Awareness of IO in the shape of deception-/influence-ops (and other PSYOP-ishness) might reasonably be perceived as a rather pertinent knowledge-set for that discerning consumer of news still wary of those special narratives that intermittently pop up and come to ubiquitously permeate the exhaust fumes of every lo-hairlined tele-prompted head intensely willing to console one come dinner time with sponsored clarity on why the world will always turn for yet another day of credit fueled eudaimonia.
Providing an example of a recent IO and how it's resultant narrative was successfully deployed against a targeted public, and leveraged against its leadership, would perhaps not be considered completely out of order given the esoteric contextualizing going on at this site of dubious repute. For some of our regulars, what follows will be but foggy old news. Verily, it is for these bored and lonely degenerates we provide a meager feed of complimentary skankwork.
In varying contrast to the generic authoritarian state, Western democracies are not seldom at somewhat of an initial loss when attempting to adequately control the mass media to shape the perceptions of their citizens when delicate need so demands. In such lieu, the creation of ‘false realities’ has proven to be one of several workable alternatives to the more direct avenues of influence readily available to those most fortunate despots of Myanmar et al.
By manipulating/tailoring events to be appetizing to a rather divinable media, political/soft control of targeted nations becomes, albeit only at fortunate times, a not altogether unachievable goal. To such ends, well-heeled powers will on occasion aim to create indicators – enemy subs or bomb attacks or whatever – though most often dazzling or salacious events to be sure, that are odds-on seized upon by the regularized and unflappable diligentsia of Dorito media for Cheezy-dimensional interpretation and dissemination to the publics targeted for perception shaping - be they of foreign or domestic persuasion.
After World War II, a real hot war in Western Europe appeared increasingly unlikely. Power struggles in democratic countries found new forms at the lower end of the conflict spectrum. In defense of the Western system, the US began to operate submarines to simulate real enemy intrusions into the waters of allies and friends as an instrument to test their readiness and capability - but also to manipulate the mindset of local military forces, governments and populations, as was the case in Sweden.
Following the stranding of a Soviet Whiskey-class submarine in 1981 in a Swedish archipelago, a series of massive submarine intrusions took place within Swedish waters and were widely attributed to Soviet intrusions. Soon the kingdom of Sweden was on high alert for Spetznaz frogmen everywhere (Robert Boyd got it wrong here, save perhaps for his 'probably'). However, the evidence for these Soviet intrusions appears to have been manipulated or simply invented. Classified documents and interviews point to covert Western, rather than Soviet, activity.
Archival material and interviews with retired military officers point to US and to some extent UK PSYOPs. Former US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger stated on Swedish TV that US/Western submarines operated regularly and frequently in Swedish waters after Swedish-US navy-to-navy consultations. However, the Swedish government or public was never informed. They believed the submarines were from the Soviet Union. These operations allowed the U.S. to shape the mindset of their targeted audience in order to control a state perceived to be wavering on its kinetic commitments.
As the United States and Britain ran a 'secret war' in Swedish waters, the number of Swedes perceiving the Soviet Union as a direct threat increased from 5-10 per cent in 1980 to 45 per cent in 1983. This Anglo-American 'secret war' aimed at exerting political influence over Sweden was a risky enterprise but perhaps one of the most successful covert operations of the entire Cold War.
Viciously hacked & jacked book review of Ola Tunander's The Secret War Against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980's