Information Operations in Support of
by MAJ Arthur N. Tulak, Military Analyst, CALL
Demonstrations and Shows of Force
Shows of force and demonstrations are military operations conducted
by combat forces to protect U.S. and Allied interests, give
warning and pause to hostile groups, persuade neutrals, and
encourage friendly groups.1 Shows of force
and demonstrations are military activities that support preventive
diplomacy.2 Preventive diplomacy is one of
the three diplomatic-led activities of peace operations in which
military activities play a supporting role.3
Military activities appropriate for shows of force and demonstrations
in support of peacekeeping and peace enforcement include multi-national
training exercises demonstrating coalition military capabilities,
interoperability, unity of effort, and resolve.4
Information operations (IO) leverage the effectiveness of shows
of force and demonstrations by informing targeted audiences
of friendly force capabilities and intent.
The NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) conducting peace
operations in the former Yugoslavia conducted a show of force
and demonstration 25 March to 17 April 1998 to demonstrate
SFOR’s rapid reinforcement capability. The show of force
exercise, dubbed Dynamic Response (DR) ’98, commenced
with an amphibious landing at Ploce on the Croatian coastline
on 26 March 1998.5 The culmination exercise
of DR ’98 was a combined-arms live fire exercise (CALFEX)
demonstration called Dynamic Strike ’98, held at the
Glamoc firing range in Multi-National Division-SouthWest (MND-SW).
Both the show of force and its concluding demonstration were
intended to show to the people of the former Republic of Yugoslavia
(FRY) and their military and political decision-makers SFOR’s
ability to rapidly insert additional combat forces into theater
to reinforce SFOR.
As SFOR reduces its on-the-ground force structure in Bosnia,
the requirement for a reliable rapid response capability takes
on increasing importance. SFOR needed to retain the capability
of responding to a renewal of hostilities or increased tensions
in order to maintain the peace imposed upon the former warring
factions during the initial peace enforcement operations conducted
in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR. The creation of a European-based
Strategic Reaction Force (SRF) for the Bosnia arena allowed
SFOR to continue on-the-ground force reductions without compromising
its credibility to enforce the military provisions of the
Dayton Peace Accord through lethal combat power. This force,
while not based in theater, would have the mission of serving
as both a deterrent to renewing hostilities and a viable reinforcement
option to support one or more SFOR sectors in a period of
heightened tension. The purpose of the show of force and demonstration
was both to visibly demonstrate that despite reductions of
on-the-ground forces, SFOR still had the capability to respond
to escalation and remained committed to enforcing the peace,
and to train the SRF to execute tasks associated with rapidly
reinforcing a deployed peace operations force.
Information operations provide the U.S. Government the capability
to influence the perceptions and decision making of the former
warring factions (FWFs) and greatly improves the deterrent
value of power-projection options.6 Political
concerns dominate shows of force and demonstrations, as the
objective is to dissuade adversaries from interfering with
the enforcement of international law, UN Security Council
Resolutions (UNSCRs), and internationally recognized peace
accords.7 At the operational level, IO employed
in conjunction with shows of force and demonstrations supports
deterrence of the resumption of hostilities and reassures
allies and the international community that the peace operations
force remains capable of implementing the peace agreement.
In peace enforcement operations, maintaining security involves
demonstrations of inherent military capability and preparedness,
and the overt presence of uncommitted mobile combat power
in the form of a reserve.8
The deterrent effects of DR 98 were leveraged by incorporating
IO with the lethal combat power components into a fluid exercise
that was extremely successful in showing the SFOR resolve
in maintaining unbroken enforcement of the Dayton Peace Accord.
Used in this manner, IO can enhance the impact of informational,
diplomatic, economic, and military efforts; and forestall
or eliminate the need to employ forces in a combat or crisis
situation.9 Demonstrations and shows of
force, supported by effective information operations, can
deter adversaries from interfering with the peace operation
force or its objectives or from resuming the hostilities with
the other FWFs.10 The objective is to demonstrate
resolve and commitment to a peaceful resolution while underlying
the readiness and ability to use force if required.11
An effective show of force or demonstration must be demonstrably
mission-capable and sustainable.12 That
is, the execution of the show of force or demonstration must
convincingly demonstrate to the targeted audience that the
peace operations force has the necessary combat power, C3,
intelligence, international liaison, and ready and responsive
forces required to use military force to enforce compliance.
