The Division IO Staff
FM 100-6, Information Operations, addresses the formation of an IO cell, the structure of which is the prerogative of the commander. "It may be something as simple as the periodic use of an expanded targeting cell or a more formal approach establishing a standing cell with a specifically designated membership."1
As Information Operations (IO) doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) have evolved and matured, the Division IO Staff in the American-led multinational division, known as Task Force Eagle (TFE) in the NATO-led peace enforcement operations in Bosnia, has matured through real-world experience. The term "IO Staff" refers to all staff officers who participate in IO planning and execution. "IO Cell" refers to the permanent standing cell focused on IO around which the larger IO Staff is organized. Several members of the IO Staff are full-time staff personnel for other staff cells, which requires the IO Cell to carefully coordinate their efforts and to manage time and people wisely. The Information Operations Working Group (IOWG) provides a forum by which the IO Cell routinizes the planning and corrdination efforts of the larger IO Staff. IO have allowed the Stabilization Force (SFOR) to maintain situational dominance over the former warring factions (FWFs) and keep the peace.2
During Operation JOINT GUARD (OJG), the TFE division IO cell was formed around a five-man Field Support Team (FST) from the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA). As the Division IO Officer, the LIWA FST Chief chaired the meetings of the IOWG and reported to the Division Chief of Staff. The TFE weekly IOWG served the planning and wargaming and control functions of an IO Cell. This approach was in accordance with doctrine and appropriate for the situation. A small IO Cell operating through the weekly IOWG was appropriate to peace enforcement operations where the OPTEMPO is somewhat more predictable than in combat operations. Additionally IO doctrine for peace operations was still evolving forcing the division to use a "trial and error" approach to IO.3 Although doctrine gives the G-3 primary responsibility for IO, during OJG, the Chief of Staff assumed responsibility, because, in his analysis, the task spanned several staff functions in a significantly expanded and supplemented staff.4
As the NATO-led peace operations in Bosnia have passed from Operation JOINT GUARD to Operation JOINT FORGE (OJF), the IO Cell evolved from a small cell formed around the LIWA FST and the periodic meetings of the IOWG, to a larger standing cell made up of elements from the LIWA FST and the Division Fire Support Element. During OJG, a team of five personnel from the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) ran the cell and was supplemented by a captain assigned IO as an additional duty from the Division Fire Support Element (FSE). At this writing, the section consists of a lieutenant colonel, the Division Deputy Fire Support Coordinator (DFSCOORD), his three AFSCOORDs from the Division FSE, one Reserve officer, and a three-man team from LIWA.
A LIWA FST provides expertise in IO planning, military deception, OPSEC, and tools for IO modeling, targeting, and synchronization.5 The National Ground Intelligence Center, in conjunction with LIWA, can support commands with specialized IO products.6 LIWA provides C2W and other IO support to Army organizations in the field through multi-disciplinary, task-organized Field Support Teams. These teams are rapidly deployable world-wide in response to operational and exercise requirements.7 Task Force Eagle's first IO Cell was formed around such a team in November 1996, when the LIWA sent an IO FST to the Multinational Division North (MND-N) headquarters in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The team worked with General Meigs and his staff "to implement the first information campaign supporting a multinational peace operation since the publication of U.S. Army Field Manual (FM) 100-6, Information Operations."8
The Commander of TFE and MND-N placed IO under the control of the DFSCOORD, and used the Division FSE as its base structure. The IO Cell Chief had tasking authority through the G-3 to synchronize IO actions in accordancewith the commander's vision. One of the lessons learned from the NATO-led peace operations in Bosnia about coordinating IO within the staff was that "fully effective information activities are tied into operations - close integration with other operational staffs (in particular the (G2 and G)3 shop) allow information activities to be used effectively to prepare for, and better respond to, contingencies and refocus the effort when necessary."9
The evolution of the IO Cell into a larger, continuously operating standing cell headed by the DFSCOORD provided the division positive results on the degree of integration in IO planning, and on the synchronization of IO execution. Having an appointed IO Cell Chief in the rank of lieutenant colonel dramatically improved the quality of inputs into the IOWG by making the various functional representatives "accountable" for the contributions, or lack thereof, from their respective functional areas. As the DFSCOORD, the IO Cell Chief had the ear of the Division Commander. As a lieutenant colonel, he was on a peer level with the Division primary staff officers, most importantly, with the senior Public Affairs officer (PAO), the Director of the Coalition Press Information Center. The CPIC Director and IO Cell Chief formed a powerful team that resulted in tighter synchronization of IO throughout the division, and in more effective themes and messages.
Although the IO Cell Chief did not have command or controlling authority over the many IO elements, he provided an integrating and synchronizing oversight that conferred "unity of command" on behalf of the Division Commander. Several of the IO elements had independent lines of control, for example, the Division PSYOP Development Detachment was under the control of the Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF). However, the IO Cell Chief drew together these lines of control like the risers of a parachute to ensure they were mutually reinforcing, non-contradictory, and focused on the division's operations. This "unity of command" provided more "unity of effort" and resulted in faster decisionmaking and direction for all IOWG participants. The IO Cell Chief's primary function is to ensure the coordination of the IO components of command and control warfare, civil affairs, and public affairs (C2W, CA, and PA, respectively). Accordingly, he must possess both technical expertise and extraordinary inter-personal and team-building skills.
