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Chapter Three


In Army IO doctrine, the Operations component of IO consists of PSYOP, Physical Destruction, Electronic Warfare, Military Deception, OPSEC (the five elements of Command and Control Warfare), Civil Affairs, and Public Affairs. A peace operation information campaign will employ all these components to shape the battlespace. This chapter will examine how each of these components may be employed in peace operations. For each component, the following pages will first analyze how doctrine directs their employment in the broad category of MOOTW and then focus more narrowly on their employment in peace operations. Whenever possible, examples of doctrine in application are provided to amplify the analytical explanation.

All the components of IO are applied according to the disciplines of C2-Attack and C2-Protect. C2-Attack in MOOTW is more than merely physical destruction or degrading adversary C2and includes all actions aimed at influencing and co-opting FWF C2systems.(1)Co-opting FWF C2 in Bosnia meant using the Entity Armed Forces (EAF) systems to monitor their activities as they continued to use them to control their forces. The EAFs in Bosnia needed to have an effective C2systems to control their forces as they withdrew to comply with the military provisions of the Dayton Peace Accord.(2)

The five elements of C2W support Army operations in both combat and MOOTW operations. Some of those involved in shaping IO doctrine have speculated that "C2W may replace air supremacy as the essential first step in operations."(3)C2W has a traditional warfighting orientation, both offensively and defensively, that focuses on ideas of threat, conflict, and the battlefield.(4)The emphasis of C2W during MOOTW shifts away from the warfighting orientation to take in the broader and often political considerations associated with interacting with a variety of actors in the GIE.(5)The accepted Joint definition of C2W specifies that C2W is "an application of Information Warfare in military operations."(6)Information warfare covers the range of actions taken during conflict or crisis to achieve information superiority over an adversary. The "warfare" component of the term information warfare may seem to imply that IW applies only to combat operations. In fact, IW capabilities are employed in MOOTW to bring about the desired responses from several audiences to include the political and military leadership of the FWFs, the populace, and other actors.(7)The peace operations force employs its IW capabilities "to preserve the peace, deter escalation of a conflict, and prepare the battlefield so that if a crisis escalated to conflict, the U.S. military can effectively employ (offensive IW) capabilities in a wartime scenario."(8)

Joint C2W doctrine specifies that the target of C2-Attack is the information-dependent process and INFOSYS, whether human or automated. This demonstrates the relevance of IW concepts to MOOTW, where many of the FWF military, political, police, and social/cultural INFOSYS will not be automated, but will be forums of people and other media of communications that support decisionmaking.(9)Even in MOOTW "C2W offers the commander lethal and non-lethal means to achieve the assigned mission while deterring war and/or promoting peace."(10)"Adversary centers of gravity can be a function of the political, economic, military, sociological, ideological, or psychological context (or combinations thereof) which give rise to the presence of the [adversary]."(11)Through offensive IO, the peace operations force can target such things as adversary leadership, decisionmaking and C2, with the goal of controlling adversary decision process tempo, and attack the adversary's centers of gravity through non-lethal means to:

  • undermine the adversary's legitimacy or actions contrary to the provisions of a peace agreement;
  • reinforce positive behavior in compliance with the peace accord;
  • cajole compliance by stressing the responsibilities and actions required of the adversary under the provisions of the peace accord.(12)
The Operations component of IO consists of C2W, CA, and PA:


Psychological Operations (PSYOP)
Physical Destruction
Electronic Warfare (EW)
Operations Security (OPSEC)
Military Deception

Psychological Operations (PSYOP)

PSYOP in Peace Operations achieve effects at the tactical through strategic levels. PSYOP support to the information campaign in peace operations seeks to enhance the legitimacy of the peace operations force and its mission, and to promote restraint on the part of the targeted audience. PSYOP support IO by developing products that develop understanding and favorable attitudes of the local populace toward the peace operation force; gain local support for the military effort; and, help attain the objectives of the friendly force.(13)By enhancing the peace operations force's legitimacy and promoting restraint, PSYOP improves security and force protection, while supporting accomplishment of the peace operation objectives.(14)PSYOP has been called the bridge to public diplomacy in MOOTW.(15)In that role, PSYOP can facilitate cooperation between the FWF and the peace operation forces and communicate the operational objectives to the target audience.(16)

PSYOP supporting the legitimacy of a peace operation must be based on the projection of truth and a credible message. To lend credence to the impartiality of the peace operation force and to maintain that credibility, the friendly force commander relies heavily on public information operations.(17)PSYOP comprise a large part of public IO as they transmit the peace operations force Information Campaign themes through print, radio, television, and loudspeaker media. PSYOP products and operations adhere to an IO strategy, expressed in the Information Campaign-approved themes ensuring consistency across all elements engaged in IO as information has no boundaries. PSYOP are considered C2-Attack operations that often target the adversary center of gravity. PSYOP C2-Attack operations in peace enforcement attack the legitimacy and credibility of the political systems of those opposed to the peace settlement, and publicize the beneficial reforms and programs being implemented as part of the peace settlement.(18)

In peace operations, several challenges face the peace operations commander in conducting effective information operations and civil-military information campaigns. The indigenous communications infrastructure is likely to be damaged or non-functioning. The FWFs may attempt to impose censorship over the remaining media to control the domestic populace. And finally, the local population may be illiterate and, therefore, difficult to reach through traditional print products.(19)PSYOP units can overcome communications disruptions with organic broadcasting and print production capabilities, and experience in preparing products tailored to their cultural and educational backgrounds.

