Understanding Commanders' Information Needs for Influence Operations
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA
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There is growing recognition within the Army and joint world that recent U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan--including information operations IO and influence operations--have turned in large measure on an understanding of cultural and other soft factors. However, along with this recognition of the importance of these factors have come many questions, including How do commanders view their requirements for cultural preparation of the environment How can these sorts of factors be considered more systematically in planning and conducting operations The objective of our study was to help improve the effectiveness of combined arms and joint operations by characterizing commanders requirements for information on cultural and other soft factors, and by developing practical ways for commanders to integrate influence activities into combined arms planning and assessment. The research entailed structured conversations with commanders and their staffs, a review of senior commanders and other writings on IO and influence operations, an analysis of task lists, and an assessment of relevant data from the 1st Information Operations Command and the National Training Center.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics