Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade: Work Example
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
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The U.S. Department of Defense DoD spends more than 250 million per year on information operations IO and information-related capabilities for influence efforts at the strategic and operational levels. How effective are those efforts Are they well executed How well do they support military objectives Are they efficient cost-effective Are some efforts better than others in terms of execution, effectiveness, or efficiency Unfortunately, generating assessments of efforts to inform, influence, and persuade IIP has proved to be challenging across the government, including DoD. Challenges include difficulties associated with observing changes in behavior and attitudes, lengthy timelines to achieve impact, causal ambiguity, and struggles to present results in ways that are useful to stakeholders and decision makers. Previous RAND research, published in handbook and desk reference formats, distilled and synthesized insights and advice for improving the assessment of DoD IIP efforts and programs, drawing on a comprehensive literature review and more than 100 interviews with subject-matter experts. This report expands on those previous publications by providing a worked example an extended, concrete discussion of planning for IIP assessment in the context of a realistic military operation. It complements those earlier reports ideally, the reader has read the handbook or will read it in parallel with this report and will refer to the desk reference for detailed explanations of the principles, concepts, and terms illustrated here. To increase the accessibility of this work and provide a more immersive experience for the reader, the example is presented as input to the assessment planning activities of a fictitious narrator, MAJ John Fnorky, the J39 IO officer on an equally fictitious joint task force conducting the fictitious Operation Gathered Resolve in the fictitious country of Takanwei.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Government and Political Science