In peace operations, political considerations drive military decisionmaking at the tactical through strategic-theater level of military operations.(20)During peacetime, the Department of State provides overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities overseas, and may impose restrictions on the PSYOP messages and themes to be used.(21)Accordingly, PSYOP in multi-national and coalition peace operations may be referred to in innocuous terms. In Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti, the PSYOP Task Force (POTF) established an in-country counterpart known as the Information Coordination Committee (ICC) to plan and coordinate IO throughout the operation. The ICC in Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY was chaired by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer (PAO) and included U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Justice (DOJ) representatives along with officers from the JTF and Joint POTF (JPOTF).(22)In Bosnia, during Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, PSYOP was referred to as "Military-Civil Relations" (MCR), and the PSYOP campaign was referred to as the "IFOR Information Campaign" and was controlled by the Coalition Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF).

PSYOP planning requires an inter-service and inter-agency approach.(23)Coordination with other U.S. Government (USG) agencies ensures that policies and plans supporting PSYOP objectives do not conflict with, and are mutually reinforcing with, messages from other USG agencies involved in the operation. Military PSYOP in peacetime or conflict may require coordination with several USG Agencies to include the Central Intelligence Agency, Board for International Broadcasting, the Departments of State, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard.(24)An important USG agency involved in conducting public diplomacy and determining foreign attitudes and perceptions is the U.S. Information Agency (USIA, formerly the U.S. Information Service (USIS)). During peace operations, the USIA is a part of the inter-agency team engaged in communicating with the people and governments of other countries. Military PSYOP can support these other USG agencies in public diplomacy initiatives and tasks.(25)In Peace-Enforcement operations, where the threat of force may be required to compel the FWFs to comply with the peace settlement, PSYOP, as a tool of the informational instrument of power, must be coordinated with the other national instruments of power - diplomatic, economic, and military.(26)

Although IFOR and SFOR conducted PSYOP activities according to the draft NATO doctrine for peace support psychological activities, the North Atlantic Council ((NAC) - the controlling political body of NATO) preferred the term "Information Campaign." This action addressed political concerns of the North Atlantic Council and coalition partners, some of whom were prohibited by national laws from using the term "psychological warfare" in connection with their military forces.(27)However, PSYOP, in support of information campaigns, are in accordance with PSYOP doctrine which specifies that PSYOP assets may support a commander's information and awareness program. In such cases, the commander must clearly distinguish that PSYOP assets are being used in a dissemination role only, not to project a PSYOP message. When appropriate, PSYOP assets can also disseminate command information products that explain the intent of military operations to target audiences.(28)In this role, PSYOP assets support CA civil-military information operations.

During the first two years of OJE and OJG, more than 1,000 PSYOP personnel deployed to Bosnia where they produced and distributed more than 12 million "products" including handbills, posters, a weekly newspaper, a monthly teen magazine, radio and television spots, and, for the children, comic books, soccer balls, coloring books, and even pens with the IFOR/SFOR logos.(29)

IFOR/SFOR PSYOP products supported several International Organizations (IOs) in implementing the civil aspects of the Dayton Peace Accord (DPA). The Coalition Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF) developed information programs supporting the SFOR IO campaign themes in support of various international organizations (IOs). One such PSYOP information program supported the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) focusing on the IO theme of displaced persons and refugees (a UNHCR responsibility). Another supported the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the diplomatic controlling agent of the NATO-led operation in Bosnia, focusing on the IO theme of common institutions (an OHR responsibility). A campaign focusing on the IO theme of economic recovery supported those civilian organizations with responsibility for that mission. And a campaign focused on the theme of successful elections supported the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which was responsible for the execution of the Bosnian elections.(30)Coordination between military PSYOP units and civilian information agencies during peace operations is critical to ensuring that their information themes, messages, and products do not contradict each other. Adversaries can use such contradictions as ammunition to fuel hostile propaganda efforts.(31)

PSYOP's main role in C2-Protect is to counter the adversary's hostile propaganda against the joint and combined force.(32)Discrediting hostile propaganda serves to maintain the legitimacy and freedom of operation of the peace operations force while having the corollary effect of driving a wedge between the adversary leadership and the populace, thereby reducing its base of support and undermining its confidence and effectiveness.(33)Those opposed to the internationally-imposed peace settlement will likely attempt propaganda intended to build resentment against the military force by portraying it as an occupying force with aims counter to the interests of their particular faction.

In support of C2-Attack operations, Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs) collect RII and disseminate information to decisionmakers and the local populace. Operating in small teams, the TPTs are well-placed to provide information on the attitudes and intentions of the population. PSYOP personnel gain information of value to the intelligence (G2 or S2) officer and the PSYOP effort through close contact with friendly and hostile persons. PSYOP personnel routinely report such information through intelligence channels.(34)

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