they attacked, etc, He avoided talking about the obstruction of the US British coalition forces in Iraq, which is widely concerned by the outside world.
Iraq firmly grasped the weakness of the United States in the humanitarian aspect: how many innocent civilians were killed or injured when the United States carried out air strikes, the United States launched a war of aggression, and so on.
The intention of Iraq to win more public opinion support through such publicity is also very obvious.
Nowadays, information warfare is closely combined with psychological warfare.
Both belligerents hope to achieve the purpose of psychological control through information warfare, so as to distract the enemy.
This is most vividly demonstrated in this war.
The existence of the Internet provides a very good technical platform for such an information war.
Traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television stations are easy to be destroyed, and the flexibility of the Internet is much greater.
Militarily, tactically, television, radio, or newspapers can be blocked.
However, the Internet can go deep behind the enemy.
In the Kosovo war, although NATO destroyed the basic communication facilities such as television and telephone of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, it still retained some large service websites because NATO itself had to use these facilities to control information.
In strategic information warfare, both sides will take high-tech means to control the information of each other’s communication facilities, so as to master the right of information control.
When the United States attacked Iraq this time, it seemed to be in a hurry.
Afterwards, it was reported that because the United States intercepted a telephone signal of Saddam Hussein, and then the U.S. intelligence department analyzed the hiding place of Saddam Hussein based on this signal, so it sent several missiles.
The United States and Britain named the operation “beheading operation”.
During the war, the United States declared more than once that “Saddam has lost control of the country and the army”.
But in fact, what we see is that the Iraqi army is resisting in an orderly manner.
The reason why the United States made such a judgment may be that the United States did not find Saddam’s command information in his intelligence detection system, but Saddam is still commanding his army.
The future war will be the competition for the right to make credit.
Whoever has the right to make credit will have more chances to win.
The combat capability of the digitized division is equivalent to that of six traditional divisions.
This was undoubtedly a shot in the arm for the United States, which could not find a better way to attack in addition to air strikes in the Iraq war.
The United States also happens to regard the Iraqi battlefield as the first actual combat exercise of this digital force.
A key feature of the Iraq war is the ups and downs of psychological confrontation between the United States and Iraq, which has attracted worldwide attention.
In this war, the US military integrated its absolute information superiority into large-scale psychological warfare and played an irreplaceable role in the war.
It can be said that the Iraq war has opened the door of information psychological warfare in the new century.
Psychological warfare has become the “fourth kind of war” which is detached from land, sea, air, space and electricity and closely integrated with national strategy.
The Iraq war has demonstrated this trend with facts.
The U.S. military used almost all the specialized psychological warfare forces, renovated the forms, threatened and lured, and launched an all-round, whole process and high-intensity psychological warfare offensive to divide, intimidate, alienate, induce and intimidate the Iraqi side.
Naturally, Saddam will not be arrested under the intimidation of the United States.
On the contrary, with his justice and justice as the backing and Islam as the spiritual pillar, Saddam will continue to counterattack the fierce psychological warfare of the US military and seek the sympathy and support of international public opinion.
While the battlefield in Iraq is filled with gunfire and smoke, there is also a contest between truth and lie, emotion and will.
After the Iraq crisis, the U.S. government implemented a multi-level and all-round psychological warfare strategy around the “fall of SA”.
Before the war broke out, “psychological warfare” became the main combat means of the United States.
Before the war, the main methods of “psychological warfare” were: using “the president signs the decision” to carry out overall psychological warfare.
Instigating Saddam’s men to launch a coup.
Create a favorable public opinion environment for the “overthrow of SA” war.
Use e-mail to launch a propaganda war against senior Iraqi officials.
After the outbreak of the war, the status of “psychological warfare” dropped from the first to the second, and became an important auxiliary means of force.
The main purpose of “psychological warfare” launched by the U.S. military has also changed from “subduing soldiers without war” to “achieving the greatest military purpose at the least cost”.
The US military’s psychological warfare at this stage mainly includes the following ways: first, plan and launch “beheading” and “shock” operations to destroy Iraq’s will to resist.
2、 By allowing journalists to conduct “embedded” interviews to show off their force and deter them.
3、 Widely carry out information deception by various means.
4、 Using separatist means to provoke the separation of senior Iraqi government officials from Saddam Hussein.
5、 Psychological warfare troops were used to “carpet bomb” the whole country of Iraq.
6、 Restrict the “freedom” of the press and unify the reporting caliber.
7、 Timely publish the list of war criminals and completely disintegrate the residual resistance forces in Iraq.
In this psychological warfare, the US military has made full use of various means provided by modern information technology, so that psychological warfare has all-round, all-time, multi-form high-tech characteristics.
First of all, the two traditional means of leaflets and broadcasting have been brought into full play.
According to incomplete statistics, the US military has scattered tens of millions of leaflets in Iraq.
These leaflets are jointly produced by the US military, local public relations companies and advertising companies.
They are not only beautifully printed and illustrated, but also seize the psychological weaknesses of the Iraqi army and the people and carry out targeted persuasion and induction in an attempt to weaken the resistance will of the Iraqi army and people.
The U.S. military has invested heavily in establishing a news radio station, which uses special combat aircraft to carry out 17 hours of propaganda and broadcasting to Iraq through five different frequencies every day.
Secondly, the US military has achieved remarkable results by using modern media and high-tech means such as television, Internet, e-mail, mobile communication and satellite channel insertion.
It is reported that before the outbreak of the war, the US military obtained the mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses of senior Iraqi leaders and important military commanders, sent them a large number of mobile phone text messages and e-mails, and even hired intelligence personnel who knew Arabic to talk directly with them to intimidate and persuade the “backbone” of Saddam Hussein’s regime to surrender.
In addition, information generation technology has become a focus worthy of special attention in this information psychological warfare.
The information generation technology of the United States is in a leading position in the world.
It can use this technology to create false news, false image, false sound and false news, and its effect can completely confuse the false with the true.
It is reported that during the war, the U.S. military used this information generation technology to issue false orders to the Iraqi army, pretended to broadcast as Iraq’s local radio station, and also issued false orders and instructions in imitation of the voice of Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi military and political leaders.
The psychological war launched by the US military against Iraq is also a war of public opinion.
The media has become a direct tool of war, and the news has become a sharp weapon of war.
The general public opinion was not fully used to launch a war against Iraq, which marked the basic effect of the United States’ attempt to launch a war against Iraq.
Through the largest information psychological warfare in the new century, other countries in the world can get a lot of useful enlightenment from it.
The famous saying “three quarters of the victory or defeat on the battlefield depends on spiritual factors and one quarter depends on other conditions” more than a century ago is not outdated in the information age.
When focusing on the preparation for future military struggle, psychological warfare must be treated from the operational and tactical level to the strategic level.
While strengthening the construction of operational means, scientific and technological content and staffing system of psychological warfare professional forces, we should be good at using and utilizing the developed mass media to implement military psychological warfare.
Only in this way can we win the information war in the new century and truly “subdue the soldiers without war”.