Gamers' Corner


Future War

Written by David Schatzman

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The later aspect of intelligence, that is, to intentionally mislead the enemy, is rather new, compared to its very limited use in the antiquity. Fact is, information channels were not as deployed as they are now, making the use of such techniques less efficient than they are today. This is called intox.

The very first and most obvious use of intox is to mislead enemy intelligence. It can be used to provoke the enemy without threatening him, force him to reveal information on itself, make him move his forces far away from the attack point, and so on. Another use that is even more powerful is to provoke conflicts between nations based on false information. Many such conspiracies can today be orchestrated quite easily using the most rudimentary means... and of course a lot of organization.

For example, shortly before the Allied landed in Normandy near the end of World War II, they lured the Germans into believing the attack would rather take place at Pas-de-Calais, hundreds of kilometers away. In fact, it was logical since the Allied then would have covered the shortest distance to the continent. However, in fact we know it was entirely otherwise and the Germans were caught off-guard. The Allied were ingenious enough to simulate a paradrop with half-man-sized dolls near the supposed area of the landing.

An even more subtle yet powerful use of intox is not targeting enemy Intelligence, but rather its own population. Its objective is nothing less than luring citizens into distrusting their own state. In old days, the only available tools were rumors and propaganda, but now new ones appear: proof synthesis. In fact, it comes now there is nothing as easy as making a false video incriminating leaders of the government or praised personalities. Repeated scandal is known to destabilize the state in a most effective manner.

Although no such campaign is known to have been waged, it is possible it could be done in the future. It could as well be combined with other techniques in order to provoke rebellions or wars. Suppose for example that one nation can secretly convince citizens of an enemy that their own leaders are betraying them in very atrocious ways, such as huge frauds with public funds or experiments on unwilling subjects. It could be enough to trigger an insurrection should the context already be favorable. Similarly, misleading enemy Intelligence into believing one of its allied is betraying him could lead directly to war. In such contexts of cold war as might be the norm of tomorrow; you never know what insignificance can trigger an armed conflict.

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