The evolution of the standing IO Cell within the Division FSE occurred simultaneously with the gradual de-emphasis on lethal fires as the general situation and SFOR interactions vis-à-vis the Entity Armed Forces normalized. The Division Commander selected the DFSCOORD not only because of the decreased emphasis on lethal fires, but also because IO's targeting methodology mirrors the lethal fires targeting methodology used by the Field Artillery.10 The IO Cell develops the IO Annex for every OPLAN/CONPLAN, and also develops themes, messages, and talking points on short notice for crisis events. Annex development for OPLANs and CONPLANs approximates the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP).
As Task Force Eagle personnel conducted peace-enforcement operations, they remained prepared to apply lethal combat power to enforce the peace if necessary. If conflict should erupt and flare, the IO Cell could expand into an IO Battle Staff. FM 100-6 states that in situations of open conflict, it may be more appropriate to stand up an Information Operations Battle Staff (IOBS) to integrate IO in the staff. "The (IO) battle staff would consist of all staff members with a functional responsibility within IO, such as signal, fire support, PA, CA, operations security (OPSEC), electronic warfare (EW), psychological operations (PSYOP), and military deception."11 This would be extremely difficult for a "normal MTOE" division to accomplish without an already functioning IO cell. In conflict situations, the FSE's total focus would be on coordinating lethal and non-lethal fires support.
The IOWG also grew in size from OJG to OJF as TFE learned how to better synchronize the information activities of its maneuver and support elements. The IOWG in OJF consisted of the following representatives:
Themes and Messages
Task Force Eagle uses themes and messages as a means to synchronize IO throughout the AOR. During Operation JOINT FORGE, Task Force Eagle used themes and messages as a primary tool in the IO campaign. They served as the medium through which the command ensures all elements in the task force promote mutually supporting objectives. Themes and messages are provided to commanders and subordinate units to use as they interface with the various elements in their respective areas of responsibility (AORs) during the conduct of routine operations. Additionally, they are integrated into civil affairs missions, disseminated through all components of the broadcast media, weaved into command information materials, dispersed by PSYOP teams, military police, and every other unit within the task force who interacts with the local populace.
Themes are broad statements supporting the SFOR mission and the General Framework Agreement on Peace (GFAP). They may represent essential components of the end state or final objective that the commander is attempting to attain. Examples of TFE themes include:
Messages directly support the themes by providing specific actions (or non-actions in some cases) that are tied to the theme. They are often the yardstick used to measure the acceptance of themes. Messages are what the TF elements attempt to relay during contacts with local officials and the populace. Messages are not intended simply to be read, as if from a script. They can, and should, be tailored to suit the audience being addressed. Whether it be delivered actively or passively, the intent is to convey the meaning of the message as it supports the theme. Examples of messages that support the themes above include:
Themes and messages are the framework of the IO campaign. In fact, it could be argued that progress in a peacekeeping mission, such as Operation JOINT FORGE, could be measured by determining the level of popular support for the themes and messages. In other words, general acceptance of themes and messages may well be the ultimate objective. If the population can be convinced to accept the themes and messages without the threat of force or coercion, success may have been achieved. If, on the other hand, the population does not adopt the themes and messages, or does so only to avoid retribution, the mission may be no closer to being complete than when it began.
Themes require approval from SFOR headquarters in Sarajevo. The reason is probably apparent. They are general in nature, apply to the entire theater, and are not localized. This is an important point. Every element of SFOR must, at all times, appear impartial. Therefore, all themes must apply to all factions. The methods of delivery (i.e., through messages) may require differing approaches based on the audience, but the themes do not vary. Of course, themes may be selectively emphasized to account for differing priorities in different locations. In other words, certain themes may need to be advanced in some areas and do not even need to be discussed in others. Themes can be suggested by virtually any element within the theater but, if approved at the TFE level, will be submitted to SFOR headquarters for final approval. Upon receipt of the approved themes, the IOWG will conduct an analysis of the themes and then produce a recommended list of messages to support them. The Commanding General, Task Force Eagle, is the final approval authority for the recommended themes and messages list within his AOR.
Themes and messages are disseminated down to the units through a variety of means. While they do not change often, periodic revisions occur as events unfold. Within Task Force Eagle, OPORDs (more often FRAGOs) are the primary means of disseminating approved themes and messages down to the brigades. Additionally, the IO Cell posts updated lists on the tactical local area network (TACLAN) which ensures the list is available to all subordinate units and staff sections that are TACLAN capable. The Coalition Press Information Center (CPIC) produces a weekly update with special emphasis on appropriate messages. The CPIC will occasionally provide a special edition of its Weekly Update for Commanders when the situation dictates. For example, a special edition for the Brcko Arbitration Decision was published prior to the anticipated release of the final decision on the outcome of the city. According to a member of the TFE IO staff, one of the tenets of IO is to ensure that the entire force "speaks with one voice." The intent is to ensure all elements of the command are synchronized. Themes and messages provide the commander with a tool for ensuring all the various elements within the command are indeed "speaking with one voice."
Lesson Learned: Development of themes and messages is an integral component of the Task Force Eagle Information Operations campaign. A method of ensuring that all elements within the task force are speaking the same message is critical to the unit's success. This is particularly important when operating as a joint and combined force. Approval authority for themes, while appropriately relegated to the SFOR staff, require rapid and thorough staffing to avoid missing targets of opportunity identified at the operator levels. It is not necessarily a top-down process. Subordinate elements that are routinely interfacing with local officials or the populace in general are valuable sources of information when developing themes.
