Czech Republic · Czechia · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Training in information literacy is needed now, says Czech security expert

Make no mistake, the Czech Republic, or Czechia, is in a war. 

It is in both an internal war, mostly prompted by Russia with remnants of the Soviet Union actively participating in an internal war. All this is being fed by an information war, which, of course, is being fed and pushed by Russian propagandists.  

It does not help when Czechia’s President is a rabid pro-Russian.  It also doesn’t help when much of the former Czechoslovakian Secret Police, the StB, are now members of the Policie České Republiky and their informant networks are still actively in play. They were supposedly vetted but many got through.

Couple this with an active information war being waged by Russia in addition to a hybrid war, as mentioned in this article. 

I am blessed to have two very renowned and expert friends in Czechia. I just pray nothing happens to them and they are not targets or caught in the crossfire. 

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Translated from Czech by my Chrome browser.

Hybrid threats do not lie in the arrival of the tanks, but in the threat of radicalization of part of the population, said security expert Otakar Foltyn in CT24 Interview, adding that in a number of countries, the company is divided, so it is enough to influence a small part of it. According to Foltina, the state will be vulnerable if it cannot teach its own citizens to consistently consider what is and is not true.

Video Interview CT24

Otakar Foltýn in Interview ČT24

“The problem is that the so-called hybrid threats are to a large extent guided so that you can deny or minimize them if necessary. In my lectures, I use the beautiful Czech word ‘sparse’. The threat does not lie in the fact that tanks come to you, but that part of your own population will be radicalized, “said Foltýn. However, there is also a question of how much internal development is and how external influence is being applied.

Influencing the population through hybrid warfare is different in different countries. “You play national myths, national feelings, economic situation. In some cases, it is enough to affect the percentage units. If you look at the election results in many countries, that’s how many times fifty to fifty. Then you do not need much, “he said.

By using hybrid attacks, the West is often blaming Russia, and NATO officials have just expressed the ambition of strengthening resistance to this type of threats this year. Did not the west fall in that way? “It is a conflict where the authoritative power, which has a faster decision-making power, competes with democratic systems based on freedom of speech on free access to information. It makes you vulnerable if you do not want to do the same thing on the other side – and we do not want to, “said Foltýn.

If we do not fight ourselves, they can not beat us, he says

As the best defense strategy against hybrid threats, the security expert refers to a reserved self-esteem. “Do not try to catch up with the radicalism of the other party, it would be an endless chain of increasingly worse situations,” says Foltýn.

He points out that, in the case of Russia, the threat is contained in his military doctrine: the first point where threats are defined is the North Atlantic Alliance. “That’s what we are. But if you let us say in this way that we are enemies, then the question is whether we have to say the same thing. We do not have to, but we should be aware that this is how we call this a power that has an economic performance at the level of Italy. If we do not fight ourselves, they can not beat us, “he added.

Foltýn thinks that we are in the information age and we need to teach the citizens that they have to choose from a huge amount of information and that they must consistently consider what is and is not true. Otherwise, the country will be vulnerable. “As in the past, we have had a military training against weapons of mass destruction, you now need ‘training’ in the form of literacy education,” he added.

Download Interview CT24 with Otakar Foltyn24.04 MB

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