Accession Number:

ADA393976

Title:

Serbian Information Operations During Operation Allied Force

Descriptive Note:

Research rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2000-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

44.0

Abstract:

This research paper examines Serbian information operations IO during Operation ALLIED FORCE, its impact on domestic and international public opinion, and NATO force employment strategy. It also provides recommendations on planning and executing information operations for future conflicts. Due to limited availability of unclassified information and my desire to keep this paper unclassified, the primary focus of this paper is on Serbias control and use of the broadcast media, newspapers and the Internet as offensive and defensive IO weapons. Using current U.S. information operations doctrine as a common analytical framework, it first examines the various informational instruments of power used by the Milosevic regime. It then analyzes how Serbia used control of the domestic media and an experienced propaganda machine to gain and maintain support within Serbia and negate NATO messages concerning atrocities committed by the Kosovar Albanians. Next, the paper discusses how Milosevic used these same propaganda tools, along with manipulation of foreign media covering the war from Belgrade, to influence international public opinion in an effort to exploit existing fissures within the alliance and to affect its strategy. Additionally, it analyzes how Serbia used the Internet to promulgate its propaganda message and to conduct primitive information attacks against NATO information systems. Based on this analysis of Serbias IO effort, the paper concludes by offering recommendations that, if implemented, could prevent a future enemy from using these IO instruments against the U.S. or a U.S.-led coalition. It specifically addresses the need to develop a comprehensive IO plan and integrate it into the Joint Force Commanders overall campaign strategy before hostilities commence. It identifies the need for a more prepared, responsive and credible public affairs team capable of quickly countering enemy propaganda.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE