Ukraine War Reveals Power of Information

Ukraine War Reveals Power of Information

Ukraine soldiers
Photo by: U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. David Carnahan

The power of information operations is one of the biggest lessons the Army can learn from the war in Ukraine, two Army special operations leaders said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been a “powerful” figure as he’s put the spotlight on Russia’s attack on his people and his country and sought to motivate the other nations of the world to support the Ukrainians’ fight, said Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, commander of Army Special Operations Command. 

“It’s been amazing to watch what captures the world’s attention,” Braga said during a recent panel discussion at the Association of the U.S. Army’s inaugural Warfighter Summit and Exposition near Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Zelenskyy’s message also has been made more effective by his ability to still communicate with the outside world and real-time images on the ground from the media and other sources, Braga said.

“This wouldn’t have happened in a communications-degraded environment, and it wouldn’t have happened without the images coming out,” he said. “The power of information operations is one of the biggest lessons learned.”

Maj. Gen. Richard Angle, commanding general of the 1st Special Forces Command, agreed, calling Zelenskyy “probably the most powerful weapon Ukraine has.”

The U.S. Army also is seeing firsthand the critical role of morale and the will to fight in the outcome of war, Braga said.

Looking ahead, Angle said the Army must make sure it’s not learning the wrong lessons. “Not all the lessons we’re learning from Ukraine are going to apply to Taiwan,” he said, as an example.