Reference: US Military Information Operations in Afghanistan

IO Deeds of War, Monographs

U.S. Military Information Operations in Afghanistan

Effectiveness of Psychological Operations 2001-2010

The U.S. Marine Corps, which has long recognized the importance of influencing the civilian population in a counterinsurgency environment, requested an evaluation of the effectiveness of the psychological operations (PSYOP) element of U.S. military information operations in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2010 based on how well messages and themes were tailored to target audiences. This monograph responds to that request. It summarizes the diverse PSYOP initiatives undertaken, evaluates their effectiveness, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and describes the way forward, including making certain specific recommendations for improvements. Special attention is paid to how well PSYOP initiatives were tailored to target audiences, primarily the Pashtuns who are the dominant population in the conflictive areas and the main support of the Taliban insurgency. It contains reports of specific operations that were successful in achieving objectives, as well as examples of operations that did not resonate with target audiences and even some that had counterproductive effects. The biggest PSYOP successes were in face-to-face communication and the emphasis on meetings with jirgas (local councils of elders), key-leader engagements, and establishing individual relationships with members of the Afghan media. In addition, the concept of every infantryman as a PSYOP officer proved very effective. The most notable shortcoming was the inability to sufficiently counter the Taliban propaganda campaign against U.S. and coalition forces on the theme of civilian casualties, both domestically and internationally.

Key Findings


Reference Home Page

Phi Beta Iota:   RAND misses the obvious, with deliberation.  Don’t go to war for a dishonest government that lies to its own public; don’t put your troops in harm’s way on the basis of lies that cannot be sustained in the public eye.  No matter how good the Marine Corps might be at the tactical level, that cannot overcome impeachable acts of treason at the strategic level.  This is why Congress has its Article 1 responsibilities, and this is why Congress of the time (and yet today) is impeachable along with the Bush I, Bush II, and Bush III Administrations.

Reference: Open Source Agency (OSA) II

About the Idea, Articles & Chapters, Book Lists, Briefings (Core), Defense Science Board, DoD, Hill Letters & Testimony, Legislation, Memoranda, Monographs, Office of Management and Budget
Amazon Page

This book remains the single definitive reference on the Smart Nation Act as developed by Robert Steele in support of Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02).   As pointed out in Hamilton Bean’s recently published book,  No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of US Intelligence the Open Source Agency (OSA) has become the subject of competing visions–on one side, those who favor accountability, effectiveness, transparency, and respect for the public…..on the other, those who favor corruption, profitable waste, secrecy, and the exclusion of the public.

The simplified public articles are three:  1995 GIQ 13/2 Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and Information; 2002 TIME Magazine The New Craft of Intelligence and 2006 Forbes Blank Slate On Intelligence.

The back-up book, the one intended to help the Department of Defense transform itself, INFORMATION OPERATIONS: All Information, All Languages, All the Time has since been supplemented by two briefings, 2009 DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings.

Amazon Page

Most recently, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability provides the strategic, operational, tactical, and technical contexts for leveraging both Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2) in order to create a prosperous world at peace–and at one third the cost of what the USA spends on war today.

This book had two pre-cursors, 2002 THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political and 2010 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.

That book has since been supplemented by a chapter, 2010 The Ultimate Hack Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth, in the just-published book, Counterterrorism and Open Source Intelligence; and by two articles and a monograph from the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute, all three found at 2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated.

If an OSA is created–it can only be a success under diplomatic auspices as OMB has twice agreed (provided the Secretary of State asks for it as a sister agency to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), it could–it should–host the Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC) as proposed to DoD and implicitly called for in several Defense Science Board (DSB) reports.  The MDSC  could be located in Tampa, Florida, as the Coalition Coordination Centre has been, but staffed by intelligence professionals instead of logistics professionals.

Put most simply, an OSA restores intelligence and integrity to the entirety of the US Government, and changes everything about how we do policy, acquisitions, and operations.  It restores the Republic.

See Also:

Continue reading “Reference: Open Source Agency (OSA) II”

Reference: Integrity at Scale Free Online Book

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Blog Wisdom, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Culture, Research, Economics, Environment (Solutions), Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Leadership, Monographs, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Philosophy, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Click on Image to Enlarge


Recommended by Contributing Editor John Steiner

Source Home Page

Chapters with Links Below the Line

Continue reading “Reference: Integrity at Scale Free Online Book”

References on Intelligence Analysis

Analysis, Monographs
Berto Jongman Recommends...

Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations
National Research Council, 2011

Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences
National Research Council, 2011

Phi Beta Iota: There is nothing in either of these that Jack Davis, Stephen Andriole, Andy Shepard, and a whole lot of others do not already know.  Going through this stuff, one can only observe that it took them three years to get to the obvious, and that neither book addresses the fact that the US Intelligence Community remains focused on collection inputs, lacks integrity across the board, has no strategic analytic model or modern collection management plan that respects open sources in 183 languages, and relies for analytics on young people without substantive knowledge, US citizens with secret clearances two steps removed from reality, and a total ban on actually engaging with the 90-country minimum it takes to achieve M4IS2.

