Civil Affairs and Public Affairs Support to IO
Civil Affairs (CA)
Much has transpired in the Army Civil Affairs arenas during the past few years, particularly in the area of IO. Civil Affairs is a significant player in IO and its doctrine should be revised to recognize that role. Additionally, the civil affairs primary role in peacekeeping operations should be reflected in its doctrinal manual. Currently, in FM 41-10, there are three references, comprising less than a page of text, that specifically address the CA role in peacekeeping operations. On the other hand, FM 100-6, Information Operations, discusses civil affairs integration in great detail.
Civil Affairs is one of the three operations that the Army uses to gain and maintain information dominance. It has an integral role in any IO campaign. Army IO doctrine states that Civil Affairs and Public Affairs are interrelated operations that are conducted to support the Army objective of achieving information dominance in any operational environment across the range of military operations.
In peace operations, CA assists the military force in anticipating, facilitating, coordinating, and orchestrating those civil-military functions and activities pertaining to the civilian population, government, and economy in the AO where the activities of the military force and the collection of supporting International Organizations (IOs), NGOs, and PVOs overlap.1 Civil Affairs personnel ensure that the civil-military functions undertaken are linked to the operational objectives of the military force.2 CA serve as the link between the Peace Operations Force and the Humanitarian IOs and NGOs operating in the AO. Additionally, CA are the link between the peace operations force (the military instrument of power), and the U.S. Agency for Internal Development (USAID) and the international aid organizations (the economic elements of power).
Civil Affairs doctrine states that during peace operations, CA activities include "liaison with local authorities, representatives of IOs, and U.S. agencies."3 IO doctrine recognizes the value of these routine contacts as opportunities for both offensive and defensive IO - "CA is important to gain information dominance because of its ability to interface with key organizations and individuals in the GIE."4 The routine meetings conducted by Civil Affairs (CA) Direct Support Teams (DSTs), also referred to as tactical support teams or DSTs comprise a "low-tech" INFOSYS (information system) that support dissemination of IO messages.
The concept of the low-tech INFOSYS includes both the co-opting of existing forums of former warring faction (FWF) political, police, and military decisionmakers and the establishment of new links between the peace operations force and these FWF authorities, IOs and diplomatic elements.5 The routine meetings between and among the IOs and their FWF counterpart organizations and FWF governmental, political, social and military leaders represent a low-tech INFOSYS which influences FWF decisionmaking. These routine meetings may be co-opted as necessary to provide the peace operations force with necessary information or be used as an IO platform from which to disseminate IO messages. Other examples of low-tech INFOSYS include the routine visits with civilian and police authorities and the regular forums established between the peace operations force and the IOs operating in the area of operations.
In one American Battalion Task during Operation JOINT FORGE, the TF S-5, the senior CA officer in the TF, developed an SOP that capitalized on the IO aspects of all TF CA missions. The S-5 reviewed the planned CA operations and provided the team with the IO messages to be reinforced with the local officials during operations. By comparing the day's planned activities to the published IO messages, the CA operations officer was able to identify those messages that fit best with the mission activities, aligning message and audience accordingly.
Civil Affairs routine meeting with Kalesija Fire Department and public safety chiefs
provides an example of the opportunities CA DSTs have to disseminate IO messages
to key local leaders.
DSTs operating out of Camp Dobol in the American Sector during Operation JOINT FORGE conducted routine meetings with the civil authorities in its AO. On 24 December 1998, one of these meetings was with the Chief of Public Safety and the Chief of the City Fire Department of the city of Kalesija in the Bosnian-Croat Federation. On this meeting, the DST NCO brought with him a Subject Matter Expert on fire fighting, a representative from the Camp Dobol fire fighting crew. The purpose of the meeting was twofold, to conduct an "area assessment" of the town's capabilities, and to strengthen communications between the civil authorities and the peace operations force. "Civil Affairs establishes relations among military forces, the public and civil authorities to exchange information, build understanding and gain information that may be critical to decisionmaking."6 By establishing or strengthening avenues of communication with civilian leaders and decisionmakers, CA units allow the Commander to reach out beyond the INFOSYS of the Military Information Environment by expanding the INFOSYS available to the commander.
During the meeting, the CA DST NCO and the Camp Dobol firefighter inquired about opportunities for fire prevention programs to the local schools to complement the on-going mine awareness and UXO programs already undertaken. Having a Subject Matter Expert with him improved the NCO's credibility and demonstrated attention to the concerns of the local officials, thus facilitating better two-way communication. Such communication channels require maintenance and attention so that they will be available and responsive during times of crisis, to reach decisionmakers in the civil authorities and to influence the greater public. Addressing local concerns ensures proper focus on the principle of legitimacy in peace operations, which seeks to sustain support in the local populace and among the former warring faction (FWF) leadership for the peace operations force and the peace settlement.7
"CA elements perform an important connection and liaison with key actors and influencers in the GIE. CA specialists help the commander shape his MIE and assist him in dealing effectively with NGOs, PVOs, and civil authorities."8
Lesson Learned: IO doctrine recognizes that CA specialists help the commander shape his military information environment. The routine meetings with civil authorities represent both an opportunity for CA to collect information for the commander as well as an opportunity to disseminate selected messages to key leaders and decisionmakers among the FWFs. The meeting between the CA DST NCO and the Chiefs of the Kalesija Departments of Fire and Public Safety is representative of the unique opportunities that CA has to disseminate IO messages to key leaders in the local community during peace operations. The meeting also represents a low-tech INFOSYS that served as a platform from which to disseminate IO messages at key civilian leaders and decisionmakers, as well as to collect RII.
