Reuters Perception Management Anonymously-Sourced Hit Piece

Press and “Psy Ops” to merge at NATO Afghan HQ: sources

By Jon Hemming

November 29, 2008  KABUL (Reuters) – The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with “Psy Ops,” which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance’s policy, three officials said.  (What would the names of these three officals be?)

The move has worried Washington’s European NATO allies — Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan — and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.  (Who are these officials?)

Seven years into the war against the Taliban, insurgent influence is spreading closer to the capital and Afghans are becoming increasingly disenchanted at the presence of some 65,000 foreign troops and the government of President Hamid Karzai.  (When were they ever enchanted?)

Taliban militants, through their website, telephone text messages and frequent calls to reporters, are also gaining ground in the information war, analysts say.  (They don’t have to tell the truth, and they have all the foreign journalists on speed dial.)

U.S. General David McKiernan, the commander of 50,000 troops from more than 40 nations in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), ordered the combination of the Public Affairs Office (PAO), Information Operations and Psy Ops (Psychological Operations) from December 1, said a NATO official with detailed knowledge of the move.

“This will totally undermine the credibility of the information released to the press and the public,” said the official, who declined to be named.

ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Richard Blanchette said McKiernan had issued a staff order to implement a command restructure from December 1 which was being reviewed by NATO headquarters in Brussels, but he declined to go into details of the reorganization.

“This is very much an internal matter,” he said. “This is up with higher headquarters right now and we’re waiting to get the basic approval. Once we have the approval we will be going into implementation.”

But another ISAF official confirmed that the amalgamation of public affairs with Information Operations and Psy Ops was part of the planned command restructure. This official, who also declined to be named, said the merger had caused considerable concern at higher levels within NATO which had challenged the order by the U.S. general.

“DECEPTION ACTIVITIES”

NATO policy recognizes there is an inherent clash of interests between its public affairs offices, whose job it is to issue press releases and answer media questions, and that of Information Operations and Psy Ops.

Information Operations advises on information designed to affect the will of the enemy, while Psy Ops includes so-called “black operations,” or outright deception.

While Public Affairs and Information Operations, PA and Info Ops in military jargon, “are separate, but related functions,” according to the official NATO policy document on public affairs, “PA is not an Info Ops discipline.”

The new combined ISAF department will come under the command of an American one-star general reporting directly to McKiernan, an arrangement that is also against NATO policy, the NATO official said.

“While coordination is essential, the lines of authority will remain separate, the PA reporting directly to the commander. This is to maintain credibility of PA and to avoid creating a media or public perception that PA activities are coordinated by, or are directed by, Info Ops,” the NATO policy document says.

“PA will have no role in planning or executing Info Ops, Psy Ops, or deception activities,” it states.

The United States has 35,000 of the 65,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, operating both under ISAF and a separate U.S.-led coalition operation, but both come under McKiernan’s command.

Washington is already scheduled to send another 3,000 troops to arrive in the country in January and is now considering sending 20,000 more troops in the next 12 to 18 months, further tipping the numerical balance among ISAF forces.

“What we are seeing is a gradual increase of American influence in all areas of the war,” the NATO official said. “Seeking to gain total control of the information flow from the campaign is just part of that.”

Sounds to me like three fairly senior NATO Public Relations flacks and/or Information Operators found a willing tool in Hemming. Hemming doesn’t appear to know that IO includes both PSYOP and MILDEC, along with EW, OPSEC and CNO. This is classic. Three Euroweenie staff pukes want to undermine the American general, so they enlist al-Reuters for their own little influence operation.

UPDATE 2008031432: NATO scraps press and psy ops merger in Afghanistan

Whining like a bitch works!

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11 Comments

Filed under Old Media, PSYOP, The Forgotten War

11 responses to “Reuters Perception Management Anonymously-Sourced Hit Piece

  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Welcome, Sue.

    Just when I seriously consider pulling the plug, somebody encourages me.

    Have you been lurking long?

    Now that you’ve joined the commentariat around here, don’t be bashful.

  3. Grimmy

    Umm… Cannoneer:

    In ref to pulling the plug, please review General Order #5.

    “To quit my post only when properly relieved.”

    You are a rather unique resource, so please don’t give up.

  4. I don’t now if I’m all that unique.

    I don’t know what’s next for the Counter Insurgent Supportive blogosphere. SECDEF Gates will be working for The Messiah and so will General Jones. The media is still in the tank for him, and he is NOT excruciatingly inarticulate. He doesn’t need any friendly milblogs, and I’m not inclined to be friendly.

