Reference: US Military Information Operations in Afghanistan

U.S. Military Information Operations in Afghanistan

Effectiveness of Psychological Operations 2001-2010

The U.S. Marine Corps, which has long recognized the importance of influencing the civilian population in a counterinsurgency environment, requested an evaluation of the effectiveness of the psychological operations (PSYOP) element of U.S. military information operations in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2010 based on how well messages and themes were tailored to target audiences. This monograph responds to that request. It summarizes the diverse PSYOP initiatives undertaken, evaluates their effectiveness, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and describes the way forward, including making certain specific recommendations for improvements. Special attention is paid to how well PSYOP initiatives were tailored to target audiences, primarily the Pashtuns who are the dominant population in the conflictive areas and the main support of the Taliban insurgency. It contains reports of specific operations that were successful in achieving objectives, as well as examples of operations that did not resonate with target audiences and even some that had counterproductive effects. The biggest PSYOP successes were in face-to-face communication and the emphasis on meetings with jirgas (local councils of elders), key-leader engagements, and establishing individual relationships with members of the Afghan media. In addition, the concept of every infantryman as a PSYOP officer proved very effective. The most notable shortcoming was the inability to sufficiently counter the Taliban propaganda campaign against U.S. and coalition forces on the theme of civilian casualties, both domestically and internationally.

Key Findings

Recommendations

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Phi Beta Iota:   RAND misses the obvious, with deliberation.  Don’t go to war for a dishonest government that lies to its own public; don’t put your troops in harm’s way on the basis of lies that cannot be sustained in the public eye.  No matter how good the Marine Corps might be at the tactical level, that cannot overcome impeachable acts of treason at the strategic level.  This is why Congress has its Article 1 responsibilities, and this is why Congress of the time (and yet today) is impeachable along with the Bush I, Bush II, and Bush III Administrations.

Reference: Open Source Agency (OSA) II

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This book remains the single definitive reference on the Smart Nation Act as developed by Robert Steele in support of Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02).   As pointed out in Hamilton Bean’s recently published book,  No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of US Intelligence the Open Source Agency (OSA) has become the subject of competing visions–on one side, those who favor accountability, effectiveness, transparency, and respect for the public…..on the other, those who favor corruption, profitable waste, secrecy, and the exclusion of the public.

The simplified public articles are three:  1995 GIQ 13/2 Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and Information; 2002 TIME Magazine The New Craft of Intelligence and 2006 Forbes Blank Slate On Intelligence.

The back-up book, the one intended to help the Department of Defense transform itself, INFORMATION OPERATIONS: All Information, All Languages, All the Time has since been supplemented by two briefings, 2009 DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings.

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Most recently, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability provides the strategic, operational, tactical, and technical contexts for leveraging both Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2) in order to create a prosperous world at peace–and at one third the cost of what the USA spends on war today.

This book had two pre-cursors, 2002 THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political and 2010 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.

That book has since been supplemented by a chapter, 2010 The Ultimate Hack Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth, in the just-published book, Counterterrorism and Open Source Intelligence; and by two articles and a monograph from the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute, all three found at 2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated.

If an OSA is created–it can only be a success under diplomatic auspices as OMB has twice agreed (provided the Secretary of State asks for it as a sister agency to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), it could–it should–host the Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC) as proposed to DoD and implicitly called for in several Defense Science Board (DSB) reports.  The MDSC  could be located in Tampa, Florida, as the Coalition Coordination Centre has been, but staffed by intelligence professionals instead of logistics professionals.

Put most simply, an OSA restores intelligence and integrity to the entirety of the US Government, and changes everything about how we do policy, acquisitions, and operations.  It restores the Republic.

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Reference: Integrity at Scale Free Online Book

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Recommended by Contributing Editor John Steiner

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