NRO-NGA-NSA, DIA (the dog), CIA, DNI (on top)


See Also:

Continue reading “References on Intelligence Analysis”

Reference: The Pentagon Labyrinth

6 Star Top 10%, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, DoD, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), Historic Contributions, Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Public), Justice (Failure, Reform), Media, Military, Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Monographs, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Science & Politics of Science, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Security (Including Immigration), Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle

The Pentagon Labyrinth

It is my pleasure to announce the publication of The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It. This is a short pamphlet of less than 150 pages and is available at no cost in E-Book PDF format, as well as in hard copy from links on this page as well as here and here.  Included in the menu below are download links for a wide variety of supplemental/supporting information (much previously unavailable on the web) describing how notions of combat effectiveness relate to the basic building blocks of people, ideas, and hardware/technology; the nature of strategy; and the dysfunctional character of the Pentagon’s decision making procedures and the supporting role of its  accounting shambles.

Chuck Spinney
The Blaster

This pamphlet aims to help both newcomers and seasoned observers learn how to grapple with the problems of national defense.  Intended for readers who are frustrated with the superficial nature of the debate on national security, this handbook takes advantage of the insights of ten unique professionals, each with decades of experience in the armed services, the Pentagon bureaucracy, Congress, the intelligence community, military history, journalism and other disciplines.  The short but provocative essays will help you to:

  • identify the decay – moral, mental and physical – in America’s defenses,
  • understand the various “tribes” that run bureaucratic life in the Pentagon,
  • appreciate what too many defense journalists are not doing, but should,
  • conduct first rate national security oversight instead of second rate theater,
  • separate careerists from ethical professionals in senior military and civilian ranks,
  • learn to critique strategies, distinguishing the useful from the agenda-driven,
  • recognize the pervasive influence of money in defense decision-making,
  • unravel the budget games the Pentagon and Congress love to play,
  • understand how to sort good weapons from bad – and avoid high cost failures, and
  • reform the failed defense procurement system without changing a single law.

The handbook ends with lists of contacts, readings and Web sites carefully selected to facilitate further understanding of the above, and more.

Continue reading “Reference: The Pentagon Labyrinth”

Reference: Advanced Cyber-IO (First Cut)

Advanced Cyber/IO, Computer/online security, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, DoD, Government, Military, Monographs, Officers Call, Policies, Real Time, Threats

The below was inspired by a close look at the evolving concept of cyber-commands.  In our judgment, LtGen Keith Alexander, USA and those in charge of the various service cyber-commands are headed for spectacularly expensive failure, minor operational successes not-with-standing.  The officers concerned are well-intentioned, precisely like their predecessors who chose to ignore precisely the same insights published in 1994–they simply lack the intestinal fortitude to break with the past and get it right for a change.  What they plan is the cyber equivalent of “clear, hold, build,” and just as mis-guided.  They are out of touch with reality and will remain so.  They will all be happily retired long before the predictable recognition of their failure occurs, and the next generation of young flags will make the same mistakes again…and again…until we get an honest President with an honest Office of Management and Budget (OMB) able to demand and enforce integrity across the board.

Draft Monograph on Cyber-Command

See Also:

Continue reading “Reference: Advanced Cyber-IO (First Cut)”

Reference: Self-Inflicted Wounds–Understanding Islamic Factions

Berto Jongman Recommends...

Very important CTC study on internal frictions within the Salafi movement

Very important CTC study with a number of high profile and experienced contributors. It should be read by anyone dealing with Islamist movements.  The study is a landmark endeavor–a model to be followed–and hopefully will generate additional studies.

Full Source Online (257 pages)

Phi Beta Iota: The US Military Academy (West Point) Counter-Terrorism Center is a national gem, a treasure, vastly more effective at Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in multiple languages than many of the other elements of the Department of Defense, in part because they appear to have more rigor and a broader (holistic) view instead of the standard cookie cut & paste model that passes for “analysis” elsewhere.

Also Recommended Previously by Berto Jongman:

Journal: Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists, Internal Al Qaeda Critiques

Reference: Al-Qaeda Statements Index

Reference: Towards a Curriculum for the Teaching of Jihadist Ideology

Worth a Look: Jihadis’ Path to Self-Destruction (Book)

Worth a Look: Driven to Death–Psychological Aspects of Suicide Terrorism

Reference: Internet Governance

Berto Jongman Recommends...