    I could continue to collect links and commentary on IO, Morale Operations, Culture War, Afghanistan, Irregular Warfare, but my enthusiasm is waning.

    The Resistance will have to migrate from blogs to more secure networks beyond my technical proficiency to set up and run.

  5. Ymarsakar

    The U.S. commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan has scrapped a plan to merge the office that releases news with “Psy Ops,” which deals with propaganda, to comply with alliance policy, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

    To Hell with NATO.

    He doesn’t need any friendly milblogs, and I’m not inclined to be friendly.

    There’s not too large a diff between counter-insurgency and insurgency ; )

    The Resistance will have to migrate from blogs to more secure networks beyond my technical proficiency to set up and run.

    Part of it has to go active. Firearms training, hand to hand training, education in propaganda, psychological warfare, and deception operations in order to harden the American people to actual manipulations of politicians and terrorists (I say begin at age six).

  6. Ymarsakar

    The Resistance will have to migrate from blogs to more secure networks beyond my technical proficiency to set up and run.

    I think it may be more effective to co-opt existing organizations. Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, and et all can produce, not organization, but exposure.

    For the people that look at Mumbai and their only option is to rely upon the government, we must provide them an alternative and better choice. But for them to know of this choice and to adopt it, they must first hear about it.

  7. Ymarsakar

    Concerning the NRA, they seem to be perceived as a special interest that goes around touting rifles as a sports thing. Whereas I’m more interested in violence, H2H, and firearms training as a tool to kill criminals and enemies.

    I dare say that many inner city families may become interested in it as well if they were ever given the opportunity and the background support.

    Half of our problem right now is that inner cities are crime ridden, infested with the same people who run NATO and the Democrat party, and filled to over capacity with a population that votes Democrat according to the party line.

    If people aren’t offered an “out” when terrorism and Mexican nationals start cooking up shoot outs in the US, those people are going to go look for the government, which will offer them an out. Just like the Japanese paid the ransom to the Somali pirates because the US didn’t offer them a feasible alternative to get back their ship and their Indian crew.

  8. There is a huge difference between Counter-Insurgents and Insurgents, ymar. Insurgents get to lie their asses off all the time, cheat, steal, terrorize, blackmail, and be evil.

    As far as going active, are you familiar with the Appleseed Project?

    Killing criminals? How insensitive of you. Citizens can’t be allowed to determine whether their rape or robbery is unjust, without the facts about the root cause of action. Patriotic citizens will allow the perpetrator to commit the crime and contemplate his/her actions, waiting for law enforcement to investigate, arrest and present the accused before a system that can fully measure the impact of the accused’s childhood, socio-economic background, race and other sources of oppression.

    Many inner city “families” feel that what the white bourgeoisie considers “crime” is actually a righteous response to societal oppression and economic disparity.

  9. Insurgents get to lie their asses off all the time, cheat, steal, terrorize, blackmail, and be evil.

    That’s only true because of the political template. In a fire fight, that tends to go out the window.

    As far as going active, are you familiar with the Appleseed Project?

    I believe I’ve seen it mentioned on this blog before, since I recognize the site.

    http://www.targetfocustraining.com/blog/2008/10/slap-clown-everyone-has-good-laugh.html

    I’m mostly focusing on TFT. Several useful components include OODA (although they don’t use that wording but you know it is the same thing), hand to firearm dynamics, interconnection between bullets and open handed strikes, and a lot of psychological preparation.

    The training methodology takes out speed while retaining follow through, targeting, and train as you fight principles.

    The primary disadvantage to all melee or open handed methodologies is range. Firearm has range on you. The same goes for a pistol vs rifle. Whenever somebody’s range is longer than yours, you must cover the distance between you and the target as fast as you can if you want certain kills and not just fire at them while they kill you.

    However, once you have closed that range to about 1/2 feet to 3 feet, now the guy with the firearm has the disadvantage. That’s why people talk about using firearms as clubs, bayonets, or so forth. Firearms are not as effective within a certain range.

  10. Many inner city “families” feel that what the white bourgeoisie considers “crime” is actually a righteous response to societal oppression and economic disparity.

    Those inner city families that have taken losses due to gangs are like the Sunnis once AQ started blowing folks up. They can be recruited for our side because we can offer them more protection than the local government, the criminals, or the feds can.

  11. We can? Who is “we,” kemosabe?