The instances of cyberattacks and propaganda campaigns by terror groups, states and governments have been on a rise from some years in the United Kingdom. The British army has decided to combat these threats of cyber warfare by training cyberspies. This new addition is a part of the aim to “rebalance the Field Army” as well as to ” beat adversaries on both above and below the threshold of ordinary conflict”, British MOD revealed in an interview.
Reintroduction of the Sixth Division unit is planned to combat these cyber threats. The soldiers in this unit, titled Sixth Division, will be trained in electronics and counter-propaganda warfare and intelligence gathering to fight against terrorist groups like ISIS. ISIS is notorious for using digital platforms- especially social media- for threats, propaganda sharing and attracting recruits with similar mindsets.
This rather courageous and bold step has been taken after the UK used digital warfare to put up a solid fight against the IS message in Syria and northern Iraq. The combined forces of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence operation and the US agencies used a redirection technique to expose ISIS’s ideology. The terrorist group was in hopes to recruit like-minded people and radicalize more people all over the world via digital platforms.
Another example of spreading misinformation by the use of the digital platform is when Russia recently released fake stories of faulty conduct by the British Army soldiers while performing a military training exercise in Croatia.
Regardless of the restructuring there are going to be no changes in funding or personnel numbers says the MOD. No extra resources are involved to incur this change and the overall number of army personnel will remain intact after the restructure.
According to the Commander of the Field Army Lt. General Ivan Jones, “the character of warfare continues to change as boundaries between conventional and unconventional warfare become increasingly blurred”. To deal with this, the Field Army must stay adaptable and develop as a combat force. He thinks the speed of change is progressing at an exceptional rate and will only get speedier and more complicated with time.