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Understanding Commanders' Information Needs for Influence Operations

Understanding Commanders' Information Needs for Influence Operations

Eric V. Larson
Richard E. Darilek
Dalia Dassa Kaye
Forrest E. Morgan
Brian Nichiporuk
Diana Dunham-Scott
Cathryn Quantic Thurston
Kristin J. Leuschner
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 164
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Understanding Commanders' Information Needs for Influence Operations
    Book Description:

    Documents a study whose goals were to develop an understanding of commanders' information requirements for cultural and other "soft" factors in order to improve the effectiveness of combined arms operations, and to develop practical ways for commanders to integrate information and influence operations activities into combined arms planning/assessment in order to increase the usefulness to ground commanders of such operations.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4936-0
    Subjects: Technology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The U.S. Army and joint world is increasingly recognizing that recent U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan—including information and influence operations—have turned in large measure on an understanding of cultural and other “soft” factors. And along with this recognition have come many questions about these factors and their role in military operations. How do commanders view their requirements for “cultural preparation of the environment”? How can these sorts of factors be considered more systematically in planning and conducting operations? How can influence operations become a more integrated part of the combined arms team? How can they be...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Commanders’ Information Needs for Influence Operations
    (pp. 7-40)

    In this chapter, we report the key findings from our efforts to understand the information needs of commanders for information and influence operations in stability operations. We pursued a number of interlocking lines of inquiry, including interviews with commanders, a review of commanders’ own writings on IO and influence operations, a case study analysis of recent U.S. operational experience with influence operations, an examination of information needs identified by brigade commanders and their staffs during recent rotations at the NTC, a review of requests for information to the 1st IOC, observations from the UQ 06 exercise, and a review of...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Sources of Commanders’ Information Needs
    (pp. 41-56)

    Our conversations with commanders and review of the written record suggest that commanders’ information needs generally flow from an interaction of factors within three principal arenas: commanders’ guidance; the operating environment, including the information domain; and the resources available to the commander. We discuss in this chapter each of these arenas, devoting our attention primarily to the one most relevant to our study: the operating environment, including the information domain.

    The first source of commanders’ information needs is the higher-level guidance that commanders receive regarding their overall mission and other matters. Influence operations planning should flow from the top down,...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Remaining Challenges
    (pp. 57-64)

    As we stated at the outset, we lack a firm basis for establishing the prevalence in the field of many of the problems that were identified by the commanders. Nevertheless, the fact that certain issues were mentioned by multiple commanders suggests that they clearly deserve closer examination by the U.S. Army. In this concluding section, we discuss four emerging challenges in meeting commanders’ information needs and conducting effective influence operations. Although these challenges are based largely on anecdotal evidence, we think they are important enough to deserve attention, further analysis, and potential remedial action.

    A recurring theme from our research...

  13. APPENDIX A Identified Information Requirements for Influence Operations
    (pp. 65-70)
  14. APPENDIX B Task List Analysis
    (pp. 71-80)
  15. APPENDIX C A Metrics-Based Planning and Assessment Approach for Influence Operations
    (pp. 81-106)
  16. APPENDIX D Assessment of Expected Utility Modeling for Influence Operations
    (pp. 107-118)
  17. APPENDIX E Assessment of Social Network Analysis for Influence Operations
    (pp. 119-126)
  18. References
    (pp. 127-134)