The SFOR SRF in DR 98 included military forces from four NATO
countries (Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the United
States) and two NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations (Poland
and Romania). The SRF could number more than 5,000 soldiers
and comprises a wide range of military capabilities to include
light, airborne, and mechanized infantry, as well as armor,
artillery, and both fixed and rotary wing attack aircraft.13
Peace operations doctrine notes that armored forces and attack
helicopter assets can play major roles in deterrence or function
as a mobile reserve.14
Photo 1. A Landing Craft Air-Cushioned
(LCAC) of the 26th MEU is guided ashore at Poice, Croatia,
on 25 March 1998.
Photo by CPL Graham Spark. CPIC
The DR 98 show of force took the form of a training exercise
in which the SRF practiced combat operations such as amphibious
assault; air assault; fire and maneuver, and such peacekeeping
tasks as manning checkpoints, patrolling, and inspecting weapons
storage sites. During the exercise, the participating forces
became familiar with the area of operations and command and
control procedures among the participating nations of the
SRF and of SFOR.15 The culmination point
of the exercise was the CALFEX demonstration conducted in
front of an audience of key political and military leaders
of the FWFs. The message that SFOR wanted to send was that
although they would lessen the military force structure in
the future, they still had the capability and means to deploy
a potent military force in the event of heightened tensions.
Photo 2. Polish paratroopers dismount
a USMC CH-46E during Dynamic Strike, 03 April 1998.
Photo by SPC Charlie Boles. CPIC Sarajevo
The Public Affairs (PA) component of IO was the primary vehicle
to inform the regional and international media covering the
events. Press conferences were held by the Deputy Commander
Supreme Allied Commander-Europe (SACUER) aboard the USS Wasp
in the Adriatic at the commencement of the exercise, and by
the SACEUR himself at the culminating CALFEX demonstration
at the Glamoc firing range. The SFOR Coalition Press Information
Center (CPIC) provided a steady stream of press releases before,
during, and after the exercise. SPIC press kits on the exercise
ensured that the regional and international media knew the
SACEUR’s intent. The commander’s intent of the
military operations must be clearly communicated and correctly
interpreted by potential adversaries.16
As open sources to foreign countries and the United States,
PA channels can be used to disseminate international information.17
Dynamic Strike, the culminating CALFEX demonstration of Exercise
Dynamic Response 98, featured a force-projection scenario
of a multinational SRF encountering a hostile force about
to attack a village situated on the Barbara Range at Glamoc.
During the demonstration, the SRF responded to the hostile
force with organic weapons, supported by 81-mm mortar fires;
Cobra gunships from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and
Apaches from the Task Force Eagle 4th Aviation Brigade fired
on "adversary" APCs. U.S. and Italian Marines conducted
amphibious assault and helicopter air assault operations onto
the coast. A reinforcing multinational ground force, composed
of mechanized and armored forces, linked up with the amphibious
and air assault forces. During the demonstration, the SRF
maintained a blistering rate and volume of fire from 120-mm
tank guns, automatic weapons and cannon fire, TOW and MILAN
missiles, and mortar and artillery fire. In the last wave
of the attack, attack helicopters eliminated remaining targets,
while NATO air assets, including Harriers from the USS Wasp,
Jaguars, and F16s, were ready to intervene and deliver 2,000-pound
bombs on target if necessary.18
Gen. Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR),
at a press conference following the live-fire demonstration,
declared "Maintaining a strategic reserve force outside
the region that is ready to respond quickly to any crisis,
and help restore stability, is important to SFOR’s ability
to maintain peace throughout the region."19
He further added, "An action is worth a thousand words.
By demonstrating its capabilities, SFOR nations have made
a very powerful judgement, peace will be kept, the Dayton
Peace Agreement implemented, and Bosnia and Herzegovina will
become a normal country in Europe."20
Photo 3. The media were given full access
to events during the exercise.
