Synchronizing Information Operations and Public Affairs in a Counterinsurgency: Using Information to Shape the Operational Environment
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Information plays a significant role in a counterinsurgency. Gaining the support of the population is critical to winning against a competing and often persuasive insurgent narrative. In order to be successful, commanders must be proficient in using information to shape the operational environment. An assessment of current IO and PA doctrine and the emerging concept of strategic communication illustrate the lack of guidance on how to properly integrate and synchronize these capabilities in a counterinsurgency. This paper expounds on the recommendation to establish a Joint Information Review Board JIRB at the joint-force level in order to effectively govern the integration and synchronization of IO and PA. It explains how the JIRB formally facilitates integration and synchronization of information into the staff battle rhythm without compromising DOD policies, directives or doctrine. Finally, the paper draws conclusions from real-world examples along four counterinsurgency lines of operation that illustrate how the integrated and synchronized use of information improves the commanders ability to shape the operational environment.
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