Staff Planning Products
In addition to modifying the IOWG meeting schedule, the TFE IO Cell also changed its format. Initially, the IOWG reviewed every project and issue. Because there were so many projects, the IOWG didn't have much time to devote to any of them. To achieve greater focus on single problem sets, the IOWG covered the overall current status of current projects in about ten minutes, and then spent 45-60 minutes on the "Focus Topic" for the meeting. The IO cell published the topics six weeks out so all representatives could prepare for them. An example of a "Focus Topic" was the anxiously anticipated Brcko Arbitration Decision. By knowing the topic in advance, each member of the IOWG came to the meeting fully prepared to participate. Through lively discussion, all IOWG participants were able to form a clearer picture of the problem and make their unique contributions to a combined staff solution.
The primary planning tool's format was also changed to focus on specific problem sets in the close fight as identified by the G-2 and confirmed by the IO Cell Chief. Using "focus" matrices for each problem set, the IOWG went through by functional area to brief their functional perspectives on the problem set, and then to discuss as a group what the potential IO messages, products, problems and solutions might be. The focus sheets resembled "matrix orders" in that they provided a clear easy-reference report that showed what each element was contributing in each problem set. The focus sheets provided a uniform format for IOWG representatives to report their actions to the IO Cell, and facilitated their mission analysis and course-of-action development in identifying appropriate IO ways and means. The focus sheets also served as a tracking tool for monitoring the progress of the IO Staff in providing required information, reports, or products for each problem set. The focus sheets also served as a historical record of the IO effort executed for the problem set, and in this regard served to support future planning for similar scenarios in the manner of a staff "play book."
In adopting the focus sheets as the planning, tracking, and execution tool for IO, the IO Cell standardized planning for all problem sets. Using the focus sheets enabled the IO Cell to better track the development of the IO plan, and to ensure synchronization among the various IO operators. Emphasizing each functional staff area and unit encouraged the IOWG representatives to critically analyze how their unit or staff section could contribute to the IO effort in each problem set. Finally, the focus sheets provided the IO Cell Chief a better way to manage and track the IO efforts for each problem set, and facilitated briefing IO actions to the commander in an easier to understand format.
The development of annexes for CONPLANs and FRAGOs for on-going operations followed the Military Decision-Making Process. The TFE IO Cell identified the linkages between the MDMP and the IO Campaign Planning Model developed by LIWA. Together with the focus worksheet for planning, the refined planning model helped the IO Cell to follow a clear methodology for developing concerted and synchronized staff products and IO annexes and FRAGOs (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. IO Planning overlaid on the Military Decision-Making Process.
Planning and Executing Division IO - From an Anticipated Problem Set.
The IO Cell and supporting IO Staff developed messages for the Commander in anticipation of potentially riotous demonstrations known to be planned by various factions in the two Bosnian entities, preventing the outbreak of violence. SFOR maintained rather good situational awareness (SA) on the intentions of political and social groups operating in the AO. In December, 1998, Task Force Eagle (TFE) knew that various groups from the two entities (Bosnian-Croat Federation, or BiH on the one hand, and the Bosnian Serb Republic, Republika Serpska, or RS on the other) were planning independent, but geographically proximate and chronologically simultaneous demonstrations and actions in the Brcko area on December 15, 1998. The arbitration of the fate of the city of Brcko was a significant area of contention between the two hostilities, and a potential causus belli. Additionally, the issue of resettlement of Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPRE), made Brcko a place of potential clashes as DPREs attempted to resettle in their old homes and neighborhoods.
The American Battalion Task Force operating out of Camp McGovern received Human Intelligence that local Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) planned to hold a rally and demonstration on December 15, 1998, in the Brcko suburb of Brka. Two other organizations had announced plans to hold a combined demonstration in Brcko to voice grievances against the municipality and entity (RS) governments. These were the Association of Disabled War Veterans and the Municipal Association of the Families of the Killed and Missing Persons. In addition, contentious "house-cleaning" visits from Bosniaks to their former homes in Brcko were scheduled for that day. And to top it all off, the civil defense siren that had been used on 28 August 1997 to assemble angry crowds of demonstrators against SFOR was to be tested that day.
The Analysis Control Element (ACE) of the Multinational Division North (MND-N) G-2 section analyzed these demonstrations as having the potential to grow into disturbances with the potential for violence and civil disobedience. The Commander wanted to pre-empt such an eventuality by rapidly disseminating messages to targeted audiences that would discourage violent demonstrations. The underlying theme to these messages was that the right to demonstrate is an inherent part of a free society, but that such a right is not a license to commit violence, and SFOR would not tolerate violent demonstrations. A supporting message encouraged several audiences to ignore agitators, from either in the town or from outlying areas, who might try to use such demonstrations to instigate violence to serve their own purposes.
Two weeks prior to the scheduled demonstrations, the Commander had approved themes and messages developed by the IO Cell and supporting IO Staff. These messages were flooded into the zone by the American Brigade, and reinforced with increased physical presence patrols in the area. Every IO medium available to the commander was used to disseminate these messages in the TF Sector. Liaison to the International Police Task Force (IPTF) and local entity police forces emphasized the messages and discussed the operational plans of the entity police to handle demonstrations. Press coverage of Exercise Joint Resolve which began on December 14, visibly raising SFOR presence and activity in the area, also served to highlight SFOR's readiness to deal with contingencies.
Messages disseminated in the IO FRAGO directed units in the division to "conduct information exchanges with regional and local or municipal authorities and the general public" to convey the following approved messages:
December 15, 1998, did not turn out to be a significant event as the demonstrations themselves were cancelled and the house cleaning proceeded without incident - the day ended in accordance with the commander's desired end state. This incident is a clear demonstration of how the development of Relevant Information and Intelligence on the situation with respect to non-military aspects of the operation enabled the peace operations force to plan preventative maneuver and information operations and actions to maintain the peace. IO planning benefited from information superiority which enabled the commander to maintain control over the situation and plan and prepare for contingencies. This incident provides an illustrative example of how RII contributes to information superiority which then lead to situation dominance.
