Academic journal article Military Review

The Perception Management Process

Academic journal article Military Review

The Perception Management Process

Article excerpt

SINCE US ARMY Field Manual (FM) 100-6, Information Operations, has been published. much has been written and said about information operations (IO). Despite IO becoming part of the Any lexicon, much confusion remains concerning IO and its broad range of diverse disciplines and activities. Using information systems (INFOSYS). protecting INFOSYS and conducting deception all run the tO gamut. This article focuses on one aspect of ICO--methodology --and will offer prospective IO staff officers a template for planning, implementing and evaluating IO's perception management piece. Hopefully, this article will also be used by those individuals who work with IO staff officers, so they can better understand their role.

This article's foundation is based on personal observations of Task Force (TF) Eagle's IO cell in Bosnia during December 1997 and the work done by Lieutenant Colonels Garry Beavers and Stephen Shanahan of the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA).1

Perception management involves all actions that "convey and/or deny selected infonnation and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning: and to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator's objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security [OPSEC] cover and deception. and psychological operations [PSYOP]:"2

In the following scenarios, Joint Task Force (JTF Falcon has the mission to conduct peace operations in the former Soviet Republic of Iblestan. The JTF's IO staff officer, augmented with a team from the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, has developed an IO campaign plan to support the commander in chiefs (CINC's) campaign plan. To execute the IO campaign plan's objectives, a series of IO programs must be developed by the subordinate land component command (LCC). The LCC commander wants an IO plan that will support the JTF's IO campaign plan and assist him in accomplishing his mission to protect lives and property in case of riots in the multiethnic city of Tajmil. Municipal elections will be held in 90 days, and it seems likely that the losing political party will instigate riots after the election results are announced. The 60th Armor Division (AD) forming the LCC for JTF Falcon is combat ready and has enough firepower to quell any riot. However, the commander would prefer to avoid using lethal force. Thus, he wants his IO staff officer to develop and execute an IO plan that will assist his diplomatic efforts in preventing the citizens in and around Tajmil from rioting.

10 Organization

The 60th AD's IO cell consists of the division's IO officer and a three-man field support team (FST) from the LIWA. The FST provides expertise in deception and OPSEC, and it has tools for IO modeling, targeting and synchronization. Because the IO cell is small:,:anl does not possess the skills of a more robust command and control warfare (COW) element, its plans and execution strategy will be small-scale. For the division to execute a greater IO capability and achieve full integration and synchronization, the IO officer uses the Information Operations Working Group (IOWG). The IOWG's composition is mission contingent. In this scenario, it comprises representatives from the IO cell, G3 Plans, G2 Plans, Public Affairs (PA), Civil Affairs (CA), G6, PSYOP, Electronic Warfare (EW), Staff Judge Advocate, Political Adviser (POLAD), Special Operations Command and Control Element (SOCCE), Provost Marshal Office (PMO) and Counterintelligence. As facilitator, the IO officer ensures that the talents and creativity of the individual IOWG members are fully employed in achieving IO objectives. The following process provides a template for conducting IO.

10 Process

The IO process discussed herein is a 12-step method that forms a template for planning, implementing and evaluating IO. …

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