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The Ukraine war reflects a new national security paradigm

9 1 10
20.04.2022

In many ways, the invasion of Ukraine is a head scratcher — the how, that is, not the why.

Wars of naked aggression are products of the industrial age; the idea of armies, even those of major powers, marching across frontiers is so 20th century. Conflict today is supposed to be subtle, sophisticated and cyber.

And yet, here we are. Russia has sent tens of thousands of troops into a sovereign country to wage a bloody conflict. Nevertheless, this war validates my belief that there is a new national security model. Traditional concerns persist but there is a new range of considerations for policymakers to weigh as they develop 21st century national security strategies. Understanding connectivity — the threats now posed by the great enabler of globalization — is the key to security today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dispensed with the “gray zone” tactics that he used in the 2014 annexation of Crimea; rather than deploying “little green men” to obscure responsibility for an act of aggression, he sent his army into Ukraine to “liberate” the Russian-speaking peoples there and realize his dream of recreating the Russian empire.

From that point, the Ukraine conflict has confirmed the ways in which the new national security economy operates. There is, for example, the priority attached to the contest to dominate the information space. Russia is promoting a narrative of a “special military operation” to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. In this telling, Moscow is waging a war of liberation to protect human rights.

The West has countered with its own information offensive, one designed to puncture Russian claims and brand its military action as illegitimate, brutal and a violation of international law. Governments are using propaganda, disinformation and selective intelligence disclosures (in the West) in this struggle. Moscow’s efforts to control the flow of information harken back to the darkest days of the Soviet era: Independent media have been shut down and Orwellian techniques of........

© The Japan Times


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