Lesson Learned: The approach taken by Task Force Eagle in developing a plan in response to a potential problem set of civil disturbances provided a preventative plan that discouraged civil disobedience and violence through the dissemination of IO messages synchronized with operations such as exercises and increased presence patrols. Synchronizing all information channels with a clear common set of messages ensured that all forces were speaking "with one voice," and in synch with the commander's intent.
Planning and Executing IO - Commander's Themes and Messages.
One of the key players in developing IO messages and themes in support of operations is Public Affairs (PA). With a background in projecting information to specified audiences, PA provides essential support to the IO Cell in helping to develop talking points for the commanders for the different projects and issues. PA is a powerful conduit for truth-projection activities for newsworthy activities and provides support to IO in the form of issuing press releases, conducting press conferences, and participating in radio shows. The CPIC coordinates with the IO cell to develop these messages, staffs them through the subject matter experts (POLAD, SJA) before getting the Commanding General's approval. Once approved, the IO section disseminates the messages in the G3 FRAGOs and in the Weekly Media Messages for Commanders report. The intent is to have talking points available early for commanders and staff officers to use in encounters with the media and when talking to local leaders and citizens, and for use during the commander's radio shows. Soldiers on patrol use the talking points to deliver the messages to the local citizens. Virtually anyone (engineers, JMC, PMO, JVB) who interacts with Bosnian citizens uses the talking points to deliver the IO message. The Commanding General's approval ensures the entire force speaks with one voice.
The CPIC developed a Question and Answer (Q&A) format as a part of its weekly report. The CPIC director coordinated with the IO section and produced Q&As for hot topics the commanders' use. They chose the topics based on conducting a thorough media analysis. The Task Force commanders relied on these products. These products also permitted the Division PSYOP Development Detachment Commander to hasten the PSYOP approval process, since he could show the PSYOP Task Force (POTF) that the proposed products were supporting a broader effort using the same messages, thus speeding product production, and tying PSYOP closer to division operations.
Duties of the Information Operations Working Group Members.
The IO Cell in Task Force Eagle has evolved over time, continually refining procedures as it "operationalizes" a new doctrine in peace enforcement operations. The IO Cell forms the nucleus of the Division's IO staff which includes staff members of other permanent staff cells who come together on a periodic "on call" basis to address IO. The IOWG provides a format and forum for the IO cell to assemble the complete IO Staff for planning and coordination.
One of the purposes of the IOWG is to facilitate a discussion across the various disciplines to inform the group about how each particular function is affected by or affects the situation in both general terms and IO-specific terms. Functional representatives to the IOWG are responsible to contribute to a better understanding of the problems facing the group from their functional perspective. An important function of the IOWG is to refine the common picture and then develop, analyze, and compare solutions to problem sets.
The following roles and tasks were developed by the TFE IOWG and document concrete ways each representative can make meaningful contribution to mission analysis, course-of-action (COA) development and wargaming, and COA comparison.
1. Division IO Cell. The Division IO Cell is the hub of activity for all IO in the Division. The Division IO Cell representative may be the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) FST Chief, or another officer from the Fire Support Element (FSE) targeting cell.13 The Division IO Cell representative briefed an overall assessment of the IO Campaign, determined the problem sets, managed the worksheets, collected inputs and products from the various IOWG representatives, and produced the final products for the IO Cell from meetings of the IOWG for dissemination to its members. The Division IO Cell representative managed outstanding taskings to IOWG representatives for the IO Cell OIC.
2. G-2. The G-2, ACE, OSINT and SOCCE should all brief immediately following the IO Cell. Their information flows together and makes for a more logical briefing sequence. The purpose of the G-2 presentation is to provide a clear common picture of the threat situation on which all planning and analysis is based. The G-2 must give an organized prepared presentation, articulating the who, what, when, where, and why of the intelligence situation. Step 5 of the Information Campaign Planning Process,14 "Seek Predictive Intelligence About the Situation," is the responsibility of the G-2. The better the G-2's presentation, the more effective the IOWG will be in Step 6, "Help the G-2 Conduct IPB." Representatives from the Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) section and the Analysis Control Element (ACE) (both under the Division G-2) complemented the G-2's information in IOWG meetings held during SFOR 4 in Operation JOINT FORGE.
3. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). The OSINT representative briefed focused open-source media analysis of events relevant to problems facing the IOWG and reported in the entity and regional media. Such information helps refine the common intelligence picture.
4. Analysis Control Element (ACE). The ACE representative should be intimately familiar with the various data bases being managed in the ACE that could provide support to problem sets. The ACE representative is responsible for conducting detailed analysis of these sources in support of IO planning and wargaming.
5. Special Operations Coordination and Control Element (SOCCE). The Joint Commission Observers (JCOs) were closer to the ground than anyone in SFOR. Their conduit to the IOWG was the representative from the SOCCE who provides any additional information in the form of HUMINT to further refine the common picture of the problem set. The JCOs had routine meetings with officials and "the man on the street" every day. The HUMINT input provided by the SOCCE representative helped clarify the image presented by the G-2. For this reason, the SOCCE representative occasionally briefed in tandem with the G-2. The one function the JCOs provided better than anyone else is Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) or feedback, on the effectiveness of IO products. The SOCCE representative was responsible then, for providing this feedback on the effectiveness of IO products.
