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

Reference Home Page

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.

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May 2

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.

See Also:

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Jul 31

Reference: Integrity at Scale Free Online Book

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Recommended by Contributing Editor John Steiner

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Chapters with Links Below the Line

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Jul 22

Reference: Cook Report Network Rennaissance

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Table of Contents

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Apr 14

References on Intelligence Analysis

Categories: Analysis,Monographs

Berto Jongman Recommends...

Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations
National Research Council, 2011

Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences
National Research Council, 2011

Phi Beta Iota: There is nothing in either of these that Jack Davis, Stephen Andriole, Andy Shepard, and a whole lot of others do not already know.  Going through this stuff, one can only observe that it took them three years to get to the obvious, and that neither book addresses the fact that the US Intelligence Community remains focused on collection inputs, lacks integrity across the board, has no strategic analytic model or modern collection management plan that respects open sources in 183 languages, and relies for analytics on young people without substantive knowledge, US citizens with secret clearances two steps removed from reality, and a total ban on actually engaging with the 90-country minimum it takes to achieve M4IS2.

NRO-NGA-NSA, DIA (the dog), CIA, DNI (on top)

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Mar 19

Reference: The Pentagon Labyrinth

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The Pentagon Labyrinth

It is my pleasure to announce the publication of The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It. This is a short pamphlet of less than 150 pages and is available at no cost in E-Book PDF format, as well as in hard copy from links on this page as well as here and here.  Included in the menu below are download links for a wide variety of supplemental/supporting information (much previously unavailable on the web) describing how notions of combat effectiveness relate to the basic building blocks of people, ideas, and hardware/technology; the nature of strategy; and the dysfunctional character of the Pentagon’s decision making procedures and the supporting role of its  accounting shambles.

Chuck Spinney
The Blaster

This pamphlet aims to help both newcomers and seasoned observers learn how to grapple with the problems of national defense.  Intended for readers who are frustrated with the superficial nature of the debate on national security, this handbook takes advantage of the insights of ten unique professionals, each with decades of experience in the armed services, the Pentagon bureaucracy, Congress, the intelligence community, military history, journalism and other disciplines.  The short but provocative essays will help you to:

  • identify the decay – moral, mental and physical – in America’s defenses,
  • understand the various “tribes” that run bureaucratic life in the Pentagon,
  • appreciate what too many defense journalists are not doing, but should,
  • conduct first rate national security oversight instead of second rate theater,
  • separate careerists from ethical professionals in senior military and civilian ranks,
  • learn to critique strategies, distinguishing the useful from the agenda-driven,
  • recognize the pervasive influence of money in defense decision-making,
  • unravel the budget games the Pentagon and Congress love to play,
  • understand how to sort good weapons from bad – and avoid high cost failures, and
  • reform the failed defense procurement system without changing a single law.

The handbook ends with lists of contacts, readings and Web sites carefully selected to facilitate further understanding of the above, and more.

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Mar 10

Reference: Cook Report on Internet Protocol V4 E Pluribus Unum* Resurrected: How Human Ingenuity, DIY Technology, and Global R&E Networks Are Remaking the World Part 1 of 2 Parts

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Summary of the Book’s Intent by Author

Full Book Online

Recommended by Venessa Miemis

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Feb 25