After years of low awareness and fragmented approaches, the West is finally coming to grips with Russia’s hybrid warfare in Eastern Europe. The next steps will require focus, engagement, and new thinking.
Since 2014’s surprise military intervention in Crimea — which then-NATO Supreme Allied Commander Philip Breedlove dubbed ”the most amazing blitzkrieg we have ever seen in the history of information warfare” — a wealth of Western studies have documented the strategies used to undermine the democratic foundations and values of the EU and their promotion in Western Balkans and the countries of the Eastern Partnership. Tactical, strategic, and long-term priorities have been put forward to educate the populace. Policy- and decision-makers can refer to the Center for European Policy Analysis’s 2016 report on winning the information war and the European Parliament’s 2016 analysis on strategic communication to counter propaganda. There are even bodies to coordinate the West’s response: the EU’s East StratCom task force and NATO’s StratCom Center of Excellence.Read more