6. Provost Marshal (PMO). The PMO was the division's primary link to the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia. The PMO provided input to the IOWG on IPTF perceptions of the political alignment, degree of cooperation, capabilities and limitations, and most probable courses of action of the entity police forces.15 During Operation JOINT GUARD, the PMO-IPTF relationship solved several informational requirements both before and during operations intended to separate FWF non-combatants.16 One of the significant sources of power among the FWFs was the police. In peace operations, inter-actions with the local police represent a source of information, and a platform to send IO messages to decisionmakers. The PMO representative to the IOWG briefed what the challenges were facing local police forces in handling the various threat eventualities in each problem set, and the probable actions/challenges/dangers to IPTF members as well. The PMO presented the entity police perspective on problem sets and was the local police role-player in IO wargaming.
7. Engineer. During the NATO-led peace operations in Bosnia, the engineers stood out as an element of SFOR that actually had an impact on the day-to-day lives of the local populace through their road improvement and bridge projects in the AOR. Although the engineer units may have viewed these tasks as more of a training opportunity, their projects had a spin-off effect on the credibility of SFOR on other matters. As the IOWG reviewed problem sets, the Engineer representative reported what engineering projects had recently been completed, were planned, contemplated, or possible for each area under consideration. For example, during wargaming on the seating of the Municipal Assembly in Sebrenica, the Engineer needed to answer: "Is there a project either being contemplated or in the realm of possibility in the Sebrenica area that could be undertaken after the assembly is seated? Are there any recently completed projects about which SFOR can advertise in contentious areas to improve its humanitarian image?" These projects constituted a "lever" on the perceptions of the local populace. Such projects may not have been of immediate value in any particular problem set, but knowing what projects have been recently completed, were underway, were being contemplated, or were in the realm of the possible, provided a clearer picture on how SFOR influenced events and perceptions in the areas considered.
8. Civil Affairs (CA). CA serve as the link between the Peace Operations Force and the Humanitarian International Organizations (IOs), Private Volunteer Organizations (PVOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the AO. When a particular problem set is under discussion, everyone in the IOWG should be apprised of the general civil and humanitarian assistance situation in the area. The CA representative was responsible to brief what the IOs, NGOs, and PVOs were doing in the areas under consideration to see if their actions support, detract from, or are neutral to division IO. In general, the CA representative is best able to describe how effectively the economic instrument of national power was being applied through projects sponsored by the U.S. Agency for Internal Development (USAID) and similar efforts. For the other members of the IOWG to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of IO options, they needed to know the capabilities and plans for each potential level (economic, military, political) for each problem set.
Both IO and CA doctrines spell out clearly an information-gathering role that supports intelligence. "CA provide a critical means for the commander to collect CCIR through their liaison and interaction with local civil authorities and IOs, NGOs, and PVOs in the AO."17 CA information-gathering activities in peace operations encompass the complete spectrum of cultural, social, political, and economic issues within the AO to provide the commander his information requirements in these areas, primarily in the form of human intelligence (HUMINT).18 The CA representative was tasked to brief information gleaned from meetings with local authorities, such as the Chief of a city Fire Department or Department of Public Safety. The CA representative was also tasked to brief the IO messages successfully disseminated to these officials.
9. Public Affairs (PA). In TFE, the PA component consisted of both the Coalition Press Information Center (CPIC) and the Division Public Affairs Officer. The PA staff officer presents draft command messages, expected media questions with researched answers, and conducts media analysis. Weekly, the Senior PA officer published the Commander's Weekly Themes and Messages to all the base camps. These themes and messages supported IO by ensuring that every contact with target audiences from any element of the peace operations force was an opportunity to reinforce the IO campaign. By conducting media analysis, the PA identified what topics and issues were being reported in the local media and provided the IOWG a sense of where the public's attention was focused. This allowed the IOWG to see what issues were the focus of attention in the local population. In discussing specific problem sets, the PA representative explained whether or not PA can support C2-Atttack operations in the form of either active measures, such as press conferences, press releases, articles, or specific talking points, or passive C2-Protect media guidance to commanders. PA prepared crisis reporting plans for high-profile incidents such as riots or arrests of war criminals. PA reviewed IO products from a "professional media" perspective to suggest improvements.
10. Joint Military Commission (JMC). The Joint Military Commission (JMC) liaison offices established between SFOR and the Entity Armed Forces (EAFs) are at once: a) a conduit of information for COMSFOR and his multinational division commanders to the military leadership of the EAFs; b) a direct source of RII from EAF command and control echelons, and; c) a venue to conduct IO aimed at influencing this important group of significant actors. In MND-N, the JMC process represented a "low-tech" INFOSYS which enabled TFE to communicate to the FWF military leadership clearly. The JMCs gathered and maintained information on the preferences, positions, and understandings of the parties regarding the peace agreement; in fact, these were the JMC's CCIR.19 The JMC representative presents the EAF perspective on problem sets and is the EAF role-player for IO Wargaming.
11. Staff Judge Advocate (SJA). In support of IO planning, the SJA's function is primarily a safeguard to prevent action on the part of SFOR not in accordance with either the GFAP, U.S. laws, or host-nation (HN) laws in regards to its IO actions. The SJA is also the source of information on legal issues affecting operations. The SJA is the SME on the particulars of the GFAP and the responsibilities of the Entity civil and police and EAF leadership from a legal, that is to say GFAP, perspective. The SJA is the SME for local laws as well. Joint Doctrine for MOOTW tasks the SJA to "provide guidance on unique HN domestic legal practices and customs."20 In peace operations, the SJA is the link to the legal elements of power among the FWFs. During Operation JOINT FORGE, the Division SJA IOWG representative had access to the INFOSYS represented in the forums of HN and IO legal authorities. From these perspectives then, the SJA representative to the IOWG provided input on the legal elements of power operating in the AOR.
