It should also be pointed out that in the very article are not discussed issues relating to the cyberspace security (hackering and etc.). However, the intense activity of the Azerbaijani special structures in this direction is to be stated as a fact. More often the objective of hackers is monitoring the correspondence among the state officials, which, in comparison with other countries, is not enciphered, but is sent with an open text.
Information warfare of the first generation and NKR
It is considered that informational flows can be of two types:
- Information flows which represent or light up different spheres of human vital functions and form a global information field.
- Purposeful information flows, which are called to influence on military-political, social-economic and spiritual-psychological condition of a certain addressee.
As a rule, information flows of the first type are not much controlled by the society and the state. At that, they may pose a well known threat to the society’s psychological and moral condition (especially to the traditional ones). At the same time, suchlike flows may create a certain information-psychological background, which may be used by the authors of the purposeful information flows of the second type. In this context, the information field of any society, especially the one facing military-political conflict (like MKR), needs expert monitoring, and, if necessary, correction from the direction of the state and society.
As a rule, the information flows of the second type correspond with the definition of classical information actions and information warfare. Involvement of Armenia and the Armenian people into a scale, in a certain sense global, political processes (in the context of recognizing Genocide and the NKR), automatically turn them into a subject of information warfare. In case of the NKR, the most obvious and main information aggressors are sure to be considered the Republic of Azerbaijan and its allies.
At the same time, analysis of information flows give the impression that the Azerbaijani structures waging information warfare get certain, in particular methodological support of the specialists from Turkey and other ally states of Azerbaijan. It is also not excluded the participation of experts of big energy companies based in this country in information operations against the NKR: the latter ones are known to be well experienced in carrying out information operations. This circumstance is an important element to give a right estimation to Azerbaijan’s information resources and is to be a subject to more detailed study.
The total of information operations against the NKR may be characterized as a classical information warfare of the first generation called to supplement the operations carried out by Azerbaijan in military, political and economic fields. In this context the information flows from the direction of Azerbaijan may conditionally be denoted by three vectors, one of which is internal, and the other two are external:
- The internal vector is directed to the Azerbaijani audience and has an objective of preserving memories about Nagorno-Karabakh in the society as an integral part of Azerbaijan and bringing up the younger generation in the spirit of militarization, revenge and Armenophobia.
- The first external vector is directed against the Armenian community and is being carried out in the genre of psychological war. For example, are presented progress in the fields of energy and finance and they are correlated with strengthening of their own IS and, accordingly, with territorial pretensions to not only the NKR, but also to the RA (Sevan, Yerevan etc.)
- The second external information vector is directed to different segments of world community and has an objective to form a positive image of Azerbaijan which suffered from the Armenian aggression and blacken everything connected with Armenia and the Armenian people.
It goes without saying that the mentioned directions of information flows don’t have clear-cut outlined borders: they are often synthesized and are mutually complimentary. It is to be accepted that the Azerbaijanis have certain progress in their information operations; at present they use a number of chrestomatie methods and technologies. Whereas, the Armenian party does not always respond adequately to these challenges – post factum refutations are not effective: a systemized approach should be applied here.
Information warfare of the second generation and NKR
At the same time we think that for the NKR are more dangerous the information operations carried out on the basis of conception information warfare of the second generation, worked out by the specialists of “REND” corporations. Let’s mention that if the information aggression of the first generation is considered to be an important component and is used in a general context of traditional war, than infowars of the second generation have independent significance and are considered to be a principally new type of strategic opposition “which is brought to life by information revolution, introducing information space and a number of other fields into the circle of possible opposition fields and lasting months and years in time frame… ”
Among the problems to be solved with the help of information warfare of the second generation we will in particular single out the following ones:
- Manipulation with social consciousness and political orientation of social groups of a country’s population with an objective to create political tension and chaos.
- Destabilization of political relations among parties, unions and movements aiming at provoking conflicts, stirring up mistrust, suspicion, aggravating political struggle, provoking repressions against opposition, instigating mutual destruction.
- Decline in the level of providing the authority with information, inspiration of wrong administrative decisions.
- Disinformation of population about the work of governmental bodies, undermining their reputation, discredit of authorities.
- Undermining of a state’s international reputation and its collaboration with other countries.
The above mentioned suggests that in a certain sense the RA and NKR are already subject to information attacks of “the second category.” A more typical manifestation of suchlike wars is so called “color revolutions.” An example of such a revolution is in particular the processes we witnessed not long ago in the RA during presidential elections and which are directly connected with the NKR security. In particular, the well known political powers widely used the following slogans:
- “Down with the Karabakh clan,” in that way certain domestic perceptions were raised to the political level, and an attempt was made to project these perceptions over the idea of “Karabakhian” in general. Thus, as a matter of fact, an attempt was made to realize the above mentioned first point “manipulation with social consciousness and political orientation of social groups of a country’s population with an objective to create political tension and chaos.”
- “The unsettled Karabakh conflict is the source of misfortune we have,” in that way in particular was spread the idea of handing over the liberated lands.
RA and NKR information integration problems
The fact that that the above mentioned “color slogans” got certain resonance in society, is in particular sequent of mistakes made in the information policy of the RA and NKR. In spite of the success in integration in military-political and economic spheres, it is still not time to speak about information integrity of the two countries. At the period of “Karabakh movement” the Armenian society was quite well informed (taking into consideration rallies and private sources providing information) about the situation in the NKR. At that, today there is an impression that the NKR is in the zone of “radio silence:” only on the occasion of arrival of international observers the TV channels broadcast conventional reports on the background of the presidential residence in Stpenakert. In this connection let’s mention that that problem is common for the whole Armenia: the social system with “its own TV reporters” has collapsed, and in this century of globalization almost all the regions found themselves isolated from the standpoint of information.
Basing on the above mentioned one comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to create a specialized expert structure, which will be engaged in the NKR IS problems and together with the RA specialists will work in the following directions:
- Classification of infogen threats, revelation of centers working out information operations against the NKR and working out efficient, asymmetric methods to neutralize these operations.
- Working out preventive information operations of attacking character.
- Making attempts to shape a joint RA-NKR information plane.