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Thread: Influencing and Information Operations

  1. #21
    Council Member Hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default In Re to myself

    That was tortuous and incomprehensible...

    WILF I think as usual we agree...

    Terms mean something and in that regard the US ARMY, and those we touch have been less than disciplined...

    but...

    If those who are paid to help the commander think, through both the current and future fight, if they aren't considering the info content of their operations... words, images and actions.... they aren't doing their job and they don't need an "Info Specialist"... they just need a new job
    Hacksaw
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  2. #22
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post

    If those who are paid to help the commander think, through both the current and future fight, if they aren't considering the info content of their operations... words, images and actions.... they aren't doing their job and they don't need an "Info Specialist"... they just need a new job
    Yes!!! I am still thinking through Wilf's points, but I am in violent agreement with the above!

    IMHO COIN is more complex then conventional operations only because from a military perspective the military is doing more of what other government departments / NGOs / other governments should be doing in conventional warfare.

    In COIN we may or may not be dealing more with the Influence side - which should be done by the indigenous government (but if it was doing things right we probably wouldn't be in a COIN scenario in the first case...) Having got sucked into the Influence Activities we have specialised it, instead of subsuming it into generic G3/5/7 activities. The result? A blossoming cadre of specialists and an increasingly esoteric lexicon of terms; the one generating the other!

    That is not to say that I do not think that Influence Activities are not practical, effective and necessary, I just think we have lost sight of the woods for trees
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  3. #23
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    IMHO COIN is more complex then conventional operations only because from a military perspective the military is doing more of what other government departments / NGOs / other governments should be doing in conventional warfare.
    Complex or just different? In Irregular warfare it is usually harder to physically find, fix, strike, and exploit the enemy. It is also harder to match your policy with your actions, because the enemy is within or close to the population. Agreed.

    Now does any of that make it "complex." I agree that linking policy with tactics and strategy may be difficult - but that is why I focus on the enemy and not "armed social work."
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  4. #24
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Default Degrees of Difficulty

    More difficult quite probably, but more complex I do not think so. Essentially we are doing the same thing in conventional warfare as we are in COIN except with emphasis on different parts of the system.

    Digressing slightly, but on the difficulty side; I wonder if we put two evenly matched opponents (in terms of military capability) against each other whether thay would find conventional ops any more difficult then COIN ops? Of the 'find, fix, strike and exploit' elements; in COIN none of them leap out as any more difficult to do then in conventional ops, less I think 'exploit'.

    With COIN the insurgent has an assymetric advantage in 'find, fix, strike., exploit' but we tend to regard conventional ops as easier because historically in the mid-late 20th century we've had the advantage in 'find - strike'.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  5. #25
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    More difficult quite probably, but more complex I do not think so. Essentially we are doing the same thing in conventional warfare as we are in COIN except with emphasis on different parts of the system.
    Hurrah!! My work here is done... Wilf to Mother Ship, smoke out!
    Digressing slightly, but on the difficulty side; I wonder if we put two evenly matched opponents (in terms of military capability) against each other whether thay would find conventional ops any more difficult then COIN ops? Of the 'find, fix, strike and exploit' elements; in COIN none of them leap out as any more difficult to do then in conventional ops, less I think 'exploit'.
    Well that's the Wargame Model, where the winner simply destroys more of the fielded force. It's excellent for teaching tactics, if the loss-exchange ratio is factored in. - but the contest is made simple by understanding that the enemy is exactly like you. Why not make them both Irregular Forces? As in UVF v PIRA? or Northern Alliance v Taliban?
    With COIN the insurgent has an assymetric advantage in 'find, fix, strike., exploit' but we tend to regard conventional ops as easier because historically in the mid-late 20th century we've had the advantage in 'find - strike'.
    I'm not sure the British in Normandy or Korea would have viewed life as easy.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default If I may digress a little...

    ... I have always thought that the Political Warfare Executive had it down pretty much pat with regards to the definition, uses and effects desired from Political Warfare/IO. The way I see it we have, with our stylish terminology, methodological fuzziness and cultural relativism (which defangs our messaage in favour of watering it down to prevent the yokels from being offended and thereby end up with wishy washy programmes that the wily village types can see through/or goes over their heads), lost the plot slightly.

