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Information Operations as a Core Competency

Successful Strategic Change Considerations by David C. Akerson

Editors Note: This article was first published as a academic paper submission to the US Naval War College in October of 2008.

nformation Operations (IO) are described as the integrated employment of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.1 Joint Publication 3-13, Information Operations, goes on to say of the five core capabilities; psychological operations, military deception, and operations security, have played a major part in military operations for many centuries.2 This statement suggests 40 percent of military IO capabilities played minor parts in past military operations. However, the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) directed The Department


of Defense (DOD) to treat and mature IO as a core capability of future forces.3 Fully maturing and exploiting 100 percent of the entire spectrum of IO capabilities is now a military mandate. The 2003 DOD Information Operations Roadmap provides the framework to advance the goals of expanding IO as a core military competency.4 The DOD framework for expanding IO capabilities is now recognized, however, the scope of implementing various aspects of the mandate is significant and there are many institutional issues impeding military IO core capability expansion. The IO Roadmap identifies the lack of consensus on the definition of Information Operations, or its contributions to mission accomplishment; outdated EW policy and plans; lack of OPSEC planning process and awareness; unclear roles and responsibilities between the Public Affairs and the PSYOP community; and the lack of a systematic means to develop a skilled workforce to leverage IO capabilities and planning. These deficiencies degrade our nations core capability to combat irregular warfare (IW), catastrophic

US Vise Adm John Bird and ROK Navy Vise Adm Jung Park Sign Naval Cooperation Agreement Source:


Winter 2009

US Army Brigade Pre-Deployment Checkpoint Exercises Source:

terrorism, employing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and disruptive threats to US ability to maintain its qualitative edge and to project power.5 In the five years since the IO Roadmap was published, anecdotal evidence suggests that while the Services are making progress towards leveraging IO capabilities at the tactical execution levels, there is still much to be accomplished to achieve strategic change of this proportion. Strategic change of this magnitude does not happen when funding has been secured for a new piece of equipment, or when new concepts are incorporated in experiments, exercises or even as a unique operation. Strategic change materializes when values are aligned and behaviors are modified to a degree that organizational culture adapts the change, and the change becomes a way of doing what we do. This paper will review two considerations needed for successful strategic change in organizations: organizational culture and individual behavior and will assert that organizational culture and individual behavior are important considerations for maturing IO as a core competency.

What is organizational culture and why does it matter? According to Edgar Schein, the culture of a group is a pattern of shared basic assumptions (beliefs), that the group learned (values) as it solved its problem of external adaptation and internal integrations that worked well enough to be considered valid, and, therefore taught to new members to perceive, think and feel in relationship to those problems.6 Consider DOD as the group for this definition, a group which share basic assumptions that force-on-force is the time tested solution to problems worthy of being passed on to new members to perceive, think, and feel in the same manner for current and future problems. While there are many other aspects of organizational culture, Scheins view provides the foundational considerations discussed in this paper. By definition and interpretation, DOD cultural attributes (beliefs and values) are then contributing to the current pace for change. Until the core beliefs and values associated with IO (non-kinetic

solutions can solve traditional problems) are adapted throughout the organization, gaps between current IO capabilities and desired end states will continue to exist. Walt Kelly first used the quote We have met the enemy and he is us on a poster for Earth Day in 1970. While obviously not enemies, the same DOD leaders who guide the strategic change to incorporate IO as a core capability, are the same leaders shaped by current DOD values and beliefs. Ignoring organizational culture has an adverse impact on strategic change. According to Larry Bossidy, retired chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, business advisor and author, The hardware of a computer is useless without the right software. Similarly, in an organization, the hardware (strategy and structure) is inert without the software (beliefs and values). 7 What an organization believes and how people behave around aligned values of the organization is the culture of the organization, and when culture is ignored, it often results in lost productivity, increased costs, competitive risks, staff issues, and return


on investment shortfalls. In short: more risks and fewer positive results.8 It has been eight years since the QDR mandate to develop IO as a core capability of the joint force and organizational culture may be resulting in fewer results. DOD culture is contributing to the existing gaps between IO organization deficiencies and desired capabilities. The Service leaders deciding on the next steps for maturing IO as a core capability share time-tested beliefs about forceon-force solutions to military problems. Only after organizational values and beliefs shift, will behavior shift. At that time, tangible systematic maturing of IO as a core capability will happen.

the organization consistent with an important nature of the organizational change. Leaders own the change and dont assume the change is happening. Across the organization, Urlich suggests leaders walk the talk, champion the change, and dedicate at least 20 percent of their time to the change. As a result, everyone within the leaders influence knows the change is important.9 Question: Who is championing the IO core competency strategic change in DOD, or within the Services?

Urlich goes on to say there are also behaviors leaders should not exhibit when leading strategic change. Leaders shouldnt try to lead change alone; routinely shift to other priorities and behave inconsistently about the change; assume the change will manage itself or be easy; or assume the change will sell itself.10 Question: Who is the DOD honest broker for competing priorities and enforcing accountability for inconsistent behavior towards maturing IO competencies?

Leading Strategic Change

If behavior is an indicator of organizational values and beliefs, what are tangible indicators for determining if behaviors are shiftinghence IO core capabilities are maturing? Are DOD leaders making progress towards a consensus on the definition of IO, or it contributions to mission accomplishment? Are OPSEC planning processes improving; unclear roles and responsibilities being resolved; and is progress being made towards a systematic means to develop a skilled workforce to leverage IO capabilities and planning? The answer to these questions depends on who is asked. Each of these issues has an Office of Primary Responsibility charged with its piece of maturing IO as a core competency. In reality, collectively the leaders of these offices are actually facilitating a significant strategic change; the changing of a DOD-wide culture and may require additional tools in their toolbox to help guide systematic change and provide answers to the question: What behaviors are changing and how much progress is being made towards advancing the goals of expanding IO as a core competency? Simply put, it is about leadership behavior and applying change management principals towards the strategic change. According to Dave Urlich, Professor of Business, University of Michigan, effective strategic change leaders establish a leadership brand throughout

A public affairs presentation at the USAF Expeditionalry Center Source:


Spring 2009

A possible indicator to determine how much progress is being made towards a strategic change is to consider how much goodwill leaders have towards leading a change. Urlich suggests an organization can assess how important a strategic change is based on a couple of tangible observations. The Calendar Test: how much time are leaders spending on the change? The Energy Test: How much passion and attention are leaders demonstrating towards the change? The Rhetoric Test: How much public and private conversation is going on about the change? In addition, the most important test, the Resource Test: How much money and talent are leaders putting towards the change? Question: If evaluated, what would the results show for the Calendar, Energy, Rhetoric, and Resource tests for the leaders of offices charged with closing the IO deficiencies identified in the IO roadmap? Organizational vision is an idea of what the future may be (in this case, IO, as a core capability); an image, a strongly felt desire or need to move an organization in a direction. In the Book of Proverbs, Where there is no vision, the people perish.11 While I dont believe DOD would perish without IO, I do believe the power of vision as related to IO can not be understated. Are leaders, charged with closing the gaps between organization deficiencies and desired capabilities, creating a compelling message about the future benefits of IO

capabilities? Do planners know what they must do differently to consider the IO piece of the puzzle? Are stakeholders committed to the challenges to achieve success in making IO a core competency? Can the Services sense the change in the air, and are stakeholders empowered by vision, and focused at all levels working towards the vision?12 Question: Who in DOD is painting the clear, shared vision for IO? Vision provides the roadmap for alignment and progress and in no place does alignment and progress show up more than in decision-making. According to Urlich, leaders translate visions into decisions and the workforce sees and understands how the change affects new priorities, resources alignment, accountability, production measures, and what is being talked about at staff meetings and conferences. Decisions are the single critical element that symbolizes to the workforce, the change is important and not a passing fade.13 Leaders turn direction into specific, concrete decisions that must be made; define decision deadlines, assign accountability; and create decisions to move the strategic change forward. I am sure all have known leaders that acted the opposite and who made an art out of being vague; never communicated decisions that were made; made decisions without input or engagement; and generally avoided the accountability issue. How decisions are evaluated and executed is critical for leading strategic change.

A student at the USAF Mobile Command and Control Leadership Course conducts media interview training. Source:


So What?
What does DOD need to do to shift a military culture shaped by beliefs and values tied to traditional kinetic thinking and routine use of PSYOP, MILDEC, and OPSEC to a culture inclusive of the EW spectrum and power of non-kinetic technology (CNO) to achieve desired effects in support of Combatant Commanders objectives? Can non-kinetic IO solutions become a core capability? The answer is yes. However, organizational values and beliefs drive individual behaviors, which then define organizational culture. This means in DOD, the cultural shifts required to mature IO as a core competency will happen only as fast as behavior changes. Leadership can measure shifts in organizational behaviors. How leaders take ownership of change, display goodwill, articulate a shared vision, and make decisions facilitating movement towards the strategic change are indicators of progress towards the desired end state. Editors Comment: Mr. Akerson brings up some extremely valid points in this article using Mr. Urlichs book as the context. The real question for all IO professionals is if the process of change outlined in the IO roadmap is being achieved in the vision Mr. Urlich describes?