Command and control of Civil Affairs Direct Support Teams (DSTs).
In TFE CA Direct Support Teams were operationally controlled down to the supported Battalion Task Force. However, a parallel CA chain of command and reporting channel was also apparent. This is not unusual; many organizations (e.g., PSYOP, Public Affairs) that function in relatively small units in a Battalion Task Force sector operate within a dual chain of command arrangement. In fact, FM 41-10 states that one of the G5's primary duties is to exercise staff supervision over CA units attached or under the operational control of the command and over CA activities in the command. With the emergence of IO as a main effort in Operation JOINT FORGE, however, centralized planning of CA operations served to illustrate that the parallel chain of command could potentially pose a problem for the DSTs. On one hand, the IO cell would provide definitive guidance on specific themes and messages to be emphasized IAW the commander's guidance. On the other hand, the Bn TF Commander may determine that a different theme or some messages are appropriate given the current situation in his sector. While these scenarios never posed a significant problem for the DSTs, conflicting guidance that must be resolved prior to execution does take time and coordination that would otherwise not be required. The command of CA units and control of CA operations require a clear, definitive CA structure.the mission, scope of operation, security considerations, signal capabilities, and degree of CA authority granted to military commanders are a few of the factors when establishing command relationships.9 Where a parallel chain-of-command relationship exists, such as in the CA units, the G5 must exercise caution to minimize the potential of issuing conflicting guidance.
Lesson Learned: CA command and control relationships should be clearly defined. During peacekeeping operations where IO may assume a prominent role, it is particularly important to avoid assigning missions, themes and messages outside of the G3-S3 channels. The Information Operations Working Group (IOWG), through the biweekly meetings which included representatives from the G3 and G5 sections, ensured that conflicting taskings were not an issue for Task Force Eagle.
Civil Affairs Representation in Information Operations Planning.
In peacekeeping operations, CA units are often the single, most-important linkage between the command and the population the command is attempting to reach. IAW FM 100-23, Peace Operations, CA units can assess the needs of civil authorities, act as an interface between civil authorities and the military supporting agency and as liaison to the civilian populace, develop population and resource control measures, and coordinate with international support agencies. In Operation JOINT FORGE, CA units were extensively involved in all the above tasks. This involvement necessitated an aggressive CA role in the IOWGs.
First, a qualified CA representative who is thoroughly knowledgeable about the capabilities and limitations of the units in the organization will streamline the planning process. Time spent discussing basic organizational capabilities will be better spent on actual operational planning. Further, because the vast majority of CA personnel are from the Reserves, the CA representative may also be aware of any particular strengths and weaknesses of the CA units in the AOR. For example, one of the direct support teams (DSTs) may include as a member a civil engineer who may be ideally suited to assist in the application of programs such as the Community Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program (CIRP).
Additionally, the CA representative should be completely familiar with the detailed intelligence reported through CIMIC daily reports and, as such, will be an invaluable source of information as future operations are being planned. The CA representative should be knowledgeable on, and able to provide information regarding, the effectiveness of current programs. As future operations are being planned, it is important for all members of the IOWG to understand how past and ongoing programs are being received. The CA representative, in the case of TFE, the G5 Plans Officer, will be also be well versed in any current intelligence that may prove useful to the IOWG as a whole.
In some instances, the CA representative may even take the lead role in IO planning. During Operation JOINT FORGE, one of the Division's primary tasks was to set the conditions for the return of Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPREs). In assembling the campaign plan for this mission, the IO cell designated the G5 as the lead agency. This was undoubtedly because of the extensive interaction and relationships of the CA units with the wide variety of IOs, Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in the return of the displaced persons.
Lesson Learned: Units who ensure active CA representation in IO planning will develop and execute more effective IO campaigns. Consistency of message and use of all available INFOSYS will break down stovepipes and cause synergy and unity of effort.
CA Reporting Procedures in Task Force Eagle During Operation JOINT FORGE.
TFE standardized and refined CA reporting procedures to ensure more detailed, accurate and timely reporting of information from all subordinate CA elements. Prior to the development and adoption of a CA report matrix, reporting relevant information and intelligence obtained by the CA Direct Support Teams was accomplished through a variety of reports. Clearly, the information gathered by the DSTs is invaluable in the context of the overall IO campaign plan. It should be immediately accessible to all members of the division staff, the IOWG members and the Combined Joint Information Operations Task Force (CJICTF). Previously, daily situation reports were submitted by the Brigade S5s in a number of different formats, which included:
The new reporting matrix combined all the above reports into a single format, which is required to be submitted daily. Further, the matrix allows the reader to rapidly peruse the report and it attempts to tie specific actions to approved themes and messages. This may be the most beneficial result. By linking the result of the contact with an approved IO theme, the matrix provides immediate feedback on the success or failure of any number of contributing players. If, for example, a previous PSYOP mission was designed to convince a local leader to support the return of displaced persons, a CA team might well get an indication if that operation was successful during a discussion on an unrelated subject.
