Psychological Operations (PSYOP)
Electronic Warfare (EW)
Operations Security (OPSEC)
|CIVIL AFFAIRS||PUBLIC AFFAIRS|
Psychological Operations (PSYOP)
PSYOP in Peace Operations achieve effects at the tactical through strategic levels. PSYOP support to the information campaign in peace operations seeks to enhance the legitimacy of the peace operations force and its mission, and to promote restraint on the part of the targeted audience. PSYOP support IO by developing products that develop understanding and favorable attitudes of the local populace toward the peace operation force; gain local support for the military effort; and, help attain the objectives of the friendly force.(13) By enhancing the peace operations force's legitimacy and promoting restraint, PSYOP improves security and force protection, while supporting accomplishment of the peace operation objectives.(14) PSYOP has been called the bridge to public diplomacy in MOOTW.(15) In that role, PSYOP can facilitate cooperation between the FWF and the peace operation forces and communicate the operational objectives to the target audience.(16)
PSYOP supporting the legitimacy of a peace operation must be based on the projection of truth and a credible message. To lend credence to the impartiality of the peace operation force and to maintain that credibility, the friendly force commander relies heavily on public information operations.(17) PSYOP comprise a large part of public IO as they transmit the peace operations force Information Campaign themes through print, radio, television, and loudspeaker media. PSYOP products and operations adhere to an IO strategy, expressed in the Information Campaign-approved themes ensuring consistency across all elements engaged in IO as information has no boundaries. PSYOP are considered C2-Attack operations that often target the adversary center of gravity. PSYOP C2-Attack operations in peace enforcement attack the legitimacy and credibility of the political systems of those opposed to the peace settlement, and publicize the beneficial reforms and programs being implemented as part of the peace settlement.(18)
In peace operations, several challenges face the peace operations commander in conducting effective information operations and civil-military information campaigns. The indigenous communications infrastructure is likely to be damaged or non-functioning. The FWFs may attempt to impose censorship over the remaining media to control the domestic populace. And finally, the local population may be illiterate and, therefore, difficult to reach through traditional print products.(19) PSYOP units can overcome communications disruptions with organic broadcasting and print production capabilities, and experience in preparing products tailored to their cultural and educational backgrounds.
In peace operations, political considerations drive military decisionmaking at the tactical through strategic-theater level of military operations.(20) During peacetime, the Department of State provides overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities overseas, and may impose restrictions on the PSYOP messages and themes to be used.(21) Accordingly, PSYOP in multi-national and coalition peace operations may be referred to in innocuous terms. In Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti, the PSYOP Task Force (POTF) established an in-country counterpart known as the Information Coordination Committee (ICC) to plan and coordinate IO throughout the operation. The ICC in Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY was chaired by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer (PAO) and included U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Justice (DOJ) representatives along with officers from the JTF and Joint POTF (JPOTF).(22) In Bosnia, during Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, PSYOP was referred to as "Military-Civil Relations" (MCR), and the PSYOP campaign was referred to as the "IFOR Information Campaign" and was controlled by the Coalition Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF).
PSYOP planning requires an inter-service and inter-agency approach.(23) Coordination with other U.S. Government (USG) agencies ensures that policies and plans supporting PSYOP objectives do not conflict with, and are mutually reinforcing with, messages from other USG agencies involved in the operation. Military PSYOP in peacetime or conflict may require coordination with several USG Agencies to include the Central Intelligence Agency, Board for International Broadcasting, the Departments of State, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard.(24) An important USG agency involved in conducting public diplomacy and determining foreign attitudes and perceptions is the U.S. Information Agency (USIA, formerly the U.S. Information Service (USIS)). During peace operations, the USIA is a part of the inter-agency team engaged in communicating with the people and governments of other countries. Military PSYOP can support these other USG agencies in public diplomacy initiatives and tasks.(25) In Peace-Enforcement operations, where the threat of force may be required to compel the FWFs to comply with the peace settlement, PSYOP, as a tool of the informational instrument of power, must be coordinated with the other national instruments of power - diplomatic, economic, and military.(26)
Although IFOR and SFOR conducted PSYOP activities according to the draft NATO doctrine for peace support psychological activities, the North Atlantic Council ((NAC) - the controlling political body of NATO) preferred the term "Information Campaign." This action addressed political concerns of the North Atlantic Council and coalition partners, some of whom were prohibited by national laws from using the term "psychological warfare" in connection with their military forces.(27) However, PSYOP, in support of information campaigns, are in accordance with PSYOP doctrine which specifies that PSYOP assets may support a commander's information and awareness program. In such cases, the commander must clearly distinguish that PSYOP assets are being used in a dissemination role only, not to project a PSYOP message. When appropriate, PSYOP assets can also disseminate command information products that explain the intent of military operations to target audiences.(28) In this role, PSYOP assets support CA civil-military information operations.
During the first two years of OJE and OJG, more than 1,000 PSYOP personnel deployed to Bosnia where they produced and distributed more than 12 million "products" including handbills, posters, a weekly newspaper, a monthly teen magazine, radio and television spots, and, for the children, comic books, soccer balls, coloring books, and even pens with the IFOR/SFOR logos.(29)
IFOR/SFOR PSYOP products supported several International Organizations (IOs) in implementing the civil aspects of the Dayton Peace Accord (DPA). The Coalition Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF) developed information programs supporting the SFOR IO campaign themes in support of various international organizations (IOs). One such PSYOP information program supported the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) focusing on the IO theme of displaced persons and refugees (a UNHCR responsibility). Another supported the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the diplomatic controlling agent of the NATO-led operation in Bosnia, focusing on the IO theme of common institutions (an OHR responsibility). A campaign focusing on the IO theme of economic recovery supported those civilian organizations with responsibility for that mission. And a campaign focused on the theme of successful elections supported the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which was responsible for the execution of the Bosnian elections.(30) Coordination between military PSYOP units and civilian information agencies during peace operations is critical to ensuring that their information themes, messages, and products do not contradict each other. Adversaries can use such contradictions as ammunition to fuel hostile propaganda efforts.(31)
PSYOP's main role in C2-Protect is to counter the adversary's hostile propaganda against the joint and combined force.(32) Discrediting hostile propaganda serves to maintain the legitimacy and freedom of operation of the peace operations force while having the corollary effect of driving a wedge between the adversary leadership and the populace, thereby reducing its base of support and undermining its confidence and effectiveness.(33) Those opposed to the internationally-imposed peace settlement will likely attempt propaganda intended to build resentment against the military force by portraying it as an occupying force with aims counter to the interests of their particular faction.
In support of C2-Attack operations, Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs) collect RII and disseminate information to decisionmakers and the local populace. Operating in small teams, the TPTs are well-placed to provide information on the attitudes and intentions of the population. PSYOP personnel gain information of value to the intelligence (G2 or S2) officer and the PSYOP effort through close contact with friendly and hostile persons. PSYOP personnel routinely report such information through intelligence channels.(34)