In war, everyone lies.
500 years before the birth of Christ, military strategist Sun Tzu laid down the pillar principle of deceit in his still-read treatise, “The Art of War.”
In addition to tactics such as seize the high ground, retreat when outnumbered, the use of diplomacy and spies, Tzu wrote about psychologically demoralizing the enemy to make him unwilling to fight and easy to defeat. It is the war beneath the surface.
I could not find much on current Ukrainian psychological warfare, but evidence suggests it must be powerful.
I did find one article published by the American Psychological Association that delves into the use of misinformation and disinformation by nation states, with particular emphasis on Russia. That’s where I found the term ”gish gallop” to describe Putin’s rapid-fire lying.
It’s worth following the link if you have a few minutes. It does discuss Ukraine’s effective use of social media, without much detail. I am certain there’s a book or movie on this after the war.
Remember — Russia was supposed to swat away opposition and take the capital of Kyiv in a week.
That did not happen, nor will it happen.
Now in its seventh month, the war has tilted in Ukraine’s favor, enormously helped by maybe $17 billion sent by the U.S., plus more from allies — and let’s not forget invaluable intelligence information.
I know $17 billion is a lot of money, but two things:
What is democracy worth?, and I would rather see it go to Ukraine than to American students in self-assigned debt.
Probably with U.S. Intelligence, Ukraine faked a counteroffensive in the south before attacking northeast, tearing through Russian lines.
Putin is doing more to destroy Russia’s army than the Nazis did, but in World War II the Germans were the aggressors and the Russians were fighting on their home soil — just as the Ukranians are doing today.
Tens of thousands of “draft age” Russians are fleeing the country, making the flight of Americans to Canada during Vietnam seem like a frat party.
Despite the tight controls on social media and the press, the word is getting out in Russia, as tens of thousands of soldiers will not be coming home. Their friends and family will soon know what is going on, if they don’t already.
I’d like to know how Ukraine is appealing to Russian troops to desert.
I would bet by social media, by phone, by pamphlets, Russian soldiers are being urged to desert, to not fight their neighbors, who will treat them like brothers if they cross the lines.
Far fetched? I don’t think so.
Russian conscripts know they have nothing to fight for, nothing to die for.
Putin may make threats about nuclear weapons, but will he have any troops to load and aim them?
His lies can’t sustain him.