Additionally, the development of the Excel spreadsheet report allows faster compilation of reports and ensures faster transmission to SFOR as well as other members of the TFE staff. Finally, the data base created by the TFE G5 will enable rapid searches for information. If historical information is required on a particular individual, for example, a simple query will provide all references to that individual for the selected period. The same is true for references to a given location or topic of discussion. The utility of such a data base cannot be overstated.
The new Comprehensive CIMIC Reporting System provides the following information:
Lesson Learned: Relevant Information and Intelligence (RII) gathered by the CA teams may have wide-ranging applicability in the IO campaign and can benefit many other key players, in particular, members of the IOWG. A timely, accurate method of distributing this information is essential to capitalize on this information. TFE developed a tool that not only simplified reporting requirements but also ensured that RII was rapidly disseminated.
CA Units Reinforce Task Force Eagle Themes and Messages.
As a key player in the IO campaign, CA units reinforce themes and messages in their routine meetings with local officials. Themes and messages are refined in the IOWG and provided to the G3 who disseminates them to subordinate units through FRAGOs. The G5 additionally provides the approved themes and messages through the Bde S5s down to the Battalion S5s. The Battalion S5s then incorporate the themes and messages into the CA OPTEMPO plan. The OPTEMPO is a matrix that allows the S5 to project DST activities for a two-week period.
The S5 attempts to identify the appropriate contact events for the DSTs to reinforce the approved themes and messages. For example, if a particular DST has a meeting scheduled with the local Police Chief, the S5 will link a specific theme and the associated messages that would be appropriate for that contact. The theme may be one that stresses professionalism and civil responsibility or it could be the importance of the rule of law in establishing peace and prosperity for all. An associated message may be one that highlights the need for acceptance of ethnic differences, which supports community development and stability.
The Battalion S5's challenge is to link the theme and message to specific individuals or groups. The DST's challenge, on the other hand, is to skillfully integrate these themes and messages into their dialogue with these groups or individuals to ensure that they are received and understood.
Following these meetings, it is imperative that the DSTs provide feedback through the CA channels and the operational chain of command as to the perceived effectiveness of the message. Just because they were able to get the message out does not mean that it was received as intended. Responses to these messages must be captured and sent back up the chain to assist the IO planners in determining effectiveness of the overall campaign. There may be distinct linkages between different elements of the Task Force that may not be readily apparent to subordinate elements. The IOWG is uniquely postured to ensure that RII is shared with all appropriate elements.
Lesson Learned: CA units are one of the primary means of delivering themes and messages to the local population through their daily activities. While themes and messages may be developed and approved several headquarters higher, it is the responsibility of the CA elements who are routinely interfacing with the local officials to deliver these messages and provide feedback as to their effectiveness.
Civil Affairs Role in the Community Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program (CIRP).
In support of the overall IO campaign, CA Tactical Support Teams play an active role in determining the requirements for, identification, submission, and the verification of, CIRP projects. The CIRP initiative is a powerful tool for obtaining cooperation from the local populace. In heavily damaged areas or war-neglected areas, funding for rebuilding community infrastructure can help restore normalcy and promote minority returns through the re-establishment of services, such as clean water, electricity, street lighting, roads, bridges, and a host of other services. As a tool in the IO campaign, the CIRP can be an extremely effective instrument in shaping public opinion through correct application of resources in the local community. These programs constitute a pressure point, that is, it is something that could be influenced to affect the behaviors of the target audience.
Essentially, planners can use the CIRP to reward compliance and promote minority returns through targeted allocation of CIRP funding. Initially, CA teams can be useful as an intermediary in helping to spread the word that CIRP projects are available, identifying them, and explaining what the conditions are for receiving them. In other words, "if you support the resettlement of displaced persons we can get the electricity running again."
Once CIRP projects are approved and completed, there is a requirement to ensure that they are being used as intended. The three essential questions that the DSTs attempt to answer as they conduct routine follow-up inspections are as follows:
DSTs attempt to answer these questions through regularly scheduled site visits. During these visits, they observe the physical condition of the projects as well as solicit input from local civilians who are the intended benefactors. In most cases, it should be fairly easy to answer the questions. If, for example, an elementary school was rebuilt, then it will be readily apparent if it is being wrongly used as a store or apartment building. The same would apply to the community use of a well.
Lesson Learned: CA units are ideally suited and positioned to assist in determining the requirements for CIRP projects, identifying projects, assisting in the submission process and verifying that projects are being maintained and used for their intended purpose. CA units maintain awareness on the needs of the populace and can recommend appropriate economic pressure points for IO problem sets.
