People’s Information Support Team

A People’s Information Support Team is a Civilian Irregular Information volunteer auxiliary on-line working group collaborating on electronic media engagement of oppositional, neutral and friendly blogs, forums, discussion groups and websites.  Irregulars have no official Table of Organization and Equipment and are under no obligation to follow doctrine, but this particular PIST  is a five-person element composed of a PSYOP officer Team Chief,  a noncommissioned officer Assistant Team Chief, two PSYOP specialists Civilian Irregular Counterpropagandists with photography, videography, journalism or editing skills; and an analyst with linguistic and area studies specialties.

Capabilities to be developed:

Disseminate selected  public information to target audiences.




Counter enemy propaganda.

YouTube Smackdown

Counter enemy Morale Operations

Attack anti-military arguments
Publicize heroes
Resist infantalization, victimization, marginalization and slander of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen

Engage Hostile Media

Relentless, destructive critique of MSM persons and publications
Expose media bias
Resurrect buried stories
Force corrections





The ultimate objective of PIST is to convince domestic audiences to take actions contributing to the defeat of Islamofascist terrorists and their supporters. PIST should promote resistance within the  domestic civilian populace against  hostile ideology or  enhance the image and legitimacy of  friendly ideologies.

Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency

p. 12 The most common evolutionary path for 21st century organizations—be they corporations, political organizations, or something else—is to become less rigidly hierarchical, taking the form of decentralized networks or webs of nodes (which may themselves be hierarchical).   Such organizations are most effective in a rapidly changing, information saturated environment.20   Insurgent movements organized as “flat” networks or semi-networks are more flexible and adaptable than rigidly hierarchical ones. Resources, information, and decisionmaking authority are diffused.   Such organizations are effective in
environments where rapid adaptation is an advantage.  In the contemporary era, polyglot organizations which combine a centralized, hierarchical dimension (which gives them task effectiveness) and a decentralized, networked dimension (which gives them flexibility and adaptability) can maximize mission effectiveness.

p.28-29 One other type of militia merits consideration. Some analysts contend that the Internet has made “virtual” militias (and insurgencies) possible and potentially dangerous.66 That runs counter to the definition of militias used here since “virtual” militias do not control territory or assume state functions. Perhaps, though, virtual militias and insurgents should be considered a separate category.   Interestingly, just as the emergence of “real” insurgents sometimes spawn the creation of counterinsurgent militias, the emergence of “virtual” insurgents has led to the formation of virtual counterinsurgent vigilantes. One example is the “Internet Haganah,” part of a network of private anti-terrorist web monitoring services, which collects information on extremist websites, passes this on to state intelligence services, and attempts to convince Internet service providers not to host radical sites.67   The logic is that it takes a network to counter a network.   As insurgents and terrorists become more networked and more “virtual,” states, with their inherently bureaucratic procedures and hierarchical organizations, will be ineffective. Vigilantes, without such constraints, may be.


Filed under Electronic Counter Media, Idea War, Info Warriors, Pamphleteers, PSYOP Auxiliaries

11 responses to “People’s Information Support Team

  1. Tom Burdick

    Some of the current thought about jihadist self orgnaization is dangerously flawed. Their strength is that they organize fighting cells around tasks, not hierarchy. Task is done, so is the chain of command which reforms itself around the next task.
    It is tasking that is the key to identifying movement. They are not logistically dependent and most of their leadership could care less about strategy. Tactics and leadership flow from tasks. Much of our tactics are reactive because of this doctrinaire attitude.
    If we want to degrade them sooner we have to be more proactive. There are no more rear areas. War is on our screens and keyboards for all irregulars, vigilantes, patriots….

  2. “No one is going to help us. We’ve got to do it ourselves.”

    We are all potential soldiers. And we all may be, at any moment, at the war’s front, because in this war the front can be anywhere.

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  5. Cool concept! I understood the possibility of something like this, but hadn’t seen it in practice … guess I’m a bit behind the times.
    I’m currently a student at Air Command and Staff College and am working on a project about Soldiers use of “new media”. If we could encourage more Soldiers to engage with these tools (blogs seem the most obvious) they could arm you with even more information to fight the counter information fight. Cannoneer No 4 has already weighed in – thanks, by the way – and I welcome comments and ideas from anyone else.
    Keep up the great work – lots of good info and commentary on your site.

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  7. In case my scores, the lines through words I had when I posted this 18 months ago have disappeared again, let me clarify:

    a five-person element composed of a (PSYOP officer) Team Chief, a (noncommissioned officer) Assistant Team Chief, two (PSYOP specialists) Civilian Irregular Counterpropagandists with photography, videography, journalism or editing skills; and an analyst with linguistic and area studies specialties.

    What are now in parenthesis were intended to be lined through.

    No overt participation of serving US Army Psychological Operations personnel in PIST.

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