    The attitude to the enemy and to his subject peoples is belligerent; the attitude to friendly and still independant peoples is persuasive. One is disruptive behind the lines of the enemy; the other is concilliatory in the councils of our freinds. One requires the mentality and techniques of subversion; the other, in open relationship, means frankness and information. The one seeks to destroy the confidence of the enemy; the other seeks to win the confidence of friends.
    (vii) To clarify this distinction, it is necessary to define (a) Publicity, (b) Propaganda, (c) Political Warfare.
    (a) Publicity- Publicity is the straightforward projection of a case; it is the build-up of a picture in the mind of the audience which will win their confidence and support. It is information which we want them to have, but also information they they want to have. It seeks to create the right impression and to remove the wrond impression. Its object is mutual goodwill. It is the presentation of the evidence, leaving the judgement to the audience. It is succinctly, as the Americans expressed it in their original information organisation; "Facts" and "Figures".

    (b) Propaganda- Propaganda on the other hand, is the deliberate direction, or even manipulation of information to secure a definate objective. It is an attempt to direct the thinking of the recipient, without his conscious collaboration, into predetermined channels. It is the conditioning of the recipient by devious methods with an ulterior motive. Propaganda emphasises those facts which best serve its purpose. It creates the atmosphere in which the audience is most susceptible to suggestion. By power of suggestion, which in favourable circumstances becomes instruction, it secures positive action.

    (c) Political Warfare- Political Warfare employs both publicity and propaganda. That is to say, it can and must be as objective as possible in its projection of the British or Allied case. It, too, has to seek the goodwill of those in the enemy and enemy-occupied countries who are already sympathetics to that case. It has to demonstarte and not merely claim the certainty of victory. It has to show by force of example that we have something better to offer than the Nazis.
    [...]
    Political Warfare could be described as "Propaganda in Battledress" in the sense that it has to convert propaganda into a striking force and to ensure that, at the right moment and under proper discipline, ideas and emotions are translated into action. It must, psychologically, disarm the enemy. It must instil in the hidden armies behind the Axis lines not only the spirit of resistance to the enemy, but the will to strike down that enemy. (pp.3-5)

  7. #27
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post

    I'm not sure the British in Normandy or Korea would have viewed life as easy.
    Not easy but probably more straightforward.

    I am struck by Tukhackevskii's contribution. In 1942 we produce a masterpiece of brevity and clarity in the dark arts, but let no-one read it.

    Today we produce tomes of the stuff, distribute liberally but no-one can understand it! When it comes to doctrine and influence I think we may have 'blue on blue'd'
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  8. #28
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post

    Today we produce tomes of the stuff, distribute liberally but no-one can understand it! When it comes to doctrine and influence I think we may have 'blue on blue'd'
    I hear you! I think we could save a lot of drama by burning down DCDC for a start.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    More difficult quite probably, but more complex I do not think so. Essentially we are doing the same thing in conventional warfare as we are in COIN except with emphasis on different parts of the system.
    I'm not sure even that distinction is meaningful, let alone real. Sure, there's this very lengthy framework with lots of new diagrams purporting to be models, but application devolves into applying scheme and or mass "as the situation requires" (in view of the planner and his commander), which is essentially what happens in conventional formations today and in...well...pretty much every other formation in the past. More concretely, what passes for models connecting to COIN principles uniquely to disposition and equipment of the army, her movement, and rules of engagement also appear to be ad hoc. Consequently, there's no way to tell simply based on principle or resultant model whether any of this stuff actually works, let alone draw boundaries between COIN and non-COIN types of operations.

    Digressing slightly, but on the difficulty side; I wonder if we put two evenly matched opponents (in terms of military capability) against each other whether thay would find conventional ops any more difficult then COIN ops? Of the 'find, fix, strike and exploit' elements; in COIN none of them leap out as any more difficult to do then in conventional ops, less I think 'exploit'.