Public Affairs (PA)
The Public Affairs Weekly Commander's Themes and Messages Report
During OJF, Public Affairs supported IO execution with the Weekly Commander's Themes and Messages report. It was a valuable "playbook" for supporting C2-Attack operations throughout the force that ensured all spoke with one voice in accordance with the commander's intent for IO. The senior public affairs officer in Task Force Eagle was also the director of the Coalition Press Information Center (formerly the Joint Information Bureau). The CPIC Director issued the Weekly Commander's Themes and Messages report to all base camps in the division AOR. Its primary purpose was to assist commanders in dealing with the media. The weekly report included information from "the interagency," SFOR public information offices, speeches and press briefing transcripts.
An important component to this report was the section dedicated to "IO Themes and Messages." The PA supported the IOWG in developing these themes and messages in response to specific IO "problem sets." Joint Doctrine directs PA to develop PA plans in support of operations and to anticipate and pre-plan responses.10 The purpose of these themes was to have talking points available for commanders and staff officers to conduct discussions with local leaders and citizens.
The IO themes were reviewed weekly, and changes were published in the report. The report contained all messages disseminated through weekly FRAGOs from the IO Cell, and those developed for the commander by PA. Through the IOWG meetings, the CPIC Director and other PA representatives to the IOWG could draft messages intended to achieve the desired behaviors from the targeted audiences. The Commanding General approved the themes and messages prior to their dissemination to the force. This ensured that the entire force spoke with one voice, regardless of the forum or audience. The goal of the weekly report was to develop appropriate messages for civil, military, and political leaders, as well as the general population. The report emphasized that the themes and messages were intended to be used whenever possible, urging commanders that "Regardless of question or forum, you should try to incorporate these themes into your responses."
In response to one particular problem set, the Brcko Arbitration Decision, the weekly report provided commanders seven basic themes that addressed the potential problems identified in IOWG wargaming. Supporting the themes were focused messages for the various audiences: civil authorities, leaders and public officials; Entity Armed Forces military leaders; business leaders; entity police forces, and the general population. There were 31 messages focused on civil authorities, leaders and public officials, 16 on EAF military leaders, 7 on business leaders, 12 on the entity police forces, and 32 on the general population. These messages were an IO tool for every interaction between the peace operations force and the FWFs. The messages supported commanders' radio shows, media interviews, and meetings with local officials. The messages also supported CA DSTs conducting liaison with public officials. Every conceivable interaction between the peace operations force and the FWFs was an opportunity to disseminate an IO message.
PA support to IO in the form of the commander's themes and messages provides a means to communicate to targeted audiences and potential adversaries. It is an important element to ensuring that the resolve and intent of the peace operations force is clearly communicated and correctly interpreted by the adversary - his confusion or misunderstanding of the force's capabilities and intent may prolong the operation.11
Public affairs doctrine recognizes the role of PA in supporting IO, and directs PA to support IO by coordinating with IO planners "to ensure consistent messages," and by "coordinating actions and synchronizing messages."12 Current PA doctrine specifically mentions Weekly Messages for Commanders and how these messages were used in Operation JOINT GUARD down to company-level operations.13 By providing themes and messages approved by the commanding general, PA accomplishes both of these tasks. However, FM 100-6 does not specifically address the role of the PA in drafting command messages in support of synchronized IO. FM 100-6 merely states that the PA representative to the IO Cell "coordinates with CA and PSYOP representatives to ensure consistency of messages," in the "Coordination and Support" section which identifies the roles and tasks of the PA representative to the IO Cell.14 As stated, the emphasis is more on review rather than on taking the lead.
Lesson Learned: In developing the Commander's Weekly Themes and Messages, the Public Affairs representative to the IO Cell performs a key function. The report ensures the entire command will speak with one voice. The report was disseminated to all base camps, and, therefore, supported all operations that interacted with the FWFs. All the messages were approved by the commander, and were, therefore, in accordance with his intent. The report was timely - updated weekly, it reflected the commander's views on what the force would achieve through IO. The Weekly Commander's Themes and Messages report made PA one of the fastest, most all-inclusive means by which to disseminate IO messages to targeted audiences.
Public Affairs Refutes Hostile Propaganda Through Press Conference.
SFOR's Multinational Division - North (MND-(N)) used a regularly scheduled press conference on 27 November 1998 to defeat hostile propaganda published in the local press and directed against U.S. forces in Task Force Eagle.
On 11 November 1998, U.S. soldiers from Camp McGovern held a meeting in the town of Dizdarusa to inform the citizenry about Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPRE) re-settlement activities in their area. Bosnian Serbs, representing elements opposed to the peace operation force and the settlement, disrupted the meeting attended by about 40 Bosnians. Five individuals intruded into the meeting and threatened the Bosnian Mulsims in attendance. One of the Bosnian Serbs even threatened to kill and eat a Bosniak returnee attending the meeting. The U.S. soldiers immediately took photographs of three of these intruders to document their illegal activities, but two Bosnian Serbs departed before the soldiers could photograph them. Upon determining the identities of the remaining perpetrators, a patrol from Camp McGovern went to their homes to deliver a message through an interpreter that "SFOR would not tolerate violence," and again photographed them.
Word of the event resulted in a Stars and Stripes news reporter covering the story by conducting an interview with the TF Commander. The Stars and Stripes story was a balanced and an accurate one that correctly portrayed as legal and appropriate the actions of the American soldiers in locating and warning the perpetrators against violent outbursts. The opening line of the article read "U.S. troops have come under literary fire in the local press that reported Stabilization Force soldiers harassed two Serbian men who voiced opposition to Muslim resettlement in the Brcko area."15 That comment alluded to the 17 November 1998 issue Bosnian Serb newspaper, Gras Srpski, which reported less-than-accurate information portraying the SFOR soldiers as abusing their power, stating that "Six armored cars of the American elite cavalry unit stationed at Brcko.surrounded the two houses and identified the persons by force."16
COMEAGLE directed his PAO to respond to the hostile propaganda and refute it. The method selected in this case was the press conference to the local media of the Brcko area. On 27 November 1998, the Director of the MND-N CPIC, the senior PAO in TFE, issued a statement at the weekly press conference held at OHR-N headquarters in Brcko. The statement refuted the claims of abuse of power and stated the facts for subsequent dissemination by the local media representatives in attendance. The statement reiterated that the soldiers "were performing their mission in accordance with the Dayton Accords," (and, therefore, acting within their authority), and that the soldiers accomplished their mission ".without physical altercation with any of the individuals.the patrols vehicles remained parked on the street (and) no houses or dwellings were surrounded by either SFOR soldiers or vehicles at any time."17
After the press conference, the CPIC Director provided the statement to the McGovern PSYOP element to broadcast the statement in Serbo-Croatian over Radio Mir, a PSYOP-operated FM radio station targeted at the Brcko area audience. By presenting the statement at the Press Conference, the PA officer reported it as a news event. The local media took the news and re-broadcast the message. Reinforcing that, the PSYOP-controlled radio station also broadcast the message to its listening public. Army IO doctrine for PA assigns it the role of "conducting counter-propaganda and protection for misfortune/rumor."18 TFE's use of a public statement, issued through the INFOSYS represented by the Press Conference, and subsequently following up that statement through broadcasting over PSYOP radio, represents doctrine in application.
Lesson Learned: The use of an established information system, or INFOSYS, as that represented by the monthly MND-N Press Conference to refute propaganda is a vivid demonstration of Public Affairs C2-Protect Operations. In this case, the most rapid response available to defeat the hostile propaganda was PA and the appropriate means through which to do it was the press conference. That this same message was then released through PSYOP radio demonstrates how the various components of IO can be mutually reinforcing.
Public Affairs Coordinates Inter-Agency Information Operations.
The MND-N CPIC conducted joint press conferences and synchronized IO with the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) International Police Task Force (IPTF) Press and Information Officer (PIO).
During the NATO-led peace operations in Bosnia, the senior division PA officer in MND-N was the CPIC Director and was responsible for executing the Commander's public information programs.19 The CPIC Director conducted weekly press conferences, alternating between Tuzla and Brcko, which were held in cooperation with the IPTF PIO.
The cooperation between the division's IO and the IPTF press and information activities took many forms. Regarding the press conferences, both spokespersons made sure they were "on the same sheet of music" beforehand. Before heading into the press conference chambers, the CPIC Director and IPTF PIO would meet to discuss issues and positions, anticipated questions and proper responses. The CPIC Director provided the messages the division commander wanted to disseminate to the entity police to the IPTF PIO. This reinforces lessons learned during OJE/OJG where external coordination for press and information efforts "benefited both the military and civilian organizations -- future commanders can capitalize on this success."20 Additionally, the division contributed to the IPTF's ability to measure the effectiveness of its press and information activities by providing unclassified media analysis and open-source intelligence (OSINT) reporting on local media by providing the daily Tuzla Night Owl. This allowed the IPTF spokesperson to monitor reporting on the IPTF and to keep abreast of issues concerning both SFOR and the IPTF with regards to entity police forces.
The IPTF PIO said that the cooperation between TFE and her office was valuable to a clearer and more consistent information campaign and provided unity of effort. Commenting on the nature of peace operations in general, the IPTF PIO spoke about her previous experiences in UN operations noting that with so many organizations on the ground contributing to the peace effort, "everyone was intruding into each other's areas and this did not present a united front." The results were conflicting messages and a confused audience. Describing the cooperative relationship between IPTF press and information and MND-N information operations, the IPTF PIO said, "We exchange information and we think of things we can do together." The IPTF PIO stressed that "We need to know what the other organizations (contributing to the peace effort) are doing - what their messages are. We can't afford to say 'I don't know' too many times."
