General Nick Carter denounced the “manipulation of the intelligence environment” of “autocratic rivals” Russia and China for the sake of their strategic interests, exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, including to promote their own vaccines.

Russia, which wants to promote “pro-Russian vaccination policies,” is using “disinformation narratives” to penetrate anti-vaccination groups on social media, he said, citing a Ukrainian-led disinformation campaign. by Australian researchers.

In July, a fake press release was distributed on sites in the pro-Russian Luhansk region of southeastern Ukraine: the United States conducted clinical trials on Ukrainian volunteers and some of them died. The information spread from here to foreign sites, including a prominent Facebook group of anti-vaccinators in Australia.

Carter, who was accompanied by Defense Minister Ben Wallace, said that this was an example of “digital authoritarianism” along with other similar strategies through cyber attacks, and that China has a similar approach to a future of “mass surveillance.” “.

The UK is reviewing its defense strategy and foreign policy, which reflects its involvement in a digital conflict with rivals in China and Russia.

The British army already has a propaganda and disinformation suppression unit, the 77th Brigade, but the level of operations is not one to be declared public. Carter did, however, offer some clues in this regard.

Higher-ranking British military sources said that the British information war would not necessarily be amplified by more financial resources, but would in particular involve a closer exchange of information with a number of allies.

Carter argued that countries such as Russia and China use military and non-military instruments and “their goal is to win without going to war: to achieve their goals by defeating our will, resorting to attacks below the threshold that would provoke a backlash.” war”.

Carter presented a doctrine called the Integrated Concept of Operation, which presupposes the need to “compete below the threshold of war to discourage war” and so that opponents are prevented from achieving their goals through the strategies of the accomplished fact.