12. Political Advisor (POLAD). The POLAD was a State Department-appointed civilian who served on the special staff of the Commander, Task Force Eagle (COMEAGLE). The TFE POLAD accomplished some of the same tasks as the JMC, only in political or diplomatic channels. The POLAD interfaced with significant actors outside the military environment, but acting inside the MIE, and by doing so was both a source of RII and a venue for IO. The TFE POLAD's meetings with leaders of social, political, and religious groups, as well as civil leadership, enabled COMEAGLE to influence these important decisionmakers, whose actions at times intruded into the MIE.21 During Operation JOINT GUARD, for example, the POLAD secured COMEAGLE's CCIR from political groups in advance of potentially disruptive, violent, and dangerous demonstrations and protests.22
13. Coalition Unit Liaison Officers. The Multinational Division North (MND-N) was comprised of four ground maneuver brigades: one American, one Turkish, one Russian, and one comprised of units from the Nordic countries and Poland (Nord-Pol Bde). The coalition unit representatives to the IOWG were the personal representative of their Brigade Commander, and were responsible for briefing the commander's concerns and requirements for IO. Prior to the meeting, they consulted with their commanders to obtain these points. These liaison officers (LOs) provided access to national assets supporting their information-based military disciplines, such as PA, PSYOP, CA.23 In addition, these LOs can identify opportunities where their parent units can leverage their ethnic and religious affiliations with the local populace in support of IO objectives. The unit LOs briefed any relevant information and intelligence (RII) gained through social patrols in their sectors, and through commander meetings with local civil and police officials. The LOs provide feedback on the effectiveness of IO themes, messages, and products in their AOR, to include commander's radio shows. The LOs presented the challenges they faced in their sectors to which IO might be applied.
14. Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Cell.24 The PSYOP representative to the IOWG briefed the themes, messages, and products approved by the Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF). The PSYOP products produced by SFOR were distributed by the division's Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs) in the American Brigade sector and by "social patrols" in the coalition brigades in their sectors. The PSYOP representative briefed the division's Radio and Print PSYOP products and programs. The PSYOP representative seeks out the feedback from other members of the IOWG to refine products and develop new ones.
15. American Maneuver Unit Representative. The American Brigade representative to the IOWG was that maneuver commander's representative, and was responsible for briefing the commander's concerns and requirements for IO. Prior to the meeting, he consulted with the commander to obtain these points. He briefed the commander's radio shows and the results from the commander's meetings with local civil and police authorities in building RII. The unit representative briefed the challenges in his sector to which IO may be applied. He also briefed any feedback on the effectiveness of IO themes, messages and products in his AOR.
16. Division G-3 Plans. The G-3 Plans representative to the IOWG briefed changes to standing CONPLANs, and FRAGOs for the division. He also proposed ways in which IO may support achieving the desired end-state for all division operations. He confirmed details of division plans and resolved questions on correctly phasing IO with the division orders and plans.
The IOWG is the means to 1) identify target pressure points; 2) identify objectives for each target; 3) prepare IO input for a synchronized IO plan. Through lively discussion, all IOWG participants were able to form a clearer picture of the nature of the problem and to perhaps see where their battlefield function might make a contribution. By understanding their roles and tasks, IOWG members were able to come to meetings fully prepared to discuss "their lane." One important task common to all IOWG representatives was to carry back to their staff cells and units a common image and understanding of how IO fits in each problem set. This was only possible when each representative "educated" one another on the aspects of the situation as viewed through the prism of their battlefield function -- or, in other words, when they "sold their function to the group." When each representative contributed something new to the problem, all representatives left the meeting with a clearer, more refined common picture which they could bring back to their staff cell or unit. By ensuring that each representative came prepared to contribute, the IOWG accomplished its purpose of creating synchronization among the various functions.
The guidance provided in FM 100-6 on the formation of an IO Cell was sufficiently flexible to allow the division to create a cell in accordance with the situation and its capabilities. The most significant effect of putting the IO Cell under the direction of a lieutenant colonel was to make IOWG representatives more accountable for their contributions to the IO effort. The gradual evolution of the IO Staff from a small cell under the Chief of Staff and periodic meetings of the IOWG to a standing cell in the FSE under the control of the Division G-3 was largely situation-specific and may or may not be the case for future operations. Divisions should be prepared to establish an IO Cell along the lines developed by the TFE in MND-N at the outset of any MOOTW operation. This will require a lieutenant colonel, working either within Operations, or, perhaps, as an independent cell reporting to the Chief of Staff, to organize and lead the IO Cell before deployment, as the FSE will be engaged in ensuring that lethal fires are readily available to the commander during initial operations.
Until OPMS XXI produces qualified Functional Area 30 (IO) officers to head the Division IO Cell, these personnel will have to come "out of hide." They will also require training to be proficient when the operation begins. The IO Cell Chief must understand the fundamentals of each of the elements of C2W, PA, and CA. As IO doctrine for MOOTW (and specifically for peace operations) continues to develop, TTPs for planning and executing IO will continue to improve. However, the deploying contingency force may not have the luxury of being able to undergo a "trial and error approach" to IO planning and execution and should stand up, train and prepare a standing IO Cell before deployment.
Roles of Special Staff Officers in IO - the SJA in IO.
During MND-N operations with SFOR 4 comprising Task Force Eagle, the roles of the representatives to the IOWG were refined to greater detail than even doctrine and LIWA training manuals provided. In particular, the contributions of the SJA to IO were vividly demonstrated during specific IO. In TFE, the SJA was the link to the legal elements of power among the FWFs. The Division SJA IOWG representative had access to the INFOSYS represented in the forums of HN and IOs legal authorities. The SJA IOWG Representative was a standing member of a legal forum consisting of SFOR, OHR, and the entity judiciaries. The SJA IOWG Representative could also tap into another forum, the committee for judicial assistance established by the OHR to oversee issues of jurisdictional authority.