    With COIN the insurgent has an assymetric advantage in 'find, fix, strike., exploit' but we tend to regard conventional ops as easier because historically in the mid-late 20th century we've had the advantage in 'find - strike'.
    How does a military's advantage in intelligence and firepower confer an inherent advantage to insurgents in fixing and scheming?
    PH Cannady
    Correlate Systems

  10. #30
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
    I'm not sure even that distinction is meaningful, let alone real. Sure, there's this very lengthy framework with lots of new diagrams purporting to be models, but application devolves into applying scheme and or mass "as the situation requires" (in view of the planner and his commander), which is essentially what happens in conventional formations today and in...well...pretty much every other formation in the past.
    I think that we are agreeing here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
    More concretely, what passes for models connecting to COIN principles uniquely to disposition and equipment of the army, her movement, and rules of engagement also appear to be ad hoc. Consequently, there's no way to tell simply based on principle or resultant model whether any of this stuff actually works, let alone draw boundaries between COIN and non-COIN types of operations.
    Hmm, two points:

    • Does it work? There have been successful COIN campaigns so COIN does work. Why the successful campaigns were successful is often a matter of debate, take the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of the campaign in Iraq and what role the Surge played. The current US narrative is very different from the Iraqi narrative and the truth is that success was down to a combination of factors and probably no single factor. Does the current system in AFG work - not sure yet! How can we measure success? Even less clear!
    • Is there a boundary between COIN and non-COIN?
      IMHO there is not a clear distinction between COIN and non-COIN, it is on a sliding (and blurred) scale of warfare. For an army conducting operations however there are major differences in how it organises, trains and operates between COIN and major combat operations (combined arms manoeuvre ops at bde level and above).


    Quote Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
    How does a military's advantage in intelligence and firepower confer an inherent advantage to insurgents in fixing and scheming?
    I think an army has an advantage in firepower, not necessarily in intelligence, and certainly not in the early stages of a campaign and not in foreign cultures. One of the fundamental problems of COIN is that armed forces often find it difficult to bring their advantages in firepower and tactical mobility to bear effectively, normally because they lack the intelligence to do so. Plus an army's hierarchical command structure, under civilian control is normally slower and less responsive then an insurgent's structure.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  11. #31
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    [LIST][*]Does it work? There have been successful COIN campaigns so COIN does work.
    Exactly! Rebel Groups collapsed once they faced a military and police force who could present a real existential threat to the groups themselves. That means killing capture and coercion. It is that simple.
    Defeating Rebels requires the conduct of warfare against them.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  12. #32
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    I am inclined to agree with Wilf on this.

    Civil Government deals with the root causes of an insurgency, the politics, grievances, governance, resource issues et al.

    The security forces deal with the symptoms of insurgency - the armed groups.

    Both must happen in concert and neither by itself will be successful in the long term.

    The problem we have at the moment is that the inability of the wider government to deal with the wider issues has lead to the military taking more of a role in these, which has diffused military effort and clouded (not to say confused) military thinking.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  13. #33
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Yes.

    ...................

  14. #34
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Information Operations Europe Conference 2010

    Maybe of interest, this is an annual commercial conference in London and there are number of downloads. The podcasts require registration. Many good points made by Simon Bergman in his podcast.

    Link:http://www.info-opseurope.com/Event.aspx?id=293652
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    I am inclined to agree with Wilf on this.

    Civil Government deals with the root causes of an insurgency, the politics, grievances, governance, resource issues et al.

    The security forces deal with the symptoms of insurgency - the armed groups.

    Both must happen in concert and neither by itself will be successful in the long term.

    The problem we have at the moment is that the inability of the wider government to deal with the wider issues has lead to the military taking more of a role in these, which has diffused military effort and clouded (not to say confused) military thinking.
    Yes, and at the central level the input of the various players is managed.

    For your key military units they need to kill and kill effectively with perhaps some "rules" as to how civilians are dealt with.

    Then you have the "civil ops" people who do their bit, maybe not even armed.

    As I have said before I see no need for using your elite units to hand out sweeties and footballs.