1. Joint Publication, 3-13, Information Operations, 13 February 2006, ix. 2. Ibid. 3 . Department of Defense (DOD) Information Operations (IO) Roadmap, 2003, 2. 4 . Ibid., 1 5. Joint Publication, 3-0, Joint Operations, 17 Sept 2006, ix. 6. Edgar Schein, Three Levels of Culture, Value Based culture.htm, accessed on 10 Oct 2008. 7. Sara , Moulten Reger, Can Two Wrings Make a Right? Insights from IBMs Tangible Culture Approach, IBMPress, 2006, 6. 8. Ibid., 9,10. 9. Dave Urlich, Achieving Successful Change, (Conference papers, Chicago Ill, Linkage Inc. Best of Organizational Development Summit, May 2006), 1. 10. Ibid. 11. King James Version, Chapter 29, Verse 18, passage/?search=proverbs%2029;&version=9, accessed on 10 Oct 2008. 12. Ibid., 2. 13. Ibid., 3.


Winter 2009

The Parallel Between Viral marketing and Psychological Operations by Colonel Ken Blakely
Editorial Abstract: The explosion of broadband Internet access has enabled the invention of a novel marketing tool based on social networks and customer interest viral marketing. Viral is proven to be responsive, engaging, effective and inexpensive, leveraging the customers own interest to send a message. While viral marketing is antithetical to some of the basic elements of the formal definition of psychological operations, it nonetheless fits enough of the elements and fits them well enough to qualify as psychological operations.

Reaching the Masses on Their Own Time

n May of 2007, an interesting video began appearing on social networking sites across the internet. Running less than three minutes, the clip consisted of several disconnected vignettes sharing a common theme one man tosses a pair of sunglasses, and another man catches them on his face in perfect position. With the vignettes getting progressively more difficult and outlandish, the video oozed trendiness, camaraderie, and a quirky bonhomie that made it instantly fascinating.

WHAT EXACTLY IS VIRAL MARKETING? Viral Marketing (VM) is a relatively new phenomenon in the civilian advertising world. One researcher in marketing tactics has proposed that viral marketing is unpaid peer-to-peer communication of provocative content originating from an unidentified sponsor using the internet to persuade or influence an audience to pass along the content to others. 4 VM is a novel and (to the advertising community) exciting tool to get a message to a target audience. When executed correctly, it is engaging, penetrative, convincing, self-propagating and inexpensive. VM messages are in use right now to reach millions of

consumers, influencing their perceptions, their reasoning about certain products, a n d t h e i r p u r c h a s i n g b e h a v i o r. The first generally acknowledged VM campaign was a simple line of text placed at the bottom of all emails originating from Microsofts free Hotmail webmail service. When emails move between recipients, the marketing message moves and propagates as well, increasing exposure, brand awareness, logo association and market saturation. There was originally some concern that buzz marketing or stealth marketing, as it was sometimes referred to was illegal or unethical.6,7 Indeed, some initial incarnations of VM were

The video was known as Catch, within a week, it had been posted on over 25 of the most popular social networking and video sharing sites, and it had begun spreading.1 Users other than the original poster began reposting it to their own blogs and pages, and consumerinterest sites such as The Consumerist and Gizmodo found it turning up in their forums and user comment logs. Within a few months, Catch had been viewed well over five million times on YouTube alone.2 It continues to grow and spread, and over a year after it was released, Catch is still featured on third and fourth-tier social networking sites. It was over a week before the marketing company of Omnicom Cutwater formally admitted to creating, and releasing, the video as part of a paid advertising scheme for Ray-Ban Incorporated.3 By the time, the world knew that Catch was a marketing ploy, it had been viewed by and presumably influenced the purchasing decisions of countless millions of consumers in Ray-Bans target demographic. It was one of the first successful examples of mass advertising via viral marketing. It was also an excellent example of a successful psychological operation (PSYOP) campaign.

YOUTUBE Ray Ban Video Source

associated with subliminal advertising, and several marketers absorbed no small amount of bad press from their initial efforts. 8,9,10,11 Marketers have become more effective however, and VM seems no longer to be associated with seedy, underhanded efforts. VM works by providing an engaging visual story and releasing that story into the media in a stealthy way. The growth of Internet social networking and video sharing platforms has provided the springboard for VM, and a proper VM campaign succeeds by encouraging people to absorb the message and pass it on voluntarily.12 In these and several other ways, VM provides a remarkable civilian allegory to a wellplanned and executed PSYOP campaign. As we will see, viral marketing is simply PSYOP by another name. WHY IS VIRAL MARKETING PSYOP? The joint pub on psychological operations tightly defines PSYOP as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.13

Consumer Alert Website -

quality to be entertaining and useful, but not so high quality as to be an obvious marketing effort.16 Extensive planning and coordination goes into the selection of the timing and platform of launch, with choices ranging from social networking sites such as Facebook, video sharing sites such as YouTube and discussion forums such as those found on Fatwallet. com and The metrics involved with deciding where and how the VM product is seeded are robust and detailed, and planners often spend days debating and deciding on exactly the right mix for a successful campaign.17 The message conveyed by a VM effort is often quite specific buy something, watch something, do something or be something. In all cases, the message is about commerce and the intent is to drive the use or purchase of a product. An argument can be made that VMs intent is not to convey information as specifically required by the definition of PSYOP but rather to drive behavior. While this distinction is pedantically correct, it also misses the point that the entire point of the exercise for both VM and PSYOP is to place an idea or message in the minds of the target audience. To the extent that VM can be shown to drive consumption of the subject product which it can 18 - it is clear that a properly constructed VM campaign conveys information in the manner envisioned by Joint Pub 3-53. The clearest and most convincing element to compare is the final one; that of influencing the emotions, motives, reasoning and behavior of the target audience. Such influencing is the raison

The operative elements in this definition are: planned conveying selected (i.e., specific) information, to foreign audiences to influence emotion, motives, reasoning and behavior With the formal definition of PSYOP thus broken down, it becomes a trivial task to demonstrate that viral marketing fits the bill. Successful VM campaigns are universally planned, often to a very precise and, some might say, military standard.14,15 Corporations that wish to advertise will normally engage the services of viral marketing experts, and those experts will plan, choreograph and produce the media, ensuring it is high enough 6

dtre of marketing in general, and to present it as a defining feature of the similarity between VM and PSYOP would be a tautology. More to the point, the general understanding of PSYOP is that it is stealthy in nature, and that the influencing is often accomplished without the knowledge of those being influenced.19,20,21 This precisely defines the nature of viral marketing, wherein the target audience is exposed to a message that motivates them to buy something or do something without genuinely knowing the origin of the message. In the example of the video Catch, the message is transmitted by the trendy tone, the upbeat music, the fascinating stunts and the bonhomie of the characters. The fact that the sunglasses being caught are RayBan Wayfarers seems not even part of the message, and yet emotions, reasoning and behavior are clearly influenced the post-Catch sales figures for RayBan and the very fact that the video propagated so wildly attest to that.22 WHY VM IS IT NOT PSYOP? The salient element that doesnt seem to fit lies in the target audience. There seems to be no restriction within international law on the use of ruses or deception on domestic audiences,22 but there are most certainly specific legal injunctions within US code against targeting US persons with PSYOP.23 This general restriction is common among many western democracies and the general openness of their societies seems to militate against the kind of intentional deception and manipulation that PSYOP suggests. Thus, it is an artifact of the

Spring 2009

American experience that causes Joint Pub 3-53 to classify PSYOP as specifically targeted to foreign audiences, and the distinction that this particular element of the formal definition of PSYOP doesnt fit viral marketing seems unnecessary. An even less convincing argument against the classification of VM as PSYOP is that VM aims to transmit a feeling or impression that generally leads to behavior, whereas PSYOP classically transmit a more specific, directive message straight to the target. Again, this seems a pedantic distinction, as the ultimate goal in both cases is specific behavior. What limited weight this argument carries actually lies in the fact that PSYOP as practiced by US operators seems overly focused on what might be termed direct marketing leaflets, broadcasts, websites 24 and shies away from the kind of surreptitious influence that is the hallmark of viral marketing. Reorienting the efforts of US psywarriors to make best use of new techniques like VM is a fertile area for new research. AND NOW WHAT? The intersection between the marketing and advertising world and that of information operations is well known, if not well documented or well studied. Psywarriors know instinctively that what they do in operations is simply a militarized (and often simplified) version of Madison Avenue. Thus, the observation that viral marketing is PSYOP is perhaps not groundbreaking. Nonetheless, in order to appreciate the potential power of marketing techniques and completely understand the nuances of influencing a target demographic - these seemingly obvious parallels must be teased out of the mix that is psychological operations.
IO Sphere Editors Note: Colonel Blakelys observation about viral marketing and PSYOP is more salient when considering that most viral marketing has the source of the marketing message obfuscated. Therefore, in PSYOP regulation and policy it would be considered Grey or Black PSYOP. The fact that VM is widespread is an acknowledgement that marketers are not subject to the same level of regulation and oversight as PSYOP warriors.

pdf, (25 October 2008). 11. Bingemann, M., Fake PSP blog backfires for Sony PC World, 13 December 2006, (25 October 2008). 12 . Hausman, M., Wheres the Beef? Jumpstarting Your Next Viral Marketing Campaign Fast Company, 5 May 2008,, (25 October 2008). 13 . US_Joint_Staff, Joint Pub 3-53: Doctrine for Joint Psychological Operations US Joint Staff, 2003), 14 . Hausman, Wheres the Beef? Jumpstarting Your Next Viral Marketing Campaign 15 . COMMERCIALALERT.ORG, Request for investigation of Companies that engage in Buzz Marketing 16 . Ibid. 17. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, R.N., A Statistical Measure of a Populations Propensity to Engage in Post-Purchase Online Word-of-Mouth. Statistical Science, 2006. 21(2): p. 8. 18 . Ibid. 19 . US_Army, FM 3-05.301 (FM 33-1-1): Psychological Operations: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Headquarters, Department of the Army 2003), 20 . US_Joint_Staff, Joint Pub 3-53: Doctrine for Joint Psychological Operations 21 . Storlie, C., Marketing and information operations. Military Review, 2005. 22. Smyczek, P.J., Regulating the battlefield of the future: the legal limitations on the conduct of psychological operations under public international law. Air Force Law Review 2005. 23. Lungu, M.A.M., WAR.COM: THE INTERNET AND PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS US Naval War College; Joint Military Operations Department, May 2001, pmt/exhibits/632/internetandPSYOP.pdf, (25 October 2008). 24. US_Joint_Staff, Joint Pub 3-53: Doctrine for Joint Psychological Operations