In this Council Special Report, Robert K. Knake briefly examines the technological decisions that have enabled both the Internet’s spectacular success and its troubling vulnerability to attack. Arguing that the United States can no longer cede the initiative on cyber issues to countries that do not share its interests, he outlines an agenda that the United States can pursue in concert with its allies on the international stage. This agenda, addressing cyber warfare, cyber crime, and state-sponsored espionage, should, he writes, be pursued through both technological and legal means. He urges first that the United States empower experts to confront the fundamental security issues at the heart of the Internet’s design. Then he sketches the legal tools necessary to address both cyber crime and state-sponsored activities, including national prohibitions of cyber crime, multilateral mechanisms to prevent and prosecute cyberattacks, and peacetime norms protecting critical civilian systems, before describing the bureaucratic reforms the United States should make to implement effectively these changes.

Report Online

Phi Beta Iota: This is an Epoch A report that is state-centric, does not demonstrate knowledge of the code-level and open-source challenges and opportunities, and lacks any sense of how a strategic analytic model with burden sharing among the varied stakeholders (e.g. eight clouds, twelve modalities) could resolve the problem at a fraction of the cost of the “traditionalist” “solutions” proposed here.  This report is about doing the wrong things righter, not about doing the right things in the first place.

Reference: Towards a Curriculum for the Teaching of Jihadist Ideology

09 Terrorism, Analysis, Monographs
Berto Jongman Recommends...

Towards a Curriculum for the Teaching of Jihadist Ideology

The Jamestown Foundation

October 27, 2010 10:00 AM

Report, Home Page By: Stephen Ulph

Source Home Page
Towards a Curriculum for the Teaching of Jihadist Ideology aims to provide an introduction to the intellectual infrastructure of the jihadist phenomenon and the process of radicalization, and to furnish materials for a textbook primer to what is still largely an ideological terra incognita for the western reader. It is designed for the use of academics, security professionals, policy-makers and the general reader alike.

– – – – – – –

[T]he work’s conclusions emphasize the need to avoid making assumptions based on old analytical habits, to study the wealth of open source information available on the ideology – which should be taken seriously and at face value – and to understand that the ‘Jihad’ is primarily a re-education endeavour and therefore very much a war of ideas. It calls for the improvement of both the quality and spectrum of research and analysis, preferably through a multi-disciplinary approach that can accommodate the return of the religious dimension to international affairs.

Four PDF Files Free at Source

Reference: Intelligence Studies at US Universities


National Security Intelligence Professional Education: A Map of U.S. Civilian University Programs

William C. Spracher

31 August 2009

Tip of the Hat to Kristan Wheaton at LinkedIn.

Phi Beta Iota: This 279 page PhD dissertation for George Washington University is free online.  The author is a graduate of the US Military Academy, Yale (MA), and US Army Command and General Staff College (MMAS).

Reference: Max Manwaring on Strategy & Insurgency



Max G. Manwaring, November 2004, Strategic Studies Institute

Phi Beta Iota: Every passing day reminds us that Dr. Col Max Manwaring has made so many extraordinary contributions to our strategic understanding across so many fronts, and yet his work does not appear to have been appreciated to the degree that we consider warranted.  Below is one small portion of his teachings from this reference.

This monograph concludes with the idea that the complex realities of contemporary political-insurgency wars must be understood as holistic processes that rely on various civilian and military agencies and contingents working together in an integrated fashion to achieve mutually agreed political-strategic ends. In this connection, at a minimum, three strategic-level imperatives are needed to begin to deal effectively with unconventional conflict situations. They are:

(1) civil-military and military-to-military dialogue regarding viable security and stability,

(2) fundamental education and understanding requirements, and

(3) the strategic application of U.S. military power.

The associated  recommendations take us beyond doing “something” for something’s sake to the cooperative, holistic, and long-term planning and implementation of the strategic ends, ways, and means that directly support the achievement of a political endgame.

Reference: Strategic Survey 2010 includes Afghanistan

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, Analysis, Monographs, Strategy, United Nations & NGOs
Berto Jongman Recommends...
Overview & Ordering Online

This year’s survey places strong emphasis on the global nature of economic and financial vulernability, and on Afghanistan.  Below is a quote in two sections  from the official press statement releasing the survey to the public.

Strategic Survey 2010 does not seek to lay out a new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan. It does however argue that for Western states to be pinned down militarily and psychologically in Afghanistan will not be in the service of their wider political and security interests. The challenge of Afghanistan must be viewed and addressed in proportion to the other threats to international security and the other requirements for foreign-policy investment. With economic, financial and diplomatic activity moving at such a pace and with such varied outcomes internationally, military operations in general have to be all the more carefully considered. Precision and adaptability will be essential watchwords. For heavy, large, military deployment, the longue durée will be seen as an attitude for other times, other centuries.

The Afghan campaign has involved not just mission creep but mission multiplication; narrowing the political-military engagement to core goals as described will allow for proper attention to be paid to other areas posing international terrorist risks, and indeed to other matters affecting international security.

See Also:

Search: Strategic Analytic Model