“Suddenly,” a History

Right now we are experiencing an information campaign called “Omnichannel Marketing” which is “[b]asically your modern marketing blitzkrieg, assaulting audiences on all fronts across social media, brick and mortar stories, online, and mobile in one seamless experience.” This marketing campaign began in the minutes following our latest national elections.

Some folks recently rediscovered that Russia (and other countries and multinational corporations) act in their own interest. Like Hollywood’s sudden re-discovery of freedom of conscience which is powering their boycott of Trump’s inauguration, Russia is “suddenly” our enemy again. For those struggling under newfound knowledge, Jimmy Carter and some nuns are smiling at you.

Russia has always acted in Russia’s best interest. When Russia was the larger republic in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, all the other republics and the slave organization called the Warsaw Pact acted solely in Russia’s interest. That didn’t end in 1989. That didn’t end in 2001. It will never end. Welcome back to America’s Left, to the Greatest Game.

In an information age and an information economy,  Russia is a master of information warfare.

By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

But it was the Soviet Union, in its day, that was the master of this game. They made dezinformatsiya (disinformation) a central weapon of their war against “the main adversary”, the U.S. They conducted memetic subversion against the U.S. on many levels at a scale that is only now becoming clear as historians burrow through their archives and ex-KGB officers sell their memoirs.

The Soviets had an entire “active measures” department devoted to churning out anti-American dezinformatsiya. A classic example is the rumor that AIDS was the result of research aimed at building a ‘race bomb’ that would selectively kill black people.

One strategy that kept the world safe was Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Nukes are the ultimate White Rabbit Christmas Gift. To control America’s nukes the Army Air Corps/USAF created the Strategic Air Command, a nuclear weapons-not-fighter plane-centric organization. The USAF got rid of SAC, and having failed the duties of nuclear surety and readiness, the USAF revived a we-dare-not-call-it-SAC command. This command still has major, organic issues to overcome, the largest of which is that non-pilots and non-pilot functions don’t rate doodley-squat in our Air Force.

The latest assessment concludes that the problems persist because so much of the equipment on these missile bases is so old that many components are no longer made and the shrinking air force budget cannot meet demands for expensive improvisations. As a result the missile bases are considered a bad assignment because so much stuff is ancient and breaking down. All this was made worse by the post-Cold War air force leadership stressing “zero defects”, micromanagement and political correctness. This stuff made matters worse at the missile bases. These three items made it particularly difficult to admit that they were key problems and as a result morale among officers and airmen was low and staying low because despite the headlines about “fixing the problem” things got worse, especially when it came to living and working conditions in these rural bases. The problems were particularly harsh during cold weather, which in this area, near the Canadian border, have always been a challenge. [emphasis added by author]

Maybe if the USAF thought Strategically, instead of Tactically and bought 1 fewer F-35, we’d have nuke facilities that worked. Naaaaah… can’t pilot a nuke, so ruck ’em!

About DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
This entry was posted in Air Force, History, Russia. Bookmark the permalink.

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