The SJA Representative to the IOWG accessed information about the municipal governments, which were often a component of the problem sets that required SFOR's attention. An example of such a problem set is the seating of the municipal assemblies elected during the 1997 multi-ethnic elections which proved to be difficult in several municipalities. The SJA Representative also sought information on the judiciary operating in these areas, as they comprised an important element of power among the two entities. The SJA focused on the controversial issues that had the potential to erupt into demonstrations, such as housing laws, criminal law, and privatization. From these many perspectives then, the SJA representative to the IOWG was able to provide input on the legal elements of power operating in the AOR.
In support of IO planning, the SJA's function is primarily a safeguard to prevent action on the part of SFOR not in accordance with either the GFAP, U.S. laws, or HN laws in regards to its IO actions. The SJA is also the source of information on legal issues affecting operations. The SJA is the SME on the particulars of the GFAP and the responsibilities of the Entity civil, police and EAF leadership from a legal, that is to say GFAP, perspective. The SJA is the SME for local laws as well. Joint Doctrine for MOOTW tasks the SJA to "provide guidance on unique HN domestic legal practices and customs."25 The IO campaign, developed to support the weapons and munitions hand-over program during Operation JOINT FORGE, for example, was postponed until HN law was properly amended to create the conditions necessary for risk-free civilian participation in the program without fear of prosecution from local authorities. Before SFOR could promise, in its IO messages, amnesty to those participating in the hand-over program, it had to be sure that the HN laws would support that promise.
Any society needs the rule of law to function. A functioning judicial system provides the populace a non-violent means to address its grievances and adjudicate disputes. In peace operations, the judiciary element of government may not be functioning at the cessation of hostilities and will require time to recover its position in the affairs of society. In the NATO-led peace enforcement operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the judicial system of the entities and the legal systems in the two entities, the Bosnian-Croat Federation (BiH), and the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska, or RS) were rebuilt independently of one another. Each entity composed its own criminal code. Where new legal codes were wanting, the laws of the Former Yugoslavia were employed to fill the gap. This resulted in essentially three separate bodies of law, which were incomplete and potentially incompatible.
The SJA representative to the Information Operations Working Group performs many tasks in support of synchronized IO:
The SJA Supports C2-Attack IO.
On 07 January 1999, Ante Jelavic, the Bosnian Croat member of the Bosnian tri-lateral presidency appointed Zeljko Siljeg as the vice commander of the Federation Army and promoted seven other generals without conferring with his fellow presidents or SFOR. This action was in violation of the Commander SFOR (COMSFOR) Instructions to the Parties (ITP) which required that SFOR be notified of all promotions and appointments of military officers to ensure that the military remained a professional and apolitical institution. The Division Staff Judge Advocate provided a legal analysis of an SFOR-directed weapons seizure operation in response to treaty non-compliance, which provided clearly articulated arguments which were readily usable as IO messages through several dissemination channels. These channels included public affairs, psychological operations, and commander's radio shows, unit bi-lateral meetings with their military counterparts in the military forces of the FWFs, and meetings with civil leaders and police authorities.
On 9 January 1999, units in MND-N seized tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, small arms, radio and communications equipment from Weapons Storage Sites (WSS) and units associated with the officers promoted.26 SFOR statements to the press echoed the demands given to Mr. Jelavic that SFOR Headquarters expected "their immediate suspensions and submission (of the promotion requests) for approval."27 When Mr. Jelavic failed to respond to the ultimatum, SFOR began destroying the seized military equipment on 10 January. Inflammatory condemnations of the SFOR actions appeared in the local media immediately after the seizures and continued to follow and condemn the actions of SFOR. The daily Bosnian newspaper, Slobodna BiH, published a front-page photo showing SFOR soldiers cutting the tube of an HVO (Bosnian Croat Armed Forces) T54/55 tank seized from the HVO WSS in Livno.28 Stories in the Vecernji List, a Bosnian Croat newspaper, compared the situation to 1945 when the British Army disarmed Croats who had been a Reichs-protectorate under Nazi Germany.29 The Livno branch of the HVIDRA (Croation Disabled Veterans of Homeland War Organization), for example, issued a statement which said SFOR was destroying weapons and other military equipment "we paid for.with our lives; the weapons that we have shed blood for."30 Taken together, these inflammatory statements constituted anti-SFOR propaganda which had the potential to ignite conflict and fuel agitators.
The Division Staff Judge Advocate representative to the IOWG conducted an analysis of the situation and the new mission in relation to the Terms of Reference (TOR) governing the roles, responsibilities, and authority of the peace operations force. In peace operations, a mandate normally sets forth an objective and is a resolution approved by a competent authorizing entity such as the UN Security Council, or a regional body acting on its behalf.31 The peace accord or agreement is followed by agreed-to TOR which spell out the operational details of the peace operations force.
To ensure that the local people correctly understood the issues involved, Mr. Jelavic's violations of the Dayton Peace Accord and the ITP, the authority of SFOR to conduct such operations, and the intent of the seizures, MND-N needed to disseminate IO messages to prevent and counter propaganda and misinformation. The legal analysis conducted by the Division SJA provided the most powerful arguments and messages for the various target audiences. These legal arguments were subsequently crafted into targeted messages for several audiences, which were immediately distributed to all Brigade and Battalion Task Force commanders via IO FRAGOs and subsequently reinforced in the CPIC Weekly Media Messages for Commanders.32 The IO FRAGO and weekly CPIC report provided commanders two themes and 12 messages for dissemination through unit radio shows, bi-lateral commissions with the Entity Armed Forces (EAF), meetings with local civilian and police authorities, and other forums. The arguments presented in the SJA's legal analysis were almost directly quoted in a PSYOP handbill product targeted at the local populace.