Unity of Effort is a principle of peace operations and MOOTW. "In peace operations, achieving unity of effort is complicated by the numbers of nonmilitary organizational participants (including NGOs (such as the IPTF) and PVOs), the lack of definitive command arrangements among them, and varying views of the objective. These factors require that commanders...rely heavily on consensus-building (cooperation) to achieve unity of effort."21 Army IO doctrine recognizes that NGOs and PVOs "contribute to IO" and "offer a variety of services and resources...this expanded field of individual and organizational senders and receivers of information, with varying methods of operation and focus," adds new avenues for conducting IO in a mutually reinforcing manner.22
Lesson Learned: The cooperation between the division PA and UN IPTF PIO leveraged the credibility and abilities of each to achieve even greater IO effects and served to achieve unity of effort in the information activities of the two independent organizations involved in the overall peace effort. The specific areas of cooperation were sharing of unclassified OSINT media analysis, sharing of unclassified IO themes and messages, and coordination and synchronization of press and information activities.
Public Affairs Media Analysis Provides Critical Input for IO Planners
Media analysis centers on the effectiveness of the PA program in the western media and asks: Who is receiving PA products and information? What is the resulting reaction(s) or action(s) (i.e., did command messages come through?, what did articles or broadcasts say?). PAOs can create standardized methods for researching results from media products. PAOs must evaluate the efficacy of their effort by objective, and possibly subjective, methods by analyzing existing data. "Targeting information extends beyond the battlefield and involves more than attacking an adversary's information flow while protecting the friendly information flow. It also requires awareness of, and sensitivity to, information published by nonmilitary sources."23 Media analysis provides the IO planner with a greater understanding of the operating environment.
PAOs must develop planning tools that sharply define their role in IO. This will establish the basis for standing operating procedures for PAOs and, just as importantly, it will establish definite expectations for PAO participation for other IO members. The list assembled below is a first attempt at creating a clearly delineated set of PAO functions in supporting IO through media anlaysis.
Public Affairs Media Analysis as a Battle Damage Assessment Tool in IO.
During Operation JOINT FORGE, the Information Operations Working Group suggested using the Public Affairs Weekly Media Analysis report as a means to provide feedback to the IO Cell as it conducted IO combat assessment of C2-Attack operations. "Combat assessment and measures of effectiveness (MOE) assess the effectiveness of force employment during military operations. Combat assessment uses precise objective information, while MOE quantify subjective information."26 Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) is both part of combat assessment and part of the IPB process, in terms of confirming or denying previous estimates and updating the IPB.27 BDA uses precise objective information while MOE quantify subjective information. C2-Attack operations can be both "hard" and "soft" kill in effect.28 "Hard kill" operations imply physical destruction with the application of lethal combat power, while "soft kill" operations achieve effects in attitudes and decisions. In peace operations, C2-Attack operations will primarily be "soft kill" operations.
The METL in FM 100-6 for the IO Cell includes establishing C2-Attack targeting and BDA.29 IO in support of peace operations pose a unique challenge to the IO Cell in conducting BDA because the effects of C2W on the enemy C2 may not be in the form of physical damage. Instead, the effects may well be trends, activities, and patterns in the future actions of adversaries, and key actors in the battlespace.30 Subjective "measures of effectiveness" or MOE are developed to determine if the messages are having the desired effect, while BDA indicate the successful delivery of the message. TFE was challenged to develop MOE which could assess the effectiveness of IO in C2-Attack operations that emphasized persuasive messages.
The primary method used in Task Force Eagle (from IFOR to SFOR 4) to conduct BDA had been to monitor the effects of IO messages delivered through friendly force IO platforms, such as PSYOP radio shows, and printed products by tasking intelligence assets to collect human intelligence on how they were received by the target audiences. In fact, Joint doctrine lists counterintelligence and human resource intelligence (HUMINT) as sources of feedback on the effectiveness of IO in the form of PSYOP.31 Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs) reported the reactions of people when receiving PSYOP products. These teams discussed with radio station managers the response of the listening audience to PSYOP "Mir-mix" tapes, commanders' radio shows, and PSYOP spots.
Not used as a MOE, but showing promise as an MOE tool was the Public Affairs' Weekly Media Analysis report. This report tracked the number of stories reported over local media on topics of interest to the peace operations force. Categories of stories reflected the areas of interest and problem sets under the scrutiny of the IO Cell. The media analysis report told the IO Cell what stories were getting the most press, which the least, and whether the majority of reporting was either positive, neutral, or negative. These categories were displayed on bar-charts for easy references and backed up with the actual numbers where appropriate.
For Information Campaigns focused on a particular problem set, the Media Analysis Report may be an effective way to determine which specific IO Messages and Themes are being recirculated in the media. For example, a commander's message put out at a press conference may be subsequently reported in several local media. Likewise, commander's messages developed by the IO Cell, or by the PA in coordination with IOWG, may be further reinforced by official statements by local authorities, and again circulated in the media. This latter example did indeed happen with a specific IO message disseminated to the civil political leadership during SFOR 4 in Operation JOINT FORGE. One of the IO messages disseminated to all base camps in both the IO FRAGO and the Commander's Weekly Themes and Messages report focusing on curtailing the local practice of "celebratory fire." that is, shooting weapons into the air. This message was reinforced by official pronouncements from the Bosnian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs. The original IO messages for each audience were:
The message to Public Officials was reinforced in an announcement by the BH Federation Ministry of Affairs and was recirculated in the Bosnian national daily newspaper, Oslobodjenje (Liberation), on 31 December 1998. The article in the paper read:
"The BH Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs issued an announcement, which states that BH citizens are called upon to refrain from any use of firearms and pyrotechnics (in the celebration of the New Year). The BH Federation MUP (Ministry of Police) warned that the use of arms, pyrotechnics, and explosive devices represents a serious violation of the law on public peace and will be treated as such."32
The media analysis report could be used to track by IO theme or message set, such as the one described above, using the same methods already in use. Used as an MOE, the report would show how many stories were appearing in the local media which supported the aims of the IO campaign for that particular problem set.
