On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, The Institute of World Peace held an event to discuss Bill Gerts new book “War and Peace in the Information Age.” Gerts is a national security columnist for the Washington Times and a senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon.


Bill Gerts divides the Information War into two categories: the technological and the content influence. The information war has become a news headline, especially in regards to Russia and their actions of targeting the US election. Cyber is an ongoing threat, heading for the infrastructure, per say the electrical grid and financial networks, which would affect our general lifestyle. The Chinese use content that deals with psychological warfare and media. There are also the notions of traditional public diplomacy and strategic operation, the use of false and misleading information to achieve a strategic objective. These techniques are designed to get the job done without using military force. There is an evolution from the use of kinetic force to information power; it has become the dominant element.

The first part of the 21st century revolved around combating terrorism, whereas the second part more direct towards cyber security threats. Bill Gerts does not believe that there is an end to kinetic warfare nor an end of the nuclear cold war. China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are receding as they are becoming tools of the information warfare. His argument is that the US is behind in dealing with this threat. There are no capabilities, and most of the assets have been lost during the war. The leadership is misunderstanding the nature of foreign threats. Under Obama, there was a false political narrative, in which the modern cosmopolitan world was moving beyond the national interest more towards the common interest. The globalization views have argued that there are no enemies, although he sees things taking a turn for the worse, especially about the Russians and the Chinese.

The news media in the United States is in dire threats. He has been working in the business for over 30 years, and he has seen the way the media has changed, the online proliferation. Today everybody can participate in news, there are more open sources, and the difference in opinion. Getting and reading news is a done differently today than in the past. Past the Obama administration false perception, there is a world disorder, dominated by the Islamic Terror Group as well as China remaining a nuclear-armed country which promotes an undemocratic and non-capitalist world view, as they are communist. Further Bill Gerts believes that China sees the United States as an enemy. From the Chinese perspective, they see the situation as managing the demise of great power, – the US through information operations.

Under Vladimir Putin, there is a revanchist style of the regime. In IWar he underlines the ideology of his opinions how he would want to create a Pan-Eurasian sphere of influence. He would want all countries near Russia to be under Russian influence, and he is promoting a non-democratic world view. There are threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States on several occasions.

Iran is emerging as a regional power. The nuclear agreement will not lead to a non-nuclear Iran. The fine print in the Iran nuclear deal is just “kicking the can down the road.” Within ten years the Iranians would be free to develop nuclear weapons with the help of the international community. North Korea is at the top of the list of threatening powers, US intelligence is looking for provocation from North Korea, during the new president’s’ inauguration. They believe that it will be a new intercontinental missile test. These mobile missiles can be hidden in diverse areas, and they are seen as a real challenge by the US.

The book has a chapter on social media which has become a platform for the information war. Per say Twitter – has a lot of users – out of which 80% of users are outside of the US. Social media is not only utilized by average Americans, but by perpetrators as well. He used to believe that Twitter was the future of news because it is such a rapid form of communication. Per say in the Boston Marathon Bombing, the first news came from Twitter. Twitter has toyed with setting up a good model, but currently, everything is mixed and jumbled together.



For more information visit: http://www.iwp.edu/events/detail/iwar-war-and-peace-in-the-information-age
Synthesis by: Patricia Besciu – all opinions are those of the speaker, no personal ideas have been included.