The themes and their supporting messages disseminated in the IO FRAGO and weekly CPIC report were based on the SJA's analysis and the general responsibilities of SFOR in enforcing the GFAP.
Theme 1: SFOR will respond equally to situations regardless of the affiliation of the individuals or groups involved.
Theme 2: Civilian and military leaders are accountable for their actions.
The Division PSYOP Development Detachment (DPDD) developed a handbill for dissemination that borrowed heavily from the SJA's analysis and arguments. This handbill was produced using division-level production assets (Risograph) and the request for approval was transmitted to the CJICTF at Headquarters SFOR in Sarajevo. The product approval worksheet noted that the messages contained in the requested handbill were already being disseminated through PA and other IO channels in the division.
Lesson Learned: The Staff Judge Advocate is an essential member of the IO Staff in MOOTW, where diplomatic and legal considerations predominate decisions on the use of military force from tactical through strategic levels. "Essential considerations for developing a campaign plan in peace operations include understanding the mandate and TOR."33 In this case, the SJA was the Subject Matter Expert in identifying the appropriate IO messages to promote acquiescence from the local populace to accept the actions of the peace operations force and to target key decisionmakers to alter their course.
Training the IO Staff.
Given that the IO cell is not a standing organization in most U.S. Army divisions, it can be assumed that little or no training is occurring on a routine basis that would prepare the cell to begin operating when required. Further, every scenario will be different. IO requirements for peacekeeping operations in a mature theater, such as Bosnia, may vary significantly from those in operations conducted in Somalia or Haiti. Moreover, combat operations, such as DESERT STORM, require a significantly different approach to information operations. The issue then is how to prepare the IO Staff to function as a key staff section, particularly in a scenario such as OJF when information operations assumes a prominent role in the division's mission. Clearly, standing up an IO cell is not an easy task. It takes time to train the individual members of the staff, and time to assimilate the staff into the division's planning cycle. Additionally, because the doctrine supporting information operations is still emerging, few widely published tactics, techniques and procedures exist to assist leaders in training the IO staff.
First, it is essential that the IO Staff develop a staff METL that identifies what the cell must be capable of executing in support of the Division METL -- this will not be a simple task. To address contingencies other than Bosnia, the IO METL must be broad enough to encompass the role of information operations across the spectrum of Army Operations. Without an IO-specific METL, however, the newly assembled staff may not have sufficient direction to focus their limited training time. Upon approval from the Chief of Staff, the IO Staff staff METL must further be integrated into the Division staff METL. An approved IO staff METL will provide the necessary training focus when an IO cell is assembled and will prove extremely useful in identifying minimum standards of proficiency.
Second, an IO SOP is essential. Upon activation of the IO Staff, it should be assumed that there will be insufficient time to develop appropriate tactics, techniques and procedures. The more likely scenario is that there won't be enough time to train the staff to proficiency. An existing SOP that identifies specific TTPs will prove extremely useful to the IO Staff. During OJF, the IO Staff instituted and refined the procedures for the IOWG improving on the existing SOP and providing the foundation for further refinement. Additionally, they developed a number of useful tools to assist them in synchronizing the IO campaign such as the IO Events Matrix. The method of developing and disseminating themes and messages as well as reporting procedures are all important components of the IO SOP. Again, as in the case of the METL, the SOP must be flexible enough to cover the role of the IO Staff in a wide variety of operations.
Third, every opportunity should be afforded for members of the IO Staff to receive the LIWA IO training (and in the case of a staff deploying to Bosnia, attend the theater-specific IO practical exercise). For a recent deploying division's train-up, a Mobile Training Team from the LIWA was dispatched to train the division IO cell and selected members of the division staff. This naturally has to be deconflicted with other pressing requirements, such as the Mission Rehearsal Exercise and other pre-deployment requirements, but should be integrated into the training plan. Not only is it important for the IO Staff to receive this training, other key members of the division staff, such as the G2, G3, G5, and the PAO, as well as the CofS, and the ADC should also attend this training if possible.
Fourth, the IO Staff members must be intimately familiar with all key components of the information operations campaign. It is imperative that they understand the missions, organizations, capabilities and limitations of all potential contributors to the IO campaign. At a minimum, the IO Staff should receive training on the following:
Fifth, these elements (to include the planners and the operators) that execute the missions within the IO campaign should be trained on IO, the IO Staff METL and the staff SOP. The idea is to ensure that all these components act in a coordinated manner. To achieve this synchronization, each element must understand how all the other players fit in the picture. A by-product of this will be an awareness of RII that, although perhaps not perceived as important to the individual who is observing it, may be of tremendous value to one of the other components.
Finally, the IO Staff must be thoroughly familiar with the existing doctrine and current literature addressing IO. Units forming an IO staff should request articles and observations from the CALL data base and training products and SOPs from the LIWA to reference as they train to conduct IO.
Lesson Learned: The Information Operations Staff should be fully trained to execute its staff METL prior to execution of the Transfer of Authority. Some suggestions for improving the readiness of the IO Staff include:
End Notes, Chapter Two:
1. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Field Manual 100-6, Information
Operations (Washington, DC: USGPO, 27 Aug 1996, hereafter cited
as Field Manual 100-6, Information Operations), p. D-0.