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Chapter Two

The Operations Environment

Role of IO in Peace Operations

In peace operations, the enemy is not one of the warring factions, but the conflict itself.(1)Diplomatic considerations predominate over purely military requirements and impose constraints on the force.(2)A common characteristic of peace operations has been the necessity to observe the principles of legitimacy and restraint. Although U.S. forces in a Peace Enforcement operation may have to apply lethal combat power during the initial stages, or as the result of acts which violate the terms of the imposed peace, the principles of restraint and legitimacy limit the efficacy of lethal combat power. The principle of restraint requires that forces "apply appropriate military capability prudently," with due regard for collateral damage.(3)In peace operations, "When force must be used, its purpose is to protect life or compel, not to destroy.the conflict, not the belligerent parties, is the enemy...the use of force should be a last resort and, whenever possible, should be used when other means of persuasion are exhausted."(4)Restraint is usually codified in Rules of Engagement (ROE) that restrict the use of conventional military force.

The focus of peace enforcement operations is to compel or persuade the former warring factions to abide by the terms of the ceasefire, peace agreement, or international sanctions or resolutions. IO may be one of the most critical and acceptable means of achieving stated objectives within the constraints of the ROE.(5)Army Peace Operations doctrine recognizes that the "non-violent application of military capabilities, such as civil-military information and psychological operations (PSYOP), may be more important" to achieving the desired end state.(6)Restraining the use of lethal combat power and conducting effective information operations can enhance both domestic and international perceptions of the legitimacy of the peace operation.(7)

The principle of Legitimacy must be overlaid onto all peace operations. Legitimacy is a condition initially derived by the peace settlement and the international legal mandate authorizing the peace operations force to enforce and keep the peace. Sustaining this legitimacy means sustaining the perception of the legality, morality, and correctness of all actions of the peace operations forces in the eyes of domestic and world public opinion and of the populace and civil-military leadership of the former warring factions (FWFs). Legitimacy requires impartiality in dealing with the FWF and other actors with interests in the conflict. In peace operations, the impartiality of the peace operation force is critical to success and the legitimacy of the operation. The peace operation force must demonstrate impartiality in all its dealings with the FWFs, showing no favor to either side. Key to sustaining perceptions of impartiality among the FWFs is the concept of transparency of operations.(8)The concept of transparency of operations allows the FWFs to monitor the actions of the peace operation force as a confidence and security-building measure. In Peace Enforcement operations, transparency of operations must be balanced against the security and force protection needs of the friendly force.

Peace operations are carried out under the glare of public scrutiny via the media operating in the Global Information Environment (GIE). Employing the concept of transparency of operations serves to amplify this condition. The GIE consists of all organizations and systems outside the control of the military that process and disseminate information to national and international audiences. The news media comprise only a portion of the GIE, but one that can produce strategic-level implications from tactical-level events. Referred to as "the CNN effect," the dramatic visual presentation of tactical events "can rapidly influence public - and, therefore, political - opinion so that the political underpinnings of war and operations other than war may suddenly change with no prior indication to the commander in the field."(9)

The strategic effects resulting from the broadcasting of tactical events via the GIE were clearly seen in adversary use of television images in the battle of Mogadishu in Somalia during UNISOM II, and the thwarted landing of the USS Harlan County LST in support of UNMIH in Haiti. In the former case, the televised image of Somalis dragging a dead U.S. soldier through the Mogadishu streets resulted in a strategic change of national policy and U.S. Forces withdrew precipitously.(10)In the latter case, the televised image of an orchestrated mob on the docks in Port au Prince, prevented the insertion of U.S. and Canadian forces by ship, leading to their complete withdrawal from the theater of operations.(11)

In peace operations, elements of the FWF and other adversaries opposed to the peace settlement will conduct IO targeted at U.S. Forces, U.S. public opinion, and world public opinion. Avoiding risk, adversaries will posture for the press, attempting to cause reactions through the resulting media reports, aimed at affecting strategic and operational-level decisionmaking of the peace operations force and the international community that supports it.(12)Adversaries will embellish reporting of actual events, or stage incidents for the media to broadcast to the other parties to the dispute, their allies, and nations contributing to the peace operations force to achieve strategic effects.(13)Public perception can put political pressure on nations to modify their participation in the peace operations effort - thus, adversary IO can strike at the strategic level and attempt to fracture the coalition of the multinational forces assembled for a peace operation.(14)

Other actors are present on the peace operations "battlefield" and may intrude into the MIE causing serious disruption of the operations of the peace-operations force. Elements of the FWFs operating in the MIE may consist of more than just their armed forces. These other actors include the local police forces, local and regional political and religious groups, terrorists, and even criminal syndicates.(15)Additionally, other organizations supporting the overall peace effort, but operating outside the MIE, may conduct independent IO which can affect the peace operations force. These other organizations include offices of the United Nations, International Organizations (IOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Private Volunteer Organizations (PVOs). Effective liaison with the non-military supporting organizations can prevent contradictory or non-reinforcing information efforts and present a unified IO effort.

