The Financial Times, a leading voice of global neoliberalism, has praised psychological influence operations, better known as Psyops, as a valuable weapon in the “war against disinformation.”
The article, published earlier this week, blames “Russia, China, and Iran” for using “disinformation and online propaganda to amplify anti-vax sentiment and foment political tensions in Europe and the US.”
The FT says Mikael Tofvesson, head of the Swedish Navy’s new Psyops division, believes “foreign aggressors” are trying to “sow division by targeting areas of public concern such as crime, Covid vaccinations, the government’s response to the pandemic, and immigration.”
The FT goes on to praise western militaries for teaching the citizenry to “distinguish truth from falsehood” and urges more countries to take up arms against “the disinformation virus.”
But as with Covid, the most important task in psychological defence is to inoculate the population against believing false information — a job that Sweden’s new agency will also handle. This involves teaching the public how to verify information. A citizenry able to distinguish truth from falsehoods is vital, not just from a national security perspective but for protection from more everyday threats such as quack cures peddled on the internet.
Other countries, too, should show they’re serious about fighting the disinformation virus and immunising against it. Otherwise it will undermine our societies and render even the most sophisticated military defences useless.
Psychological operations have long been a part of military operations, and are typically defined as the use of propaganda and other methods to influence the attitudes and behavior of foreign adversaries.
What the FT is advocating — and what many have long suspected — is the use of these techniques by western military, security, and intelligence forces against their own citizens.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.