1. Solman, G., Ray-Ban Viral Rolls Big AdWeek, 15 May 2007, article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003585432, (25 October 2008). 2 . Solman, G., Ray-Ban Viral Looks to Make a Splash AdWeek, 17 July 2007, http://www.adweek. com/aw/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003612712, (25 October 2008). 3. Solman, Ray-Ban Viral Rolls Big 4. Porter, L., From Subservient Chickens to Brawny Men:A Comparison of Viral Advertising to Television Advertising. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 2006. 6(2). 5 . Ibid. 6. Pinkerfield, H., , IPA warns Revolution UK, 2 April 2008, (25 October 2008). 7. Walker, R., The Hidden (In Plain Sight) Persuaders New York Times Magazine, 5 December 2004,, (25 October 2008). 8 . Lindstrom, M., Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (New York, Doubleday Business, 2008), 9 . Walker, The Hidden (In Plain Sight) Persuaders 10. COMMERCIALALERT.ORG, Request for investigation of Companies that engage in Buzz Marketing CommercialAlert, 18 October 2005,

Views from the Top - Comments From the Director

extend a warm Texas welcome to my fellow Information Operations warriors and practitioners, who defend the United States and the great nations of our allies, every day. I am honored to be a part of this great community of Information Operations (IO) professionals as much as I am honored to be recently selected as the Director of the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center, one of the IO communitys premier centers of excellence. The JIOWC, through its various name changes, has been a home to me, and many other IO professionals, over the years. Having been chosen to lead such a reputable organization is the culmination of my individual service, and the direct result of the service of countless others, who have helped me along the way, preparing me for this new and exciting opportunity. A common lesson we have all learned over the years, is that change is constant, and with new leadership comes even more change. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Here at the JIOWC, we are striving for perfection; this will require some major changes on our part. Our vision for the JIOWC is to be the vanguard for the application of IO and Strategic Communication (SC) and ensure they are components for achieving US national security objectives. In order to reach this vision, we must continue to be on the front line developing IO and SC capabilities. We need you to continue to share your ideas with us, allowing us all to move forward to better support and advocate for IO and SC. While we are all undergoing change, it is my mission and duty as the JIOWC Director, to maintain and refine our operational focus, while enhancing the valuable tools and processes the JIOWC provides to our customers. The JIOWC will continue to focus on, and perform tasks in support of the US Combatant Commands, our allied partners, and our higher headquarters at US Strategic Command, with true dedication and professionalism. My personal commitment is to lead the JIOWC in the noble task of supporting the IO warfighter in a way that will help achieve our national security objectives. I realize management of the continuing changes in IO requires great ideas and creativity from our most valued assets: our professional cadre of people.

General George Patton stated, War is an art and as such is not susceptible of explanation by fixed formula. We are at war; it is the creativity of the tremendous IO professionals that provides solutions that enhance more traditional warfighting capabilities. This issue of IO Sphere is aptly titled: Creativity. It is our goal, as US Strategic Commands institution for IO excellence and advocacy to stimulate the ideas of IO Creativity throughout the community. It is through creativity we will deal with the increased challenges and threats to our various organizations and nations. Creativity in IO is essential. Without creativity, IO is irrelevant to our supported warfighters. They need us to apply our creativity in building new ideas and concepts, and then turn them into executable tasks. This is not only true in the military arts, but in other professions practicing some form of Information Operations. The article, by MAJ Norberto Menendez, on IO in counter insurgency warfare is a perfect example of IO making a difference with the use of creativity. The piece, by COL Ken Blakely, on Viral Marketing and Psychological Operations in the era of Youtube highlights how technology is creating new challenges; these challenges

Spring 2009

From the Director....continued

must be met by even more creative solutions. I challenge all IO professionals to think creatively (No status quo please!) to develop feasible and effective solutions to solve the tough and evolving IO issues. In closing, I hope you enjoy this issue of IO Sphere. The IO Sphere is not simply the JIOWCs professional journal; it is the IO communitys professional journal. I solicit and challenge each of you to help us perfect it. We, at the JIOWC, take the lead in the process of conducting our business and publishing the IO Sphere; we cannot do it alone -- the effort needs to be a collective one. We need your creative efforts in continuing to make our field of expertise relevant to the warfighter and of use to Commanders engaged in protecting our nations. As IO professionals, this is our charter and duty. I am proud and honored to be part of your team as the Director of the JIOWC.

From the Editor

s the new editor of the IO Sphere, I want to share a few words with my fellow IO warriors and the readers of the IO Sphere. In many ways being selected to be the editor of the only Joint and Combined IO communitys professional journal is a bit of a culmination for me personally as a professional. After many years as an operator in IO, I now have the opportunity to think and contemplate more as opposed to being in the process of doing. As your editor, I bring over 20 years experience in Psychological Operations and Information Operations to the task of continuing to ensure that IO Sphere is relevant and useful to the community. It is a job and position I take very seriously and it is an honor to have it. I feel a deep sense of obligation to make the IO Sphere work for all of us as a journal of which the entire IO community can be proud. I view this journal as Our Journal, and you can help me make it better for all of us. I have the task of putting it all together, editing it, getting it printed, getting it distributed to everyone in the community of interest, and journalistically covering important events in this great field of work and study called Information Operations. My headquarters at the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center (JIOWC) has the charter and mission to resource the publication of IO Sphere as part of doctrine development and advocacy of IO, but it is not the JIOWC journal. It is the community of interest journal for Information Operations and to be a success for everyone we need the participation of the entire community to the greatest extent possible. In that regard I ask for your help to make this journal the best it can be. Please do what you can to help. Helping me make this a great journal can come in many forms. Draft an article for publication, subscribe your office or organization for addition to the distribution list, submit a book review, or submit an article on the mission and contributions of your organization. If you are journalistically inclined, cover an important IO event or conference and submit an article or press release about the event. As your editor, I am flexible and will take all the help I can get. Moving forward with IO Sphere is very important. This is the first full color issue and we will continue to print full color for future issues. In addition to going full color, there are plans to add new styles of content to include humor, book reviews, and editorial commentary. Suggestions on style and content are always welcome as well. I need you to help me to keep improving the journal for all of us. My outreach is to all of our IO community including US and allied, as well as, government and industry. Information

Mark H. Johnson, SES Director, JIOWC Department of Defense

From the Editor....continued

Operations is a huge field of study and our work crosses all aspects of government, commerce, and society; the sky is the limit for IO Sphere. In closing, I want to thank Mr. John Whisenhunt. John is my predecessor and for 3 years, he worked tirelessly to bring the IO Sphere from nothing to a journal that delivers great content to over 7,000 professionals every issue. We are all in his debt for his tremendous dedication to our Journal. Thank you John and I wish you the best of luck.

Joint OPSEC Support Center

Henry (Keith) Howerton Editor, IO Sphere

LTC(R) Henry (Keith) Howerton, an employee of Web Head Technologies Incorporated, is the editor of IO Sphere Journal. He is a retired US Army officer with 20 years of service and experience in IO as a uniformed officer and military analyst. His background includes support to all the various combatant commands and NATO allied nations with specific IO planning experience and accomplishments in numerous named campaigns and planing efforts. Mr. Howerton holds a BA in Police Administration, a MS in International Relations, and a MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

Winter 2009

Everyones Guide to IO
Cartoon Graphic by Greg Gibbons

Editorial Cartoon

Spring 2009

Joint Information Operations in Counterinsurgency Warfare Part II

by Major Norberto Menendez
Editorial Abstract: In this academic paper Major Menendez examines some of the classic definitional and authority issues related to Information Operations planning an execution as applied to counter insurgency warfare. n the journal article by Major Lane Packwood USA titled Joint IO in Counterinsurgency Warfare: A Critical Gap in Capability, the author highlights a clear gap in the capability of the military to target the support of the neutral or passive majority1 by information operations (IO) core capabilities, supporting capabilities, and related capabilities. Potential solutions offered try to draw lines between Public Affairs (PA), Psychological Operations (PSYOP), and the new potential capability named defense support to public diplomacy. We clearly have a gap in capability, but I would contend that to fill this gap, we do not need to split hairs between the duties and responsibilities of PA and PSYOP communities. The answer to the gap in capability has more to do with the ability of operators (S3s, G3s, J3s, N3s, etc) to synchronize the effects they are trying to achieve, and their ability to have PA and PSYOP deliver this message to their respective audiences. IO by definition seeks to influence the behavior of selected target audiences and decision makers through the use of information and information systems. Conversely, defensive IO seeks to shield or defend friendly decision-makers or audiences from being unduly influenced by an adversarys use of information or information systems.2 To this end, in the counterinsurgency fight, our focus shifts the neutral majority whose support is needed to win the conflict. In others words, in addition to a kinetic fight against insurgents and terrorists, we are also engaged in a non-kinetic fight for the hearts and minds of the people. In the context of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), this happens through engagements (including a visit from the President of the United States to

