says that Russia's use of cyber technology for information warfare is disruptive, not attractive. Kirill Kudryavtsev/Getty Images

Informatieoorlog versus zachte macht

CAMBRIDGE – De Russische bemoeienis met de Amerikaanse presidentsverkiezingen van 2016 en het vermeende inbreken door Russische hackers in de computersystemen van het campagneteam van de nieuwe Franse president Emmanuel Macron hoeven niemand te verbazen, gezien de misvatting van de Russische president Vladimir Poetin over het begrip “zachte macht.” Vóór zijn herverkiezing in 2012 zei Poetin tegen een Moskouse krant dat 'zachte macht een samenstel van doelen en middelen is om doelstellingen op buitenlands politiek gebied te bereiken zonder het gebruik van geweld, via informatie en andere manieren om invloed te bewerkstelligen.'

Vanuit het perspectief van het Kremlin waren de zogenoemde “kleurenrevoluties” in aangrenzende landen en de opstanden van de Arabische Lente voorbeelden van het gebruik van zachte macht als een nieuwe vorm van hybride oorlogvoering. Het concept “zachte macht” is in 2013 opgenomen in Ruslands Concept voor het Buitenlands Beleid, en in maart 2016 zei de Russische chef van de generale staf Valery Gerasimov dat het reageren op zulke dreigingen “met conventionele troepen onmogelijk is; zij kunnen slechts worden beantwoord met dezelfde hybride methoden.”

Wat is zachte macht? Sommigen menen dat het iedere vorm van actie is, behalve het gebruik van militair geweld, maar dat klopt niet. Zachte macht is het vermogen om te verkrijgen wat je wil door aantrekkingskracht en overreding in plaats van het uitoefenen van dwang of het doen van aanbiedingen om te betalen.

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