Effects Synchronization

  WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2007 – A multi-pronged approach to conflict resolution that includes military force coupled with a powerful social push is vital to winning over hearts and minds and countering insurgents’ lure, a U.S. Central Command official said today.During a news conference at the Foreign Press Club here, Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert H. Holmes, deputy director of operations for U.S. Central Command, told reporters that his command is exploring a counterinsurgency concept called “effects synchronization.”

“This is a new approach to looking at all of the national and international instruments of power that actually go beyond the military,” he said. “(They) look at the diplomatic activities, political activities, economic activities, social and cultural activities that really need to come together as we look at the particular conflict or activities we’re in.”

Holmes serves as chairman on U.S. Central Command’s effects synchronization committee. The group comprises headquarters staff members from areas that include operations, resourcing, intelligence, planning and public affairs. Other representatives hail from the departments of State, Justice and Treasury, plus the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the intelligence community.

“We sit and address the common goals and objectives for our region,” he said. “And in addition to just the kinetic, or those hardcore combat operations, … we say, ‘What do we need to do with non-kinetic operations? What might we need to do with humanitarian ops?’”

The general said military efforts that are married to those of interagency partners create a hybrid force that is more effective than if components were to operate independently. “It’s about what we as the military to do in synchronization and integrated with other elements of power,” Holmes said.

The military’s limitations and the need for additional problem-solving means are especially profound in asymmetric conflicts like Afghanistan and elsewhere, Holmes said.

“With regard to asymmetric warfare, what we’re in is, in a sense, a battle for hearts and minds, not for military objectives,” he said. “It’s about the hearts and minds of the people, not only of the Middle East, but of the world.”

Those engaged in asymmetric warfare around the globe eschew “values that are very important to peace-loving peoples of the world,” the general said.

“If these violent actors are able to pursue their vision, to pursue their end-states, then (victory) ultimately rests on being able to go after the hearts and minds of many of the world’s population,” he said.

By helping to build Afghanistan’s fledgling government, infrastructure and economy, U.S. efforts present a more promising future to Afghans than do Taliban or other extremist elements.

“What we do in Afghanistan gives a very strong signal; it communicates our intent,” Holmes said. “We don’t just come in and create a situation and then leave, but we stay. We stay there for the good of that nation, and we stay there for good of the international community.”

The American domestic target audience is part of the world population.  If there is a government agency going after our hearts and minds it’s doing a piss poor job.  A significant and powerful branch of our government would not allow it to do a good job anyway.  The solution to that problem lies outside of government.

Is IA Information Assurance or InterAgency? 

H/T:  SandRat


Filed under IA, IW

6 responses to “Effects Synchronization

  1. Quick

    Effects synchronization is nothing new really. In fact Effects based operations at Joint level have been around for along time. However it does not apply to the Army. They made it clear we don’t do EBO.

  2. EBO is an acronym unknown to this old, unpurple tanker. But old dogs CAN learn new tricks.

  3. suek


    I’d guess…

  4. victory) ultimately rests on being able to go after the hearts and minds of many of the world’s population

    This has 5GW tones.

    I expanded the concept of EBO here. Not exactly standard issue, although I addressed things found in this current post.

  5. Man, that’s some heavy-duty brain work for a Saturday night!

    Seems to me the Effect desired is to compel, persuade or trick the enemy into pursuing the course of action we desire. Many different ways to do that.

    Thanks, Curtis.

  6. compel, persuade or trick

    Generally, I think in terms of the first two when I conceive of 5GW, although trickery may play a subordinate role — subordinate to the other two. People can be compelled and persuaded through trickery; when they act, they act according to the environment they see and are persuaded by it or feel compelled to act in a given way, but a Trickster may know they are not seeing the whole picture. (What they are seeing actually exists, but their interpretations of it may be false; in which case, they are tricking themselves….)

    The term “effects-based” can be interpreted in two different but complementary ways. If we base our operation on the effects we desire, as we should, those operations are “effects-based-operations.” Alternatively, when we operate on the basis of the effects we see in the world, that would also be “effects-based-operations.” It’s OODA-esque.