The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics - BY BILL GERTZ

Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Se­nate this week that the mil­i­tary is tak­ing steps to im­prove its ca­pa­bil­i­ties for coun­ter­ing and con­duct­ing in­for­ma­tion war­fare — the use of cy­ber­at­tacks and in­flu­ence op­er­a­tions.

The Pen­tagon “must con­tinue to im­prove its abil­ity to ex­ploit cy­berspace as a path­way for in­for­ma­tion op­er­a­tions to af­fect ad­ver­sary per­cep­tions, de­ci­sions and ac­tions in sup­port of strate­gic ends,” Gen. Selva said in writ­ten pol­icy state­ments to the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee.

The four-star gen­eral tes­ti­fied at a nom­i­na­tion hear­ing for a sec­ond term as vice chair­man.

“We must also en­hance our abil­ity to sup­port al­lies and part­ner ef­forts to de­fend against and de­feat ad­ver­sary pro­pa­ganda, mis­in­for­ma­tion and dis­in­for­ma­tion de­liv­ered in cy­berspace,” he added.

The Pen­tagon is step­ping up ef­forts to deal with grow­ing Rus­sian and Chi­nese in­for­ma­tion war­fare ca­pa­bil­i­ties that have suc­ceeded in in­flu­enc­ing peo­ple to sup­port those na­tions’ poli­cies.

Rus­sian in­for­ma­tion war­fare was on dis­play in the 2016 elec­tion when cy­ber­at­tacks by Rus­sian hack­ers ob­tained sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion that then was dis­sem­i­nated on pro-Moscow news out­lets.

Gen. Selva said that to counter what has been termed Rus­sian hy­brid war­fare, the mil­i­tary is build­ing up ca­pa­bil­i­ties “to com­pete be­low the level of armed con­flict to in­clude in the diplo­matic, in­for­ma­tion, and eco­nomic realms in or­der to in or­der to im­pose costs for dis­rup­tive Rus­sian be­hav­ior while deny­ing them the ben­e­fits of ma­lign ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Chi­nese in­for­ma­tion op­er­a­tions have in­volved ef­forts to play down or ig­nore Chi­nese ef­forts to take con­trol of strate­gic water­ways like the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

To counter China’s high-tech mil­i­tary buildup, Gen. Selva said the U.S. mil­i­tary is uni­lat­er­ally de­vel­op­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties to thwart China’s im­proved arms and forces.

Asked how the mil­i­tary will build up its in­for­ma­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Gen. Selva said ef­fec­tive in­for­ma­tion and cy­ber op­er­a­tions re­quire in­te­grat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties

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