In an article published last week titled “US working with ‘Five Eyes’ nations, Japan on information warfare,” a publication on military intelligence and communications technology called C4ISRNET reports that the US and its allies are collaborating “to share and sharpen information-warfare techniques in the Indo-Pacific” with the goal of “countering” the “increasingly aggressive China.”
Here’s an excerpt:
Dialogues and exchanges of best practices are ongoing with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and other countries including Japan, according to Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander of Naval Information Forces.
“I want to say we have at least a dozen countries or so that are either establishing information warfare programs, or are interested in partnering further in the information warfare realm,” she said Feb. 15 at the West 2023 conference in San Diego. “We are leaning in there, we are focused.”
Japan, specifically, has expressed significant interest in information warfare, “in a really positive way,” Aeschbach told C4ISRNET. Japan and Australia, among others, are considered critical U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific, a region national security officials are invested in as they seek to counter an increasingly aggressive China.
Libertarian Institute’s Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman have a good write-up on this latest revelation in which they explain that information warfare is “a broad swath of military operations a country can use to disrupt another” which “can include spreading disinformation or preventing the spread of information.”
As Anzalone and Freeman note, one significant recent instance of the US government’s acknowledged use of information warfare was when US officials told NBC News that the US government has been deliberately circulating unsubstantiated information to western news media “as part of an information war against Russia.”
Which is to say, they lied. When you do things like telling New York Times reporters that “Russia asked China to give it military equipment and support for the war in Ukraine after President Vladimir V. Putin began a full-scale invasion last month,” only to have NBC report that you knew this claim “lacked hard evidence,” you lied. You used your country’s mass media institutions to circulate disinformation.