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Center for Army Lesson Learned Banner CALL Newsletter 03-18
Information Operations(IO)

Chapter 8

Talking Points

MND(N) talking points are revised on a continuous basis twice a month. Talking points no longer valid for the environment are deleted. Additional talking points are generated for new problem sets, and others are updated as needed to remain current with changing conditions.  Below are examples of what SFOR, local authorities, and AFBiH and SFOR together are doing to ensure a safe and secure environment. These talking points are “active media posture,” meaning that commanders and soldiers may disseminate them freely through radio shows and bilats, and while interfacing with the local populace. By contrast, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) “passive media posture” talking point examples concerning war criminals are listed as well. These talking points are to be disseminated only on a response-to-media query (RTQ) or when questions arise. 

A. What is SFOR doing to ensure a safe and secure environment?  (media posture is active) 

  1. SFOR ensures a safe and secure environment in accordance with our mandate in the Dayton Peace Accord (DPA). Our primary purpose in this task is to maintain the peace in BiH by our presence, which in turn provides the foundation for civil implementation of the Dayton Peace Accord and the economic revitalization of BiH. Ultimately, however, a safe and secure environment is the responsibility of the citizens of BiH, the country’s leadership, and local police forces. 
  2. SFOR maintains the capability for enforcing the peace through the presence of highly trained, very capable, and very mobile military forces in BiH. SFOR has capitalized on the capabilities of each contributing nation and formed a force that is fully capable of addressing any threat to peace, stability, and progress. 
  3. SFOR also contributes to a safe and secure environment with our support of operations such as spring cleaning and the demining program. Both of these programs directly contribute to BiH’s progress by removing dangerous weapons and ordnance from the homes and fields of BiH, which greatly contributes to the overall safety of the country. 
  4. Our mandate to ensure a safe and secure environment also applies to our support of the international community for displaced persons, refugees, and evacuees (DPRE) returns. 
  5. As mandated in the Dayton Peace Accord, SFOR will continue to ensure a safe and secure environment in MND(N) for all citizens, especially those who wish to return to their pre-war homes. 
  6. SFOR will also continue to work with the AFBiH in accordance with the Instructions to the Parties under the DPA. This includes monitoring AFBiH training and movement in MND(N), weapons storage site inspections, continued demining efforts, and weapons collection and ordnance reporting as part of Project Harvest/spring cleaning. 
  7. SFOR maintains the capability to quickly move forces between MNDs in order to respond to any threat to a safe and secure environment. This has been demonstrated and practiced through the effectiveness of Joint Resolve. 

B. What are local authorities doing to provide a safe and secure environment?  (media posture is active) 

  1. Economic investment and recovery will not occur until local authorities enforce the laws consistently to ensure a safe and secure environment. 
  2. Corrupt and unethical leaders deny financial aid, infrastructure rebuilding, and investment opportunity to the people of BiH. Corruption and corrupt officials have diverted millions of dollars in potential economic aid meant for deserving BiH communities. 
  3. Peaceful celebration of religious and entity-specific events provides the citizens of BiH the opportunity to demonstrate their respect and tolerance for one another while showing the world the progress that has been made since the end of the war. 
  4. Our primary purpose in this task is to maintain the peace with the AFBiH by our presence, which in turn provides the foundation for civil implementation of the Dayton Peace Accord and the economic revitalization of BiH. Ultimately, however, a safe and secure environment is the responsibility of the citizens of BiH, the country’s leadership, and local police forces. 
  5. Dayton Peace Accord, Annex 11, mandates that all parties (the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Republika Srpska) shall provide a safe and secure environment for all persons in their respective jurisdictions by maintaining civilian law enforcement agencies operating within the internationally recognized standards. 
  6. Crime is a local matter. SFOR’s focus is to ensure a safe and secure environment through its presence so local authorities can conduct law enforcement. 
  7. Citizens of BiH should take personal responsibility by exercising their rights to demand that local authorities implement the necessary measures to provide a safe and secure environment, which is done by holding local authorities responsible through the democratic process. 
  8. SFOR is committed to supporting the IPTF as they perform their duties to train and monitor police in the execution of their duties. 
  9. The IPTF is scheduled to be replaced by a new European Union police force. 
  10. SFOR will continue to maintain the forces required to ensure a safe and secure environment in our area of operations, and to ensure continued progress and compliance with the Dayton Peace Accord. 

C. Cooperative efforts  (media posture is active) 

  1. SFOR works with the AFBiH and local officials in many positive ways. Examples of this work can be found in demining, spring cleaning, fall harvest, and infrastructure projects.  SFOR continuously reviews improvement projects with the AFBiH. 
  2. We are pleased with the level of AFBiH and local cooperation on all of these programs. In fact, without the hard work and professionalism of the AFBiH and local officials, these projects would not be successful. 

D. International criminal tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)  (RTQ only/media posture is passive) 

  1. The Entities have agreed to the provisions of the DPA and are responsible for ensuring that full cooperation and compliance are given to ICTY and SFOR soldiers. 
  2. SFOR has a well-defined mandate and it has not changed, but it will be interpreted as broadly as possible. This means it will use any and every opportunity, within that mandate, to bring criminals to justice. This is consistent with our past actions, which have led to the arrest and transfer of suspected war criminals to The Hague. The political will of the Allies has hardened and, therefore, suspected war criminals will have no respite. 
  3. SFOR facilitates free and unimpeded ICTY investigation teams access and movement to and from war crime scenes, investigation locations, and seizure sites. 
  4. If SFOR soldiers discover a suspected war crime scene, they will preserve the evidence and report the discovery to the ICTY as mandated in the DPA. 
  5. ICTY, not SFOR, determines the significance of war crimes evidence. 

Table of Contents | Foreword | Chap 1 | Chap 2 | Chap 3 | Chap 4 | Chap 5 | Chap 6 | Chap 7 | Chap 8 | Chap 9