Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States
The proliferation of new media has changed the way the world receives information. In military operations, information support operations play a crucial role in the outcome of a campaign by influencing public opinion. In the Syrian civil war that started in 2012, the insurgents turned to new media to influence public opinion and gain support for their cause. The insurgents information operations demonstrate how new media enables state and non-state actors to share their narrative with a worldwide audience without the need for traditional media sources. The Syrian rebels executed deliberate information support operations targeting four distinct audiences the population within Syria for moral and political support, the population in Middle East states for moral and financial support, the global Syrian diaspora for moral and financial support, and the population in the West for financial, moral and political support. Examining how the insurgents used new media to direct their messages reveals techniques that the US military must explore to enhance their information operations in the prolific new media environment.