Army mooting to set up directorate for Information Warfare to counter militancy, social media in J&K

New Delhi: The Indian army is mulling to set up a Directorate General of Information Warfare (DGIW), to counter militancy and social media in Jammu and Kashmir.

The DGIW will work as an independent unit within the army headquarters.

“Army is working on creation of a new body as social media is going to stay. We can use it to our advantage. Our adversary has been using it (social media) for proxy war and militancy. In view of this, we need to have an organization to counter the campaign,” Gen Rawat has said in New Delhi, adding the Directorate General of Information Warfare can be an amalgamate within the existing resources to counter campaign of militancy online.

The new Unit, he added, will become part and parcel of the Army, a Jammu based newspaper reported.

“The proposed Directorate General of Information Warfare could be headed by an officer of the rank of Lieutenant General or Major General and it would be a full-fledged unit countrywide with a major focus on Jammu and Kashmir to counter the campaign of Pakistan and its sponsored militant outfits,” the report quoting sources said.

Gen Rawat said social media can be leveraged for psychological warfare and deception not just in conventional warfare, but also in combating proxy war, insurgency, and terrorism.

“For doing this, we need to have an organization in place at all levels. It is in the backdrop of this, we have undertaken a study in the Army headquarters for restructuring the headquarters within. How do we then ensure that the social media platform becomes an important adjunct of our information warfare strategy,” he asserted.

Sources said Army has identified four main militant outfits including Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen and Ansar-Gazbat-ul-Hind, which have been using social media at a very alarming level to lure youth into militancy.

Sources said the Army proposed to launch a massive offensive against social media campaign of the militants and their Over Ground Workers (OGWs) in Jammu and Kashmir especially in Valley to wean away the youth from joining militancy.

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