Public Affairs doctrine labels the kind of media analysis discussed here as "Media Content Analysis," the focus of which is to "provide an evaluation of the quantity, and the nature, of (media) coverage, and reveal intended as well as unintended messsages."33 This is something that Public Affairs already does that can help solve the BDA dilemma. IO doctrine is almost exclusively focused on combat operations. Field Manual 100-6, August 1996, discusses BDAs, not in the context of a MOOTW environment.
Lesson Learned: The use of the PA Weekly Media Analysis Report has not yet been tested, but represents a possible tool for measuring the effectiveness of IO themes and messages as they are recirculated in local media and by the leadership elements of the FWFs. IO doctrine does not presently include any techniques for BDAs on C2-Attack operations for a MOOTW environment. The only suggested indicator for BDAs is "absence of activity on a C2 net, combined with an increase in (electronic communications) traffic elsewhere."34 Neither does Public Affairs doctrine address the contributions that PA can make to BDAs. If this technique proves feasible, it could be used an example of BDA or MOE in MOOTW in future iterations of both doctrinal manuals.
Commander's Internal Information Program as a C2-Protect Measure.
During Operation JOINT FORGE, the Commanding General of the first CONUS-based division to deploy to Bosnia used weekly video tele-conferences with the rear detachment and unit family readiness groups (FRGs) as part of an overall Internal Information program (formerly the command information program). The Commanding General used this medium to provide command information to families, and to quell rumors, misinformation, and potential disinformation at home station. These video teleconferences took place every Thursday evening at 2000 local. According to IO doctrine, the commander's internal information program is under the supervision of the Division PAO; however, in TFE, responsibility for managing the Video-Teleconference aspect of it was shared between the G-1 and the PAO with assistance from the G-6. During these video teleconferences, the Division Commander personally asked "what are the rumors back there?" and provided answers to the assembled FRG representatives, spouses, and local community representatives.
Unit commanders were scheduled to brief on different weeks, and these schedules were published to the FRGs for dissemination. In this way, the video teleconference room was rotated in time slots to accommodate and support the many battalions and smaller units in the forward-deployed division. Brigade, battalion, and even company commanders presented briefings with still images and Powerpoint slides to the home audience, explaining the mission and highlighting unit training and unit-sponsored programs implemented to take care of soldiers. One company commander stated that the video teleconferences were also a great communications tool for conducting business with the unit rear detachment.
Commanders use their internal information programs to communicate directly to soldiers, leaders and their families to explain the mission and their part in it. "Establishing an effective internal information program enhances the morale of soldiers, reinforces the stated unit mission, and supports accurate media reports for both soldiers and their families."35 A lesson learned from Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was that family support groups (FSGs) needed an information pipeline, which they did not have, for receiving command information from official sources.36 The weekly video teleconference with the assembled staff and unit representatives provided a powerful medium to support the commander's internal information program and include the FRG/FSG.
IO doctrine recognizes the value of internal information programs in a C2-Protect role of countering "rumors and uncertainty" on both the front line and the home front.37 The internal information program is more than a post newspaper or processing home-town news releases; it is a force enhancement tool that provides an outlet for the commander to ensure that the force receives clear guidance and instructions on what is expected from them. The internal information program also helps soldiers to combat the effects of enemy propaganda or misinformation.38
Lesson Learned: The weekly video teleconference as used by Task Force Eagle is an essential component to an effective Internal Information program for units deployed on contingency operations such as peace operations. The program exploited available communications systems and ensured they were used to the fullest possible extent in support of division operations. Soldiers and their families clearly benefited from effective C2-Protect operations that quelled rumors and refuted disinformation directly from the commander himself.
PA Efforts in Building Professionalism in the Indigenous Media.
During Operations JOINT GUARD and JOINT FORGE, the Multinational Division North (MND-N) Public Affairs elements instituted efforts aimed at building professionalism among the local media, to improve truthful balanced reporting, foster contacts between the journalists and broadcasters of different ethnic groups, and improve the relationship between the peace operations force and the local communities through its relationship with its media.
The media in the former Yugoslavia represented both a challenge and an opportunity for SFOR IO. Independent media reporting, following a set of generally accepted professional practices so commonplace in the Western world, was a new and challenging concept for the media of the countries carved out of the former Communist Yugoslavia. One radio station manager in the MND-N sector stated emphatically that "independent radio (reporting) under Socialism was very hard."
