Russia’s Information Warfare Succeeds

Russia orchestrated The “Gerasimov Doctrine” that called for an emphasis on using continuous “information warfare” to divide and distract Western countries and for continuous information warfare over military warfare. During the 2016 presidential election, Russians and hackers in Albania and Macedonia programmed bot attacks (computer commands) placed automated bogus posts on social media in favor of Trump and against Clinton. The bots searched for and posted news helpful to Trump and hurtful for Clinton. For example, the bots targeted Bernie Sanders voters during the campaign, planting hate stories on their sites—fake news, about Hillary Clinton. The stories posted by the bots linked to reactionary sites like Russian RT and Steve Bannon’s Breitbart. The Russians used WikkiLeaks to publicize hacks from the Democratic Headquarters at strategic points when Trump lagged in the polls and exaggerated the impact of Clinton’s use of a private email server. It’s possible that Russian use of information warfare achieved their aims as Trump attacks NATO and the State Department.

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