Social Media as a Tool for Information Warfare

Last year fighting with “fake information campaign” proposed by former US President Barack Obama was central topic in mass media. The vast sums of money were allocated to the training of journalists, support of independent mass media, holding of forums and seminars. Despite the fact that Donald Trump has criticized the anti-Russian rhetoric of his predecessor, essentially, nothing has been changed. And the programs started by the Obama administration are being still implemented.
The European and American publishers tarnish the image of Russia keeping with the best traditions of the Cold War era. And being financed from the US state budget, these organizations proceed training journalists as part of the information war.
So, in September 2016 the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) released the information about the VOA’s journalists training to work for it and communicate with the Russian-speaking audience using social networks. These journalists knew about the ways of audience attraction, establishing the communication with audience using chatbot applications.
Besides, during 2017 the BBG plans to increase the number of digital media in the Baltic states, the South Caucasus and the Central Asia in order to dominate over the Russian information sources. The major focus is put on attracting “authoritative young users” living in Russia. “Fighting with Russian false information campaign” will become the priority task for the Voice of America in 2018.
The Voice of America is interested in social media platforms because their audience is bigger than the traditional mass media audience. People think that information published on social media platforms is more reliable. There is an illusion that barrier between the information and the method of its presentation is absent.
Many experts believe that the true aim of this training is to select staff for promoting American ideas. Besides the journalists qualification growth, they were given the detailed recommendations how to cover particular issues.

The government- funded mass media are ready to pay much more than the independent information agencies. That is why the staff members keep their job and fulfill any political orders of their employers without taking into account the state interests of their own countries.


The USA is losing interest in Georgia

Georgian expert community drew attention to the fact that in the recent Georgian issues no longer valid for the USA. The main factors indicating that are weakening of the Georgian diplomacy and incorrect assessment of the situation in the country from the USA.

Georgian expert community drew attention to the fact that in the recent Georgian issues no longer valid for the USA. The main factors indicating that are weakening of the Georgian diplomacy and incorrect assessment of the situation in the country from the USA.

The declining interest can be tracked by several political events related to Georgia. For example, the recent visit of Prime Minister George Kvirikashvili in Tehran. He arrived there with the delegation, which included Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of energy of Georgia Kakha Kaladze, Minister of economy and sustainable development Giorgi Gakharia, the head of the Ministry of environment protection and natural resources Gigla Abulashvili, the Minister of agriculture Levan Davitashvili, the Minister of sport and youth Affairs Tariel Khechikashvili and Advisor to Prime Minister on foreign policy Tedo Japaridze.

During negotiations in Iran, there was some progress in the implementation of plans for the joint operation of the Georgian railway, the routes from Iran to Turkey through Azerbaijan and Georgia and through Armenia and Georgia. Moreover, the Prime Minister let slip that, he is ready to sell a 25% stake of the country’s Railways to improve the economic situation of Georgia. Thus, Iran will be able to take under partial control of an important strategic resource of the country. They are already talking about gas supplies from Iran and the wide range of possibilities for cooperation.

And how does the administration of Trump feel about it?

The negative perception of such events with sharp criticism from a number of political and departmental leaders in the US would be quite logical and predictable reaction. However, there has been no intervention followed. The US interest in Georgia has gone and has been replaced by indifference. Washington reduces its economic assistance, and loose interest in political cooperation with Tbilisi. Therefore, the development of Georgian-Iranian relations didn’t cause any serious concern.

Also, the President of the United States Donald Trump cancelled a number of his projects in real estate in Georgia, which indicates a decrease of US interest in the country.
In this way the news are read different that members of the Parliament of Georgia during the meeting with Russian MPs in Moscow proposed to establish a new dialogue format, “Georgia-Russia-NATO” to ensure stability and security in the Caucasus, border security and the joint fight against international terrorism. The initiative came from the Georgian nationalists, in particular, from the “Alliance of patriots” member Ada Marshania. Such statements sound like attempts to keep world attention on her country in this context.

This also applies to Georgia’s participation in the ongoing naval exercises “Sea breeze – 2017”. The media are full of headlines about the fact that Georgia participates in large-scale international events. In fact Tbilisi is presented by one platoon and a couple of people. It looks more like a PR campaign than integration.

Splitting NATO and increasing power of SCO

While the White House needs to deal with the testimony of the former FBI Director (shadow government puppet), the world is changing rapidly. The US loses its influence.

Meanwhile, during the 17th summit in Astana the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) announces the admission of India and Pakistan as full members – two nuclear power countries.

The SCO consisted of 6 countries (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), but now it consists of eight, and four of them possess nuclear weapon: China, Russia, India and Pakistan.

Thus, nuclear potential of the SCO is increasing, while NATO is slouching towards crisis after the start of the Trump presidency.

The SCO has six dialogue partners: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia have the status of observers. Ten more countries long to join this organization. The role of the SCO in the process of Afghanistan reconstruction, the joint development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project and the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) are being discussed by the members of the SCO.

Since the middle of last year, Turkey’s relations with members of NATO have dramatically worsened. Will Turkey leave NATO and join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Will Turkey forget about splitting European Union.

Over the last 16 years the organizational structure of the SCO has been forming, while the countries of this organization were rejecting the barbaric model of the US-led uni-polar world.

Political experts draw a parallel between aggressive uni-polarity of NATO and multi-polarity of the SCO. NATO is dominated by one country and one ideology, whereas the SCO is composed of countries that represent different civilizations with different ideologies, religions and political systems.

The SCO hasn’t been created as a China’s or an Asian NATO, it is the Eurasian Union of States with a huge economic potential and significant strategic forces. It is a potential counterweight to the US expansionism.

If the SCO members will come to a common counterterrorism approach, it will contribute the settlement of the situation in the blazing Middle East.

We see that the actions of countries members of the Western coalition, do not bring peace to Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen. On the contrary, frankly speaking, the ISIS project was developed in US geopolitical laboratories and are aimed at destabilizing the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Turkey: opportunities in the South Caucasus?

In recent years, Turkey began to affect significantly on the South Caucasus. After a failed military coup Erdogan seriously undertook the installation of the autocratic regime in the country. As the result there are mass arrests and the dismissals of “public enemies”, persecution of supporters of Islamic preacher Gulen, even outside the country. The President of Turkey is trying to consolidate its external political efforts with two other players in the region – Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Erdogan with support of Azerbaijan and Georgia is trying to make Turkey the main gas hub between the South Caucasus and Europe, but it seems questionable to create transit through Georgia without the Azerbaijani gas. Huge funds have already been spent for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway also was built. In the result a transportation and energy corridor was formed, through which Erdogan can influence the geopolitical situation in the region. That can allow him and his partners (Azerbaijan and Georgia) to become a serious unit both in the South Caucasus and also in Europe, whose opinion will have to be considered.

The document to deepen cooperation signed two weeks ago in Batumi shows focus on the unification of the political efforts.

More than that it’s possible to predict the situation changing in this way because the US ignores Erdogan appeals to extradite his main enemy – Gulen, and Washington’s policy is aimed at supporting the Kurds. The harsh reaction of the Justice and Development Party in the country, as well as its supporters at the July coup put an end to Turkey’s accession to the EU because domestic policy began to move counter to the European ideology.

In its turn, Baku is trying to find allies in case of aggravation of situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, while Georgia starts to understand that the NATO membership will not happen in the near future, because NATO will not go to the aggravation of relations with Moscow.

Such a combination of circumstances put us before the fact that in the coming years, these three countries can establish a unified political alliance, whose members will become our countries new destabilizing factor.