British Army “Twitter Brigade”

During World War II, the British Army created a commando/special forces unit called the “Chindits” that operated in Burma and India, using guerrilla warfare tactics to operate deeply behind Japanese lines. They were formally known as the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade and operated on foot, getting resupplied by parachute drops. They were known for collecting intelligence and disrupting Japanese operations with sabotage.

The 77th Brigade was recently resurrected as a cyber-warfare unit and has been called the “Twitter Brigade” because of their focus on social media. The brigade appears to be a re-branding of the previously announced “Security Assistance Group” (SAG), a collection of existing psychological and media operations teams. The SAG was framed as offering responses to asymmetric opposition and alternatives to kinetic force.

A refocus of military influence – [mindhacks.com]

The British media has been covering the creation of 77th Brigade, or ‘Chindits’ in the UK Army which they’ve wrongly described as PsyOps ‘Twitter troops’. The renaming is new but the plan for a significant restructuring and expansion of the UK military’s influence operations is not.

The change in focus has been prompted by a growing realisation that the success of security strategy depends as much on influencing populations at home and abroad as it does through military force.

New British Army unit ‘Brigade 77’ to use Facebook and Twitter in psychological warfare – [independent.co.uk]

The British military is setting up a specialist force modelled on the Chindits, the commandos who gained renown through their daring missions behind enemy lines in Burma during the Second World War.

They will specialise in “non-lethal” forms of psychological warfare, using social media including Facebook and Twitter to “fight in the information age”.

The Chief of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, believes that the radical new plan is essential to face the “asymmetric” battlefields of the 21st century, where tactics and strategies differ significantly between enemies, such as with Isis. Key lessons, he says, can be learned from the campaign carried out against the Japanese by Allied troops using unconventional tactics seven decades ago.

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