As the examples of adversary IO in Mogadishu, Somalia, and Port au Prince, Haiti, demonstrate, technological and military prowess are not requirements for effective IO, especially in MOOTW. Potential adversary IO in MOOTW will seek to integrate all elements of its power and capabilities to target friendly forces. The likely adversaries U.S. Forces may face in MOOTW will not be concerned about information superiority or dominance, and will seek only temporary advantages at critical points and times. The likely adversary in MOOTW will see western concepts of laws of conflict as an unnecessary handicap and will have few qualms or cultural aversions toward using deception, trickery, or civilian-run enterprise, or the media when implementing an IO campaign.(16)In MOOTW, friendly forces should expect that adversary IO will include all venues and media that can be manipulated by adversary leadership to include:

  • Adversary PSYOP and psychological warfare (PSYWAR)(17)directed at the peace operation forces and propaganda for domestic consumption;

  • Statecraft and public diplomacy used to generate media events that serve IO objectives;

  • Censorship of domestic and international media, as well as misuse of all media to transmit propaganda and adversary PSYOP to all audiences.(18)

  • Thuggery, coercion, brutal force and extortion to ensure the cooperation and passivity of the local populace with the agenda of the adversary leadership.(19)

Potential Adversaries in MOOTW include:

  • Paramilitary or police forces overtly or covertly opposed to the presence or objectives of U.S. or friendly military forces;

  • Organized military forces who are overtly or covertly opposed to the presence or objectives of U.S. or friendly military forces;

  • Political, religious or social factions/groups, inside or outside the theater of operations (if these groups are overtly or covertly opposed to the presence or objectives of U.S. or friendly military forces on a specific military C2target set to oppose U.S./friendly objectives);

  • Individuals and organizations, inside or outside the theater of operations. If these actors are motivated to actively oppose the presence or objectives of U.S. or friendly military forces on a specific mission, they may try to deny, degrade, influence or exploit the friendly C2target set to oppose U.S./friendly objectives.(20)


The Dayton Peace Accord (DPA) approved by the political leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Croatia, and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) brought about a cessation of hostilities in the Bosnian civil war; directed the FWFs to withdraw behind a two-kilometer zone of separation (ZOS), and; authorized international peace enforcement operations in the republics of the former Yugoslavia.(21)In December 1995, acting under chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the UN Security Council (UNSC) authorized member states to establish a multinational Implementation Force (IFOR) to implement the military provisions of the DPA.(22)The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was designated as the controlling authority of the multi-national peace operation force, which included military forces from both NATO and non-NATO nations.

In Bosnia-Herzogivina, the Multi-National coalition that comprised the implementation and stabilization forces (IFOR and SFOR respectively) conducted peace enforcement operations to separate the FWFs and impose the military provisions of the DPA. Although IFOR successfully established a zone of separation (ZOS), and the military provisions of the DPA have largely been achieved, the peace enforcement component remained, and SFOR remained prepared to apply lethal combat power to compel compliance. Even with the transition to SFOR, the primary purpose of all operations in Bosnia remained the continued implementation of the DPA military provisions involving the Entity Armed Forces (EAF)(23)and maintenance of the peace necessary for the diplomatic, informational and economic instruments of power to operate. However, with the military provisions largely achieved, the emphasis on SFOR's military operations shifted to facilitating the accomplishment of the civil provisions of the DPA.

When Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR began in December 1995, the Army's IO doctrine was not yet codified in a single document; however, the components of IO were present, and IFOR conducted information operations daily. During the initial operations in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, the components of IO - C2W, PA, and CA were all applied to attain information dominance. PA was used to compel compliance with the DPA when the TF Commander threatened to release to the international media information documenting non-compliance, obtained from ground and aviation reconnaissance of the Zone of Separation (ZOS), Civil Affairs and PSYOP teams, and the Joint Military Commissions.(24)

The first Information Operations Campaign for U.S. forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina to follow the new IO doctrine began in October 1996. Then MG Montgomery Meigs, the incoming commander of the 1st Infantry Division and the Multi-National Division-North (MND-N), coordinated with the U.S. Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) at Fort Belvoir, VA, to assist in the development of an IO Campaign for the MND-N area of operations.(25)Another unique feature of the MND-N Information Campaign was that it supported a multi-national division.