US Soldier Aids Afgan Child Source:


Winter 2009

the Iraqi President or Afghan President, to a squad leader interacting with an Iraqi or Afghan family while on patrol) the important point to understand is that this happens in the Information Domain. Every action and counter-action on the battlefield, whether it is a firefight or a humanitarian mission, will eventually move into the information domain where it will be dissected and examined by all, most often through the filter of the person entering the information into the domain. This is where we need the most agility and flexibility, and where PSYOP and PA can complement each other and work together within the scope of their mission to gain information dominance. Further defining how the two capabilities should be synchronized, let us examine the respective missions. PSYOPs mission is to influence the behavior of foreign target audiences by conveying selected information to influence emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of a foreign audience.3 By its very nature, PSYOP seek to present information or spin information in a way that supports the United States national interests. On the other hand, PAs mission is to fulfill the Armys obligation to keep the American people and the Army informed, and helps to establish the conditions that lead to confidence in Americas Army and its readiness to conduct operations in peacetime, conflict, and war.4 Unlike PSYOP, PA serves as a transfer point for information both in and out of the theater of operations. PAs role with misinformation or propaganda is reactive vs. PSYOP, which is proactive. When done properly both organizations play a critical role within the information domain, and their employment is more an issue of synchronization rather than authorities and expertise. To explain this, consider the Afghan counter-insurgency approach published by a Combined Joint Task Force in 2007. The framework is built around two pillars: the first seeks to build Afghan capacity through five objectives; the second seeks to degrade destabilizing forces through four objectives. The

ANA Soldier and Afghan Police Officer Receive Mine Clearing Training from a US Soldier Source:

objective is to strengthen the Afghan nation by replacing fear and uncertainty with trust and confidence on Afghan leadership and institutions. There must be a specified strategy, with the many implied tasks requiring coordination and synchronization inside the information domain to achieve the stated objective.

As operations officers develop a plan to implement this strategy, they must understand that execution of the plan and especially the effects of the plan will ultimately be judged within the information domain. PA, as the hub of information in and out of the headquarters, must understand that their


actions and sometimes lack of actions ultimately have some sort of reaction or influence within the Global Information Environment (GIE). In the age of instant communications, PA officers must understand that even though their mission calls for them to inform the American public and the Army, the GIE will ensure that information intended for American audiences will be read and scrutinized by people all over the world. Even though their potential audience has increased significantly, PA principles to deliver information and not propaganda still stand and should not be altered. However, they must be cognizant of how the information they are delivering might be utilized by the enemy and be prepared to counter it; therefore, changing the reactive nature of public affairs to proactive.

PSYOP within the information domain are a little easier to delineate. In the case of this strategy, PSYOP is engaged in discrediting the enemy and influencing the people of Afghanistan to support the elected government. They are focused on target audiences and the delivery of a message that supports the stated strategic vision. PSYOP is very proactive in nature, but has little reactive capability when unplanned events introduce themselves. Within the information domain, stories, data, and pictures act as soldiers, airplanes, and bombs do in the operational domain. Consider this analogy: Artillerymen are normally obsessed with shooting longrange weapons (affected by a number of external influences such as air, pressure, projectile imperfection) with incredible

precision. Anything short of hitting a target regardless of the range (almost impossible without the aid of smart rounds) is a failure. However, they often fail to recognize that even though the round did not impact on someones forehead, whatever that enemy was doing at the time the round exploded, he is no longer doing. In other words, that lack of lethality does not change the fact that the enemy is no longer walking in the open, digging, or sleeping. The fact that the round exploded nearby has caused the enemy to change his behavior. Information works much in the same way. Introducing a piece of information into an operation will cause the enemy to do something different. In the case of this strategy, this information will often be the neutral majorities catalyst to begin supporting the government

Counter Insurgency Methodology and Strategy


Spring 2009

or the insurgents. Whether the information is delivered by PSYOP, or delivered as part of the PA information strategy, the information will cause a reaction and the need for planning and synchronization, as opposed to, new missions, parameters, and organizations. The later is often an unneeded result. IO officers, as the synchronizers of capabilities, are the ones responsible for the synchronization of PSYOP and PA in the Counter Insurgency (COIN) operation. This fills the identified gap in capability. The strategy creates a clear vision of what the objective is and how it is to be achieved, and the operational plan synchronizes all the capabilities to achieve the objectives. PSYOP and PA personnel work together to deliver one message. One by influencing (PSYOP) and one by informing (PA); however, if information or the act of informing will cause the enemy or the neutral majority to do something different, then information or the act of informing will have a reaction. So, both have some degree of an influencing effect. Therefore, the information produced for dissemination in PA channels could potentially have the same level of influence as the information produced by PSYOP.

In practice, operation officers close the gap by identifying the objectives for an operation and identifying the information they plan to use to influence multiple audiences as part of their intelligence preparation of the battlespace (IPB). These then become PSYOP tasks within the operation. Then the next step is to assess what information is coming out of the operation that the enemy might use to influence friendly forces (NATO, Afghan government, Afghan people, etc.) in a negative or inaccurate way as a form of propaganda, and begin to plan how to counter that propaganda. These become PA tasks within the operation. This is where the perceived gap between PSYOP and PA occurs. PSYOP planning at this point is adversarial focused, as it should be, and does not focus on countering propaganda. However, PA is charged with countering propaganda by its own doctrine. PA planners involved in the operation can begin to develop enemy likely courses of action based on an assessment of previous operations, and then begin to war-game potential stories the enemy might use to their advantage. They also must develop plans and strategies on how to counter those possible stories. PA is not being tasked to influence by propagandizing or creating false stories, PA is tasked to prepare truthful

ANA and Coalition Forces Conduct Night Operations Source:


statements based on the most accurate and up to date information available and to expeditiously release the information to counter enemy propaganda. This is the same as identifying a tactical risk and mitigating it through the introduction of a capability or resource in the operations. In other words, a risk has been identified in the information domain, and there is a plan to mitigate that risk. Operators synchronizing PA efforts for the operation are simply using their capability to deliver the truth in the Counter Insurgency (COIN) fight. In conclusion, rather than reforming PA or PSYOP to fill a perceived gap in capability in the joint IO COIN warfare, we should be looking at training IO officers to identify threats, audiences, messages, and capabilities within the information domain. The relationship between PA and PSYOP is complementary instead of adversarial or simply non-complementary. In a COIN environment where the enemy is not bound by any journalistic code of

ethics, and where news outlets do not require enemy messages to be truthful in an effort to deliver shock value and ratings, it is important to be fast with the truth, whatever that might be. The old news industry adage if it bleeds, it leads and reads is still very valid today. In the age of instant communications and sensory overload, people will often catch the first headline published for a story, remember it or create a perception of it, therefore being influenced, and move on to the next story. People will almost never read a retraction or clarification of a story. It is for this reason that proactive and agile PA posture is critical to all operations. As soon as the enemy delivers a story that seeks to influence the neutral majority with inaccuracies and misinformation, PA must be ready to counter that story with the most truthful information available. In the fight for the hearts and minds of many, to include support of NATO partners in the Afghan case or congressional and public opinion in the United States, we must be ready to present the truth accurately and swiftly.

It is for these reasons, that operations officers must synchronize PSYOP and PA messages and have a running staff estimate of how the enemy might use information to their advantage. The answer is not within the capabilities, it is within the synchronization of those capabilities in support of the commanders operational plan. Editors Note: This paper by Major Menedez was first published as part of the academic requirements for the United States Naval War College. His views on IO Synchronization are important to consider and are a common thread in IO planning and execution. There are lessons to be learned in all of these contributions and submissions. At IO Sphere we appreciate them all.

1. FM 3-24 page 6-15 2. Information Operations (elective manual) page 1 3. FM 3-05-30 page 1-2 4. FM 46-1 page 3.1

US Marines During Platoon Briefing in Iraq Source:


Spring 2009

Unmanned Undersea Vehicles and Autonomuous Undersea Vehicles A Powerful Non-Kinetic Solution for the Joint Force Commander
by Lieutenant Commander Michael S. Salehi
Editorial Abstract: In this academic paper, Lieutenant Commander Salehi examines the idea and use of unmanned undersea vehicles in the context of the growing use of unmanned air-based vehicles and their IO related effects. become limitless, as technicians and experts across the globe are continuously finding newer and more innovative ways in which these platforms can become further enhanced. With their growing insatiable appetite for technology, Joint Force Commanders (JFC) have demanded better improvements to tackle increasingly more complex factors such as time, space, and force. Undoubtedly, one of the most appealing features of UMVs is their ability to minimize the loss of a pilots life, but equally

he utilization of unmanned vehicles (UMVs) in the battlespace has significantly changed the way in which commanders and their staffs plan, organize, and execute their missions. This revolutionary way of warfare has

US Navy Helicopter Delivers Supplies Source:


