Equity Dilemmas for Psychological Operations and Public Information in Military Information Operations


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I gave this presentation at the 'Information and Technology: The Double Edged Sword' conference in Canberra, 19 February 2001. The presentation discusses the tensions between military information operations (with a focus on psychological operations) and public information, in the context of the evolving global media environment.

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Equity Dilemmas for Psychological Operations and Public Information in Military Information Operations

  1. 1. Equity Dilemmas for PsychologicalOperations and Public Information in Military Information Operations Captain Jeff MaloneFuture Land Warfare Branch – Army Headquarters Department of DefenceInformation and Technology: The Double Edged Sword Conference Canberra – 19 February 2001
  2. 2. This presentation is UNCLASSIFIED
  3. 3. Caveats The views contained herein are those of the author and should not be construed as representing the official position of the Department of Defence or the Australian Defence Force The presentation represents AN Australian view, not THE Australian view
  4. 4. Scope of Presentation ADF Approach to Information Operations Psychological Operations and Public Information Implications of the Information Revolution The Way Forward? Conclusion
  5. 5. ADF Approach to Information Operations
  6. 6. Information Operations The coordination of information related activities to produce a tailored effect in those factors which influence the decision making and actions of a target audience and to protect and enhance our own decision making and action capability
  7. 7. INFORMATION OPERATIONS Offensive Defensive InformationInformation Information OperationsOperations Operations Support Computer Network Attack Counterintelligence Civil Affairs Deception Electronic Protection Intelligence Support Destruction Information Assurance PUBLIC Electronic Attack OPERATIONS AFFAIRS PSYCHOLOGICAL SECURITY OPERATIONS
  8. 8. IO and Warfare Decision Superiority Knowledge EdgeOffensive Information Superiority IO C2 Structures and C2 Structures and decision processes decision processes Offensive IO Human and C4ISREW Offensive Human and C4ISREW Intellectual Capital Capabilities Intellectual Capital Capabilities IO Defensive IO Defensive IO OffensiveOffensive Offensive IO IO Our “System” Opponent “System” IO
  9. 9. Key Characteristics of Information Operations (1) IO is NOT just about computers  But computers and computer related activities ARE becoming increasingly important • Computer Network Attack (CNA) • Information Assurance (IA) • Computer Network Defence (CND)
  10. 10. Key Characteristics of Information Operations (2) IO is the INTEGRATED employment of information-related activities to achieve an effect They can be:  Offensive/Shaping or Defensive  Active or Passive  Proactive or Reactive This requires centralised COORDINATION and DECONFLICTION of activities
  11. 11. Key Characteristics of Information Operations (3) Effective IO must be a NATIONAL effort  Activities will cross departmental/agency boundaries - Whole of Government approach  Activities will cross public/private boundaries - Whole of Nation approach
  12. 12. PSYOP and Public Information - The Traditional Relationship
  13. 13. Psychological Operations “Planned psychological activities in peace and war directed to enemy, friendly and neutral audiences to order to influence attitudes and behaviour affecting the achievement of political and military objectives”
  14. 14. Public Information “Information which is released or published for the primary purpose of keeping the public fully informed, thereby gaining their understanding and support”
  15. 15. Functional and Geographical Responsibilities for PI and PSYOP Audiences within the Area of Operations Psychological Operations Public Information (Defence)International Audiences Public Information (DFAT) Australian Audiences Public Information (Defence/Government)
  16. 16. PSYOP vs Public Information Criteria PSYOP Public InformationSource Disclosure True source may not be True source must be disclosed disclosedTruthfulness May involve the use of Must not involve the use of falsehood falsehoodDissemination Disseminated method chosen Dissemination method largelyMeans by sponsor chosen by media outlet
  17. 17. Implication of the Information Revolution for PSYOP and Public Information activities
  18. 18. Outcomes of the InformationRevolution that affect PSYOP and PI Pervasiveness of the global electronic media Lack of control over communication means New methods of media dissemination Convergence of dissemination means Digital manipulation  Morphing of Digital Images  Hacking/Alteration of web pages
  19. 19. Implications for PSYOP and PI Western audiences are increasingly accessible to adversary propaganda campaigns „Softwar‟ increasingly the tool of choice for asymmetric adversaries The conduct of PSYOP and PI activities in support of military objectives by Western states is increasingly complex Convergence of media dissemination means implies convergence of PSYOP/PI with other elements of IO (in particular, IA)
  20. 20. Ways Forward?
  21. 21. Better integrate PSYOP and PI Emulate US International Public Information (IPI) concept  Standing arrangement between Whitehouse, State Department and Defense Department  Detailed in PDD-68 dated early 1999  Coordinates dissemination of external messages and counter-propaganda activities  Problem: where does coordination stop and spin-doctoring begin? Currently under consideration
  22. 22. Better Integrate PSYOP/PI with Other IO Activities Need a national approach to IO Would integrate IPI type activities with other national IO activities  Particularly IA and defence of the NII  Requires standing arrangements that cross current portfolio/agency boundaries  Implies a need for adjustment in Australian national security arrangements Currently under consideration
  23. 23. Conclusion
  24. 24. Conclusion Information Revolution has potential to greatly enhance the effect of PSYOP and PI activities, but… Makes the conduct of PSYOP/PI more challenging Has increased the vulnerability of Western audiences and states to external influence Difficulties can be addressed, but will require adjustments to Australian national security architecture
  25. 25. Questions?