Biden, Putin and the information war on Ukraine

The American government has decided to oppose Putinian propaganda point by point, but also to write the script for the crisis. The White House releases intelligence reports that should remain confidential: what are the contraindications?

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON – The “info-war”, the information war has already begun.

The US government has decided not only to oppose Putinian propaganda point by point, but also to write the script of the Ukrainian crisis.

The White House disseminates, now almost daily, intelligence reports which, by definition, should remain confidential.

The first to expose himself is the president of the United States. For some days now, Joe Biden has been appearing in front of the cameras to “update” the world.

On Friday 18 February, he declared “that he has solid information provided by the secret services to believe that Putin has already decided to invade Ukraine”. It is not enough. The president went into detail, revealing the “secret plans” of the Russians: “We have reason to believe that they will attack Kiev.” Yesterday it was understood, thanks to an indiscretion leaked to the American media, that the intelligence had intercepted “the order to advance” given by Putin to the army deployed on the Ukrainian border.

In the last weeks, Bidenthe secretary of state Antony Blinkenthe Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin and the National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan they communicated, practically directly, how the preparations in Moscow were proceeding. “They amassed 100,000 soldiers”; “Now there are 130 thousand”; “They have reached 190 thousand.”

Furthermore, the Americans, sometimes with the side of the British, have previously disclosed the plans of the “maskirovka, Russian masked operations. In this case the plans for false attacks or even fake chemical attacks to be attributed to Kiev and to be used, therefore, as a pretext for launching the offensive. Washington is convinced that the “transparency strategy” can give concrete results on the ground and political benefits for Biden. The constant flow of details, in the intentions of the White House, should cancel the surprise effect on the ground.

It is a signal addressed to the Russian military leaders: we see and know everything you are setting. Hence the enhancement of satellite images taken at the border; the meticulous explanation of the positioning of the troops, the characteristics of the deployed devices and so on. It will be this, in case of aggression, the material basis with which to prove Putin’s direct responsibility, to the point of transforming him, as Blinken told the UN Security Council, into “a pariah” of the international community. In the face of the evidence, in the face of the evidence presented in real time, it should be easier to compact the allies and, perhaps also other countries, when the Russian president needs to be punished.

But there is also a more internal consideration of American politics. Biden did not seek this conflict. His original aim was to “stabilize” the relationship with Moscow. He now finds himself embroiled in a potentially devastating confrontation. The president is still trying to absorb the damage caused by the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. The last thing he can afford is to be accused of negligence, lack of responsiveness or weakness in the face of Russian aggression.. Here, then, is that the media pressure made up of announcements and warnings also serves to demonstrate to the American public opinion that the president “exists” and is moving “with determination”.

However, this line also carries risks. It certainly exposes the secret service agents, their sources, their informants on the ground. But it can provoke alarmism, if not “panic” and “counterproductive results”, as the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, argues. The most striking case is that of the “hour X”. The Americans are sure that Putin will cross the border. Not only that, they also say they know when it will happen. First appeared on February 16, an indication of the CIA leaked to the newspapers. Then, Sullivan said in a briefing with reporters that the Russians would have violated the borders, “without waiting for the end of the Olympics.” Yesterday, therefore, was the last day, according to the forecast.


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