Disinfo: US military planners recommend an amplified psychological war against China

Summary

US war planners are suggesting that the US should widely expand its own psychological operations against Beijing. A new report by the Financial Times details how high officials in Washington are developing strategies for a new Cold War with China. Military analyst David Maxwell called for a generalised cultural warfare that would include the Pentagon commissioning novels aiming to demonise China and demoralise its citizens, arguing that Washington should bomb the Chinese with stories of wartime deaths of their only children and, therefore, their bloodlines.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of an article published in the British newspaper Financial Times, which actually reported on a recent Special Operations Industry Conference and not on US officials “developing strategies for a new Cold War with China”. According to the article, most speakers warned that the US is ill-equipped to deal with cyber and hybrid warfare with China and Russia. While some of them talked about psy-ops, they mentioned them strictly in defensive terms, mostly as Western vulnerabilities, but none proposed psychological warfare against China. This is part of a recurrent Kremlin-led narrative to portray the US as an aggressive and destabilising power. You can see other examples of disinformation about US plans and actions worldwide, such as its attempts to cause a massive African migration wave to Europe, its experiments on people in Georgia, its promotion of jihadist terrorism and colour revolutions, its preparations for war with Russia and China or its alleged responsibility in the China coronavirus outbreak.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: China, US
  • Keywords: Hybrid war
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Ukraine does not want Donbas

Ukraine is increasingly losing its chance to return Donbas, and the so-called “Plan B” implies the actual construction of a wall with the republics, which will draw the final line under the final break-up. Ukraine doesn’t need Donbas, therefore these cries that “we want to return Crimea and Donbas” are not true, they do not want to return them.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. During the “Normandy Four” summit in Paris on 9 December 2019, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated that achieving peace in Donbas is the strategic priority of the Ukrainian government. In the communique that was signed by Ukraine, Germany, France, and the Russian Federation, the next security steps have been agreed, such as the “full and comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire”, “exchange of detainees […] based on the principle all for all”, establishing “three additional disengagement areas”, establishing “new crossing points along the line of contact” and “the development and implementation of an updated de-mining plan”. President Zelenskyy has been stressing on numerous occasions that his main strategic goal and the first and foremost task as president is to achieve a peaceful settlement of the war in Donbas as soon as possible. For instance, on 13 October 2019, he underlined that “ending the war in Donbas” is a priority for the Ukrainian government. To accomplish this task, Ukraine has fulfilled all preparatory steps, including the withdrawal of troops on three sites, which are necessary to hold the meeting in the “Normandy format”. See related examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that Kyiv is imposing a siege on Donbas, the main task of Kyiv is the return of Donbas territory without its people, any attempt to give Donbas to Ukraine will be perceived as surrendering the territory to Nazis.

The main goal of American bio-labs is to surround Russia and hit it with bioweapons

The main goal of the United States is different: to surround Russia not only with troops but also with bio-labs, which, in the event of a possible military threat, will make it possible to deliver a quick strike with the most unpredictable and deadly biological weapons.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about 'secret laboratories' on Russia's borders. See related examples of disinformation about the Lugar lab in Georgia. There is no evidence to claim that the US is developing biological weapons. Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). The Lugar centre is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. In no case has this laboratory designed, redesigned or built biological weapons. Read more about the Lugar lab on Myth Detector. In Ukraine, the US supports the research against dangerous infectious diseases through the Biological Threat Reduction Program. In the wake of a disinformation campaign about the US-Ukraine cooperation to reduce biological threats, the US Embassy in Ukraine reaffirmed that the country offers its support to ensure Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats. See related disinformation cases alleging that US laboratories in Ukraine are deadly; that COVID-19 brings attention to secret US laboratories on the borders of Russia and China; that the US is afraid of leakage of infectious substances on its territory so it builds secret laboratories in colonised countries.

The West belittles the greatness of victory of the USSR in the war

It is beneficial for Western politicians to belittle the significance of the victory of Soviet troops over Nazi Germany.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as not aggressive. Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country. The European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe stressed the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The resolution is aimed at the promotion of historical remembrance about WWII and condemnation of totalitarian ideologies. Read similar cases claiming that Lithuanian authorities rewrite the history of their own country, that Poland and Lithuania question the status of Russia as a country who won WWII, and that US vassals question the outcome and results of the WWII.