  16. #36
    Registered User RobSentse's Avatar
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    Default Influence has become the ‘must have’ accessory for the battlefield.

    Think at how difficult it is to influence, say, your teenage kids, into a particular course of action. You know them. They have grown up in your house.
    You know the groups they belong to, their interests, their likes and dislikes. Yet as every parent knows influencing a 16 year old into a particular course of action can be difficult.

    Now apply this thinking to any person whom you do not know, who has grown up in a completely different culture with different values and beliefs anchored in a wholly different world from our own.

    How do you want to influence them?

    http://www.da.mod.uk/colleges/arag/d...s_Web.pdf/view

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    Last edited by RobSentse; 01-01-2011 at 06:34 PM.

  17. #37
    Registered User RobSentse's Avatar
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    Default Influencing behavior

    Know the human environment as operations are predominantly conducted in urbanized terrain.
    Understanding the environment is fundamental in either conducting operations and analyzing any threat.

    Current and future operations is like Microsoft fighting Google: You do not fight the competition; you fight for the approval of the client.
    So, you fight fair, your competition fights 'unfair' and uses 'dirty' tricks Be aware that your clients can also be your supplier, but also your competitor.
    After all, your competitor of yesterday, could be your client of tomorrow.

    It is possible to get in control by providing superior service, products, marketing (presence, posture, profile) at a reasonable cost anytime, all the time.
    For that it is important not to force your client. Instead of that, persuade him, influence his perception, give him choices. In order to not let your competitor define your actions you have to maintain the initiative and get his best people to join you.
    The challenge is to give the market confirmation, via their own opinion leaders, that his choice is right/wrong (peer pressure!).

    So, be present in the market all the time, everywhere.
    Understand your clients and synchronize your strategy accordingly.
    Avoid misinterpretation and not changing fast enough because otherwise you will lose your best people to your competition.

    Do not think that you have to defeat an opponent to "win" (which is quite un-military).

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    Last edited by RobSentse; 01-01-2011 at 06:34 PM.

  18. #38
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobSentse View Post

    Current and future operations is like Microsoft fighting Google: You do not fight the competition; you fight for the approval of the client.
    That is dangerous rubbish. Current and future conflict is and will always be about killing for political purpose. Breaking of will is what wins the military competition and thus is most likely to deliver an opposed political objective.
    For that it is important not to force your client. Instead of that, persuade him, influence his perception, give him choices. In order to not let your competitor define your actions you have to maintain the initiative and get his best people to join you.
    Again, rubbish. You break his will. the enemy's armed faction is not a client. It's an opponent.
    Do not think that you have to defeat an opponent to "win" (which is quite un-military).
    Yes you do. If you are not fighting then you are just doing politics. No fighting, no armies. Normal political discourse.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  19. #39
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobSentse View Post
    Know the human environment as operations are predominantly conducted in urbanized terrain.
    Understanding the environment is fundamental in either conducting operations and analyzing any threat.

    Current and future operations is like Microsoft fighting Google: You do not fight the competition; you fight for the approval of the client.
    So, you fight fair, your competition fights 'unfair' and uses 'dirty' tricks Be aware that your clients can also be your supplier, but also your competitor.
    After all, your competitor of yesterday, could be your client of tomorrow.

    It is possible to get in control by providing superior service, products, marketing (presence, posture, profile) at a reasonable cost anytime, all the time.
    For that it is important not to force your client. Instead of that, persuade him, influence his perception, give him choices. In order to not let your competitor define your actions you have to maintain the initiative and get his best people to join you.
    The challenge is to give the market confirmation, via their own opinion leaders, that his choice is right/wrong (peer pressure!).

    So, be present in the market all the time, everywhere.
    Understand your clients and synchronize your strategy accordingly.
    Avoid misinterpretation and not changing fast enough because otherwise you will lose your best people to your competition.

    Do not think that you have to defeat an opponent to "win" (which is quite un-military).

    www.linkedin.com
    www.scribd.com/amniat
    Been thinking about your comparison of war and business models and I am not convinced yet, but what you say is interesting. Could you go into more detail?

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