To orchestrate the Division's IO, LIWA provided officers, civilians, and NCOs to form the Division IO Cell. Doctrinally, the ARFOR or land component commander is supported by a LIWA Field Support Team (FST) to form the IO Cell. "When deployed, the LIWA FSTs become an integral part of the command's IO staff. To facilitate planning and execution of IO, LIWA provides IO/C2W operational support to land component and separate Army commands and active and reserve components..LIWA acts as the operational focal point for land IO/C2W by providing operational staff support component commands.."(26)The Multi-National Division-North (Task Force Eagle), commanded by the dual-hatted 1st Infantry Division Commander was a joint and combined force subordinate to SFOR.

The "battlefield" in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been one of a struggle of ideas competing for legitimacy and/or supremacy. On this battlefield, information is the weapon that is wielded through many forms to include propaganda, psychological operations, public affairs, and civil-military affairs.(27)Although IFOR and SFOR did not face off against an "adversary" in Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT GUARD, and JOINT FORGE (OJE, OJG, and OJF respectively), the FWF leadership and populace were occasionally uncooperative and at times bellicose toward IFOR/SFOR. During Operations JOINT GUARD AND JOINT FORGE, information operations were the primary means by which SFOR achieved effects in changing attitudes and reducing the barriers to implementing the civil aspects of the DPA. The SFOR Information Campaign Plan supporting this effort was built on eight pillars:

1. Secure Environment
2. Demining
3. Economic Recovery
4. Displaced Persons, Refugees, Evacuees (DPRE)
5. Election results acceptance
6. The role of police in a democracy
7. Arms Control
8. Common Institutions supported by the DPA.(28)

IO support battle command in peace operations by supporting the commander in imposing control over the battlespace and shaping it to achieve "situational dominance."(29)Through the non-lethal capabilities of IO, SFOR attacked the legitimacy of elements of the FWF leadership who attempted to block the further implementation of the DPA. SFOR IO targeted the adversary leadership's decisionmaking and C2and giving SFOR "the potential to control the adversary's decision-process tempo and even cause it to collapse."(30)Through a coordinated information campaign, SFOR could and did target the popular support base of adversary leadership and persuade the general populace to support the peace agreement and SFOR objectives.(31)

Task Force Eagle often found IO were the Division Main Effort as they comprised the most effective of the non-lethal fires the division could employ. In peace enforcement operations, the aim of IO is to support military operations that will establish "situational dominance" over the former warring factions and other actors. In Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and JOINT GUARD in Bosnia, NATO and Coalition forces employed IO to know where the FWFs were and what they were doing at any given time.(32)The situational dominance IFOR and SFOR exercised over the FWFs was achieved by establishing and maintaining Information Dominance over the FWF civilian and military leaders and other potential adversaries. The division employed its Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition (RISTA) assets, supplemented by non-traditional intelligence collectors and human intelligence (HUMINT), to maintain an information advantage over the FWFs sustained the division's situational dominance.(33)

Endnotes, Chapter Two

1. "Every soldier must be aware that the goal is to produce conditions that are conducive to peace and not to the destruction of an enemy. The enemy is the conflict [itself]...." Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Peace Operations, Field Manual 100-23, (Washington, DC: USGPO), 30 December 1994, p. 17.

2. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Decisive Force: The Army in Theater Operations, Field Manual 100-7, (Washington, DC: USGPO), 31 May 1995, p. 8-14

3. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Peace Operations, Field Manual 100-23, (Washington, DC: USGPO), 30 December 1994, p. 17.

4. Ibid., pp. v and 17.

5. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Information Operations, Field Manual 100-6, op. cit., p. 6-17.

6. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Peace Operations, Field Manual 100-23, op. cit. p. v. Civil-Military Information is generally understood to be the provision of infromation to civil authorities on the military operations of the peace operations force. FM 100-23 introduces the term civil-military information, but does not provide a definition.

7. Ibid., p. 18.

8. Ibid, p. 16.

9. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Operations, Field Manual 100-5, (Washington, DC: USGPO), 14 June 1993, p. 1-3.

10. Frank J. Stech, "Winning CNN Wars," Parameters, Autumn 1994, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, p. 38.

11. Ibid.

12. Headquarters, Training and Doctrine Command, Concept for Information Operations, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-69, Fort Monroe, Va: TRADOC, 1 August 1995, p. 5.

13. Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Peacekeeping Operations, Joint Publication 3-07.3, (Washington, DC: USGPO), 29 April 1994, p. VII-8.

14. Headquarters, Department of the Army, The Army in Multinational Operations, Field Manual 100-8, (Washington, DC: USGPO), 24 November 1997, p. 2-18.

15. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Information Operations, op. cit., p. 1-3. Some examples from Bosnia: IO -- the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). PVO - Doctors without Borders, NGOs - the International Committee of the Red Cross, Political groups - the FWF political parties, Religious groups - the Association of the Women of Sebrinica. See also Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Peace Operations, FM 100-23, op. cit., p. v, and pp. 83-85 for a partial list of IOs, NGOs, and PVOs relevant to peace operations.

16. Erin Gallogly-Staver, Maj., U.S. Army, and Raymond S. Hilliard, Maj., U.S. Army, "Information Warfare: Opposing Force (OPFOR) Doctrine -- An Integrated Approach," News From the Front!, Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS, September-October 1997, pp. 12-18.

17. Psychological warfare (PSYWAR) - the planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives. See Joint Pub 1-02, DOD Dictionary Military and Associated Terms, as amended 15 April 1998, pp. 349 and 350.

18. Erin Gallogly-Staver, Maj., U.S. Army, and Maj. Raymond S. Hilliard, U.S. Army, op. cit., p. 14.

19. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Battlefield Deception, Field Manual 90-2, Washington, DC, 3 October 1988, pp. 6-10. Although this manual is now obsolete, there is no follow-on Deception Manual yet published. Deception will be covered in the next edition of Field Manual 100-6, Information Operations.

20. Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine for Command and Control Warfare, Joint Pub 3-13.1, (Washington, DC, USGPO), 7 February 1996, p. V-7.

21. The official name of the Dayton Peace Accord is the General Framework on the Agreement for Peace, or GFAP.

22. Field Manual 100-23, Peace Operations, op. cit., p. 15, states that resolutions approved by a competent authorizing entity, such as the UN Security Council, express the political objective, international support, and define the desired endstate for peace operations.

23. The Entity Armed Forces (EAF) are composed of the military forces and specialist police units of the two "entities" of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- the Bosnian-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Serpska). On the Bosnian-Croat Federation side, this includes the Croatian Home Defense Council forces (HVO) and the Bosnian Army. The term "Former Warring Faction" (FWF) refers to the three ethnic groups of Bosniacs (Moslems), Serbs, and Croats. When discussing peace operations in general terms, the term "FWF" will be used. When referring to NATO-led peace operations in Bosnia, the term "FWF" will be used when needed to highlight the three ethnic groups, "Entities" when referring to the two political systems, and "EAF" when referring to the military forces of those two political systems.

24. Center for Army Lessons Learned, Initial Impressions Report - Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR - Task Force Eagle Initial Operations, (Unclassified, Distribution Limited, Fort Leavenworth, KS: CALL), May 1996, p. 58.

25. Lt. Col. Gary Beavers, U.S. Army, and Lt. Col. Steve Shanahan, U.S. Army (Ret), "LIWA Support to Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR/JOINT GUARD: Operationalizing IO in Bosnia-Herzegovina," Military Review, Vol. LXXVII, No. 6, November-December 1997, p. 53.

26. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Field Manual 100-6, Information Operations, op. cit. p. B-3.

27. Lt. Col. Ronald T. Sconyers identified the "war of information" as comprising "the true battle area" in MOOTW in "The Information War," Military Review, Vol. LXIX, No. 2, February 1989 pp. 44-52.

28. Center for Army Lessons Learned, B/H CAAT 11 Initial Impressions Report, (Unclassified, Distribution Limited), Fort Leavenworth, KS: CALL, April 1998, p. A-18.

29. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations, Field Manual 34-1, Washington, DC: USGPO, 27 September, 1994, p. 7-3.

30. Maj. Gen. David L. Grange, U.S. Army, and Col. James A. Kelley, U.S. Army, "Information Operations for the Ground Commander," Military Review, Vol. LXXVII, No. 2, March-April 1997, p. 9.

31. Lt. Col., Dennis M. Murphy, U.S. Army, "Information Operations on the Nontraditional Battlefield," Military Review, November-December 1996, Vol. LXXVI, No. 6, p. 16.

32. Maj. Gen. David L. Grange, U.S. Army, and Lt. Col. James A. Kelley, U.S. Army, "Information Dominance," Army, op. cit., p. 34.

33. The term "RISTA" is used here deliberately, as opposed to the new term "Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance," or "ISR," as the new term does not emphasize the Target Acquisition systems that support development of RII.

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