Call of Duty and Subversion

Call of Duty and Subversion

So, the teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War has raised some eyebrows. Also, it has apparently infuriated some Communists. Which is all to the good. It’s essentially a series of clips from an interview with KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov in the ’80s, discussing Soviet “Active Measures,” the subversion campaign used by the KGB against the Soviet Union’s adversaries, the chief one of which was the United States. The trailer has also been censored in China, ostensibly because of Tiananmen Square footage (though one might wonder if the Chinese, who have also practiced subversion and propaganda to a greater extent than some might realize, might be censoring it for other reasons, as well). I’ve been effectively tuned out of the Call of Duty franchise for a while. I’ve heard some good things about the Modern Warfare reboot (or whatever it is) from last year, but it hasn’t been in the budget (either looking at money or disk space). This surprised me, though. (Especially after Activision/Blizzard bent the knee to the PRC last year.) That a major media company might actually be calling out Communists, and in a much more real-world context, is fascinating. The trailer provides a few

Russian Information Operations

While I’ve generally tried to stay away from the current partisan mudslinging, anyone who has read Lex Talionis should know that I don’t see the current hyper-ventilating divide getting better anytime soon.  And that I also don’t see it as completely homegrown. There has been a lot of hysteria (and casual dismissal) about Russian Information Operations in regard to the election, lately.  The Democrats are claiming that the Kremlin “hacked” the election, while the Republicans are demanding proof of actual Russian cyber warfare to effect the election results, which so far is not forthcoming.  But what keeps getting lost in the shuffle is what Information Operations are.

A Few Thoughts On Syria

It’s been a few days, so some of the more hyperbolic stuff surrounding the Tomahawk strike on Al Shayrat Airbase in Syria has started to die down.  Now might be the right time to weigh in with a few thoughts.  This should not be taken as an exhaustive analysis; I’m not in that business, and have slightly less of a finger on the pulse of these things than I did a couple years ago, when I was keeping a close eye on the jihadi groups cropping up in Syria.