US Navy UUV Source:

important has been their dual ability to collect tactical, operational, and strategic intelligence and even employ kinetic solutions to a commanders objectives. While unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been on the forefront of this demand signal and have notably achieved tremendous results, the development and employment of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs)/autonomous undersea vehicles (AUVs) have also debuted with promising results. The Navy has analyzed its potential use of UUVs/AUVs and concluded that a majority of the employment of UUVs/ AUVs will be in an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Mine Countermeasures Warfare (MCW), and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) capacity. 1 While the Navys 2004 Master UUV plan discusses the possible employment of UUVs in an Information Operations (IO) capacity,2 it falls short to

explain its full possible potential as a nonkinetic tool for JFCs. This paper attempts to elaborate and expand on its potential to serve as an IO tool for JFCs, providing support to operational functions such as fires, protection, intelligence, maneuver, and Command and Control (C2). It will broadly focus on three of the five pillars of IO Electronic Warfare (EW), Military Deception (MILDEC), and Psychological Operations (PSYOP). The use of UUVs as a warfare platform has been lauded for its relatively small size/signature, ability to be clandestinely deployed, and in some cases, autonomously operated. UUVs have been categorized by the Navy into four classes by their respective sizes: Manportable, light-weight, heavy-weight, and large.3 Furthermore, the Navy has broadly defined missions for each type of class of UUVs. For example, all classes can be utilized for ISR, while

only light/heavy weight UUVs will be used for IO.4 In a tactical sense, the Navy envisions IO-capable UUVs to be used primarily in an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capacity by appearing as a decoy submarine. 5 Although the use of UUVs as an EW platform is demonstrated, it is skeptically illustrated due to communications challenges. For instance, while UUVs/AUVs can transmit and emit electromagnetic signals once above the water surface via satellite communications (SATCOM) or wireless, free-wave local area access (LAN) modems, 6 UUVs/AUVs are limited in their communications capacity underwater due to both inefficiencies associated with acoustic communications (ACOMMs) and oceanic conditions. While steadfast developments regarding underwater ACOMMs have attempted to bridge the gap, available bandwidth is currently still extremely limited.7 These technical issues can to some extent


Spring 2009

JFC could employ to provide suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) within the littorals, harbors, or nearby shoreline. The Remus 600 is the predecessor to the Remus 100, which was used extensively in Iraqis Umm Qasr in an Mine CounterMeasure (MCM) capacity just after the 2003 invasion.8 Its efforts were highly lauded, and have led to subsequent technological developments in the Remus 600 that could possibly include EA capabilities. The Remus 600s man-portable size, increased payload capability, and modularity, make it a suitable candidate for clandestine EA operations that are near the shoreline.9 Although the Remus 600 would need to surface in order to effectively conduct EA making it susceptible to detection, the 600 could also be outfitted with an electronic support sensor (ES) package to mitigate its discovery. Specifically, the ES package can provide immediate threat recognition10 to the AUV should enemy intelligence assets detect friendly jamming emissions, subsequently alerting the back-end operator/pilot to this detection and forcing the vehicle to dive. Additionally, current technological research has been dedicated to enhancing onboard UUV/AUV digital signal processing (DSP), further eliminating human intervention and making the vehicle more autonomous.11 This breakthrough will further compliment the ES package by eliminating the reaction time needed by the operator/pilot to adjust its mission profile to dive, ultimately providing better protection to the IO platform as it conducts joint fires with other assets in the JOA.
US Marine Corps Flight Operations Source:

limit the role that UUVs/AUVs can be employed in an IO capacity; however, in a joint, net-centric environment these issues can also be mitigated. Nevertheless, a JFC can employ UUVs/ AUVs as an IO option to augment existing EW air platforms within a Joint Operations Area (JOA). An existing EW airframe (even a possible UAV equipped with an EW sensor package) combined

with an EW-equipped UUV/AUV can employ operational fires in order to facilitate the flow of coalition assets into theater, minimizing the destruction of infrastructure prior to a major campaign. For example, a UUV/AUV equipped with an electromagnetic jammer can employ electronic attack (EA) to deny the enemy the use of the electromagnetic spectrum. An autonomous undersea vehicle such as the Remus 600 can be an effective asset a

EW equipped UUVs/AUVs can also provide the JFC operational protection by ensuring the sea lines of communication (SLOCs) remain safe and open in order to facilitate the flow of joint forces into the JOA. 12 Strategically vital straits such as Hormouz and Malacca have historically been contentious between US naval and hostile naval/piracy forces, however these potential threats can be mitigated and/or averted through the effective employment of ES. In addition to their existing ASW capabilities, ES packages on AUVs such as the Remus


600 can provide indications and warning (I&W) support for naval vessels transiting through major chokepoints, ensuring they remain safe from potentially hostile assets. An ES package on a clandestine AUV can scan, detect, and even localize signals of interest on the horizon once the vehicle has surfaced its sensors. That time-sensitive information can be transmitted directly via numerous communications mediums to the Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC), or even a Joint Operations Center (JOC) for immediate threat identification and evasive action. The uses of EW-equipped UUVs/AUVs are boundless, not only providing the JFC additional options to synchronize non-lethal operational fires, but also their ability to provide protection for his/her forces upon the commencement of major operations in a JOA. Next, the Navys 2004 UUV Master Plan provides a broad illustration of the use of UUVs in an MILDEC capacity. As such, the Navy envisions that the UUV can be used in MILDEC operations acting like a submarine decoy, emitting underwater signatures that would otherwise be associated with

a different size, or class of vessel.13 This in turn would fool enemy ASW sensors and result in a mismanagement of enemy resources to the deception plan, ultimately minimizing the threat to friendly forces.14 While the UUV master plan provides a simple, tactical MILDEC illustration, a JFC could use a somewhat similar example on an operational level to facilitate operational intelligence and maneuver. For example, a JFC or Joint Special Operational Task Force (JSOTF) could use UUVs/AUVs in MILDEC during the early stages of the Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (JIPOE) by employing a manportable AUV with a personnel Delivery Vehicle Team (SDVT). Pending a possible amphibious assault, a man-portable AUV could accompany a SDVT within the SDV that launches from a submarines Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). In order to fool enemy ASW sensors and allow protection for the SDVT, the AUV can deceive the enemy into believing that an invading force is collecting intelligence on another side of a countrys harbors, piers, and coastal ways. Working in conjunction with UAVs that are also facilitating the JIPOE process, these unmanned vehicles can fool the adversary into believing that a JIOPE

US Navy Cruiser in Pearl Harbor Source:


Winter 2009

is being conducted in a completely different location than the actual one. The dedication of enemy resources and forces to the spoofed location can also ensure better safety for personnel that are assisting the JFC with the actual information gathering. UUVs/AUVs can also assist the JFC facilitate operational maneuver by employing MILDEC during an amphibious demonstration that is actually a MILDEC operation. Considering the common scarcity of JFC resources prior to major campaigns and/or operations, unmanned vehicles such as UUVs, AUVs, and UAVs can employ electromagnetic deception to appear much larger, concentrated, and located at a different area or coastal location. Specifically, these platforms can employ simulative electromagnetic deception in order to simulate friendly, notional, or actual capabilities to mislead hostile forces.15 Enemy commanders could possibly react to this UUV/AUV deception plan with forces/resources, and ultimately select an unfavorable course

of action. 16 Following the success of this deception plan, the JFC can better facilitate operational maneuver in conjunction with fires to conduct a much safer actual amphibious assault operation. The employment of UUVs/AUVs in a MILDEC capacity has the potential to be a massive force multiplier for JFCs that are looking for better ways to facilitate operational intelligence and maneuver. Not only do these uses have the potential to fool and misled the enemy, but they can also ensure a safer operational environment for their scarce forces/resources. MILDEC and EW are probably the most common potential uses for AUVs/UUVs supporting IO, but unconventional thought raises the possibility of UUV/ AUV technology being further harnessed to employ PSYOP within a JOA. According to Joint Publication 3-13, Operational-level PSYOP are designed to strengthen US and multinational capabilities to conduct military operations in the operational area and accomplish

particular missions across the range of military operations.17 While the 2004 Master Navy Plan for UUVs does not specifically mention the possibility of UUV/AUV PSYOP integration, there are numerous opportunities that are possible that certainly have the potential to make significant impacts for an operational commander. As one of the biggest proliferators of PSYOP via the EC-130 Commando Solo airframe capacity, the Air Force has already begun to conceive ideas on how to employ PSYOP via UAV platforms. Proponents have argued that PSYOP radio broadcasts could be delivered to targeted foreign audiences to deter their intentions via UAVs.18 For example, These programs will hit target individuals equipped with UAVdelivered PDAs capable of receiving wireless radio, TV, e-mail, and Internet traffic in real time. Scalable UAVs will conduct precise leaflet delivery, humanitarian assistance, and re-supply missions across the entire battle space as part of an integrated PSYOP effort.19

US Navy UUV Opened Source:


US Navy Helicopter Operations Source:

A JFC could integrate the employment of an Air Force UAV PSYOP delivery platform along with a Navy UUV to synchronize efforts designated to non-kinetically disrupt and/ or influence enemy Operational Command and Control (C2) within a JOA. This disruption technique can limit kinetic solutions for the JFC, ultimately minimizing collateral and infrastructure damage within a JOA. One example has illustrated the potential of embarking miniature UAVs onboard UUVs for further launch once within proximity of the intended target/targets. The UAV embarked UUV could be either loaded with a small number of pre-loaded leaflets or could transmit broadcasts to intended targets in a highly selective process that minimizes the potential for the message reaching unintended audiences.20 Upon its completion of mission, the UAV would vector back to the UUV for recovery for further docking onboard a coalition submarine.21 Although UUVs and AUVs can work in conjunction with UAVs in the JOA, they also can work autonomously in order to project selective, PSYOP radio broadcasts to adversary target audiences. UUVs/AUVs could utilize their organic, free-wave modem or SATCOM technology as a medium to deliver these messages to an intended audience once these vehicles have surfaced from underwater. Depending on the location of the operation, the AUV/UUV could receive further targeting

guidance via acoustic communications (ACOMM) if there are gateway buoys in the vicinity that can relay broadcasting directions from a JOC while the UUV/AUV is underwater. This can be extremely critical when enemy C2 is dynamic; decentralized; on the move; and the UUV/AUV is travelling underwater with limited communications capabilities. Some could contend that the biggest obstacle with the employment of UUVs/AUVs is within their ability to effectively transmit either electromagnetic signals and/ or broadcasts/leaflets. This could be attributed to current technological challenges associated with the size and employability of communications devices/payloads near the water. However, these issues cannot only be mitigated as technology continuously improves, but net-centric operations/ warfare could also bridge the gap of these potential connectivity issues. UUVs/AUVs have been lauded for their ability to interact not only with the host pilot that might be located vast distances from the vehicle, but also with other UUVs/AUVs within the area of operations.22 AUVs are currently in the developmental stages of collecting, sharing, and processing information with other AUVs, ultimately these advances could assist in redirecting/refining their IO targeting solutions. Furthermore, UUVs/AUVs will eventually begin to interact with all net-centric platforms beyond unmanned vehicles