Typically the challenge in reaching the desired target audience for broadcast media is the technology of the equipment in terms of the power and range of transmitter. In Bosnia, the mountainous terrain resulted in limited broadcasting range for radio and television stations, almost all of which did not have the benefit of repeaters. While broadcast range and broadcast footprint were certainly significant challenges for the local Bosnian media, they were not the only ones. The barriers to reconciliation formed during the war composed an even greater barrier than the mountainous terrain.
During the war, the media were used as IO platforms by all three sides. This was a carryover from their communist practices, where the media was largely an organ of control used by the state. After the war, the three FWFs in Bosnia often sought out media sources that they could identify with by common ethnicity. That is, Bosnian Serbs were more likely to tune in to broadcasts from Belgrade than from Sarajevo, which was closer, but perceived as Bosniac-oriented. In general, radio was the preferred means of getting news among the general population. While several daily newspapers circulated in the larger cities, the populations outside the urban core relied on radio, which was primarily local and ,therefore, locally managed by those of the same ethnic group. Generally, local media were considered trusted sources of information.39
During the war, and even through Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, "the media across the country remained under tight control of the dominating factions and carried the messages that fit their political masters."40 To promote Western-style reporting of news and more balanced reporting, SFOR reached out to local journalists to build better working relationships that would ensure the media would be available to help disseminate truthful information. During peace operations, the PA public information (PI) program must focus attention on the local journalists and media, as they are usually the primary source of information for the local population. To reinforce the Civil Affairs civil-information program, and PSYOP, the PA PI program must take into account the interests and requirements of the local journalists.41
Task Force Eagle did not have a consistent, division-wide program in effect to sustain and nourish such contacts, or to help overcome the local media's handicaps of its Communist past and the suspicions of the present. However, there were several successful operations that highlighted how such a program might look. During Operation JOINT GUARD, MND-N and the Office of the High Representative-North (OHR-N) sponsored a media working group in Brcko to bring together the various ethnic media into a more cooperative and professional working relationship. The general format of this working group was to bring in Subject Matter Experts to give topical presentations. The first was given by a reserve soldier from one of the division Mobile Public Affairs Detachments, whose civilian career in broadcasting and over 10 years of experience in radio and video journalism made her uniquely qualified to brief the assembled journalists. The soldier gave a Powerpoint presentation entitled "Technical Fundamentals of Broadcasting."42
During Operation JOINT FORGE, the Nord-Pol Brigade Press Information Office in MND-N went so far as to pick up local journalists and bring them over the Zone of Separation to attend the joint press conferences hosted by SFOR and the IPTF. The Nord-Pol Brigade also hosted a "Journalist's Seminar" inviting local journalists throughout the Brigade's AOR to attend a four-day seminar in Doboj, at which journalists from several Scandinavian countries gave presentations at the invitation of their national military contingents. Experienced journalists, reporters, and editors from well-known press agencies presented lectures throughout the seminar from 12 to 16 October 1998.43
MND-N Public Affairs Conference, 16 January 1999, Eagle Base.
Local media guest speaker, Zlatko Berbic of Radio Kameleon, 102.7 FM.
During Operation JOINT FORGE, the MND-N CPIC Director, the senior Public Affairs Officer for MND-N, resuscitated programs to develop professionalism in the local media. Zlatko Berbic, the manager of a local radio station, Radio Kameleon, 102.7 FM, was invited to speak at the Division Public Affairs Conference held at Eagle Base on 16 January 1999. Radio Kameleon was considered a front-runner example of the kind of "independent media" in Bosnia that the Division wanted to promote as an independent and reinforcing institution to project the truth to the local people. Mr. Berbic and his wife Maida gave a well-received presentation to the PA personnel assembled from the Joint Public Affairs community of print, radio, and television media. These PA personnel, responsible for telling the Army story in internal information products were given a clearer picture of the challenges the media faced in the AOR.
The CPIC Director referred to such efforts aimed at building professionalism among the local media as "Media 101." At the same time that local media were learning Western journalism practices, the peace operations force was nurturing its working relationship and degree of trust with the local media. The CPIC Director suggested taking the "Media 101" concept one step further, by perhaps enlisting the aid of the U.S. Information Agency to set up more "Journalist Seminars," or "Working Groups," that would feature professional media specialists and journalists from big-name operations to give presentations to the local media. A suggested starting point was to use the existing experience already resident in the PA community, and to reach out to private enterprise through contacts at the Public Affairs Proponent Agency and the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs.
Lessons Learned: Improving the professionalism of the local media represents a powerful strategy for
increasing the channels for projection of truthful information to the local population in the peace operation
AOR. A strong working relationship with the local media enhances the likelihood that they will be willing and
able to carry the stories and press announcements provided in support of the Commander's Public Information
Program. In addition, such interaction provides those PA elements responsible for internal information products
a better understanding of the local media needs, and thus better recognize opportunities for internal information
products and stories to support the public information effort.
Endnotes, Chapter Five:
1. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, The Army in Multinational Operations, Field Manual 100-8
(Washington, DC: USGPO, 24 November 1997), p. 2-19.
Chapter Four: IO in a Multinational Force
Chapter Six: Information Systems (INFOSYS)