Photo by MAJ Deschard. CPIC Sarajevo
The opening amphibious landing and air assault operations
of Exercise Dynamic Response attracted large press attention
from local, regional, and international media.21
That interest was cultivated with a well-organized and rehearsed
"Media Day" on 24 March at the commencement of the
exercise.22 That media interest was subsequently
maintained throughout the exercise by ensuring media awareness
of and access to exercise events and through the use of press
releases given to the press and posted on the Internet.23
The SFOR CPIC, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
(SHAPE) Public Information Office, the American Forces Press
Service, and the United States European Command (US EUCOM)
all provided press releases documenting the preparation and
execution of the show of force and its culminating firepower
Photo 4. Officers of the Bosnian Serb
Army (VRS) at Glamoc range during Dynamic Strike.
Photo by David Taylor. SFOR Informer
The show of force exercise and the culminating CALFEX demonstration
and the attendant local, national, and international media
coverage had a profound impact on the FWF political and military
leadership. According to unit after-action reviews (AARs)
and interviews conducted by the SFOR Public Information Office
with prominent FWF military and political leaders, those FWF
leaders in attendance, and those watching the event through
the media, received the intended message loud and clear.
1. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-20,
Military Operations in Low-Intensity Conflict (Washington
DC: USGPO, 5 December 1990), p. 1-11.
2. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-23,
Peace Operations (Washington DC: USGPO, 30 December
1994), p. 2.
3. Ibid., pp. 2, 111.
4. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-7,
Decisive Force: The Army in Theater Operations
(Washington DC: USGPO, 31 May 1995), p. 8-9.
5. SFOR Coalition Press Information Center, Press Release
"Exercise Dynamic Response 98 -- Images From Deployment,"
Sarajevo, 26 March 1998, downloaded from: http://www.nato.int/sfor/dyn-resp/p980326n.htm
6. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-6,
Information Operations (Washington DC: USGPO, 27
August 1996), p. 2-2.
7. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-20,
op. cit., p. 5-4.
8. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 100-23,
op. cit., p. 17.
9. Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Joint Publication 3-13, Joint Doctrine for Information
Operations, Preliminary Coordination Draft, 28 January
1998, pp. I-2 and I-3.
10. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual
100-23, op. cit., p. 17.
11. Ibid., p. 2.
12. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual
100-20, op. cit., p. 5-4.
13. Coalition Press Information Center, Sarajevo, 23 March
1998, Press Release "Operation Joint Guard, Exercise Dynamic
Response 98," downloaded from http://www.nato.int/sfor/dyn-resp/dyn-resp.htm
14. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual
100-23, op. cit., p. 40.
15. Linda D. Kozaryn, American Forces Press Service, Department
of Defense, Press Release 98167, "NATO Strategic Reserve to
Train in Bosnia," American Forces Press Service downloaded
16. Air Command and Staff College Research Project 95-053,
"Planning and Executing Conflict Termination," Chapter 3,
Case Study Analysis (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: ACSC, 1995),
17. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Publication
3-53, Joint Doctrine for Psychological Operations
(Washington DC: USGPO, 10 July 1996), p. vi.
18. 2LT David Arnold, "Dynamic Strike 98 Opens Fire," Coalition
Press Information Center, Sarajevo, 03 April 1998, downloaded
19. Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, News Release
98-09-02, "INITIAL EXERCISE PRESS RELEASE Exercise Dynamic
Response 98," 09 February 1998, downloaded from: http://www.shape.nato.int/Press/980902.htm
20. 2LT David Arnold, op. cit.
21. Coalition Press Information Center, Sarajevo, 25 March
1998, Press Release "Strategic Reserve Force Arrives For Exercise
Dynamic Response 98," downloaded from: http://www.nato.int/sfor/dyn-resp/p980325a.htm
22. Coalition Press Information Center, Sarajevo, 24 March
1998, Press Release "Operation Joint Guard, Exercise Dynamic
Response 98 -- Media Day," downloaded from http: //www.nato.int/sfor/dyn-resp/p980324a.htm
23. SFOR CPIC press releases included instructions to journalists
on coordination of air and ground transportation (provided
by SFOR) to the exercise events and offered assistance to
journalists wanting to cover the scheduled events. The SFOR
CPIC press kit issued in advance of the exercise laid out
the entire exercise plans for journalists to plan their coverage.