Winter 2009

operating at the disposal of a JFC. The Navy has already commonly referred to this concept as FORCEnet.23 As digital signal processors (DSPs) are becoming more advanced within UUVs/ AUVs, artificial intelligence will further limit the role of a host pilot and rely more on net-centricity. Intelligence and IO will eventually coexist within one another as a powerful non-kinetic solution for JFCs. In conclusion, the role of a UUV/AUV platform as an IO tool for a JFC is boundless. The illustrations in this paper represent just a few ways in which EW, MILDEC, and PSYOP could be employed by a UUV/AUV to have significant operational impacts within a JOA. These examples will not only shape the operational environment by facilitating operational fires; protection; maneuver; intelligence; and disrupting enemy C2, but will ultimately minimize the amount

of infrastructure/civilian damage that kinetic tools could potentially inflict. In the end, their potential ability to operate with other manned/unmanned, net-centric platforms within a JOA will become a force-multiplier that will further enable the JFC to achieve mission-accomplishment, and facilitate strategic success within a theater of operations. Editors Note: This article was first used to fulfill an academic requirement at the Naval War College. LCDR Salehis knowledge of UUVs and AUVs and their possible application of Information Operations is very insightful and relevent.

3. Ibid., xxiii. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid, 48. 6. Russ E. Davis, Charles C. Eriksen, David M. Fratantoni , Mary J. Perry, Daniel L. Rudnik, Underwater Gliders for Ocean Research, Marine Technology Society Journal (Spring 2004: Vol 38, number 1): 49. 7. Janes Navy International, Unmanned vehicles enter the underwater battlespace, posted 13 November 2002, (accessed 01 October 2008), 10. 8. Ken Jordan, Remus AUV plays key role in Iraq War, Underwater Magazine, July/August 2003, http://www. (accessed, 03 October 2008). 9. Remus 600, html/ (accessed, 03 October 2008). 10. Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine for Electronic Warfare, final coordination, Joint Publication (JP) 3-51 (Washington, DC: CJCS, 07 April 2000), I-8. 11. Military and Aerospace Electronics, Swimming Robots, August 2008, (accessed 01 October 2008).

1. U.S. Department of the Navy, The Navy Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Master Plan, (Washington, DC: OPNAV, 09 November 2004), xix. 2. Ibid.

Naval Riverboat Operations Source:


12. Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine for Electronic Warfare, III-24. 13. U.S. Department of the Navy, The Navy Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Master Plan, 49-50. 14. Ibid. 15. Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Military Deception, final coordination, Joint Publication (JP) 3-13.4 (Washington, DC: CJCS, 13 July 2006), I-6. 16. Ibid, I-7. 17. Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine for Psychological Operations, final coordination, Joint Publication (JP) 3-53 (Washington, DC: CJCS, 05 September 2003), I-4. 18. Douglas W. Jaquish, Uninhibited Air Vehicles for Psychological Operations Leveraging Technology for PSYOP Beyond 2010, Air & Space Power Journal, (06 April 04): 13. 19. Ibid. 20. Edward A. Johnson, Unmanned Undersea Vehicles and Guided Missile Submarines: Technological and Operational Synergies, (Occasional Paper, Maxwell Air Force Base, AB: Air War College, Center for Strategy and Technology, 2002), 21-22. 21. Ibid. 22. U.S. Department of the Navy, The Navy Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Master Plan, 43. 23. Ibid.

Thank You For Your Interest In IO Sphere

Look for Summer Issue in August 2009
Send Comments or Questions to


Winter 2009

A Short Summary of Information Operations Terms

by Colonel Harry D. Tunnell IV
IO Spheres Editors Note: COL Tunnell has uncovered a basic truism in Information Operations and that is that there is no really good single source document to explain the simple terms of IO much less more complex practices. It is the lack of wide-spread common reference that makes IO such a tremendous challenge that requires true artist to successfully apply the elements in the war fight.

Introduction: Why is This Dialogue Necessary?

nformation, and its use by the United States, is often touted as the only way to win the war of ideas with Americas totalitarian terrorist enemies. If this assumption is taken at face value that information is critical to success in this warthen audiences throughout the government ought to speak the same language whenever discussing approaches to apply this instrument of national power. Unfortunately, there is no single source for common IO terms. Common understanding of many of the words and phrases that relate to information and its application to todays war is lacking. Definitions are taken directly from the private sector and modified for military or public use; military terms are often defined in joint and service literatureand all might be described differently; and now that information is highlighted as an essential component of Americas warfighting strategy, new words are being developed to explain its use, and existing terminology is being modified as doctrine evolves.

This essay is an effort to collect the most commonly used terms in one place, define them, and provide a short reference for military and other government professionals. Since there are occasionally multiple meanings for the same phrases, this article relies on the explanations that are found in policy documents for political terms, joint doctrine for words unique to the armed forces, and NATO explanations for international military items.2 If something is poorly defined or in developing doctrine then the document from the highest branch of government (or senior military headquarters) has been used; if more than one characterization is relevant to the conduct of military operations then all appropriate ideas are explained.

Secretary of State Clinton in Haiti Source:

The Strategic Instruments.

Two concepts have direct strategiclevel significance: information as an instrument of national power and strategic communication. The Reagan administration in National Security Decision Directive Number 130 defined information as a key strategic instrument

for shaping fundamental political and ideological trends around the globe on a long-term basis and ultimately affecting the behavior of governments.3 President Reagan, as further expressed in his directive, believed that information should be a strategic instrument that serves American national policy rather than a lower-level tactical tool used in support of United States diplomacy.4 Today, largely because of the concepts o u tlin ed in R eag an s d ir ectiv e, information is formally considered an instrument of national power along with diplomacy, military activity, and economic measures. Strategic communication is one way that the information component of national power manifests itself in a practical and global sense. It is how the United States government can understand audiences, engage groups in a dialogue of ideas, advise leaders on the publicopinion implications of certain policies, and influence audience attitudes and behavior. 5 Successful strategic communication frequently requires the establishment of liaison activities with

What were trying to do is influence others to understand that these thugs, these terrorists, are not out for anyones good interest . . . . . . . information and how it is passed and how people absorb it is critical. 1
General Peter Pace, Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff


Spring 2009

public, non-governmental, and international media agencies.6 Correspondingly, the strategic communication process creates, strengthens, or preserves conditions favorable for the advancement of American interests, policies, and objectives. The United States military, as part of this government-wide approach, participates in these activities in order to understand, inform, and influence relevant foreign audiences.7

directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in the Department of Defense.10 Unlike public diplomacy and IO, many government and private groups conduct some type of public affairs function. Public affairs take a straightforward approach to the information presentedit must be truthful, timely, and as accurate as reasonably possible. This is necessary because the public affairs representatives who are charged with this type of outreach must maintain their credibility with the media and others who accept their input and actually present the desired information about the armed forces to the public. Public affairs is a related capability of IO which means that it should be coordinated and integrated with core and supporting IO capabilities without compromising its primary purpose and the rules under which it operates.11 Information Operations (sometimes referred to as military information operations or IO) are the responsibility of the Department of Defense even though their conduct may involve cooperation with the others in interagency community or another agency may have a similar information role. IO is defined as the integrated employment of the core capabilities of electronic warfare, computer network operations,

Measures That Support Strategic Action.

Public diplomacy, public affairs, and information operations underpin the strategic implements and, with the exception of public affairs, are carried out by a particular department. Public diplomacy is traditionally the domain of the State Department and its purpose is to engage, inform, and influence foreign audiences.8 In addition to press briefings and other traditional forums, public diplomacy includes non-traditional information events such as military-to-military programs, summits, and cultural exchanges. Almost anything that the government does outside of the United States is public diplomacy. Public affairs (often called PA) on the contrary, and as the federal government commonly employs it, is a tool to keep the American public informed.9 The military definition of public affairs is more precise and is those public information, command information, and community relations activities

Exercise Balikatan 2009 Opening Ceremony, Republic of the Phillipines Source:


psychological operations, military deception, and operations security, in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.12 (Supporting capabilities are those that are involved in the information environment and contribute to IO; it is best if they are integrated with the core capabilities, but they can serve other, more varied, purposes.)13

by other military forces, or by a combination of civil affairs and other forces.14 Combat Camera is a supporting capability of IO and is a Department of Defense term for the acquisition and utilization of still and motion imagery in support of combat, information, humanitarian, special forces, intelligence, reconnaissance, engineering, legal, public affairs, and other operations involving the Military Services.15 Computer Network Attack (CNA) consists of actions taken through the use of computer networks to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers and computer networks, or the computers and networks themselves.16 Even though electronic attack can be used against a computer, it is not CNA because it relies on the electromagnetic spectrum while CNA relies on the data stream to execute an attack.17 Computer Network Defense (CND) is actions taken through the use of computer networks to protect, monitor, analyze, detect, and respond to unauthorized activity within Department of Defense information systems and computer networks.18 Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) is enabling operations and intelligence collection capabilities conducted through the

Uniquely Military Terminology.

