U.S. Army Combined Arms Center: Information Engagement in Counterinsurgency

U.S. Army Combined Arms Center

  • 25 pages
  • February 13, 2009


IE Goals

The desired effects of IE are to destroy, degrade, disrupt, deny, deceive, exploit, and influence enemy actions and enhance the legitimacy of the host nation government.

•Divide, disorganize, and induce defection of insurgents
•Reduce/eliminate civilian support of insurgents
•Dissuade civilians from insurgent activities
•Win the active support of non-committed civilians
•Preserve and strengthen the support of friendly civilians
•Win popular approval (from the civilians) of the local presence of friendly military forces
•Obtain national unity or disunity (within the civilian population) as desired

In COIN, influencing the population is more important than controlling land.

Divisive IE

Political, social, economic, and ideological differences among insurgent elements
Leadership rivalries within insurgent movement
Insurgents as criminals, inept, anti-values
Danger of betrayal from among the insurgents
Harsh living conditions of insurgents
Selfish motivation of opportunists supporting the insurgents
Foreign domination of the movement

Targets of Psychological Operations

PSYOP can assist counterinsurgency by reaching the following targets:
-Civilian Populace (US & HN)
-Military Force
-Neutral Elements
-External Hostile Powers
-Local Government

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