Taking Cue From Israel, U.K. Military Forms Psychological Tactics Unit

Working in the information age, the 77th Brigade's charge will be nonlethal warfare - both disinformation and truth - to influence what adversaries do.

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The 77th Brigade will use psychological tactics and social media to fight Britain's foes. (illustrative)
The 77th Brigade will use psychological tactics and social media to fight Britain's foes. (illustrative)Credit: Dreamstime
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Haaretz

The U.K. military, drawing on the methods of U.S. and Israeli militaries along with British special forces who served in World War II, will create a unit to employ psychological tactics and social media to help win battles.

In April, media reports say, the 77th Brigade will start up, with 1,500 soldiers from reserves and regular forces.

Its charge will be nonlethal warfare, using information – both disinformation and truth - to influence what adversaries do, the reports say.

Soldiers with journalism and social-media skills will be particularly employed, the Guardian reported.

The Israel Defense Forces, which uses many social-media platforms across six languages, and the U.S. military use such methods widely, the reports say.

During last summer's seven-week Israel-Hamas war, the IDF and the Islamist group that controls Gaza tweeted routinely and even faced off with each other across Twitter, the reports say.

Islamic State has also attracted fighters from worldwide through its use of social media, the reports note.

The model for the unit, reports say, is the Chindits, a guerrilla force commanded by Gen. Orde Wingate against the Japanese in Burma during World War II.

Wingate's unorthodox methods achieved successes proportionately larger than his forces, the Guardian reported.

The unit is designed to help the U.K. "fight in the information age," reports quoted a U.K. officer as saying.  

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