Civil-Military Operations (CMO) are a related capability of IO. CMO is a Department of Defense term for activities of a commander that establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations between military forces, governmental and nongovernmental civilian organizations and authorities, and the civilian populace in a friendly, neutral, or hostile operational area in order to facilitate military operations, and to consolidate and achieve operational US objectives. Civilmilitary operations may include performance by military forces of activities and functions normally the responsibility of the local, regional, or national government. These activities may occur prior to, during, or subsequent to other military actions. They may also occur, if directed, in the absence of other military operations. CMO may be performed by designated civil affairs,

A US Navy Mark V Boat on a Training Operation Source:


Winter 2009

use of computer networks to gather data from target or adversary automated information systems or networks.19 Computer Network Operations (CNO), one of five core capabilities of information operations, is a Department of Defense term for attacking, deceiving, degrading, disrupting, denying, exploiting and defending electronic information and infrastructure. CNO is computer network attack, computer network defense, and related computer network exploitation enabling operations.20 Counterintelligence is a supporting capability of IO and is a Department of Defense term for information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities.22 Defense Support to Public Diplomacy (DSPD), another related capability of IO, is a Department of Defense term for those activities and measures taken by the Department of Defense components to support and facilitate public diplomacy efforts of the United States Government.23 Electronic Warfare, one of five core capabilities of IO, is a Department of Defense term for any military action involving the use of electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum or to attack the enemy.24 Information Campaign is a term that is not in current or evolving doctrine. Todays operational concepts eschew the idea of a separate information campaign divorced from the main campaign or operation because uncoordinated IO can compromise, complicate, negate, or harm other JFC [Joint Force Commander] military operations, as well as other USG [United States Government] information activities.25 Doctrine dictates that IO planners should be fully incorporated into any military planning process

because IO planning is an integral part of, not an addition to, the overall planning effort.26 Unfortunately, information campaign remains as much a part of the informal military lexicon as air campaign, land campaign, or maritime campaign. Therefore, the topic merits further discussion. This still undefined term is sometimes used to describe a series of coordinated IO activities. Lieutenant Colonel Garry Beavers (USA, Ret.) in a Military Review article proposes the following definition: offensive and defensive information operations that convey true, unclassified information about military operations and the information environment to external audiences. 27 Regrettably, Beavers allows Balkans-specific experiences to typify his concept of IO and therefore, the information campaign that he describes does not fully consider the information environment in which the Department of Defense operates during the Global War on Terrorism. Any information campaign conducted by military forces, particularly during combat operations, should not be hindered by an artificial restriction such as to convey true, unclassified information. While it is important to behave ethically, IO is not public affairs! In fact, some of the core capabilities of IO, such as military deception or computer network operations, may rely on actions that emphasize duplicity, guile, or fabrication. Therefore, this type of campaign cannot always present truthful information. An information campaign is not an independent campaign and should really be considered a series of information operations conducted in or via the information environment that are unified in purpose and synchronized with and performed in support of other military operations to convey the commanders desired impression to friendly, neutral, or enemy audiences. These operations may be conducted at the strategic, operational, or tactical levels of war (individually, sequentially, or simultaneously).

Information Superiority is a Department of Defense term for the operational advantage derived from the ability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversarys ability to do the same.28 Military Deception (MILDEC), one of five core capabilities of information operations, is a Department of Defense term for actions executed to deliberately mislead adversary military decision makers as to friendly military capabilities, intentions, and operations, thereby causing the adversary to take specific actions (or inactions) that will contribute to the accomplishment of the friendly mission.29 Operations Security (OPSEC), one of five core capabilities of IO, is a Department of Defense term for a process of identifying critical information and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities to: a. identify those actions that can be observed by adversary intelligence systems; b. determine indicators that hostile intelligence systems might obtain that could be interpreted or pieced together to derive critical information in time to be useful to adversaries; and c. select and execute measures that eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the vulnerabilities of friendly actions to adversary exploitation.30 Perception Management is generally associated with psychological operations. This term describes actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originators objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.31


Physical Attack is a Department of Defense term that describes another supporting capability of IO. Physical attack disrupts, damages, or destroys adversary targets through destructive power. Physical attack can also be used to create or alter adversary perceptions or drive an adversary to use certain exploitable information systems.31 Physical Security is a supporting capability of IO and is a Department of Defense term for that part of security concerned with physical measures designed to safeguard personnel; to prevent unauthorized access to equipment, installations, material, and documents; and to safeguard them against espionage, sabotage, damage, and theft. In communications security, the component that results from all physical measures necessary to safeguard classified equipment, material, and documents from access thereto or observation thereof by unauthorized persons.33 Psychological Operations (PSYOP), one of five core capabilities of IO, is a Department of Defense term for planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of PSYOP is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originators objectives.34 (Note that the United States military use of the term limits psychological operations to target foreign audiences.) Public Information is a Department of Defense term for information of a military nature, the dissemination of which through public news media is not inconsistent with security, and the release of which is considered desirable or nonobjectionable to the responsible releasing agency.35 United States military application of this term differs slightly from the NATO use of the term.

A Few International Terms.

Psychological Operations as used in NATO are planned psychological activities in peace and war directed to enemy, friendly, and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behavior affecting the achievement of political and military objectives. They include strategic psychological activities, psychological consolidation activities, and battlefield psychological activities.36 This differs from its American counterpart. Public Information as used in NATO describes, Information which is released or published for the primary purpose of keeping the public fully informed, thereby gaining their understanding and support.37 Again, this differs from its American counterpart.

Military, Government, and Private Sector Terms.

Biometrics is defined by the Committee on National Security Systems as automated methods of authenticating or verifying an individual based upon a physical or behavioral characteristic.38 Biometric technology is becoming an increasingly important part of government efforts during the Global War on Terrorism as a method to identify or categorize friendly and enemy personnel. Additional uses for this technology continue to develop, and its potential to influence activities in the information environment has not yet been fully realized. Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), as defined by the Department of Defense, is actions taken to prevent, remediate, or mitigate the risks resulting from vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure assets.39 There is another perspective on critical infrastructure protection that is important to military leaders because it relates to homeland security and homeland defense; this explanation is taken from a Presidential Executive Order.

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Humanitarian Assessment Team and Host Nation Cooperation Source:

In his executive order, President Bush notes that the information technology revolution has caused business transactions, government operations, and national defense to depend on an interdependent network of critical information infrastructures. Americas critical infrastructure protection program, therefore, must secure these infrastructures (including emergency preparedness communications and any associated supporting physical assets because protecting this is vital to the telecommunications, energy, financial services, manufacturing, water, transportation, health care, and emergency services sectors).40 Information Assurance (IA) is a supporting capability of IO and is a Department of Defense term for measures that protect and defend information and information systems by ensuring their availability, integrity,

authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation. These measures include providing for restoration of information systems by incorporating protection, detection, and reaction capabilities.41 IA is listed in this section because it is a common term in both government and civilian use to describe comparable functions (with the exception of any relationship to IO).

and systems that collect, process, or disseminate information 42 ). Until this unique dialect is refined and standardized, this commentary should serve as a useful tool for the beginner and old hand alike.

1 Remarks to interviewer Jed Babbin on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, as cited in Jim Garamone, Gen. Pace: Information is crucial in war on terror. Pentagram, October 28, 2005. On line version, pentagram/10_43/national_news/37939-1. html, accessed January 26, 2006. 2. For example there is a joint definition for electronic warfare but United States Air Force doctrine, while acknowledging the Joint Staffs definition, lists a preferred definition for the Air Force.

The reader should now understand there might be several variations for the same phrase or that some of the doctrinal definitions still need work. As the art of employing information at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war evolves, so must the language to describe what is happening throughout the information environment (the aggregate of individuals, organizations,


3. President Reagan, National Security Decision Directive Number 130: US International Information Policy (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government, March 6, 1984), 1. 4. Summarized from ibid. 5. Paraphrased from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government, September 2004), 11. The phrase, dialogue of ideas, is a direct quote from page 11 of the report. The report is hereafter referred to as the DSB Report. 6. The DSB Report discusses what it identifies as four core instruments of Strategic Communication: Public Diplomacy, Public Affairs, International Broadcasting Services, and Information Operations. In the report International Broadcasting Services are organizations that are government funded and serve a variety of purposes. For the purpose of this essay International Broadcasting Services (as well as groups that perform similar functions) are included in the category of public, non-governmental, and international media agencies. 7. Summarized from the Joint Staff, Joint Publication 3-13: Information Operations, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government, 13 February 2006, I-10. Hereafter referred to as Joint Pub 3-13. The military, in Joint Pub 3-13, defines strategic communication as focused USG [United States Government] efforts to understand and engage key audiences in order to create, strengthen or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of USG interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all elements of national power. Even though the Joint Staff has defined strategic communication it is not responsible for Americas strategic communication policy, process, or implementation and that is why the Joint Staff definition is not relied upon for this essay. 8. The definition for public diplomacy is paraphrased from the United States Department of State website,, accessed July 26, 2005. The military, in the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as amended through August 31, 2005, defines it as those overt international public information activities of the United States Government designed to promote United States foreign policy objectives by seeking to understand, inform, and influence foreign audiences and opinion makers, and by broadening the dialogue between American citizens and institutions and their counterparts abroad. 9. It is difficult to pin down a precise definition of public affairs. The United States government generally considers public affairs to be a form of outreach to domestic American audiences although there are other audiences that public affairs affect. See DSB Report, 12 for a discussion of public affairs and the United States government. 10. DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as amended through August 31, 2005,

index.html. 11. The idea of a related capability is paraphrased from Joint Pub 3-13, x. Civil-Military Operations and Defense Support to Public Diplomacy are also related capabilities. 12. Ibid., GL-9. 13. Paraphrased from ibid., x. Information assurance, physical security, physical attack, counterintelligence, and combat camera are considered the main supporting capabilities. 14. Ibid., GL-4. 15. Ibid., GL-5. 16. Ibid., GL-5. 17. Paraphrased from the DOD Dictionary. 18. Joint Pub 3-13, GL-5. 19. Ibid., GL-6. 20. Paraphrased from ibid., II-4 II-5. 21. Ibid., GL-6. 22. Ibid., GL-6. 23. Ibid., GL-7. 24. DOD Dictionary. 25. Joint Pub 3-13, V-1. 26. Ibid. 27. Garry J. Beavers, Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Ret.), Defining the Information Campaign, Military Review, November December 2005, 80-82. 28. Joint Pub 3-13, GL-9. 29. DOD Dictionary. 30. Ibid. 31. Ibid. 32. Joint Pub 3-13, II-7. 33. Ibid., GL-11. 34. DOD Dictionary. 35. Ibid. 36. Ibid. 37. Ibid. 38. The Committee on National Security Systems, CNSS Instruction No. 4009, National Information Assurance (IA) Glossary, revised May 2003, 6, website accessed 1-8 February 2006, http://www.cnss. gov/Assets/pdf/cnssi_4009.pdf. The CNSS provides a forum for the discussion of policy issues, sets national policy, and promulgates direction, operational procedures, and guidance for the security of national security systems operated by the US Government, its contractors, or agents.


Winter 2009

39. DOD Dictionary. 40. Paraphrased from President Bush, Press Release: Executive Order on Critical infrastructure Protection (Washington DC: Office of the Press Secretary, October 16, 2001). Website accessed January 27, 2006, releases/2001/10/20011016-12.html. CNSS Instruction No. 4009, 18 specifically defines critical infrastructures as those physical and cyber-based systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. 41. Joint Pub 3-13, GL-9 and CNSS Instruction No. 4009, 32. 42. Joint Pub 3-13, GL-9. Joint Pub 3-13, I-1 further notes that the information environment is made up of three interrelated dimensions: physical, informational, and cognitive.

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Book Review
Moment of Truth in Iraq
by Michael Yon Publisher - Richard Vigilante Books
Review by Greg Gibbons JIOWC Librarian

athew Brady. Ernie Pyle. Don Whitehead. Joe Galloway. Add one more name to the ranks of stellar American combat journalists: Michael Yon. A former US Army Special Forces Soldier, Yon began general freelance writing in the mid-1990s despite having no background in the field. According to the New York Times, no other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which Yon has been doing constantly since 2004. Yon began writing about the occupation of Iraq after the death of two of his Army friends, one of which he had known since High School. Following accounts of the Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in the American press, he became concerned that the coalition was losing the war. When asked about this, his friends in the military said that the media was not telling the whole story. He decided to go to Iraq to find out for himself, financing his trip from his own pocket for more than half a year, eventually receiving generous contributions from readers of his online magazine. Moment of Truth in Iraq is a compilation of his dispatches written while embedded with Coalition Forces. His writings are riveting, and the more prolific are accompanied by photographs as well. Such as his account of 1-24 Infantrys deployment to Mosul in 2005 entitled Gates of Fire, where Yon, the battalion commander and the command sergeant major find themselves in an urban

firefight with insurgents. The photos dont lie the battalion commander is wounded, his command sergeant major fights hand-to-hand and Yon himself is pressed into service.

IO Sphere Editors Note: Book reviews are very important to the exchange of ideas and information, and to the spreading the word about great works of journalism and literature relevant subjects. To win conflicts against enemies of freedom, professionals need to be well read. The IO Sphere highly encourages the submission of book reviews for publication.

A Personal View of Information Operations on the Battlefield

From the Front Lines

Calculated Information Operations at the Tactical Level

by Major John J. Zollinger

s the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) Information Operations (IO) Officer, I had the opportunity to be a part of an operation, which we are still reading about today; a capture/kill operation which took place in Shindand, western Afghanistan in August 2008. My goal and objectives in assisting this operation were not to repeat what we did in Zerko valley in 2007, which was, to be on the defense regarding the information flow, and the enemy beating our IO with their propaganda of inflated civilian causalities. We needed to get our message out ahead of the Taliban, and discredit their propaganda before they could discredit our

information and press releases. Based on the human intelligence and signals intelligence information going into this mission, I was able to better understand the tribal dynamics within the area and understand how the tribes were able to project their information through Shuras or engagements between tribal leaders and elders. Understanding the tribes and providing the tactical commander talking points, as well as, other things to consider prior to a key leader engagement (KLE) greatly increase the ability to collect valuable operational information for future military operations, and to gain a better understanding of the area and build a tribal engagement database. This database can be used as a reference tool to assist the IO team to make educated recommendations to other systems of IO,

US Soldiers Patrol Afhgan Village Source:


for example civil affairs (CA) and psychological operations (PSYOP). The database the CJSOTF-A Joint Effects Cell (JEC) developed consisted of nonlethal effects such as KLE, shuras, IED turn-ins as part of the small rewards program, CA projects, humanitarian assistance operations, and medical care operations. To gain IO synergy throughout the task force there needs to be a constant balance through the basic pillars of IO. The CJSOTF-A JEC consisted of CA, public affairs officer (PAO), and PSYOP. In order for the IO officer to affect the information environment ebb and flow throughout the battlefield space, and at the same time provide strategic information to higher echelons, there needs to be a seamless flow of information throughout the IO channels. The PAO position is an essential part of the tactical commanders non-lethal tool. They are fundamentally the focal point between the military and the public for information. The most accurate information is just one way to beat the propaganda, but time is of the essence. As the military operation

in Shindand, western Afghanistan started to turn from a lethal to a non-lethal operation, we provided information to the higher command and conducted a sequence of non-lethal events to counter the enemy propaganda. The enemy was able to get their propaganda started before we even left the military objective. As I looked across the villages while I was on a rooftop of one of the key objectives, I was able to see the local nationals on their cell phones and heard the radio saying Coalition Forces have killed over 70 local national civilians. Similar to Zerko valley in 2007, we were not getting our information out fast enough, through either a press release or a phone call to the strategic level. It took the insurgents approximately 26 minutes to get their propaganda out. The result discredited our operation via the message saying to the rest of Afghanistan that the coalition forces had killed over 70 non-combatants, and at one point the number reached 110 civilians killed. The insurgent message was eventually picked up as fact by global media resulting in more perception damage to the coalition.

As an IO officer, you have to realize false information and propaganda is easy to get out faster than factual or accurate information. Competent planners must realize that planning needs to start prior to the operation regarding the frame work of the themes and messages needed to get out to the public; a tool in which we sometime forget is the military decision making process (MDMP). Propaganda is much easier to project, and once the propaganda is in the public media, it is too late for the IO planner to be on the offensive (decide/detect/deliver); now the IO planner is forced to conduct defensive IO or what I call band-aide IO. Embedded media are a great tool if used correctly to reach the strategic level in order to tell the story of the military and inform the public regarding lethal and non-lethal operations. During my deployment, we embedded numerous journalist and photographers, for example LtCol Oliver North, Fox News War Stories, National Public Radio (NPR), MSNBC, and a freelance combat camera photogpher. Every media embed had their own objectives, either to tell the

Afgan Man Uses New Coalition Provided Water Well Source:


Spring 2009

story of the Afghan people, or be a part of a specific operation to see how the Afghan Commandos operated. The common media theme was to inform the public on what the military does on a daily basis and show the public we are human, and highlight the fact that the local Afghan people want us here to help them make their country a better place and, most importantly, eradicate the insurgents. Learning from our IO mistakes and documenting the lessons learned is critical. It enables us to avoid the events such as Zerko Valley and Shindand. Non-lethal synchronized operations consisting of KLEs, CA, PSYOP, Combat Camera, and PA will support the time sensitive need for information at the strategic level. Reverse bridging is a great example at the tactical level in order to create the seamless flow of information to the higher echelons. Information received at the HQ CJSOTF-A level is created and processed at the Special Operations Task Force level (SOTF). The JEC plays a critical role in the processing of this information and the speed in which it reaches the strategic level. The speed is critical because the information can be used to counter propaganda and as a mitigation tool. Even though media embeds can be challenging at times, they are a resource that if utilized and coordinated correctly can enhance a units non-lethal capability tremendously. As products are developed, and resources are allocated, it is important to stay focused on the underlying factor that the Afghan people are the center of gravity, and truthful information to them and other audiences is critical. Editors Note: Personal accounts are important to any professional field to add context to the academic work and study of a profession. Major Zollingers article gives us context to realize that IO is not just an academic work, but also a military art form that sometimes is practiced in the toughest of conditions. Therefore, his personal account of his experience in Afghanistan is important and relevant.